Do you think ET life exists elsewhere?

Do you think ET life exists elsewhere in the universe?

  • Certain!

  • Probably.

  • Possible.

  • Unlikely.

  • Heck no!

  • I am not sure...:(


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  • #1
ISamson
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Hello.
Recently looking through the numerous articles on space.com I came across the interesting news that a few months ago a team has sent a 'message' to the GJ 273 system 12 light years away.
Though the message was designed to provoke a response from the hypothetical denizens of GJ 273b, the main goal in sending the communication involved laying a foundation for the future, said team member Douglas Vakoch, president of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International, a San Francisco-based nonprofit.
What do you think? Can we expect an answer in 25 years?
Thanks.

P.S. Please take time to read the article and answer the cool poll on the page.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ISamson
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Do you think extra-terrestrial life exists somewhere in the universe or the Milky Way galaxy?

P.S. I hope such poll has not yet appeared on PF, has it?
 
  • #3
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Its somehow hard for me to believe that..I dont know why, Theres billions of galaxies and billion billion of stars and also so much more planets...and It seems possible that there might be life somewhere in there.

I believe evolving life on earth has a possibility of ##\frac {1} {10^{22}}##, Its uniqe as our universe.To evolve life, theres has to be a lot of coincidental things. For me its unlikely that we will find a ET life or even theres one.

Like If you think deeply how we got here, Its just by luck and coincidence,
Even theres some ET life, I dont think we will be able to commucinate with them.
 
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  • #4
ISamson
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Its somehow hard for me to believe that..I dont know why, Theres billions of galaxies and billion billion of stars and also so much more planets...and It seems possible that there might be life somewhere in there.

I believe evolving life on earth has a possibility of ##\frac {1} {10^{22}}##, Its uniqe as our universe.To evolve life, theres has to be a lot of coincidental things. For me its unlikely that we will find a ET life or even theres one.

Like If you think deeply how we got here, Its just by luck and coincidence,
Even theres some ET life, I dont think we will be able to commucinate with them.
As many coincidences as there have been that have favoured our evolution, I still believe that life is a quite normal thing for our universe. Just think about it, there are thousands of stars in the visible sky. Around each one orbit some planets. And that is just the observable night sky. + we have not counted all the asteroids and comets that fly by. I think there is a very hight chance that somewhere some little planet just like ours, or perhaps a huge giant or even a tiny asteroid or comet has been fortunate enough to possess the right conditions for the evolution of life.
I would like to point out that extra-terrestrial life might not be ANYTHING like ours. They might be able to survive on a frozen comet, a 400= degree Celsius planet like Venus or even deep underground where we might never find it. In my opinion, it might not even need liquid water to live.
I vote 'probably' because of the huge possibilities of it even existing in our backyard on Mars, BUT this is not certain.
 
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  • #5
symbolipoint
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Yes. Life certainly occurs on other planets very far away, and when we finally communicate with the more intelligent of them, THEY SPEAK ENGLISH!

Actually finding, communicating, and studying them may yet take some time.
 
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  • #6
ISamson
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Yes. Life certainly occurs on other planets very far away, and when we finally communicate with the more intelligent of them, THEY SPEAK ENGLISH!

Actually finding, communicating, and studying them may yet take some time.
Yes, communicating and finding a common 'language' might be a problem.
 
  • #7
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While this may be the first time the question has been raised in PhysicsForums as a poll, it is a popular question on science forums in general. Perhaps I should apologise for giving my stock answer, but I won't (apologise, I will give the answer).

We have a single example of life. To extrapolate from a single example may be useful as an exercise in logic and lateral thinking, but it is useless for producing a reliable solution. I lean towards the view developed by Ward and Brownlee in their book "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe". They make the case that while simple life, such as Earthly prokaryotes, may be commonplace, advanced complex life and especially intelligent life is exceptional and rare.

I would be surprised* if, by the end of this century, we had not resolved the issue via one or more of these routes:

  • Identification of life signatures of exoplanets
  • Discovery of life on another solar system body
  • Successful SETI contact
  • More assured specification of the vague variables in the Drake equation, specifically a plausible, detailed account of abiogenesis
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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What do you think? Can we expect an answer in 25 years?
I answered "probably" to the question in the title, but you didn't specify intelligent life in the title. I would say that in the next 25 years we will discover life, but will likely not ever have two-way communication with another intelligent life form.
[Late edit; fixed quote]
 
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  • #9
Apple_Mango
If there were signs of intelligent alien life, I imagine that must had been some kind of Alien mega structures or radio waves in space. We haven't found any. There is no life.
 
  • #10
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If there were signs of intelligent alien life, I imagine that must had been some kind of Alien mega structures or radio waves in space. We haven't found any. There is no life.
There are several alternative explanations for the absence of these, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Too remote to be detected by current technology.
  • We are looking in the wrong places
  • The aliens are intelligent, but not technologically advanced
  • The aliens have no need for, or interest in constructing mega-structures
  • Alien radio transmissions are intensely focused and do not intersect the orbit of the Earth
  • Alien radio transmissions lack sufficient power to be detected
  • Aliens use alternate transmission methods
  • Aliens believe revealing their presence is dangerous
So, although your conclusion may be correct, the evidence you have based it upon is flawed.
 
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  • #11
PeroK
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If there were signs of intelligent alien life, I imagine that must had been some kind of Alien mega structures or radio waves in space. We haven't found any. There is no life.
That logic is perhaps far from compelling!
 
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  • #12
phinds
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If there were signs of intelligent alien life, I imagine that must had been some kind of Alien mega structures or radio waves in space. We haven't found any. There is no life.
The universe is VERY unlikely to limit itself to what you can imagine.
 
  • #13
OCR
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Aliens believe revealing their presence is dangerous
Yeah, that's what they told me... anyway. . :cool:
 
  • #14
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If there were signs of intelligent alien life, I imagine that must had been some kind of Alien mega structures or radio waves in space. We haven't found any. There is no life.
Have we searched every galaxy in the Universe?

Are those two criteria the only ones that would provide signs of intelligent life?

Does the intelligent life have to be farther along technologically than we are?

If they are truly intelligent and out there why would they contact us?
 
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  • #15
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Discussing Is there aliens or not, is like discussing Is there Unicorns somewhere or not.

I dont believe in unicorns but when I see one or hear, I am sure that I ll believe their existance.
 
  • #16
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Discussing Is there aliens or not, is like discussing Is there Unicorns somewhere or not.

I dont believe in unicorns but when I see one or hear, I am sure that I ll believe their existance.
What if you lived in a world where every large four-footed mammal had a single horn on its forehead?
 
  • #18
BillTre
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Arguments against the existence of extraterrestrial life that use the "where are they" approach are similar to the Fermi paradox.

1)
Requiring seeing aliens requires aliens that are intelligent and interesting in communicating in some way. This is a big step up from just the existence of alien lifeforms, which is different from the question of the OP:
Do you think extra-terrestrial life exists somewhere in the universe or the Milky Way galaxy?
2)
Assuming that any life out there is based on carbon based chemistry, it would not have the whole age of the universe to generate life forms which could come and visit us or which we could potentially observe. Before any of that could happen, the various elements heavier that H and He would have to be generated through one or more cycles of stellar lifecycles. Taking our earth as an example, this might remove times further back that 4 Billion years from consideration, since carbon had not yet been generated. This might limit relevant observations to just a local group of galaxies (or within 4 billion light years of distance (or whichever is the furthest).
 
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  • #20
Apple_Mango
tough crowd
 
  • #22
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Certainly.

It is very unlikely we are the only living life forms in the entire galaxy, there must be another type of life form out there in some shape or form.
 
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  • #23
Apple_Mango
"Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe". They make the case that while simple life, such as Earthly prokaryotes, may be commonplace, advanced complex life and especially intelligent life is exceptional and rare.
I have that book in my room. I read it a long time ago and don't remember much of the book. However, because you brought it up, I feel like reading it again.
 
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  • #24
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As many coincidences as there have been that have favoured our evolution, I still believe that life is a quite normal thing for our universe. Just think about it, there are thousands of stars in the visible sky. Around each one orbit some planets. And that is just the observable night sky. + we have not counted all the asteroids and comets that fly by. I think there is a very hight chance that somewhere some little planet just like ours, or perhaps a huge giant or even a tiny asteroid or comet has been fortunate enough to possess the right conditions for the evolution of life.
I would like to point out that extra-terrestrial life might not be ANYTHING like ours. They might be able to survive on a frozen comet, a 400= degree Celsius planet like Venus or even deep underground where we might never find it. In my opinion, it might not even need liquid water to live.
I vote 'probably' because of the huge possibilities of it even existing in our backyard on Mars, BUT this is not certain.
I would concur with Arman777 in that there are a large number of conditions that have to be met for life (of any kind) to be evolved and sustained such that it's wildly improbable that there is life elsewhere in the universe. And it's not just a large number of conditions, but conditions that must be narrowly defined too.

Astrophysicist, Hugh Ross, has done calculations that would make it more likely for a person to win the lottery 1 million consecutive times than for there to be life elsewhere in the universe. He lists 147 conditions that absolutely must be met at minimum (with possibly more) for life to develop on a planet. The odds of all of those conditions occurring in the perfect planet are 10164. By contrast, he says that the total number of protons and neutrons in the universe is 1079. And for a more intuitive grasp of how improbable those odds are, he says the probability of someone being killed in the next few seconds by a sudden reversal of the second law of thermodynamics is roughly 1 chance in 1080. But we know that it's such a ridiculously small probability that everyone is justified in not worrying about that chance happening to them at any moment.

Essentially, Ross says, "The probability is indistinguishable from zero."

I think most people are justified in thinking we're pretty much alone. It's not impossible for other life to exist, but the odds are against it.
 
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  • #25
BillTre
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You need a reference of some kind for this:
Astrophysicist, Hugh Ross, has done calculations that would make it more likely for a person to win the lottery 1 million consecutive times than for there to be life elsewhere in the universe. He lists 147 conditions that absolutely must be met at minimum (with possibly more) for life to develop on a planet. The odds of all of those conditions occurring in the perfect planet are 10164. By contrast, he says that the total number of protons and neutrons in the universe is 1079. And for a more intuitive grasp of how improbable those odds are, he says the probability of someone being killed in the next few seconds by a sudden reversal of the second law of thermodynamics is roughly 1 chance in 1080. But we know that it's such a ridiculously small probability that everyone is justified in not worrying about that chance happening to them at any moment.

Essentially, Ross says, "The probability is indistinguishable from zero."
I don't believe it.
Essentially, he is saying I can't be alive. I beg to differ!
 

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