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#173504 - 06/29/06 04:51 AM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: Jack_Lantern]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
I'm not quite sure how you mean this, but I think you're speaking of celestial distances.

For example, if SETI does in fact pick up an alien radio transmission, it will almost certainly be all we ever get out of said race. If this very evening we caught a complex radio signal from outer space, decoded it to the extent of realizing it is alien language or other transmission (though we probably have little hope of actually figuring out their language, if they even have a language), and if we actually had an interstellar spaceship parked in orbit and ready to launch the same night, it would still be on the order of a a couple hundred to a couple billion years before we got to wherever it came from to visit depending on which star it came from (assuming the spaceship achieves something like 25%-50% the speed of light, an extremely high figure; even at the speed of light its a few dozen to a few hundred million years). In other words, their planet is as likely as not extinct by the time we drop in, and earthlings themselves would probably not be getting word back from the expeditionary crew before our own planet goes extinct.

The only way we'll ever personally explore the galaxy is if we find a way to break the light speed barrier on the order of several magnitudes, a feat that modern science says is impossible (to credit, my own post mentions that "modern science" of each era has invariably been wrong).

Amusing thought: when you look at a starry night sky, no small number of the stars whose light you see are, in real time, no longer there at all. The light you view left that star in real time around the time that dinosaurs lived, maybe even as far back as the precambrian sea! Want to time travel? Look up.
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"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#173505 - 06/29/06 05:30 AM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
IX Von ZehEhv Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 708
Quote:

The only way we'll ever personally explore the galaxy is if we find a way to break the light speed barrier on the order of several magnitudes




You are much better-read on the subject than I so perhaps you already know of this. Scientists have been shown to be able to control the speed of light. More info here

I can't find the source, however, where scientists were attempting to harness the ability to increase the speed of light in the space occupied by a 'rocket' thereby increasing the effective speed it could travel.

If this speed could be increased significantly as a 'field' of sorts around said craft, it could have major implications as to how far could we could go in a short amount of time.
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#173506 - 06/29/06 08:08 AM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
The_Lightning Offline


Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1325
Loc: Israel
You might as well make the assumption that one can connect through altered states of consciousness to the "all-knowing force of life" and draw specific information from it. As discussed on this thread.
If this is true- human beings are able to know anything using the powers of the sub-space aspect of their being...
Perhaps the extraterrestrials which were encountered were actually "spirits" from other dimensions……. This is just as likely as life from other planets or as a "gap" in history .
I'm not saying it's impossible extraterrestrials exist, but I too believe that even if aliens do exist, communication with them is highly unlikely… And eventually, that's what it goes down to: belief.


Edited by The_Lightning (06/29/06 08:15 AM)
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#173507 - 06/29/06 09:47 AM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: IX Von ZehEhv]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
Light can be speed up or slowed down by the refraction index of certain materials. Magnetic fields can be used to adjust the speed of a photon too.

With metamaterial you can even bend and twist light. This has an interesting effect which can result in an object being semi-invisible (not all of the light will be bent). Metamaterials with their incredible refraction indexes can also improve the quality of digital images.

It is amazing stuff.
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#173508 - 06/29/06 10:12 AM Re: Thank you. [Re: Nemo]
Chess Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 1473
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:

I was not aware that most of the major moons always face the planet they orbit with the same side.

Are you quite certain of this?





Quite certain, without even needing to take the experts' word for it. I have seen with my own eyes, through my own telescope, that Iapetus is always quite bright on one side of Saturn and nigh-invisible on the other. That this moon has differently-colored hemispheres, and is synchronously rotating with Saturn (and so always shows us the same side at the same point in its orbit), is the only explanation.

Quote:

Thank you for teaching me something new!




I've learned quite a bit from your posts, and they've also pointed me in the right directions to learn even more. It's an honor to return the favor.

-Chess

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#173509 - 06/29/06 01:36 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11547
Loc: New England, USA
>>>>So yes, we will likely recognize it, but will we have
>>>>much in common with it? Statistics say no.
>>
>>What statistics? There are no statistics regarding extra-
>>terrestial life forms.

Of course not. But given our understanding of biological evolution, its history, and the diversity of species seen on this planet alone between two different continents (even if the climates are similar), it is absurd to think that life on an isolated planet would have yielded a species resembling us.

For example, take a population of an earth species split geographically into two groups. Say one half stays where it is, the other half migrates to a second location. Each group develops according to the variations in their respective breeding population and environmental effects. As generations come and go, natural selection and genetic drift will end up being different for the two groups, until after many years of many generations the two groups are so different that they can be called different species.

>>The basic building blocks throughout the universe are
>>constant.

We still can't say the same about things like DNA. Stanley L. Miller's experiment showed that environmental conditions of earth in its early days could very well have chemically created amino acids, which in turn can be seen as the building blocks of life. But there's no telling whether or not carbon-based lifeforms are the only way to have life. Who knows, maybe a planet produced silicon-based life forms with radically different structures. Even if we assume there was another planet that started with the same exact single-celled organisms we had in our Proterozoic era, there is still no telling what sort of species would have evolved from there.

>>So yes we would have much in common - about as much in
>>common as we do with a fish. Which is more than one might
>>think.

It's true that humans and fish have some things in common as organisms, because humans and fish had a common ancestor (even if it was way further back in the family tree than the most immediate common ancestor of man and chimpanzee). Humans and fish are both vertebrates, both have two eyes and mouth, both have sets of organs that each do similar tasks, etc. But on another planet, there's still no telling that life would have produced anything resembling our vertebrate ancestors, or even organisms resembling ancestors of vertebrates. Evolution doesn't follow a predetermined tree.
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#173510 - 06/29/06 01:53 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Bill_M]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10564
Loc: England
You have missed my point completely, Bill.

I'm saying we would more than likely recognise the ingredients of their construction. And, as has already been stated, we would recognise an ability to survive and/or reproduce.
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#173511 - 06/29/06 03:24 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
To be fair, I thought you meant the same thing as Warlock BillM apparently does. It was the original point of my post, not to imply that we could not possibly recognize extraterrestrial life, but that it would be more drastically removed in evolutionary terms than anything we could find on earth, and perhaps created using an entirely different biochemical basis.

The statement that aliens may have different musical tastes is...an understatement. More like aliens may share none of our experience whatsoever. What if an alien relied on polymer chains as its basic building block, infrared and electromagnetic sensory input, and had a hive mind of collective "intelligence" greatly exceeding ours (bees, for example, can actually solve algebraic problems collectively)? And to think that the latter two have examples here on earth!
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#173512 - 06/29/06 03:50 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10564
Loc: England
>> The statement that aliens may have different musical tastes is...an understatement. <<

Understatements are usually employed to further compound a greater meaning.

>> What if an alien relied on polymer chains as its basic building block, infrared and electromagnetic sensory input, and had a hive mind of collective "intelligence" greatly exceeding ours. <<

We would have recognised it.

Anything in the universe can be observed, studied and eventually understood.
_________________________
"Spiral Out: a bleak, page-turning, unforgettable read. Existentialism at its most hardcore" - www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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#173513 - 06/29/06 03:59 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
Recognized it yes, but the point I've been driving at all along is that the fantasies we have about a "cooperative" between us and ETs is not especially likely, and further that all modern speculation as to what they would be like is essentially moot in light of the vast possibilities. It's something like trying to write about Don Quixote when all you've read is the first half of Hamlet. There would be no valid grounds for any statement made about one thing with only limited knowledge of another, only vaguely categorically related thing. Both are literature, but in different languages, different authors, different time periods, different countries, different plots...you get the idea.

I am not sure I agree that everything can be observed, studied, and understood. I do agree that most likely any kind of living organism could be observed and studied (though understood is a subjective term; do we "understand" insects, or even dogs, in the deeper sense?). Other things, however, may not be so. We can't observe certain parts of the universe, for example, because obstacles obscure them from our view. The only way around this would be to travel a few hundred million light years away to get around those obstacles, not a good outlook for that. Studied might as well be the same thing as observed for the most part. Understood...well, we already know that we cannot observe or really understand subatomic physics due to real physical limitations, though I still must temper that with my previous statement that we've always been wrong so far. Don't get me wrong, I'm an optimist when it comes to human ingenuity, but it very well may be that certain things are forever beyond our reach.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#173514 - 06/29/06 04:01 PM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: IX Von ZehEhv]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
I read that article a while back. Very interesting, but I'm not sure how it would ever be applied to make a spaceship go any faster. The only thing I can think is that it suggests that the speed of light may not be quite so great a barrier as we assume it to be, but we're still faced with that difficulty of actually making something go that fast, nevermind making it possible for humans to survive that speed. That's tougher than pulling a lab trick with light.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#173515 - 06/29/06 04:05 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10564
Loc: England
>> We can't observe certain parts of the universe, for example, because obstacles obscure them from our view <<

It won't always be this way.

>> the point I've been driving at all along is that the fantasies we have about a "cooperative" between us and ETs is not especially likely <<

If you'd have actually said that I'd have agreed with you on that point.
_________________________
"Spiral Out: a bleak, page-turning, unforgettable read. Existentialism at its most hardcore" - www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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#173516 - 06/29/06 04:06 PM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: The_Lightning]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
Well, I'm pretty open minded. But assuming that it was possible to employ remote viewing to gain knowledge, on the original subject the Dogon's limited knowledge again suggests that it would be mighty weird for them to have gained the cosmic power of the universe to know all things, yet mostly just used this to find an invisible parasite star. You know, instead of world domination or at least something useful to them.

As for whether or not this has any consequence to extraterrestrials contacting us...you are precisely correct, at the current state of affairs belief in such is just that, belief. I rule very few things out, yet doubt all things. Only if something can hold up against my most merciless doubt is it worth considering further.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#173517 - 06/29/06 04:09 PM Re: Extraterrestrials [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Jack_Lantern Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 2785
Loc: America
Quote:

I'm not quite sure how you mean this, but I think you're speaking of celestial distances.




Yes, celestial distance is a part of it, and you bring up very good points which serve to illustrate that part of it. But consider this. Lets say we do break the light speed barrier, on the order of serveral hundred magnitudes. We go out into space, exploring. Will we really find life? Yes, I think so. Will we find civilization? If we did, we would more than likely find ruins. Ruins from species that never left the bronze age to ruins of once great interstellar empires, but ruins just the same.

To find "aliens" out there, it would take more than just life and intellegence we could recognize, but the beggining of their civilization and the beggining of ours would have to coincide to within at least ten millenia (give or take a few millenia). And in the span of cosmic time that is an incredibly small chance. So I think if we do find signs of intellegent life, it will be in the form of ruins.
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#173518 - 06/29/06 04:09 PM Re: Universal Life [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10121
Very optimistic, and I can't argue that it will necessarily always be this way. Maybe even a new technology will emerge to allow us to see through those obstacles without leaving earth.

Then again, we also have the age of the universe observation limit. If, for example, a star is so far from earth that the light emitted by it takes longer to reach us than the present age of the universe, we clearly cannot see it (from here). Presumably the only way to overcome that is to get closer to it, i.e. travel millions or billions of light years. Again, perhaps nothing is impossible, but that's one hell of an obstacle to overcome.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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