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The silence is deafening....

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#401 JohnMurphyRN

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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.

#402 llanitedave

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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.

#403 Pess

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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

#404 Jarad

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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

#405 Pess

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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

#406 Rick Woods

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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?

#407 Rick Woods

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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.

#408 llanitedave

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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.

#409 Rick Woods

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:17 AM

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

#410 llanitedave

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:49 AM

Good point!

#411 Mister T

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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:

#412 llanitedave

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

:shameonyou: :4

#413 Rick Woods

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

In "T"-no Veritas.

#414 CounterWeight

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

The Drake and other like equations are IMO just an attempt to address the idea of putting what we currently know and think we know into a harness to discuss possibilities, nothing more.

It could be called a classical misuse of math? I'm unsure the underlying logic is sound from a set theoretic standpoint or axiomatic scrutiny, maybe it is just a tautology in disguise. I say this as I don't see a reasonable null hypothesis it could form that leads anywhere at all.

In my gut (meaning, I haven't thought this through with either rigourous logic or serious intellectual research) I feel this silence betokens either there is no intelligent/sentient life elsewhere, or that the geometries of scale in the universe are so large and the limitations of physics so severe even they can't overcome them.

Your thoughts, please.


This makes an assumption that we are by some measure 'intellegent' and that it somehow would apply somewhere else - but we have a sample of one. This 'idea' of intellegent is in many ways debated, so it's not that there is a clear definition. If the equation could apply to bacteria in a Petri dish then I rest my case. Let me take the opposite side and say we are not intelligent, and then proceed - then there is a possibility that an intelligence from elsewhere would avoid us beyond cataloging that we are here.

#415 Mister T

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

:mrevil:

#416 ColoHank

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

This 'idea' of intellegent is in many ways debated, so it's not that there is a clear definition. If the equation could apply to bacteria in a Petri dish then I rest my case. Let me take the opposite side and say we are not intelligent, and then proceed - then there is a possibility that an intelligence from elsewhere would avoid us beyond cataloging that we are here.



On the intelligence spectrum, I think a clear distinction could be made between bacteria in a petri dish and bacteria who design and build their own dish, find ways to the move the container from place to place, and develop strategies and technologies to communicate with colonies of bacteria in other dishes near and far.

#417 Pess

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

This makes an assumption that we are by some measure 'intellegent' and that it somehow would apply somewhere else - but we have a sample of one. This 'idea' of intellegent is in many ways debated, so it's not that there is a clear definition. If the equation could apply to bacteria in a Petri dish then I rest my case. Let me take the opposite side and say we are not intelligent, and then proceed - then there is a possibility that an intelligence from elsewhere would avoid us beyond cataloging that we are here.


Good point. Dogs are really intelligent and really quite good at being 'dogs'.

Cro-magnum man was probably just as intelligent as modern man..we just have more developed tools and social interaction than they had.

Pesse (My Girlfriend calls me a mouth breathing Neanderthal...I am not sure, but I don't think it's a compliment.) Mist

#418 Skip

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Well at least you are not considered a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal". :lol:

#419 llanitedave

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:34 PM

This 'idea' of intellegent is in many ways debated, so it's not that there is a clear definition. If the equation could apply to bacteria in a Petri dish then I rest my case. Let me take the opposite side and say we are not intelligent, and then proceed - then there is a possibility that an intelligence from elsewhere would avoid us beyond cataloging that we are here.



On the intelligence spectrum, I think a clear distinction could be made between bacteria in a petri dish and bacteria who design and build their own dish, find ways to the move the container from place to place, and develop strategies and technologies to communicate with colonies of bacteria in other dishes near and far.


Exactly. What we are looking for when we mention extraterrestrial "intelligence" is actually technology on a level that we ourselves can recognize and understand. High intelligence without technology wouldn't show up on our radar.

#420 Pess

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:13 PM

Exactly. What we are looking for when we mention extraterrestrial "intelligence" is actually technology on a level that we ourselves can recognize and understand. High intelligence without technology wouldn't show up on our radar.


Right-o Technology too far behind us isn't work acknowledging and to far advanced to us and we sacrifice virgins to it.

Pesse (It's a Goldilocks conundrum) Mist

#421 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:16 PM

We have no evidence of the existence of the extra-terrestrials. Further, we have no evidence of communication by or contact made with us by sentient extra-terrestrials.

The geometries of the universe (distance, time, volume, material saturation) and the technologies of space travel we are currently able to envisage are the preferred reasons for why we lack evidence of existence and contact.

While I affirm the likelihood of these two reasons sufficiently accounting for the deafening silence, there is another explanation I would like to offer; the role of anonymity. The role of anonymity as a partial explanation for the deafening silence is meant not as an alternative explanation. It may play only a piece, but, perhaps, an important piece.

Personally and professionally I have known hundreds of individuals who are, or have been while still alive, in recovery from substance and/or behavioral addictions. Many, but not all, of these individuals with whom I have interacted credit this accomplishment to twelve step programs; the classic example of which is Alcoholics Anonymous. For those unfamiliar with this recovery program, the program of recovery includes many suggestions among which the twelve steps constitute the most important, but not exclusive, part. Another piece of these recovery programs is the twelve traditions, the eleventh of which is, “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

It is the opinion of many who have sought and experienced recovery as a result of participation in this program that the practice of anonymity is an essential element in their individual recovery and in the continued availability of this program. More specifically, members have found it valuable to avoid identifying themselves as members of these twelve step programs when engaged in public affairs not associated with the twelve step program to which they belong individually. Nearing the end of its first century of existence, twelve step programs have deep memories of the disastrous effects of individuals in recovery failing to practice anonymity in all of their affairs. In some cases, the lack of anonymity has negatively impacted the reputation and availability of the program for others who might have need of it. Second, failing to practice anonymity of action tends to be related to a return to addictive substance use and other behaviors.

In everyday practice this anonymity takes the forms of (1) not identifying oneself as a member of the program when involved in other public activities unrelated to the twelve step program to which they belong, and (2) when doing acts of service these individuals attempt to perform the service in such a way that few if any know they (the individuals in recovery) were the ones doing the service. An example of the first might be a corporate executive or politician involved in initiating a program of public education in substance abuse who refrains from also identifying herself as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. An example of the second might be the man who anonymously picks up hand wiping paper towels off the restroom floor at his place of employment whenever he uses the same facility.

{edited by moderator}

Modern day psychology, being as it is, largely reduced to psycho-metrics, is the first to assert that the behaviors, actions, and ideas of those in addiction recovery are in fact empirical, objective phenomena which can be scientifically examined and mathematically described.

For argument sake, let us assume the empirical and objective results of such recovery programs evidence the value of anonymous service. This assumption having been made, it would then follow that sentient extra-terrestrial beings, possessing vastly superior reasoning ability and technological proficiency might see it beneficial for us, human beings, that they keep their presence among us secret and beneficial activities as anonymous as possible.

#422 shawnhar

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:30 PM

Umm....no, there is NO evidence of life elsewhere, saying they are here and want to remain secret is wild, baseless psycho-babble like saying Elvis is still alive and he's keeping it a secret because the aliens told him to.

#423 TL2101

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:37 PM


Looks like we may soon have a warp drive only problem we blow ourselves and everyone around us up when we stop. The Aliens aren't going to like this. :o

link

#424 Joad

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

Otto, you continue to make pseudo-arguments that begin "for the sake of argument." But your "for the sake of" premise is actually your conclusion. Whether this is an example of circular reasoning, or of begging the question, it is a rhetorical and logical fallacy. Someone with your philosophical training should know that.

You also keep trying to slip what are essentially your religious beliefs into your posts in this forum. It is blatantly obvious.

#425 mich_al

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:41 PM

Otto, you continue to make pseudo-arguments that begin "for the sake of argument." But your "for the sake of" premise is actually your conclusion. Whether this is an example of circular reasoning, or of begging the question, it is a rhetorical and logical fallacy. Someone with your philosophical training should know that.

You also keep trying to slip what are essentially your religious beliefs into your posts in this forum. It is blatantly obvious.



AND continues to dig the hole deeper. EVERY time. What is the saying? Clarity is the cube root of vebosity?






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