Author Topic: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?  (Read 938 times)

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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 01:02:36 PM »
I have no problem with personal beliefs.

Now, if we find out that some form of life somewhere in the universe created a civilization, that would surprise me.
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Online Shibboleth

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 01:05:31 PM »
I have no problem with personal beliefs.

Now, if we find out that some form of life somewhere in the universe created a civilization, that would surprise me.

Would it surprise you more if that in some magical way we learned that it never happened in the Universe anywhere or that it did happen in the world somewhere? It would honestly blow my mind if I found out that the only world ever in the history of the universe that developed life that created a situation is Earth. That is one hell of a roll of the dice or maybe it is not I guess..... the dice I suppose could have a gagillion fazillion babillion nongafillion sides.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 01:32:38 PM »
I have no problem with personal beliefs.

Now, if we find out that some form of life somewhere in the universe created a civilization, that would surprise me.

Would it surprise you more if that in some magical way we learned that it never happened in the Universe anywhere or that it did happen in the world somewhere? It would honestly blow my mind if I found out that the only world ever in the history of the universe that developed life that created a situation is Earth. That is one hell of a roll of the dice or maybe it is not I guess..... the dice I suppose could have a gagillion fazillion babillion nongafillion sides.
Not biased one way or the other. It happened here. That's all I know.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline HighPockets

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 01:54:05 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.
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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 02:55:28 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.
Again, we don't have hard numbers to fill in the blanks there. We haven't found life elsewhere and people speak authoritatively about how long technological civilizations will last. It gets tedious after a while.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 04:31:32 PM »
On a side note we do not need to have an event happen to calculate probability. For instance, we can figure out the probability of the infinite monkey theorem even though it has never happened because we know enough about the parts that would need to happen to make that occur. Unfortunately we just do not know enough about life at this point to really extrapolate that data. As noted we can make a somewhat educated wild ass guess.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Online gmalivuk

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 04:36:08 PM »
there is no such thing as "faster than light," making such a concept meaningless
You've made this claim before, and you're still wrong.

A concept does not become meaningless just because it happens to be physically impossible.

As noted we can make a somewhat educated wild ass guess.
Yeah, they're still pretty wild guesses with huge error bars, but people keep talking about a sample size of one as though the only information we have about life on Earth is the single bit telling us it exists.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 04:48:50 PM »
I look at it this way: On Earth we had seas filled with a chemical soup that had everything we needed to start life. AN ENTIRE PLANET of Miller-Urey flasks. Not at all surprising things turned out the way they did.

I don't see why other planets didn't have similar conditions. But I don't know if there was one single thing unique about Earth...
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 05:00:24 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.
Again, we don't have hard numbers to fill in the blanks there. We haven't found life elsewhere and people speak authoritatively about how long technological civilizations will last. It gets tedious after a while.
Pretty much everyone of these conversations starts with, "We really don't know but......"  What really gets tedious is responding to that with, "we can't really know now can we?"

We all already acknowledge that its just a thought experiment with very little data to back up our semi-educated guesses. 

Offline Physicity

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 05:17:13 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.

I've never understood the Fermi paradox.  We've not found anyone, but we've barely started looking.  How long has basic radio been around, and how long have intelligent humanoids been on Earth?  I also don't see that civilisation correlates with intelligence.  Humorous topical political comments aside, crows and dolphins are intelligent but have no civilisation. Don't get me started on the Drake equation >:D A famous equation that says precisely nothing about anything because it isn't possible to give the required values. 

But back to the OP... I believe the effect of the moon has been underestimated when people discuss likelihood of complex life arising on Earth.  The tidal forces have helped shape the chemistry and environment of the Earth of billions of years.  No, I have no evidence...

Online gmalivuk

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 05:37:49 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.

I've never understood the Fermi paradox.  We've not found anyone, but we've barely started looking.
It's true, you don't understand the Fermi paradox.

In its original framing, the idea is that we should have been visited by now, not simply that we should be able to find evidence for intelligent life having arisen somewhere else.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017, 05:52:22 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.
Again, we don't have hard numbers to fill in the blanks there. We haven't found life elsewhere and people speak authoritatively about how long technological civilizations will last. It gets tedious after a while.
Pretty much everyone of these conversations starts with, "We really don't know but......"  What really gets tedious is responding to that with, "we can't really know now can we?"

We all already acknowledge that its just a thought experiment with very little data to back up our semi-educated guesses.
So tedious inspires tedious. No surprise there.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2017, 05:55:07 PM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.

I've never understood the Fermi paradox.  We've not found anyone, but we've barely started looking.
It's true, you don't understand the Fermi paradox.

In its original framing, the idea is that we should have been visited by now, not simply that we should be able to find evidence for intelligent life having arisen somewhere else.
It never struck me as much of a paradox either.   There's no reason to think we should have been visited or see any evidence yet.  Its only a paradox if you assume things that are probably not true.  That societies develop to the point where interstellar travel or sending coherent signals over interstellar distances is relatively easy, or other civilizations would see the value of either or that civilizations are so common that they are relatively close. 

There's all sorts of reasons why we wouldn't have detected life or they haven't visited the earth.

@Noisy, I somewhat regret the excess snark of that reply. 

Online gmalivuk

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 09:08:34 PM »
There's all sorts of reasons why we wouldn't have detected life or they haven't visited the earth.
Sure, that's why most of the Fermi Paradox article on Wikipedia is devoted to hypothetical explanations.

As for the assumptions, the reason it's a "paradox" (in the colloquial sense of just being a kind of strange thing to notice) is because even one single civilization in the history of the galaxy developing the ability to send things to other stars would have passed by here by now, unless it happened only very recently (relative to the age of the galaxy).
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Offline Physicity

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Re: Is the Earth the only planet capable of having complex life?
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2017, 07:39:38 AM »
To me, the most disheartening argument for Fermi's Paradox is that no civilization will last long enough to find another life form in the universe. We'll die out before we get the technology to get there.

I've never understood the Fermi paradox.  We've not found anyone, but we've barely started looking.
It's true, you don't understand the Fermi paradox.

In its original framing, the idea is that we should have been visited by now, not simply that we should be able to find evidence for intelligent life having arisen somewhere else.
Wow, I hate this forum sometimes, every little opportunity to try to show how 'clever' people are while missing the point of what was said...  But, to take your troll bait:

Why are you assuming I used the original framing of the paradox?   The original framing as you describe it is unprovable.  No one can prove that we have not been visited by aliens.  But we can show that there is no reasonable evidence of alien civilization.  The Fermi paradox is well known as 'where is everybody?'.  Or do you not understand it well enough to know that?



 

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