Should The Galaxy Have Been Colonized By Now?

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  • #26
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Entropy said:
This brings me back to my initial point, aliens might not even want to colonize the galaxy. For all we know they may have a utopia on their home world and be just content with what they have.
The problem with this argument is that it doesn't take into account a civilzation's duty to it's future generations. Considering how dangerous the galaxy is, it would be highly irresponsible for a civilization to keep all it's eggs in one basket when technology exists to spread out. Besides, who could resist the adventure?
 
  • #27
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Perhaps we were planted here by colonizers. It would seem the quickest way for colonizing the galaxy would be to drop off seeds as you travel the galaxy. There would be no reason to stop in any location lest you wish to make the journey last all the much longer. They drop us off in a monkey like state to give us purpose (to evolve to a point of winning the planet, whereby we set our own sights to colonization of our backyard, whereby the entire galaxy is colonized in the least amount of time.
 
  • #28
Garth
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Castlegate said:
Perhaps we were planted here by colonizers. It would seem the quickest way for colonizing the galaxy would be to drop off seeds as you travel the galaxy. There would be no reason to stop in any location lest you wish to make the journey last all the much longer. They drop us off in a monkey like state to give us purpose (to evolve to a point of winning the planet, whereby we set our own sights to colonization of our backyard, whereby the entire galaxy is colonized in the least amount of time.
Is this ID or non-ID?:approve:

Garth
 
  • #29
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Castlegate said:
Perhaps we were planted here by colonizers. It would seem the quickest way for colonizing the galaxy would be to drop off seeds as you travel the galaxy. There would be no reason to stop in any location lest you wish to make the journey last all the much longer. They drop us off in a monkey like state to give us purpose (to evolve to a point of winning the planet, whereby we set our own sights to colonization of our backyard, whereby the entire galaxy is colonized in the least amount of time.
You are referring to Nobel-Prize-Winning biologist and co-discoverer of DNA Francis Crick’s directed panspermia hypothesis. According to Crick, the origin of life is so unlikely, we should not think that life originated here on Earth. So, Crick imagined that unmanned spacecraft travel the galaxy, spreading the seeds of life like Johnny Appleseed. These spores are so designed that a progressive evolutionary process will ensue ultimately resulting in another spacefaring civilization that will construct new spacecraft to spread more seeds of life. Thus, the purpose of a progressive evolutionary process is to ensure the persistence of life itself throughout the galaxy.

The problem with this argument is that there hasn’t been enough time for it to work. As I said before, Earth-like planets require a certain amount of galactic distillation to occur before such planets can form. First, an initial generation of stars have to cook up the heavy elements needed for rocky planets and life. These elements are spread around through supernova, and then another generation of stars has to form from the resultant dust. However, the inner part of the galaxy is too dangerous for life to exist very long: there are supernova constantly exploding at close range, and the density of stars and black holes would disrupt the orbits of any planets that form. Thus, only the middle and outer regions of the galaxy are suitable for life. But stellar evolution proceeds more slowly as one travels toward the edge of the galaxy because the mass density decreases. Consequently, Earth-like, rocky planets capable of supporting life will begin to form in a ring around the middle of the galaxy that spreads to the edge through time. Through an accident of galactic geography, we happen to be on the inner edge of this ring, which entails that we are among the first planets with life, and perhaps the very first planet in the galaxy to have human-style intelligence—as the negative results of the SETI project tend to bear out, sporadic reports of UFO’s notwithstanding. Therefore, there just hasn’t been enough time for Crick’s hypothesis to be true.
 
  • #30
turbo
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http://www.dearauntnettie.com/archives/archives-0105.htm [Broken]

Scroll down to 5-3-01 for the straight poop on colonization.
 
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  • #32
Labguy
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Entropy said:
No because they came to logical conclusions with the infomation they had, while you're only support is "anything is possible, so so-in-so could be true."
No, it isn't that "anything is possible", it's just that if you or anyone else thinks that other life in the universe has to look like us and breath our air, etc., then I'm talking to idiots.
Entropy said:
While Galileo had mathamatical and documented evidence that the planets revolved around the sun. To compare Galileo's harsh persecution to my counter-argument is not only insulting to Galileo, but also belittling to myself.
How could Galileo have been more insulted than when recanting? My comments couldn't insult him; I heard that he died a few years ago. If that's somehow belittling to you, then its called tough-bananas.
Entropy said:
And just so you know I could easily imply "anything is possible, therefore ghosts could exist, despit all the evidence to the contrary." Does that sound like science to you?
Not much. Just don't go around looking for Klingons too much. Bottom line is that I can't really get into this SETI crap too much, and really don't care, so no need to counter my post because:
"Frankly, Scarlette, I don't give a damn."
(Clark Gable, 1939)
 
  • #33
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The problem with this argument is that it doesn't take into account a civilzation's duty to it's future generations. Considering how dangerous the galaxy is, it would be highly irresponsible for a civilization to keep all it's eggs in one basket when technology exists to spread out. Besides, who could resist the adventure?
I'm supprised Labguy hasn't jumped on this: who's to say aliens have a sense of adventure, or feelings at all? Won't aliens be different not only physically but mentally as well? Scientists relate extraterrestials to much to themselves, but with a different physical shape. They assume aliens are explorers/scientists like they are, heck most people on Earth don't have scientific minds.

No, it isn't that "anything is possible", it's just that if you or anyone else thinks that other life in the universe has to look like us and breath our air, etc., then I'm talking to idiots.
Don't start being immature and insulting people. Give some real support or evidence for your ideas and we'll consider it. Until then your thoughts are just science-fiction.

How could Galileo have been more insulted than when recanting? My comments couldn't insult him; I heard that he died a few years ago. If that's somehow belittling to you, then its called tough-bananas.
What? You didn't understand I word I said. It's insulting to Galileo because by comparing scientific criticism to his persecution is contradictory to what he stood for and belittling the hardships he endured.

Not much. Just don't go around looking for Klingons too much. Bottom line is that I can't really get into this SETI crap too much, and really don't care, so no need to counter my post because:
"Frankly, Scarlette, I don't give a damn."
(Clark Gable, 1939)
You assume that all carbon-based life is has two legs, two arms and a head, while the evidence is to the contrary. Most creatures on Earth don't have two legs, or even legs at all! Simply because I, or anyone else, doesn't thing that aliens are balls of gas or fleas flying around in shoe boxes doesn't mean we think aliens are going to look humanoid.
 
  • #34
Labguy
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Entropy said:
Don't start being immature and insulting people. Give some real support or evidence for your ideas and we'll consider it. Until then your thoughts are just science-fiction.
That's impossible. Does anyone have any "real support or evidence" on the ET / SETI myth? No, they don't, and that is why I think a discussion like this is a waste of time. The whole thing is conjecture, which I won't continue. Don't be insulted so easily, go take in a Friday-night HS football game; and cheer for your home team.....:biggrin:
 
  • #35
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SpaceTiger said:
If it does hold true, then who's to say they haven't colonized the galaxy. If they were that far advanced, I suspect they would have no trouble escaping our view (if they so desired). Another thing to consider is that, although it's possible for an advanced race, is it necessarily to their advantage to colonize the galaxy? Perhaps it's too much effort for too little gain.
Then would you say the "great silence" proves that no one has colonized the galaxy yet, therefore there isnt any really advanced alien civilizations in the MW?
 
  • #36
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Gold Barz said:
Then would you say the "great silence" proves that no one has colonized the galaxy yet, therefore there isnt any really advanced alien civilizations in the MW?
No, the Fermi paradox isn't proof of anything. It's just idle speculation. These things can be fun to think about, but you shouldn't waste your time trying to "prove" anything about extraterrestrial intelligence. That is the way of the crank, my son.
 
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  • #37
marcus
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Gold Barz said:
Then would you say the "great silence" proves that no one has colonized the galaxy yet, therefore there isnt any really advanced alien civilizations in the MW?

SpaceTiger said:
No, the Fermi paradox isn't proof of anything. It's just idle speculation. These things can be fun to think about, but you shouldn't waste your time trying to "prove" anything about extraterrestrial intelligence. That is the way of the crank, my son.
Hello G.B. what SpaceTiger says sounds like good advice. You could be needing to spend more time learning college physics and basic astronomy and less on speculation. He cautions against "wasting your time" on overly speculative thinking. Probably right.

However I am not quite so averse to speculation and I am willing to consider arguments that (while not RIGOROUS) involve judgements of probability and reasonableness.

So I would say that "the great silence" IS INFORMATION and does suggest drawing some conclusions about the liklihood that intelligent lifeforms have already colonized substantial parts of the galaxy. Without claiming that anything has been rigorously proven, or that the terms have even been carefully defined, I nevertheless surmise that the great silence makes it LESS LIKELY that some such thing has already happened.

Have to go. back after supper.
 
  • #38
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But we pretty much are still in the dark though, right? plus we dont even know if radio is a good marker...so the great silence may not be permanent.
 
  • #39
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Entropy wrote:

"who's to say aliens have a sense of adventure, or feelings at all? Won't aliens be different not only physically but mentally as well? Scientists relate extraterrestials to much to themselves, but with a different physical shape. They assume aliens are explorers/scientists like they are, heck most people on Earth don't have scientific minds."

The thing is that any intelligence will have to evolve from the jungle--just like we did. Probably, they will have evolved from predators--just like we did (chimpanzees are the most sophisticated predators apart from humans). Most likely they will be land animals; as I've argued before, intelligence and culture might evolve in the ocean, but it would be difficult to get a technological civilization off the "ground" in such an environment.

Emotional feelings seem to be a primitive trait found in all advanced forms of the various animal phyla (mollusks, arthropods, vertebrates). And since insects are the most diverse fauna on the planet, and since they have six legs, then most animals on this planet actually have six legs. Granted, culture and human-level intelligence might evolve within a snake-like species; but they would have a difficult time getting technology started. Thus, according to the law of convergence in evolution, we should expect that extra-terrestrial civilizations will share our spirit of adventure that we retained from the jungle, and that they will be land animals with good hand/claw/tentacle-eye coordination.

I also grant that most humans don't have a scientific mind-set. And arguably, western-style science is an historical fluke that depended on a lot of coincidences (e.g., the confluence of Christianity and Greek philosophy). So, maybe we need to add a new factor to the Drake equation that would estimate the probability that a technological civilization would hit upon the western-style scientific method that seems to be necessary to become spacefaring. However, once a society figures out spacefaring technology, we should expect them to use it. Even the most primitive human societies historically expanded their range to just about every habitable area they could find.

Thus, once an extra-terrestrial civilization colonized several star systems, it would be difficult to blow themselves up--even if they wanted to. That is, the Drake equation factor that measures the longevity of civilizations would be large.

So, there are 2 basic explanations for the great silence: (1) we are the first; (2) they are already here, and we just don't know about it because their technology is beyond our ken and their ethics are advanced enough so that they don't overtly meddle in our society.
 
  • #40
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Galactic Extinction

I have a gut feeling that we aren't the only intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy and I also doubt that we are the first spacefaring.

This begs the question (as has already been pointed out) WHY is the galaxy not already colonized - certainly the timescales from the 'birth' of a spacefaring civ. to the eventual colonization is 'small' in with respect to geological timescales. (millions of years).

As an attempt to at saying something that has not already been said I will propose the following alternative scenario: The concept of a 'galactic' mass extinction (GME) - which is some hypothetical event which periodically destroys a large % of life in a galaxy. Possible GME mechanisms may include hypernovas (google this - its a newish idea).

I am not really promoting this idea - merely throwing it out there as a possible reason why the galaxy is not already colonized.

Any comments?

Also, can anyone else thing of what might cause a GME other than a hypernova. Lets see where this goes...
 
  • #41
marcus
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robousy said:
...
As an attempt to at saying something that has not already been said I will propose the following alternative scenario: The concept of a 'galactic' mass extinction (GME) - which is some hypothetical event which periodically destroys a large % of life in a galaxy. Possible GME mechanisms may include hypernovas (google this - its a newish idea).
I am not really promoting this idea - merely throwing it out there as a possible reason why the galaxy is not already colonized.
Any comments?
...
my hat is off to you
in my experience original ideas are rare and this is one
for me, this is a new possible explanation for the apparent silence

(and the short time that colonization should take, compared with the age of the galaxy)

I realize you are just throwing it out, not promoting, but since it seems to work and is new (to me) I see it as a handsome contribution.
 
  • #42
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Is there no one else but me that thinks the idea of colonizing the galaxy might actually be harder than we think, alot more harder and longer...maybe billions of years?
 
  • #43
russ_watters
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Who is this "we" you're talking about? No one thinks it will be easy.
 
  • #44
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I never said anything about it being easy, I just noticed that alot of people seemed to think that if these hypothetical E.T.'s did exist that the Milky Way should have been packed and colonized by now, I just asked if anyone else felt differently.
 
  • #45
Chronos
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Colonizing the galaxy just might be as difficult as we think it is. It's an expensive trip and folks back home might object so long as they are still running around barefoot and hungry.
 
  • #46
turbo
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Gold Barz said:
I never said anything about it being easy, I just noticed that alot of people seemed to think that if these hypothetical E.T.'s did exist that the Milky Way should have been packed and colonized by now, I just asked if anyone else felt differently.
Set aside "easy" for the time being and let's address "possible".... Right now, despite George W. Bush's clueless pronouncement (doesn't anybody with an education vet his speeches?) we are incapable of sending humans to Mars, to say nothing of colonizing that planet. We cannot adequate shield them from Solar "tantrums" once they are beyond the Earth's magnetic field, and we simply cannot loft enough food, water, supplies, equipment, fuels, etc to get a crew to Mars and back with today's technology.

For fun, you might want to calculate the ratio of the Earth/Mars distance to the Earth/Proxima Centauri distance and estimate the travel time (assuming that we can develop a propulsion technology that doesn't require us to gather all the reaction mass we need at the beginning of the journey!). Then figure your optimum crew size and start estimating supply needs, etc. Don't forget that humans have finite life spans....
 
  • #47
Chronos
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Agreed. According to science as we know it, ET simply can't afford to colonize the galaxy. It's a logistics nightmare. Time is not the issue. If our science is even modestly close to correct, interstellar travel is impractical - save, perhaps, as an act of desperation.
 
  • #48
Garth
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Chronos said:
Agreed. According to science as we know it, ET simply can't afford to colonize the galaxy. It's a logistics nightmare. Time is not the issue. If our science is even modestly close to correct, interstellar travel is impractical - save, perhaps, as an act of desperation.
"We've had massive budget cuts..."

Or, perhaps, all inter-stellar space-faring civilizations self destruct.

In other words survivablity and inter-stellar space-faring are mutually incompatible attributes of any ET civilization. i.e. Only those that do not take the technological-space-faring route are able to survive the technology crisis.

On the other hand we might be alone........
(but what a waste of space!)
 
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  • #49
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If in fact, it is truely impossible to travel faster than light, then the galaxy will probably never be colonized. If we ever find that it is possible that faster than light travel is possible, then we can assume that we are the first wave or life is rare in the galaxy.
 
  • #50
CarlB
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My vote is that we're the first intelligent life to mature in the galaxy and that we will likely be able to colonize the rest of it before anything else shows up.

Carl
 

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