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The silence is deafening....

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#476 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

Boy....do I hear you! I try to juggle serious thought and response here, with a second shift job, and playing chess with my brother on line. My energy resources are limited, which means my concentration is limited. I should be smoking him on the chessboard but he constantly wins or draws. One can only imagine the egregious mental errors I'm making here.

Anyway, still, I would love to hear more about your thinking on the topic you raised, if and when you feel like it.

Otto

#477 Pess

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:46 PM

Your assertion rests on two assumptions. The first is that chemistry creates life. The second is that chemistry elsewhere is equivalent to terran chemistry.


Chemistry is required for life. Even if you go back to the 'First Cause' argument, the first cause caused chemistry....

As far as we know the laws of physics are the same throughout the Universe (an assumption, sure, but a safe one). Therefore chemistry should be the same..ie: leptons & hadrons combine into basic atoms etc.

I was talking more about extreme chemistry relative to Earth chemistry. IE: Hotter, colder, Ph variance etc

Pesse (One man's outhouse is another microbes home-sweet-home) Mist

#478 Jarad

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

I think you just need a stable niche, energy source, and chemical blocks to build with and eventually you'll get 'life' of some sort or another.



Well, I think you need a bit more than that. I think you need a good solvent that allows the molecules to mix and react (water serves this role on earth). Some people have proposed that you may need catalytic surfaces to help with the early replication of molecules (which we no longer need because we now have evolved complex protein machinery to take its place).

And just getting the things you listed may not be so simple. Can you have a stable niche without a large moon to keep the rotation axis stable? Or a large gas giant to sweep up impactors? How stable does it need to be? What chemicals do you need, and in what mixtures? We require some fairly heavy elements in our chemistry, could life evolve on a planet that only contains significant amounts of the first 3 rows of the periodic table? Or on one that had a lot more of the really heavy radioactive elements?

Once you have self-replicating systems, they will tend to evolve to fill any available niches as you describe, but getting that first "jumpstart" going might be a more delicate step that may require some luck in addition to the right conditions.

You may be right and life may be more common than we think. I sort of hope it is, but we just don't know yet.

Jarad

#479 Pess

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

I think you just need a stable niche, energy source, and chemical blocks to build with and eventually you'll get 'life' of some sort or another.



Well, I think you need a bit more than that. I think you need a good solvent that allows the molecules to mix and react (water serves this role on earth). Some people have proposed that you may need catalytic surfaces to help with the early replication of molecules (which we no longer need because we now have evolved complex protein machinery to take its place).

And just getting the things you listed may not be so simple. Can you have a stable niche without a large moon to keep the rotation axis stable? Or a large gas giant to sweep up impactors? How stable does it need to be? What chemicals do you need, and in what mixtures? We require some fairly heavy elements in our chemistry, could life evolve on a planet that only contains significant amounts of the first 3 rows of the periodic table? Or on one that had a lot more of the really heavy radioactive elements?

Once you have self-replicating systems, they will tend to evolve to fill any available niches as you describe, but getting that first "jumpstart" going might be a more delicate step that may require some luck in addition to the right conditions.

You may be right and life may be more common than we think. I sort of hope it is, but we just don't know yet.

Jarad


My three criteria contain everything you mentioned.

What we disagree on is how expansive each of the three can be and still support the 'spark of life'.

For example, I would say the atmosphere of Venus, the lakes of Titan, the clay of Mars and the Clouds of Jupiter all qualify as a 'solvent'.

Impactors? Once all the ones capable of turning the ENTIRE planetary surface molten were done raining down all the rest would just be selection pressures. Besides, we are talking spark-of-life here, not douse-of-life events.

Life is a steady progression from walled vacuoles straight up to the tool users. Why would one assume that the spark was some mystical special brew that nature has to get EXACTLY right?

I bet chemistry can beget life in innumerable ways just as life can become complex enough to adapt to virtually anything.

Pesse (Wouldn't make sense any other way) Mist

#480 Qwickdraw

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

If we find life on Mars, then we have an N of 2 right here. We now know that a large close moon is not required (Mars doesn't have one). We know that it can occur with a much thinner, colder atmosphere than earth has, with less water, less tectonic activity, etc. So, after finding life on Mars, finding small rocky planets with sizes and temperatures in the range of earth to Mars (much broader than earth alone), we could say that it is reasonably likely that such planets would have life (since we have 2 out of 2 in our solar system).

Jarad


Jarad,

I don't necessarily agree with your assertion.
Finding life on Mars could very well be a result of a meteorite containing the seeds of life being blown off the face of Earth with enough velocity to find its way to Mars. If Earth is indeed that rare one in a trillion planet which presented the characteristics necessary for Abiogenesis Mars could certainly just be the natural benefactor of that process.

Basically your assumption of finding life on Mars does not allow for the fact that it may have still been produced on Earth first.

I believe if life is found on Mars, we are talking about the difference of probability in its cause being Abiogenesis or Biogenesis. These two processes can as you know have huge differences in essential criteria.

The probability of finding life on another planet well outside of our solar system could still be staggering compared to finding it on another planet within our solar system due entirely to proximity.

#481 llanitedave

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

That's one reason I'm still holding out for Europa.

If a hypothesized Martian life form were to be recovered, then a study of its genetic material might tell us whether its ultimate origin were Earth or whether it was of independent origin. I'm not sure that DNA is the one and only possible choice for a heredity molecule for life, and even if it were, there are other possible bases besides the ones that our version uses. Finding life with a different genetic molecule would certainly be a smoking gun.

#482 Pess

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

That's one reason I'm still holding out for Europa.

If a hypothesized Martian life form were to be recovered, then a study of its genetic material might tell us whether its ultimate origin were Earth or whether it was of independent origin. I'm not sure that DNA is the one and only possible choice for a heredity molecule for life, and even if it were, there are other possible bases besides the ones that our version uses. Finding life with a different genetic molecule would certainly be a smoking gun.


Chiralty might be another good indicator of non-Earth origin.

Gotta be careful, if someone 10 years ago presented a sample of a Verrucomicrobia (loves battery=acid Ph levels and munching on methane) and said he culled it from another planet--many wouldn't doubt it!

Pesse (Got a bridge on Mars for sale.) Mist

#483 Starmorbi

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

....Second, I have noticed people are touchy in these CN forums whenever they sense someone is making a reference to him or her directly, or to his or her comments, directly. It is as if the word "you" ignites over-sensitivity. Well, German (and other languages I'm sure you know) has a neat little way to avoid igniting this over-sensitivity; that neat little way is to use the word du when responding to a specific person and to use the word sie when addressing a global group without pinpointing one person. In English, we only have the word "you" which means both.....
Otto


We also have the "one" :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_%28pronoun%29

Which does the job nicely, but with declining levels of literacy and Americanization this option is being forgotten.

#484 mich_al

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

....Second, I have noticed people are touchy in these CN forums whenever they sense someone is making a reference to him or her directly, or to his or her comments, directly. It is as if the word "you" ignites over-sensitivity. Well, German (and other languages I'm sure you know) has a neat little way to avoid igniting this over-sensitivity; that neat little way is to use the word du when responding to a specific person and to use the word sie when addressing a global group without pinpointing one person. In English, we only have the word "you" which means both.....
Otto


We also have the "one" :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_%28pronoun%29

Which does the job nicely, but with declining levels of literacy and Americanization this option is being forgotten.



There's also y'all which I think can be stretched to singular.

Further, I beleive Sheldon Cooper established that using the term 'one' can get 'one' 'beaten up'

#485 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

I was an eighth grade student in a biology class. This was back in 1968. The school was in a very small town in a very rural area. We were in groups of two or three. To each group was assigned a very good quality microscope having objectives of 10X (100X) and 43X(430X) and a sharply defined pointer in the focal plane. Our biology teacher, a Mr. Aalgaard, I think his name was, had instructed us about and had described the appearance of the algae, spirogyra. He then created a competition for which group could identify, most quickly, an actual strand of spirogyra on the slide of mixed living algae each group was observing.

Almost immediately I saw, identified and correctly marked with the pointer, a strand of spirogyra. However, one of the smarter, more mature, more socially polished members of the class was the first to raise her hand. Mr. Aalgaard went to look through their microscope. He looked and then stepped away saying nothing. Because I was second in raising my hand he came to look and seeing we had correctly identified the spirogyra announced that we had won the competition.

He then said that the first student actually had spirogyra in the slide but that the pointer was clearly pointed at a very different type of algae strand.

What possibly happened; the reason the smarter and more mature student did not identify the correct object was because her mind had not gotten-around how spirogyra appeared in actuality. She possibly had not been able to form a clear mental image for what she was looking.

I bet every one of us stargazers and scopists participating in this thread have had this experience in astronomical observing and/or in microscopy. For myself; for years I searched for amoebae in river and lake water and never found a single example. However, one day, I can’t remember why, I saw a tiny object which turned out to be an amoeba. Once I had the image scale correctly visualized, I started seeing amoebae on slides much more often. As regards telescopic observations time and again we read on these pages of persons who had no luck seeing the Horsehead Nebula, but that once they got a clear understanding of the contrast, the size, the faintness; as well as an understanding of how to make these subtle features more noticeable; then they began to see it often. I believe I have heard the same said of the Helix Nebula, the North American Nebula, specific features on planetary objects, faint stars hidden next to brighter stars (Sirius) or in clouds of nebulosity (M27). I bet almost everyone of us have looked for a specific faint star like object, say 3C-273 or a certain variable star, or perhaps one of the fainter planets; and have totally missed it because we did not have an accurate sense of the image scale which our eyepiece presented to our eyes compared to the chart we were using and had right in front of us.

Many, if not most, of us here are good observers. Nonetheless, some and perhaps many of us have had this experience of having what we were looking for in our field of view and not seeing it because of some different mental image scale operating in our minds.

Using the foregoing as an analogy, I think it is possible, intelligent sentient extra-terrestrial persons or their artifacts are within our fields of view (visual, audio, touch) and we don’t notice them/these because we have not yet gotten-our-minds-around the correct appearances for which we need to look.

#486 scopethis

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

we are the "aliens", we were put here....

#487 Mike Casey

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

THEY LIVE!

#488 motorcitymik

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:25 AM

No Evidence?!! Check out Dr.Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project.500+ Well respected Air force pilots,Generals,High ranking military officials,civilian pilots,CIA,FBI,NSA officials.All swearing under oath at an congressional hearing, as to what they have seen, been party to, First hand knowledge! Take a look at that, then tell me there is No Evidence!

#489 shawnhar

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:55 AM

Ok I looked at that . Dude claims he can remote view, sorry but that makes everything he will ever say just garbage.
Look, this is what it boils down to, people who believe in aliens visiting us don't need evidence, they need confirmation.
Government spending billions to cover it up, what a joke, somebody's been watching too many Bourne movies.

#490 ColoHank

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:05 PM

No Evidence?!! Check out Dr.Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project.500+ Well respected Air force pilots,Generals,High ranking military officials,civilian pilots,CIA,FBI,NSA officials.All swearing under oath at an congressional hearing, as to what they have seen, been party to, First hand knowledge! Take a look at that, then tell me there is No Evidence!



Here's where we merge with the "extraordinary claims" thread. There's a difference between anecdotal and material evidence, even when the former is presented by General So-and-So. Show me the latter, and I'll be more inclined to believe.

#491 llanitedave

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

Hundreds of witnesses, and not a single photograph that isn't either blurry, looking like a pie tin tossed in the air, or an alien shaking hands with Bill Clinton.

#492 deSitter

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:22 PM

"Whuddya mean take me to your leader? Ah'm thuh leader!"

-drl

#493 Mister T

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:31 PM

that's because they have perfected the we don't show up in pictures cloaking device. :foreheadslap:

#494 moynihan

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:43 PM


Did not want to start a whole new thread, and this is just a stray thought,not something i believe, and actually, more a bit of dark humor than anything else.

Premise: We know the therapod dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds, and many had feathers, etc.
Speculation: when the sun rose, the males would "sing" to mark their territories.
Speculation: Many spacefaring civilizations.

Idea: During our Jurassic & Cretaceous, Earth was one of the most popular "eco-tourism" destinations in the Orion arm. But. when the Chicxulub mass extinction occurred, interest ib earth dropped like a rock, so to speak.... ;)

#495 scopethis

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

that means we're gonna find a tour pamphlet written in strange language...

#496 Pess

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:56 PM

No Evidence?!! Check out Dr.Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project.500+ Well respected Air force pilots,Generals,High ranking military officials,civilian pilots,CIA,FBI,NSA officials.All swearing under oath at an congressional hearing, as to what they have seen, been party to, First hand knowledge! Take a look at that, then tell me there is No Evidence!



Here's where we merge with the "extraordinary claims" thread. There's a difference between anecdotal and material evidence, even when the former is presented by General So-and-So. Show me the latter, and I'll be more inclined to believe.


The trouble is when someone sees something they can't explain. And that something is extraordinary.....theyjump to the most outlandish possible explanation.

So that bobbing stick is the Loch Ness Monster and not, you know, a bobbing stick.

Many experts and professionals genuinely saw something they regarded as extraordinary. However, it was more than likely something ordinary seen in an extraordinary way.

In this day and age when every single person has a high resolution camera in their hand (cell phone) We still have no clear picture of ALF.

Pesse (la la la la de da)Mist

#497 llanitedave

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

Sure we do. They invaded our garden a couple of years back.

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#498 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:36 PM

It has been over a year since I started this thread entitled, The Silence is Deafening.

Since then I have continued to put in my hours of observing the night sky. So far, since that first post, my observations have provided no evidence of the existence of intelligent/sentient life elsewhere in the universe.

In short, the silence is even more deafening.

(Actually, what is going on here, is that this thread has gotten a little boring lately. I thought that maybe an-oldie-but-goodie (this particular thread) might get our juices flowing again. (Also, I miss hearing/reading the comments of old friends; Jarad, Joad, EJN, Henry, Dave, UND, Danny, I'm forgetting a few)).

So, we have had another year and four months of no evidence of anyone out there which is intelligent and/or sentient. Is there any point at which the continuing silence constitutes satisfying proof that we are alone? another year of silence? a decade? a thousand years? ten thousand years?

Otto

#499 llanitedave

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:22 PM

It's two days after Christmas, Otto. People are too busy playing with their toys to be philosophical.

That said, why do you have a deadline? Maybe it's not about how much time you spend searching, but how and where you search?

#500 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:40 PM

Thanks Dave. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2014 to you and yours.

The question which really interests me in this regard of the continued silence is, should a long time pass in which every attempt to attain evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence/sentience is negative, with the result that the human race comes to accept that, whether or not there is intelligence/sentient out-there, we are never going to make contact/have contact with it…should this come to pass, what will be the political, psychological, social, religious, spiritual, relational impacts of this assumption?

Again, what will be the impact upon itself, of humanity reaching the conclusion there is, for all practical purposes, no one else out-there?

Otto


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