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View Poll Results: Have you ever seen a Flying Saucer when sailing?
Nope, never seen nothing. 38 42.70%
Seen some weird stuff, but it wasn't aliens 27 30.34%
Yes 9 10.11%
Yes, and I was abducted and probed too 15 16.85%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23-10-2008, 14:48   #31
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I find that if on the boat the aroma from an open bottle of rum often attracts UFOs.

Has anyone else noticed that UFOs always fly in pairs?
I noticed that too! Too funny!
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Old 23-10-2008, 14:54   #32
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The Drake equation doesn't (I think) attempt to adress the question of why the universe isn't seemingly teeming with simple, adapted life that simply drifts outwards. My own guess is that enough time hasn't yet passed, but I'm not sure that guess stands up to scrutiny. Fifteen thousand million years is a long time. The galaxy is 'only' about 100k light years across.
Our Milky Way Galaxy is but a very small part of the (perhaps INFINITE) Universe. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) web-site estimates there is hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. A recent German super-computer simulation estimates that the number may be as high as 500 billion!

We are still discovering (new) life on Earth. If we canít seem to find the Iraqi WOMD, or Osama bin Laden, why should we expect to find extraterrestrial life?

But more seriously, let's say a planet is 50,000 light years away and life began on that planet 40,000 years ago, and there is now a thriving population there. When we look at that planet how will we know that there is life there, if we are looking at the planet as it was 50,000 years before?
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Old 23-10-2008, 14:59   #33
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But more seriously, let's say a planet is 50,000 light years away and life began on that planet 40,000 years ago, and there is now a thriving population there. When we look at that planet how will we know that there is life there, if we are looking at the planet as it was 50,000 years before?
Haven't you heard, we have aging software now.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:15   #34
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Our Milky Way Galaxy is but a very small part of the (perhaps INFINITE) Universe. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) web-site estimates there is hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. A recent German super-computer simulation estimates that the number may be as high as 500 billion!

We are still discovering (new) life on Earth. If we canít seem to find the Iraqi WOMD, or Osama bin Laden, why should we expect to find extraterrestrial life?

But more seriously, let's say a planet is 50,000 light years away and life began on that planet 40,000 years ago, and there is now a thriving population there. When we look at that planet how will we know that there is life there, if we are looking at the planet as it was 50,000 years before?
Yes, that's right. But the important numbers are much larger, I think. A medium sized star like the sun lasts for about 10 thousand million years. Life originated on Earth within the first thousand million of it's existence, and quickly adapted to spread to every nook and cranny within a blink. All life has to do is just once adapt to an interstellar environment, and the universe should be teeming with it at whatever rate it can drift outwards. A guy named Von Neuman suggested populating the universe with self-replicating robots. Surely at least that's possible, no? If even one civilization did that, they should be everywhere (literally) within a few million years. Given that thousands of millions have gone by, where are they?

I guess my point is that tens of thousands of years may be the wrong time scale to be considering these types of questions.

And... as a physicist, I don't believe in infinities. They're just a mathematical place-holder for a 'really big number'.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:18   #35
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One possible flaw with that line of reasoning is that the further you look into the universe, the further back in time you are looking. Maybe there is a huge population out there right now?...but will we ever see any signs of life given the enormous time difference between then and now?

Its not exactly easy to spead life either given the relatively slow speed of light spread over such vast distances, with physical objects having to move even slower...as far as we know.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:34   #36
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A guy named Von Neuman suggested populating the universe with self-replicating robots. Surely at least that's possible, no? If even one civilization did that, they should be everywhere (literally) within a few million years. Given that thousands of millions have gone by, where are they?
As a physicist one assumes you know that that a number of things as we currently understand them to be such as the size of the universe and its rate of expansion, and that the speed of light cannot be exceeded (here keeping and mentioning a few things in simple terms), preclude them being everywhere or even commonplace (compared to the size of the universe) if spawned by one civilisation.

Of course our current understanding of physics may be incorrect .
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:39   #37
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I think that there can be no doubt that the universe is teeming with life forms of one kind or another. Even on Earth, the "extremophyles" have been found in the most inhospitable of places, defying earlier scientific conclusions of what constitutes a survivable habitat. Even planetary exploration of our own solar system is starting to demonstrate that the basic ingredients for creation of life exist in abundance (The Tagish Lake meteorite is a good example of this). In the last 20 years or so, astronomers have discovered that planetary systems around stars are as common as flies at a barbeque.

I can understand that there may be way more advanced civilisations "out there" then our own, and they may even be able to travel vast distances across the voids of space reasonably efficiently either as a result of advanced technology or extremely long life spans compared to our own. What I don't get is why they come all this way and manage to dodge all but the blurriest, low resolution cameras and then never stop and say hello? Surely if one were to travel across across eons of time and space they would do more then hover for an hour or two or stick a probe up someones bum?

Still though, it does seem to me that there are at least some verifiable reports involving UFOs where the only explanation would appear to involve little green men.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:47   #38
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One possible flaw with that line of reasoning is that the further you look into the universe, the further back in time you are looking. Maybe there is a huge population out there right now?...but will we ever see any signs of life given the enormous time difference between then and now?

Its not exactly easy to spead life either given the relatively slow speed of light spread over such vast distances, with physical objects having to move even slower...as far as we know.
Yeah... except that the galaxy is 'only' 100 000 light-years across, and the universe is fifteen billion years old. I don't see any particular reason why a civilization (or adaptable life-form) must necessarily huddle around a star. Interstellar distances are 'only' a few light years. But even if they did, where are the self-replicating Von Neuman robot probes?

I think you're probably right about it being difficult to spread life (given the apparent dearth of it), but I can't really see why it would be so. Unless we're one of the first. I guess someone has to be first, right?

Or... our universe is a contrived simulation. I think it was Bostrom who stipulated that if a universe CAN be simulated, the number of simulations would likely be vast, and the probability is very high that ours is one simulated. All hail the great programmer, may he grace us with the holy cut-and-paste upon the end of our lives.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:52   #39
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As a physicist one assumes you know that that a number of things as we currently understand them to be such as the size of the universe and its rate of expansion, and that the speed of light cannot be exceeded (here keeping and mentioning a few things in simple terms), preclude them being everywhere or even commonplace (compared to the size of trhe universe).

Of course our current understanding of physics may be incorrect .
Well... sort of. I agree that if there were only one point of life origin in the entire universe, then yes, expansion would make it impossible to fill the universe (just as light will never completely fill the night sky). I'm more focussing on our own galaxy, which seems to be a pretty cohesive cluster of many billions of stars packed into an area 100 000 light years across.
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Old 23-10-2008, 15:57   #40
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Or... our universe is a contrived simulation.
Or that you yourself are the WHOLE universe and that all you "see" around you is just a construction of your imagination and senses?
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:04   #41
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That's not a good poll

I want to see who has been "probed" (I bet they are Multihullers - would explain a lot).
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:13   #42
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I have personally seen the travels and exploits of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and can attest to the fact that there are indeed many live forms through out the galaxy capable of traveling to our planet. They have chosen not to make contact due to the Prime Directive.
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:20   #43
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I have personally seen the travels and exploits of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock and can attest to the fact that there are indeed many live forms through out the galaxy capable of traveling to our planet. They have chosen not to make contact due to the Prime Directive.
Yes. Of course. So obvious. That's it! That's the final piece of the puzzle. Case closed. LOL
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:33   #44
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Or that you yourself are the WHOLE universe and that all you "see" around you is just a construction of your imagination and senses?
Quit it. I'm getting flashbacks... The speck of dust is a universe, our universe is an atom in a fingernail... Oh, no.... The walls are melting...
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:34   #45
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Chuck, that reminds me, I have seen an alien. I was wearing a Captain Kirk outfit at a StarTrek convention with acne and a cracking pubescent voice....the alien winked at me. And then boing!...woops! I had to run to the bathroom I was so embarrassed.

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