StarCraft® II

Extra Terrestrial life.

Posts: 426
Do you guys think it exists? Why or why not?

Do you think humans will ever encounter extra terrestrials?

What will the extra terrestrial life be like? insects? bacteria? intelligent?

I love thinking about aliens and such, so discuss if you like :) these are just questions to get you started
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I can tackle this one. Basically life as far as we know is rather uncommon. We do know the building blocks appear to be ubiquitous for life as we know it. Effectively, bacteria or archaea-like organisms are the most likely to be encountered. Even if the odds are, say, 1 in 100 trillion (modestly), we've had almost limitless 'trials' to get life at any instant over the last 13 billion years or whatever. That's a lot of trials to overcome odds.

Personally, I think the self assembling nature of much of what we are (from amino acids to RNA/DNA and phospholipid bilayers) makes the odds of life starting up rather promising and likely common...especially if you allow for the possibility of life starting off using different building blocks (example: boron based life, versus carbon.)

It seems recently it was demonstrated that bacteria can go from single cell to multi cell within 60 day: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/evolution-of-multicellularity/

This is actually rather promising for the idea of finding multicellular life, as previous thinking was that the step between single and multi celled life assumed it was a major time consuming crap-shoot to accomplish. Turns out, pretty easy with decent pressure.

As for if they will be 'insect' or anything recognizable...I suspect that there may be passing resemblances to some blobby things like sponges but you won't get many familiar recurrent themes like insects. You WILL however see eyes, as even though the vertebrate eye (including, perhaps, the molluscan eye) may have evolved once, arthropods definitely threw down their own multi-lensed eyes. To get something as organized as an insect, though, you'd need a series of adaptations, mutations and pressures to specifically create the groups foundation, which then can expand and etc.

Familiar themes like bones, for example, may not get the opportunity to evolve. Who knows, it is actually rather mind boggling to think of a life form that isn't just created from a series of traits you already know. Even the concept of bipedality, cephalization (organizing a braing in a head or having a head for that matter) and looking remotely humanlike with two eyes, a nose, a mouth, a neck, 2 arms, 2 legs etc...very, very remote.

I'm sure some other posters such as Astrai will come on and give their 2 cents. it's like 4am, so I'm off to my next adventure.
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who says that there isn't intellegent life in this galaxy (other than us)? Or perhaps what are the odds would be a better question?
Edited by Necromaster on 2/24/2012 9:05 AM PST
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It's almost a certainty that intelligence of some sort has arose. What that intelligence might look like, be it simplistic or very metaphorical or whatever, however, is anyone's guess.
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Loh, unfortunately exoplanets are kinda a !@#$storm right now. When one team announces, another seems to counter and it's all unverifiable. Not to mention to Earthlike planets are based on estimations upon estimations, really poor science. Sure, some planets have to be out there that are like Earth, but sadly pinning them down at this point is rather shaky at best.

Titan and Europa are the two moons you are thinking about. Recently they broke through to the lake at Vostok, so sit tight. The animals and life they fnid under this terrestrial ice sheet should tell us what we may be able to expect from these planets. I know there have been reports of Copepods from far under ice sheets, so complex life is possible- whether it develops there or exadapts its way from something else is a concern, but one we don't care too much about til we find it.
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Posts: 189
in short i think yes theres too many worlds out there for some of them to not support life

i read about this guy who put together an equasion to predict how often life would occure in the universe and it came out to a surprising 800 civilization per galaxy in the universe at any given time

EDIT: note that is just for intelagent life life in general suposed to be much more common
Edited by TheTitan on 3/3/2012 9:44 AM PST
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Posts: 6,182
There are countless worlds in our universe on which countless lives live. I believe you'd find everything (with perhaps differences) that you find here. Same similar plants and animals. On these countless worlds are also sentient life and I know they are humans just as we are humans with the same DNA and all that encompasses.

What makes me wonder is if there are other worlds, if not some of the ones I referenced above, where sentient lifeforms exist that are not human. I don't know, but that is what I would find even more interesting than the question of if life is out there. I already know that, but what other kinds are there?

I would also bet that many are at different stages. Are dinosaurs alive? I would say yes and that they roam across countless worlds (maybe not the same one's people are on). Who can say?

Don't ask me why I say these things. A clever person can find out exactly why.
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ummm... This is some scientology thetan level stuff right here^

I don't think I even need to worry about refuting it.
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does life need to have certain chemicals available in order to develop? Could life exist on a planet that had no water, or no nitrogen? Could life form on a planet that has a scarcity of non-metals? If we did discover intelligent life, how would we know it was intelligent and not simply clever like say an octopus?
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Posts: 149
03/05/2012 12:35 PMPosted by Necromaster
If we did discover intelligent life, how would we know it was intelligent and not simply clever like say an octopus?


How do you know that anyone is actually intelligent?
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Posts: 1,522
How do you know that anyone is actually intelligent?

I know I am self-aware and I am pretty sure I am capable of solving problems and reacting to my environment. So that's one down, as for the other 6.6 billion people and the many animals in the world, I will simply have to observe them and make an educated guess based upon my observations.
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Posts: 149
Then you've answered your own question.

Edit: Grammarz are gud.
Edited by capnpufnstuf on 3/5/2012 3:34 PM PST
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yes but if the species is not carbon based we may not even recognize them as being intelligent even if they are. What if the species we encounter are like fungus and their spores are like nerve cells, connecting the entire planet into a giant brain network. How would we discern whether or not intelligent thought was going through its head(s)? My point is what is intelligence?
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Posts: 149
03/05/2012 04:42 PMPosted by Necromaster
How would we discern whether or not intelligent thought was going through its head(s)? My point is what is intelligence?


Just like you said- we guess, based on our observations of how it responds to its environment. There's no way to logically prove that anything is "intelligent". We can only infer it, based on observation and interaction.

Intelligence is tough to define, but I think a basic enough criterion might be the appearance of abstract thought. Plants, for example, can only react to immediate stimuli. They do not posses intelligence. Humans can react to expected stimuli, and therefore we do posses intelligence.
Trees drop thier leaves when it gets cold; department stores start selling jackets in July.
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Technically speaking, octopods are intelligent. Very intelligent. They have at least one member in the top 10 most intelligent creatures on the planet, right along with humans, many of the more cunning apes, cetaceans, large parrots, crows and etc.
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I think it's a given that there is life outside of this planet. It should go without saying.

The deeper question is why is the universe so silent.

I don't think it's an accident.




And I don't think we will like the answer to that question.
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03/07/2012 06:55 PMPosted by MODAX
The deeper question is why is the universe so silent.

cause there is no air in space

03/07/2012 06:55 PMPosted by MODAX
And I don't think we will like the answer to that question

I don't know, the answer doesn't really bother me, any1 else bothered by the above answer?

03/07/2012 03:02 PMPosted by Ponera
Technically speaking, octopods are intelligent.

I know but when you compare them to a human being . . . I would say clever more than intelligent, i suppose its my frame of reference. Since when have crows been 1 of the top 10 most intelligent animals?
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?

cause there is no air in space


How clever ;)

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