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General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: René on September 07, 2019, 09:07:27 am

Title: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 07, 2019, 09:07:27 am
"On other worlds with the right chemical conditions, Lane believes that life would be sure to emerge. But without a fateful merger, it would be forever microbial."

http://nautil.us/issue/10/mergers--acquisitions/the-unique-merger-that-made-you-and-ewe-and-yew
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 07, 2019, 11:20:23 am
The question of life in the universe is one of my favourite mind twisters and I love to read about it.

However, my favourite reading piece are solutions to the so-called "Fermi Paradox". Your article would fit the "Rare Earth hypothesis":

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

(skip to "Hypothetical explanations for the paradox".)
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: penboack on September 07, 2019, 09:06:40 pm
Interesting read.

I think that the idea that we are the only intelligent life in the universe is the modern equivalent of the idea that the earth was at the centre of the universe.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Dune on September 08, 2019, 01:40:31 am
I agree with Penboack. Problem is, we will probably never know, as distances are enormous, even for radio signals and light. But given time, chemicals can react in almost every way, I'd say, under the right circumstances, just like here.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 08, 2019, 06:21:54 am
The article does not state that there is no intelligent life elsewhere, but that the chance that it exists has become a lot smaller: "The kind of merger that creates mitochondria seems to be a ludicrously unlikely event. Prokaryotes have only managed it once in more than 3 billion years, despite coming into contact with each other all the time."
If the universe is infinite, and the conditions are the same everywhere, then intelligent life should just be there, but very rare.
Jack Vance (science fiction writer) once said that In a situation of infinity every possible condition occurs, not once, but an infinite number of times.
Whether we will ever know, I am not sure. In principle, any speed below the speed of light is possible (provided that all problems that arise at such a speed can be solved), and then it doesn't necessarily take very long to reach far away solar systems, it will only be annoying for the travelers when they return to find out that millions of years have gone by on earth.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Dune on September 08, 2019, 11:41:58 am
And that last sentence is something I just can't comprehend. Travellers getting younger as they return (in relation to the place they started off from). In my mind it's virtually impossible, so I've stopped thinking about these things, though they are very intriguing.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 08, 2019, 04:19:52 pm
Quote from: penboack on September 07, 2019, 09:06:40 pmInteresting read.

I think that the idea that we are the only intelligent life in the universe is the modern equivalent of the idea that the earth was at the centre of the universe.

Actually, it might well be the other way round.

Notice that the notion of extraterrestrial life has been gaining traction ever since the fifties and probably peaked with the "Star Wars" era and the New Century. So, chronologically, this is the "original" notion that we as humans have had. Much like the flat-earth theory that was the first to come to the historical limelight.

Now however, we get more and more proof and research (and yes, articles too) that intelligent life might in fact be absent from the universe and that we might have been mistaken to consider it to be a common feature.

Don't get me wrong - I believe that there are other civilizations in the Universe. However, on the other hand, evidence is mounting that it might only be our wishful thinking.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Dune on September 09, 2019, 01:38:04 am
I would probably doubt that evidence, as it's maybe like interpreting what a tree looks like, and what lives on it, by its 6 pixel shadow alone. Light of the start of far 'civilizations' might not even have reached us.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 09, 2019, 02:49:22 am
Quote from: Dune on September 09, 2019, 01:38:04 amI would probably doubt that evidence, as it's maybe like interpreting what a tree looks like, and what lives on it, by its 6 pixel shadow alone. Light of the start of far 'civilizations' might not even have reached us.

Agreed, but only if these hypothetical civs are +30 light years away. If we, arbitrarily, set 1990 as a start of the modern deep-space observation, that would indeed mean that light of civilizations that are farther, and have just started to emit it, have indeed not reached our telescopes just yet.

If, say, next year we would notice a planet flickering with an artificial light, it would be possible that we have just discovered a civilization, 31 ly away, on the verge of what we know as the industrial revolution. Equals - electrical power.

This however brings a rather pessimistic light (pun not intended) to the whole problem - we should at least be able to see the electrical light of more distant planets that have been in the industrial / electronic era for ages, right?

What I do agree however, is that our research methods may indeed be very primitive compared to what may be physically possible in our Universe. Scientists themselves are a part of the problem. Nobody have ever conclusively proved or ruled-out the existence of tachyons. Still, all researchers are repeating "travel or communication in excess of speed of light is not possible" like a mantra. My call is that it is possible but we may live in a part of Universe lacking chemistry and materials that would indeed allow it.

Another example is a very interesting case of the Tabby's Star (or KIC 8462852) which has been discovered to have a very unusual dimming pattern. Actually, it looks more like a flickering pattern... which nothing but proves that something (and lots of it) is between our telescopes and the star's surface. Due to the fact that none of the scientific explanations is satisfactory, many people theorize that a Dyson swarm (or at least its ruins, sic!) may be the only explanation left to account for the dimming.

Yet, scientist are extremely hesitant to admit that this may well be the only solution left despite the fact they themselves have no idea on how to approach this question. There is hardly a possibility of a success if disproving theories is what you do, rather than digging into them.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: archonforest on September 09, 2019, 03:19:22 am
I am 100 percent sure that there are other intelligent life forms out there. The size of the universe cannot be defined with our language and metric unit. (I mean we can use the term of light year but since we do not know how long is our universe is pretty useless.) I think we have tons of pictures, carvings...etc..etc that suggest that this planet already had visitors from outer space. It is impossible that all this drawings, carvings...etc are all false.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 09, 2019, 04:06:37 am
With all due respect but that sounds a tad like a conspiracy theory... But, on the other hand there might be something to it. Although, a bit less "sexy"...

In the Earth's history, there was an event called "Cambrian Explosion" which denotes a set of conditions and a time period in which most animals have appeared for the first time. Seemingly out of nowhere and without any prior evolutionary developments.

Many people have long theorized that we might have actually arrived to the Earth (albeit in a microbial form) from somewhere else, riding on a bolide or an asteroid of some sort. That would mean that us ourselves are from the stars.

Once you take a look at how distinctly different the chemistry of our organisms is compared to that of Earth's soil, you really start to feel weirdly out of place... Rather than an exploration, interstellar travel would be nothing short of going back home.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: archonforest on September 09, 2019, 04:28:34 am
Conspiracy theory? Not sure I understand what u mean by that?

The only problem with this subject while being very interesting is that it stays on the theory side. Even though there are loads of objects and other weird stuff around, this subject never went out from the theory side. Hopefully a breakthrough will happen at one point of time.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 09, 2019, 06:13:05 am
The Theory of Relativity explaned for dummies(like me). :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev9zrt__lec
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 09, 2019, 07:32:06 am
Quote from: archonforest on September 09, 2019, 04:28:34 amConspiracy theory? Not sure I understand what u mean by that?

What I mean, is that it is quite far-fetched to think any symbols, building or drawings on Earth have been made by an extraterrestrial race (other than ours, of course. ;) )

Why? Because it sort of implies that archeologists and researchers of said objects are entangled in a vast, Byzantine plot and lie that these drawings were all made by e.g. cavemen.

I don't think we have been visited before. Granted, I find the "asteroid ride" to be even more interesting and consequential theory.

Consider this - if we did arrive here on an asteroid and are from outside of the solar system, that means that somewhere else may exist a world just like our own. A world that began thanks to another chunk of the same asteroid! A world with different languages, different geography but, essentially, with the same mindset and evolutionary history as ours.

Good video René. Though, as you guys probably noticed, I am not entirely convinced by the theory of relativity. I simply cannot understand why crossing a certain speed barrier would suddenly require an infinite amount of energy to move it even faster.

Reaching the "c" speed itself is nothing more than accelerating, right? So my question is - what kind of a special event happens at a "c" speed that would prevent one to cross it? It simply doesn't make any sense to me. Increase in mass is understandable when you take kinetic forces into account, but why would that "collapse" physics at, say, 1.00001 c? I don't get it.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Matt on September 09, 2019, 04:05:02 pm
The universe doesn't stop you from going faster than c.

When viewed from an external frame, e.g. a telescope on Earth, it appears to require an infinite amount of time for a rocket to reach c in the first place, so you will never see an object accelerate past c.

However, a person can sit in a spaceship that has constant acceleration and, if the acceleration is big enough, they can accelerate past c within their lifetime. This can be done without violating any laws of physics. With sufficient, sustained accelerations, people could visit stars that are hundreds of light years away in their lifetime. But from the point of view of observers back on Earth it would seem like they take thousands of years to get there.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Matt on September 09, 2019, 04:16:54 pm
Our rate of expansion out into the universe will be limited by c. But because of time dilation, individuals or groups of people will be able to choose to travel long distances in a relatively short amount of time in their frame of reference. The price they'll pay is watching everyone they know who is still planetside age and die. Groups of people will separate themselves from the rest of humanity not only in space but also in time, but we could spread out across the whole galaxy this way.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 09, 2019, 04:34:57 pm
These are indeed good points. A ship appearing to take forever to reach the speed of light, would be consistent with time dilation rules - the faster you go, the slower the time flies in another frame of reference. But that doesn't mean said ship is not speeding up.

By the way, acceleration and relativistic speeds are not about "magic". Shrinking ship and a ship that, paradoxically, slows down as it accelerates is just a question of how light is being reflected off such an object.

Precisely because of that, you will not even be able to see an FTL object because its image (meaning the light it reflects) would reach you far long after the object has already passed by!

But... we're sort of diverging from the main topic of this thread which was an ET life...

For one thing, I think that it is impossible to believe that ET have already visited us accepting, at the same time, the notion that FTL travel is completely impossible. Otherwise, how would they even reach us in the first place?
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Matt on September 09, 2019, 05:04:19 pm
Quote from: N-drju on September 09, 2019, 04:34:57 pmFor one thing, I think that it is impossible to believe that ET have already visited us accepting, at the same time, the notion that FTL travel is completely impossible. Otherwise, how would they even reach us in the first place?

They don't have to travel faster than light to travel large distances in a short amount of time in their relativistic frame. A being could travel hundreds of light years in just a few years as they perceive it and be completely consistent with the laws of physics as we know them. We could do the same, but we will need to build propulsion technology that generates high acceleration that can be sustained for long periods of time. It can be done even with just 1G of acceleration as long as that can be sustained for a few years. We don't need any magical FTL technology to do this.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Matt on September 09, 2019, 05:11:09 pm
https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/space-travel#can-humans-travel-at-the-speed-of-light-relativistic-space-travel
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2019, 02:03:27 am
Your remarks just opened my eyes a bit further. Forgetting that light from something is not a 'real' thing, it's just light. But still it feels physically incorrect to 'see' people you leave behind die so fast, but I guess you can't really see it either, as it's only their light that lets us 'see' it.
Something to ponder again....
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 03:00:09 am
Quote from: Matt on September 09, 2019, 05:04:19 pmThey don't have to travel faster than light to travel large distances in a short amount of time in their relativistic frame. A being could travel hundreds of light years in just a few years

Of course, you are right! How could I forget about it. But this only proves how many things need to be taken into account to determine or rule out an existence of intelligent life in space. I seriously don't think that any scientist has a luxury of having thought patterns like we do.

A race with enough knowledge and level of development could probably also use wormholes for travel. By the way, an object the existence of which the special theory of relativity explicitly supports.

@ Ulco - To confuse you even further, take a look at how you would witness a superluminal object passing next to you. An effect caused solely by the light bouncing off of it. You would never even be able to see it's actual form.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/Tachyon04s.gif
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2019, 04:46:10 am
8) :o
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 10, 2019, 04:59:03 am
I am not an expert on the theory of relativity, far from it, but as I understand it time is stretched to infinity at the speed of light and comes to a standstill. So the 300 thousand kilometers per second that is measured is only the relative speed, for photons there will be no time passing and distances are reduced to zero.
Although all this is counter intuitive and I do not understand the underlying mathematics, I have no reason to doubt the theory of relativity; it has been tested many times. Geostationary satellites that control the navigation equipment in cars need to be calibrated at regular intervals because the clocks are lagging behind those on the earth.
Of course I can be completely wrong because I am not an expert. ;D


T
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 10, 2019, 05:10:07 am
Does light experience time?

https://phys.org/news/2014-05-does-light-experience-time.html

If you still have doubts, watch this film, if you haven't already done so, and everything will become clear. :D

Interstellar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxOhd4qlnA
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 06:56:34 am
Quote from: René on September 10, 2019, 05:10:07 amInterstellar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxOhd4qlnA
Been there, done that. :P

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,23534.msg238195.html#msg238195

As for the photons not experiencing time, I find this idea fascinating. Would that mean that by just achieving "c" we could travel through space forever, not age even one second and not even experience distance as such? How would such a travel look like? Earth, snap, Andromeda Galaxy. Slideshow instead of a travel?

Of course you would definitely wish to take your relatives and friends with you!
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 10, 2019, 10:57:02 am
You wouldn't travel at all and there wouldn't be any distances, just an eternal now, I guess. I can't imagine how one would experience that. For me the whole concept of relativity is already mind-boggling.
That's one of the most frightening moments in the film you've depicted, by the way.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: archonforest on September 10, 2019, 11:37:48 am
I would like to know how time can slow done or stop? Technically time is not existing. Time is a representation of change in the physical universe. Earth changes its position around the Sun and this movement is translated into "time". But there is no time itself. It is just an agreement between humans that this amount of movement/change equals 24 hours. Time was needed to have stable data between people and to lessen the chaos.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 11:43:30 am
I think that the theory of relativity actually explains that time is a physical value, though I agree with you - how??

I'm also curious about one thing... If, as the eggheads say, time slows down to "0" as you approach the "c" speed... does it mean that by crossing the "c" speed one can actually travel back in time...? ??? It's a logical conclusion.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Matt on September 10, 2019, 02:40:38 pm
You can't push past c, so there is no possibility of reversing time. To travel at the speed of c in an external reference frame, you travel at infinite speed in the moving frame. No matter how much faster you try to go beyond infinity, you are still travelling at the speed of infinity. To the external viewer this appear to be c. So it's impossible to go faster than this.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 03:55:32 pm
Quote from: Matt on September 10, 2019, 02:40:38 pmYou can't push past c, so there is no possibility of reversing time. To travel at the speed of c in an external reference frame, you travel at infinite speed in the moving frame. No matter how much faster you try to go beyond infinity, you are still travelling at the speed of infinity. To the external viewer this appear to be c. So it's impossible to go faster than this.

Y'know, I prefer trigonometry thank you very much.
:P
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Tangled-Universe on September 11, 2019, 06:40:52 am
PBS Space Time is a great channel which answers many many questions and ideas discussed here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_gcs09iThXybpVgjHZ_7g
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 11, 2019, 07:37:57 am
Quote from: Matt on September 10, 2019, 02:40:38 pmYou can't push past c, so there is no possibility of reversing time. To travel at the speed of c in an external reference frame, you travel at infinite speed in the moving frame. No matter how much faster you try to go beyond infinity, you are still travelling at the speed of infinity. To the external viewer this appear to be c. So it's impossible to go faster than this.
Makes sense. No matter how much you add to infinity, it remains infinite.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 11, 2019, 07:44:53 am
Quote from: Tangled-Universe on September 11, 2019, 06:40:52 amPBS Space Time is a great channel which answers many many questions and ideas discussed here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_gcs09iThXybpVgjHZ_7g
Thank you for this. Images and animations help me enormously in understanding abstract matters.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on September 11, 2019, 08:33:27 am
The discussion about the existence or non-existence of extraterrestrial life will remain hypothetical until we discover it. In his book Extraterrestrial Civilizations, Isaac Asimov(author) provides the (theoretical) proof that there are many intelligent aliens in the universe. He does this by comparing two magnitudes, namely the number of estimated planets in the universe, and the long series of coincidences that have led to the birth of our planet and the life on it.
It is remarkable that Simon Conway Morris(evolutionary biologist) uses the same evidence and reasoning in his book Life's Solution to show that there may be life outside the earth, but that this probably has not evolved beyond than microbes.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Tangled-Universe on September 12, 2019, 08:12:09 am
Another complication is the expansion rate of the universe, which is the same for every position within the universe.
At the moment the expansion rate is estimated at about 73km/s/Mpc, where Mpc stands for megaparsec, a unit of distance. (There's heavy debate on this value though, some say it should be lower, like 68)
So the further away an object is, the faster it's receding from us.
Consequently, any object or point in the universe beyond the Hubble radius, approx 14.7B lightyears, has recession speeds faster than the speed of light.

These parts of outside of our observable universe are inaccessible to us, physically but also sensory.
We have no clear idea how large the universe is, we only know limits of our observable universe (constrained to the Hubble radius), but if there's intelligent life out there then some or perhaps all of it may be impossible to reach for us or impossible for them to reach us.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: N-drju on September 12, 2019, 01:55:50 pm
Quote from: Tangled-Universe on September 12, 2019, 08:12:09 amWe have no clear idea how large the universe is, we only know limits of our observable universe (constrained to the Hubble radius), but if there's intelligent life out there then some or perhaps all of it may be impossible to reach for us or impossible for them to reach us.

Unless wormholes are proved to exist. Until lately mankind had no idea that bosons exist. Who knows what else could be discovered?

The problem with wormholes might as well lie in the fact that they may be too small or too short-lived for us to even notice and make us of. But it doesn't change the fact that they have a potential to be space tunnels...
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Ariel DK on October 08, 2019, 11:45:51 pm
Quote from: N-drju on September 12, 2019, 01:55:50 pm
Quote from: Tangled-Universe on September 12, 2019, 08:12:09 amWe have no clear idea how large the universe is, we only know limits of our observable universe (constrained to the Hubble radius), but if there's intelligent life out there then some or perhaps all of it may be impossible to reach for us or impossible for them to reach us.

Unless wormholes are proved to exist. Until lately mankind had no idea that bosons exist. Who knows what else could be discovered?

The problem with wormholes might as well lie in the fact that they may be too small or too short-lived for us to even notice and make us of. But it doesn't change the fact that they have a potential to be space tunnels...

Indeed, we still aren't proved that even the black holes exist mathematically talking...

The existence of this objects in fact, are proof that the space-time can be both compressed near to infinit, but "no more". this is what a singularity actually is: in just a million of million of microseconds, a singularity colapse into itself and left to exist, but she also warp the time while doing this, so, for an exterior observer timing the event, it would seems to take trillions of years. the curious thing about this is the fact that by definition, a black hole is a collapsed zone of the space-time, but the singularity is not really collapsed, but still "collapsing". so, is a black hole a real object, or just an illusion resulting of warped time?

In my opinion, due that we don't even understand the nature of our universe, if a intelligent alien civilisation evolved millions of year before us, trespassing this natural frontiers, we simply could not differentiate their actions from the nature. the less debated and elegant solution to the Fermi paradox.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: René on October 10, 2019, 01:35:40 am





True! It is even conceivable that all those centuries of studying the universe we have actually studied the oeuvre of aliens.
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: Ariel DK on October 10, 2019, 11:45:08 am
Quote from: René on October 10, 2019, 01:35:40 amTrue! It is even conceivable that all those centuries of studying the universe we have actually studied the oeuvre of aliens.

Or even the whole universe can be their "oeuvre"...  ;)
Title: Re: Is the universe filled with intelligent life? Possibly not.
Post by: PabloMack on October 20, 2019, 08:50:12 pm
Oh yes.  Intelligent life arroze on a planet in that direction 5.7 million light years away about 8.9 billion years ago. They are long gone now. Another one will arrize in this other direction only 1.8 million light years from here in another 2.2 billion years. We will be extinct long before then. There were and will be many others in distant galaxies. But sorry, they are spaced so far apart in space and time that we will never meet them. That is most likely the reality.