Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

The silence is deafening....

  • Please log in to reply
690 replies to this topic

#376 Qwickdraw

Qwickdraw

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1920
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

[quote name="Pess"][quote]

a water based sentiment...
[/quote]

Is this a tear?

#377 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

Like this?

http://www.ebaumswor...o/watch/988975/


Who knew the Shrew were capable of utilizing Pai Mei's Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

Pesse (Grade 3 Master of Dim Mak) Mist

#378 shawnhar

shawnhar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7996
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

I always liked the term "natural philosophy" as a synonym for science. I'm not sure why it fell out of favor, but I'd bring it back if I could.

me too

as in mathematica principia philosophiae naturalis (Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; I think that was his famous book in which he described gravity mathematically)

I do know that the Latin word for knowledge (scientia) was widely used long before the word science appears in English. The way I was taught it was scientia est cognitio per causas ["knowledge" is understanding through/by the causes"] , but I just read on line it was philosophia est scientia rerum per causa prima ["philosophy is knowledge of things through [their] first causes"]


There is a reason it fell out of favor, because scientists were finally freed from religious opppression. The use of the term "Philosophy" instead of "Science" was too keep from being beheaded or burned at the stake by the church.
"This isn't real science, I'm just throwing some what-if's and musings out there, please don't kill me" It is a horrible term and makes me physically ill, it should not be regarded with cute nostalgia by anyone.

#379 JohnMurphyRN

JohnMurphyRN

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Near St Louis

Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:53 PM


""
An intelligent species could exploit any environment. Just like humans exploit space and oceans, a water based sentiment species could exploit extra-oceanonic niches simply by building artificial islands. It might take them longer to evolve to this capability but they would get there. Heck, all they'd need is a simple suit to encase them (not the hugely complex space/ocean diving suits humans require to exploit their additional niches).""



Certainly they could, but what incentive would they have to do so? We're not doing much of anything in the deep ocean trenches, or the south pole, and rarely venture further than low orbit....

#380 JohnMurphyRN

JohnMurphyRN

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Near St Louis

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:04 PM



""Any form of communication can be translated into an electrical signal just as humans covert sound waves into electrical patterns.""


Agreed. Any means of communication can be translated among senses. Written language translates sound to sight. Radio and tv translate sound and sight to EM mechanical senses. In theory we could translate our visual and audio into olfactory chemical cues, yet we have not done so. Why should we assume other species would go to the trouble to put communication into a format we can detect as communication?

I don't say that these are THE answers, just that these are possible answers.

The alternative is that intelligent life arising is vanishingly rare, or that the timespan of its existance is vanishingly small - which bodes ill for us as a species; we are likely to fall into whatever destructive process befalls the rest of them...

#381 shawnhar

shawnhar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7996
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Is it folly to think that the universe is teeming with life and the only reason there is silence, is because we are on the wrong side? Dark matter/energy...maybe that's where the party is, we just can't interact with them.

#382 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19021
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Shawnhar,

Wow, what a thought...! :shocked:

JohnMurphyRN,

Don't take this wrong, but I can't make head nor tail of your two posts above, nor tell what's a quote and what's your reply. Could you possibly re-work those a little? Thanks. :confused:

#383 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 25188
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

There is a reason it fell out of favor, because scientists were finally freed from religious opppression. The use of the term "Philosophy" instead of "Science" was too keep from being beheaded or burned at the stake by the church.


I really doubt this is a factual assertion. Could you give some references?

#384 shawnhar

shawnhar

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7996
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:33 AM

The Scientists
A History of Science Told Through the Lives of It's Greatest Inventors
-John Grinnin
Random House 2002
That's one, but I am sure you know Galileo was on house arrest for the last years of his life and the Copernican model was banned by the church. It wasn't until after Cavendesh that we started getting away from the term "Philisophical Ponderings" to avoid being persecuted by religious leaders.

#385 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:40 AM

Certainly they could, but what incentive would they have to do so? We're not doing much of anything in the deep ocean trenches, or the south pole, and rarely venture further than low orbit....


Pesse (Fire) Mist

#386 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

The alternative is that intelligent life arising is vanishingly rare, or that the timespan of its existance is vanishingly small - which bodes ill for us as a species; we are likely to fall into whatever destructive process befalls the rest of them...


It is interesting that you assume that any intelligent life would 'be like 'us'. In the sense of some variation of the biological.

We are short lived, have painfully slow programming rate and stunted communication between ourselves.

I suspect that whatever entity roves the galaxy is to us as we are to dinosaurs (and that's optimistic).

Pesse (It is just mankind's hubris that allows him to expect to meet himself out there.) Mist

#387 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19021
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

JohnMurphyRN,

Thanks!

#388 JohnMurphyRN

JohnMurphyRN

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Near St Louis

Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

What we're currently looking for is a carbon copy of ouselves(earthlike worlds in the liquid water range - and radio signals not so different from ours). Which makes sense, since that's what we're most likely to recognize.

I'm in at least partial agreement with you; life-as-we-don't-know-it might be so far away from our expectations that we fail to recognize it even if we see it. It could be as you suggest: far in advance of us. Or it could be just far different from us (sideways instead of in front).

In any event, it's an interesting idea to play with.

I'm willing to bet on what we won't find. We won't find anything that remotely resembles what passes for science fiction in the mass media: bipedal humanoid forms approximately our size.

#389 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I'm willing to bet on what we won't find. We won't find anything that remotely resembles what passes for science fiction in the mass media: bipedal humanoid forms approximately our size.


I love hard science fiction, especially Steve White & Dave Weber. But it always amazes me that in grand battle the technologies of first contact civilizations all have approximately equal technologies.

Just look at our own advances in technology just 50 years apart. A state of the art battleship from the end of WW2 wouldn't even see a modern warship before it was sunk!

I imagine true encounters in first contact space warfare situations would be so one sided that Scotty wouldn't even be able to mutter, "I'm giv'n 'er all she's got Captain!"

I've said before that I doubt true space faring races stuck in an Einsteinian universe would bother with gravity wells...except maybe to dip into it now and then to harvest some protein delicacies...

Pesse (To Serve Man) Mist

#390 JohnMurphyRN

JohnMurphyRN

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Near St Louis

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

"I've said before that I doubt true space faring races stuck in an Einsteinian universe would bother with gravity wells..."

Sounds like I can add Niven to the list of SF you read...The two you mention I'm not familiar with. I'll have to have a look.

#391 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 25188
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:09 PM

...except maybe to dip into it now and then to harvest some protein delicacies...


Even that's pretty unlikely when you think about it. There are nearly an infinite number of possible protein configurations, and the ones used by terrestrial life form a very small subset, including having a limited number of amino acids. There's no reason that other life forms would have anything like our subset of configurations, or that they would use them for the same functions. How many of them would even be digestible? Same goes for sugars and fatty acids. Life as we know it uses the compounds it does probably mostly out of evolutionary tradition from somewhat arbitrary origins.

Think of capsaicin. We can tolerate small amounts of it, some other creatures can't take any, and others don't even notice. Suppose there is a living system on some other planet where it's a necessary signalling molecule -- all of that life would be toxic to us, even if it uses mostly familiar organic compounds otherwise. But the chances are that other life forms will use compounds that our digestive systems have not adapted to, and are possibly toxic to us. I suspect we'd probably be toxic to other life forms as well.

#392 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

Think of capsaicin. We can tolerate small amounts of it, some other creatures can't take any, and others don't even notice. Suppose there is a living system on some other planet where it's a necessary signalling molecule -- all of that life would be toxic to us, even if it uses mostly familiar organic compounds otherwise. But the chances are that other life forms will use compounds that our digestive systems have not adapted to, and are possibly toxic to us. I suspect we'd probably be toxic to other life forms as well.


You mean Star Trek lied to us when they pretty much beamed down unprotected to just about any alien planet eating with & (in Kirks case) mating with the indigenous population?

I always wondered about the partial pressure problem of different planets? Even if the atmosphere was breathable I would have concerns about air embolism, decompression sickness etc going from ship to surface so quickly.

Also consider the revulsion factor. Who in their right mind would eat some slimy tentacled alien ink squirter?

Pesse (I need to order a plate of Calamari and think this through.) Mist

#393 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6392
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

Think of capsaicin. We can tolerate small amounts of it, some other creatures can't take any, and others don't even notice. Suppose there is a living system on some other planet where it's a necessary signalling molecule



So instead of tasting like chicken, the creatures of that planet would taste like buffalo wings...

Mmmm.... Scotty, beam me down some blue cheese dressing...

Jarad

#394 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

Think of capsaicin. We can tolerate small amounts of it, some other creatures can't take any, and others don't even notice. Suppose there is a living system on some other planet where it's a necessary signalling molecule




So instead of tasting like chicken, the creatures of that planet would taste like buffalo wings...

Mmmm.... Scotty, beam me down some blue cheese dressing...

Jarad


Horta are just like Oysters..only giant sized.

Pesse (I'm thinking aphrodisiac on steroids here...) Mist

#395 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19021
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:07 PM


Think of capsaicin. We can tolerate small amounts of it, some other creatures can't take any, and others don't even notice. Suppose there is a living system on some other planet where it's a necessary signalling molecule -- all of that life would be toxic to us, even if it uses mostly familiar organic compounds otherwise. But the chances are that other life forms will use compounds that our digestive systems have not adapted to, and are possibly toxic to us. I suspect we'd probably be toxic to other life forms as well.


You mean Star Trek lied to us when they pretty much beamed down unprotected to just about any alien planet eating with & (in Kirks case) mating with the indigenous population?

I always wondered about the partial pressure problem of different planets? Even if the atmosphere was breathable I would have concerns about air embolism, decompression sickness etc going from ship to surface so quickly.

Also consider the revulsion factor. Who in their right mind would eat some slimy tentacled alien ink squirter?

Pesse (I need to order a plate of Calamari and think this through.) Mist


But what about green Orion slave girls?

#396 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19021
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

There's no reason that other life forms would have anything like our subset of configurations, or that they would use them for the same functions.


But (given our old friend, the sample of one), there's no reason they wouldn't, either.

#397 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 25188
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

There's no reason that other life forms would have anything like our subset of configurations, or that they would use them for the same functions.


But (given our old friend, the sample of one), there's no reason they wouldn't, either.


Actually, we already have sample sizes greater than one for many of the compounds life uses. There are a number of examples of very different substances being used for parallel functions in different organisms.

Take skin covering, for instance. Plants use cellulose, arthropods use chitin, and vertebrates use keratin. Three substances, three lineages, one function.

Take skeletal structures. Plants use a combination of cellulose and lignin, arthropods use chitin (their skin is their skeleton), and vertebrates use a combination of collagen and calcium phosphate.

And these are all from eukaryotes that shared the same DNA for nearly 3 billion years before diverging into different lineages. Yet for all our shared history, and for all the eating our ancestors have been doing on plants and arthropods, we still can't digest cellulose or lignin or chitin.

Add to that the fact that the same peptides can have very different effects in different cell types, and you begin to see that the relationship between molecule and function is a very loose one overall -- however specific it may be in any given cell type -- and there is no reason to expect that living systems with very different origins, different histories, and different environments would find molecules from completely foreign organisms to be of any use.

I'd be surprised indeed if we were to find that any E.T. was safely digestible for us, or us for them.

#398 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19021
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:17 AM

They don't want to eat us, anyway; they want to lay eggs inside us! :shocked:

#399 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 25188
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:49 AM

Good point!

#400 Mister T

Mister T

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1482
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

What about life forms with a skeletal system of low viscosity gelatins.

Most are found in Washington :smirk:


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics