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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Pess]
      #5756811 - 03/25/13 06:49 PM

latest estimates are that there are 100 billion planets in the milky way.

say it takes an hour to determine if any one planet is harboring a civilization.

that means it will take 11.4 million years to check them all out.

were a needle in a needle in a haystack in a in haystack of haystacks


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Mister T]
      #5758096 - 03/26/13 12:21 PM

Quote:

In a few billion years "there" won't be there any more.

it will be out past there.

Eventually you won't be able to get there from here!!




Or maybe, as somebody once said about California, "There is no 'there' there."


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Joad
Wordsmith
*****

Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5758221 - 03/26/13 01:12 PM

Gertrude Stein said that about Oakland, the city, not California, the state.

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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Joad]
      #5759319 - 03/26/13 10:31 PM

Observation: We are separated from Neanderthals by roughly 40,000 years.

Speculation: If there is intelligent life out there near us, statistically speaking it would be a civilization much older than us relative to the above 40,00 year mark.

Rhetorical question: Would we, on coming across a planet of Neanderthals, attempt to communicate with them as a culture? Compare our art with their cave drawings? Host a wine & Wooly mammoth roast?

Speculative conclusion: 'They' would view us much as we would view a culture of Neanderthals if we stumbled across them. Whatever 'they' are is no longer what 'us' is even if they were us once.

Pesse (Sometimes the picture in the rear view mirror is not a pretty sight) Mist


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Pess]
      #5759635 - 03/27/13 06:51 AM

They are here. Take a really, really good look at the UPS trucks and the folks that drive them. It's just that we are all so used to seeing UPS trucks that we don't realize that every day there are more of them. And yes they still wait until you leave home to come by...

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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5759667 - 03/27/13 07:34 AM

Why are We the "Neanderthals"? Maybe They are. Why might We not be the leading edge of cosmic evolution? There's no evidence one way or the other, so why not?

/Ira


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Ira]
      #5759754 - 03/27/13 08:38 AM

we might be, but statistically that is a long shot.

and for purposes of THEM contacting us (topic of thread) they would have to be MORE advanced no??


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Mister T]
      #5759879 - 03/27/13 09:56 AM

Yes, They would need to be more advanced, which is the reason They are not here yet. We just may be the leading edge of cosmic evolution. As to the statistics, they can be manipulated in various ways. There's a book (i'll find its title later) that says the statistical likelihood of other life in our galaxy is so small as to be almost certainly zero. How's that for statistics?

/Ira


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Ira]
      #5760059 - 03/27/13 11:43 AM

The more we learn about life on this planet, how well self-replicating molecules can adapt to varying (and extreme) conditions, the more likely it is that 'life' could exist elsewhere.

However, life existed for a long, long time on this planet before those self-replicating molecules adapted to a changing environment sufficiently to produce us. Our speculations regarding intelligent life, and the calculation(s) of probabilities that it may have evolved elsewhere, typically do not include the underlying calculation of the probability that we evolved.

Do I think there's 'intelligent' life somewhere out there? Yes. But, as is so often said, space is a really big place. So I'm not losing any sleep worrying about their arrival.


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5760448 - 03/27/13 02:19 PM

It is also worth noting that considering our own sample of one... you aren't going to get off your planet unless you are willing to rape it for all it's rescources.
An intelligent animal living within the constraints of the system that developed to support life in the 1st place...that ain't us.
We kill it, dam it and dig it up on a massive scale just to have light bulbs, cell phones and cheap jeans. (and a few rockets)
From what I understad you need the energy of a small star to go running around the galaxy... just sayin


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5760591 - 03/27/13 03:17 PM

It's worth mentioning again that as adaptable as life in the general sense is, individual species are most likely to be adapted very narrowly to a specific and limited environment. "They" are not life in the largest sense, "they" are a species of life which has its own history, its own specialties, and its own limitations. It will have experienced billions of years of natural selection, with the addition of another interval of artificial selection, to adapt to an environment that is not Earth, or any part of it.

That fact alone is enough to make me skeptical that "they" could just blend in to the background and not be noticed here.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5760597 - 03/27/13 03:18 PM

Quote:

From what I understad you need the energy of a small star to go running around the galaxy... just sayin




Not necessarily. If you're patient and long-lived you can do it fairly economically, and resupply yourself on the way as needed.


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pdalek
newbie


Reged: 03/14/13

Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5763708 - 03/29/13 06:14 AM

Every technologically advancing alien civilization eventually invents money. From then on, space travel is just too expensive.

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: pdalek]
      #5764272 - 03/29/13 11:13 AM

Quote:

Every technologically advancing alien civilization eventually invents money. From then on, space travel is just too expensive.




But don't they have credit cards?


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: StarWars]
      #5807638 - 04/18/13 08:30 PM

It's fascinating to see the range of theories adduced to explain why "They are not here yet". This just in: Moore's Law used to explain why complexity develops exponentially and we are probably as advanced as it gets in the universe.

http://earthsky.org/earth/did-life-begin-before-earth-existed

/Ira


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Ira]
      #5807888 - 04/18/13 11:01 PM

Moore's Law" isn't really a "law" in the traditional sense. It's an observed relationship that happens to hold true in a certain industry during a certain historical period. There's no compelling argument that it's universal.

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Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5808238 - 04/19/13 07:32 AM

I am curious where they pulled the 376 million year doubling time from. It seems to me that the doubling time should depend directly on the generation time of the species. There is a huge range there - bacteria have a generation time of minutes, some trees have one that can be hundreds of years. Early life was simple, and probably had generation times closer to bacteria than to trees, so I would expect the overall "life complexity" doubling time was shorter early on, gradually slowing as organisms became more complex and requried slower generation times.

I think they would get a more reasonable hypothesis if they based it on # of generations rather than on time.

Jarad


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Ravenous
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: UK
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Ira]
      #5808375 - 04/19/13 09:40 AM

Quote:



http://earthsky.org/earth/did-life-begin-before-earth-existed





That (the paper linked to on that article) is a worrying paper.

I don't think they're saying the number of genomes double in 376 million years (page 3 para 2) - invertebrates were barely out of the oceans at that time and vertebrates weren't even started (I may be wrong on the timescale, I'm only an armchair paleo).

They're plotting the log of the number of genomes, as far as I can tell. That's what they're stating as the doubling time. Though I really am cautious about how they get a genome count from 3.5 bn years ago (plot on bottom of page 3)

A lot of rubbish is said about Moore's Law (his paper is on the 'net, but few people have read it) but this sort of thing is sub-science, in my opinion.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5809880 - 04/20/13 12:20 AM

Moore's law is actually a terrible tool to use in this situation. It also seems to be misstated in the article. Moor's law as I understand it is about computer computational speed, not computer complexity. In many respects, one can say that computers really haven't become significantly more complex since the invention of the integrated microprocessor: The fundamental number of functional areas has stayed relatively constant, while increasing in the number of identical copies of its simplest component items.

The same could be said of life. Is today's life really that much more complex that it was in the Cambrian? All the fundamental life functions were already established -- eucaryotic cells with nuclei and mitochondria, and in some cases chloroplasts, bilateral symmetry with appendages, hearts, gills, nervous systems, reproductive systems, and instinctive behaviors.

Yes, there's been more complex iterations of those systems, but THAT increase in complexity pales, it seems to me, compared to the huge advances in cellular sophistication that were required to get that far in the first place. And, of course, we "complex" creatures are still hugely outnumbered and outweighed by "simple" bacteria, protozoans, and invertebrates.

Looks to me like the paper is an exercise in speculation -- which the folks here in SASE can do a much better job of.


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Why "They" are not here yet new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5811638 - 04/20/13 07:44 PM

I believe Moore's Law had to do with the doubling of transistors on a chip, complexity in that sense. I take the paper to be using it as a metaphor for speculation, rather than anything else. In any case, it is interesting to think that we may be the cutting edge when it comes to intelligence in the universe, assuming we aren't all there is. And, indeed, why not?

/Ira


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