The Fermi Paradox

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Fermi Paradox

Post by Darkel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:12 pm

I read a rather interesting article today about various theories about why we haven't yet found foreign intelligent life. This one uses evolutionary principles (I don't subscribe to the theory of evolution, but I still find it interesting). I found it fascinating.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Discuss.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

[20:34:09] ShadowBroker : What? Your computer radiation made you black?
avatar
Darkel
Administrator

Posts : 1454
Join date : 2012-07-29
Age : 18
Location : USA, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Luxembourgish on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:52 pm



I found these two videos on the subject to be informative.

This is something that has fascinated me for a while. Its really interesting to explore the possibilities.

_______________________________________________
"I'll continue to change my username until the end of time." -Prussian/Bavarian/Luxembourgish
avatar
Luxembourgish
Space Dinosaur

Posts : 519
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : 'Ell if I know.

http://pseudocompsognathus.deviantart.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:45 am

Mew, Reapers and Galactduck all with thought provoking information. I love this series already.
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Whos on Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:03 am

Am I allowed to give my opinion? I promise I'll be respectful. Don't let the censors take me!

In all seriousness, I believe the answer lies in a faulty presupposition. The underlying assumption is made that life can arise from non-life, but Louis Pasteur proved this to be false. He showed that living things can only come from living things, also known as the Law of Biogenesis. It is impossible for life to originate naturally, and no matter how much time you give the impossible, it will never happen.






_______________________________________________
I am smarter than the average smartest person - Darkel

I can multitasking - Prussian

I actually was busy trying to get more gonger ale - Prussian

Also...just because you rescued a male chick and called him Kevin, doesn't mean I care. - ViperaUnion

But in retaliation, I'm going to add all your typoes to my sig. - Prussian

It's not a horror game, it's more of a pussle - Prussian

Follow the Bloody Brick Road - Prussian

Shut your skittley little mouth - Darkel

I'm actually quite humble, I just love to mess with scurbs. - Canis_dirus

Whos : Ah, I like my bleach straight..

curius : In the eyes
"
avatar
Whos
Hyper-lethal Vector

Posts : 2075
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : Up, down, left and right!

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Luxembourgish on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:26 am

With the complexity and diversity of life on earth, it is easy to make this statement. How could life originate from nonloving materials in the first place? A rock is nowhere close to a jellyfish.

However, I wouldn't say that getting a living thing from a nonliving thing is entirely impossible.

There is a competing theory, abiogenesis, that declares that life does, and has, risen from nonliving materials. Let's delve into abiogenesis. To do this, we have to get small.

Cells are alive, but the atoms the cells are composed of are not. Let's get bigger,  then.
Cells are composed of organelles. Are they alive? Debatable. It is believed that Mitochondria were once free-roaming bacterial organisms that long ago merged with eukaryotic cells in a symbiotic relationship. However, mitochondria are technically no longer alive. They traded their own lives in order to preserve their genetic code; their DNA.

Maybe the DNA, the "building blocks of all life," is alive, then?

Let me look it up.

...

Wait a minute. Apparently not. Turns sout DNA is classified as a  molecule. Confusing.

Well, if DNA and the original organelles aren't alive, and the atoms that compose them aren't alive, then how is the cell itself alive?

This, of course, is often considered as a possible "Great Filter;" for life to develop at all. Maybe life is in fact extremely rare in the universe, and Ravena is just one huge collection of coincidences. Of course, there are other, scarier possible great filters, like nuclear war, big alien races suppressing everything else, etc.

_______________________________________________
"I'll continue to change my username until the end of time." -Prussian/Bavarian/Luxembourgish
avatar
Luxembourgish
Space Dinosaur

Posts : 519
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : 'Ell if I know.

http://pseudocompsognathus.deviantart.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Zaroas on Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:37 am

It's widely accepted in the scientific community that the first lifeforms, unicellular organisms, originated from a single abiogenesis event in the very distant past. Obviously, we cannot observe this event due to when it occurred and the location. Regardless, Pasteur never said that it was impossible for life to arise from nonliving/organic matter, just that he never observed it. Keep in mind that the competing theory at the time was that life could spontaneously arise from non-organic matter at any time and happened often. You're basically saying, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, that event never happened. The Law of Biogenesis doesn't contradict anything here in this sense.

Regarding Fermi's Paradox, there are a number of possible explanations, but of the ones I think are plausible -

1. It's very difficult to recognize alien life - Life arising on other planets can take on limitless forms and such. We may not even be able to comprehend it. Obviously, fiction and other works, including RG, make lifeforms similar to humans in some regards so it can be relatable/work in a narrative.

2. Communication - Similarly, our means of communication may be insufficiently advanced or not recognizable to aliens. Radio signals may not be the only way or the way aliens communicate.

3. Us - Let's be honest, we're just so minuscule compared to everything else. The galaxy and universe are so immense, so how would we know if aliens would find us in the first place or want to communicate with us? Can you find and interact with every single anthill in a national park?

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
Zaroas
Didact

Posts : 986
Join date : 2012-07-29
Age : 19
Location : Connecticut, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Darkel on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:27 am

Earth is so minuscule in the first place that it is unrealistic that other races would be willing to go through millions and billions of light years just to reach our planet. And for what? Most science fiction writers use very cheap and common excuses such as breeding experiments, a desire for natural resources, or somehow saving mankind from themselves or something else. All three of these are incredibly unrealistic. Firstly, anyone with a good sense of biology knows how incredibly difficult, if not impossible it would be to cross-breed species.

Now whether or not alien biological technology would defy this is null because what would the purpose in the first place? You get a human-alien halfbreed. You might come to the conclusion that it would provide soldiers for the aliens and advance their military. This is also extremely unlikely. Humans themselves are incredibly fragile physically. Compared to another species with protective skin, strong bones, and various combat abilities, we're nothing special. Humans at most have a few slightly sharp teeth and fists. We don't even have claws. No venom, no tentacles, no climbing abilities, no natural camouflage abilities, no nothing. Our entire combative profession throughout history has relied on the creation of weapons, even since the early ages. Early on we had bows and arrows, spears, sword, etc. It was much easier to kill someone that way than simply beating them with our fists to death, which isn't even always effective. Even if you use a rock to kill someone, it's still far more effective than our own biological capabilities. Later in history we crafted guns, canons, bombs, and our other modern day weaponry which has been the sole reason for various nations taking their rise throughout history. How did Britain invade India? They couldn't have had they not had more advanced weapons. So it's really illogical for aliens to want to breed with us, we simply don't offer anything. Even our DNA is faulted as we strive towards tendencies of moral wrongs, and these tendencies are only self-destructive to our society. Murder, greed, selfishness, deceit, etc. It only calls for failure if examined through the eyes of a race with a mindset that is in perfection compared to our own.

The other thing, natural resource harvesting. This also doesn't make sense because the universe is, as far as we know, composed of the same elements. It wouldn't make sense for aliens to travel all the way to earth to get some minerals when they can get the same stuff in their own neighborhood. Even water is in abundance throughout the universe. Some of Jupiter's moon have more water than even Earth. So we can mark that out.

And the final thing, the "saving mankind" concept. Why bother? If aliens exist, there are likely much bigger, much more important races out there that if endangered would be good reason for aliens to help them. If the human race, or Earth was destroyed, then what? Who would if affect? No one, that's who. Even a race that would have a charitable view on the idea wouldn't bother. Too much resources would be spent just getting here that there would probably be none left to even fulfill the job they came to do.

Therefore, aliens likely don't have much interest in us. Imagine earth is the universe. Our planet is just one little grass strand. Why would they visit us as opposed to say, a chance to study other galactic structures such as nebulae, antimatter clouds, neutron stars, dark matter, even the 4 billion-trillion-trillion ton central black hole of the Milly Way?

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

[20:34:09] ShadowBroker : What? Your computer radiation made you black?
avatar
Darkel
Administrator

Posts : 1454
Join date : 2012-07-29
Age : 18
Location : USA, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Whos on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:40 am

Oh goody, a respectful challenge.

Well first off, I'll start by saying that I wasn't aware we were discussing Ravena, I thought this was about the Milky Way. Secondly, I'd like to point out to @Zaroas that he has committed the bandwagon fallacy. I don't care how much of the scientific community accepts something, I care that the data corroborates it. I could say that nearly 100% of preachers believe in God. Does that mean He is real?

Thirdly, you have to make yet more assumptions about the past which are not observable. This is all in the realm of philosophy and speculation. Science, (and let it be known that I hate using the term "science" indiscriminately, it has an actual definition that some people seem to forget) is based on observation and experimentation, as well as hypothesizing to give the scientist a reason to do the observing and experimenting.

Ever heard of a guy named Stanley Miller? Well, for those of you who are familiar with him, you might be surprised that I'm bringing him up. He is famous for his experiments involving the spontaneous creation of.. I think eight of the twenty-something amino acids necessary for a single functioning protein. The simplest living thing requires over a hundred proteins. For all of his effort, he was never able to synthesize a living thing in the laboratory. His experiments are good indicators of the impossibility of a living thing naturally forming. If we cannot synthesize a living thing in the laboratory under optimal conditions, then there is no justification for believing it could occur in nature* in less-than-optimal conditions.


Now, Prussian here is on to something. But he lets it go. There is something more to life than building blocks. A dead squirrel has all of the same components as a living squirrel. But there is an intangible difference between life and death. Now we're getting into the realm of philosophy, so I'll just leave you with that.

Now, as to the "Why?" of why living things do not come from non-living things, it has to do with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I encourage everyone to read these three essays that I will link below from my favorite secular website, Science Against Evolution, on thermodynamics and how it contradicts the possibility of a living thing forming naturally. Please don't respond to this last part of my post without reading them. The author is an engineer, and a good understanding of thermodynamics is really necessary for that line of work, so you know he's qualified to discuss it.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

*I have edited my post slightly due to a small redundancy in a couple of my sentences, and to make my point clearer.

_______________________________________________
I am smarter than the average smartest person - Darkel

I can multitasking - Prussian

I actually was busy trying to get more gonger ale - Prussian

Also...just because you rescued a male chick and called him Kevin, doesn't mean I care. - ViperaUnion

But in retaliation, I'm going to add all your typoes to my sig. - Prussian

It's not a horror game, it's more of a pussle - Prussian

Follow the Bloody Brick Road - Prussian

Shut your skittley little mouth - Darkel

I'm actually quite humble, I just love to mess with scurbs. - Canis_dirus

Whos : Ah, I like my bleach straight..

curius : In the eyes
"
avatar
Whos
Hyper-lethal Vector

Posts : 2075
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : Up, down, left and right!

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Vara Lord on Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:06 pm

Okay, I'll throw my two cents in here.

I don't know about aliens and all that. Sure, it's fun to imagine life on other worlds (or else there'd be no RG, right? Very Happy), but who knows? The fact of the matter is, to me, is that we have no evidence for or against their existence, so we can't really make any kind of statement on that. If they do exist, as to why they haven't contacted, again, who knows? After all, we have no evidence; all we can do is hypothesize. (By the way, I didn't actually watch the videos Darkel posted, so I can't make any comment on whatever the hypothesis was about).

As to the whole abiogenesis thing, I have to say that I personally can't see it as possible. One thing I've learned as a Biology Major is that living this are complex, right down to the cellular level. When it comes to understanding the intricacies of the cell, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. But even that little bit is like. . . well, the only word I can think of to describe it is "wow!" And even more amazing is just how well it all works (baring deleterious mutations and stuff like that), and how necessary each part of each process is. Just one alteration to one enzyme in one metabolic pathway can through the entire process out of wack, and potentially cause damage to to other parts of the cell, and even the rest of the organism if it's multicellular (depending on the exact process that's disrupted). As far as we can tell, all or almost all of them are absolutely essential to ensuring the survival of the cell. For nonliving matter to form a living cell, it would seem to me that all the necessary materials would have to come together at the same time and receive some sort of jump-start to get things going. What are the chances of that?

And this brings me to one final issue. Going back to what Prussian said, we can look at something like a squirrel (Whoster's example) and know it's alive, but we can also look at the materials that compose it's body and see that they are not alive in and of themselves. This raises the great big question: What is life? The truth is, we don't have a working definition for it. Some people might say something along the lines of it being a series of controlled chemical reactions, but is that really adequate? Personally, looking at life around us at all the life on this Earth, and also at myself and others and everything we do, I find the idea that all this is nothing more than the result of chemistry to be an oversimplification of things. However, as Whoster said, that's a discussion for philosophy.

So there's my two cents. I hope I kept things relevant and didn't ramble too much. Also, I'd like to thank everyone here for being so respectful of everyone else. The subjects being discussed here seem to have a tendency to cause people to come in arms at each other in many circumstances, and I can clearly see that there are differences in opinion here as well. However, you guys never insulted each other, and you were all very respectful to each other. I'm proud of you all. (There really needs to be a thumbs-up emoticon.)
avatar
Vara Lord
Xenoarcheologist

Posts : 1629
Join date : 2012-10-16
Age : 28
Location : Watching and waiting. . .

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:57 pm

Well, the only way that aliens would visit Earth for resources is for something a lot more rare than water or minerals. Proteins, Chlorophyll and other organic matter are Earth's most valuable resource, so if aliens did turn up to harvest earth it would be us they'd throw into the processing plants.

Even then we probably wouldn't get a glimpse of our invaders. They'll most likely be automated drones, as there's too much risk of a healthy population dying out or catastrophic vessel failure before it reaches its destination.
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Whos on Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:35 pm

Gotta agree with that ^

_______________________________________________
I am smarter than the average smartest person - Darkel

I can multitasking - Prussian

I actually was busy trying to get more gonger ale - Prussian

Also...just because you rescued a male chick and called him Kevin, doesn't mean I care. - ViperaUnion

But in retaliation, I'm going to add all your typoes to my sig. - Prussian

It's not a horror game, it's more of a pussle - Prussian

Follow the Bloody Brick Road - Prussian

Shut your skittley little mouth - Darkel

I'm actually quite humble, I just love to mess with scurbs. - Canis_dirus

Whos : Ah, I like my bleach straight..

curius : In the eyes
"
avatar
Whos
Hyper-lethal Vector

Posts : 2075
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : Up, down, left and right!

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Vara Lord on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:04 pm

I actually once saw a thing on TV that was dedicated to the idea of "what if aliens invaded." They concluded that that as the most likely thing the alien force would be after.
avatar
Vara Lord
Xenoarcheologist

Posts : 1629
Join date : 2012-10-16
Age : 28
Location : Watching and waiting. . .

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:27 am

I google searched and watched it. Pretty thought-provoking stuff, although the balloon suicide bombers defeating the alien race was just a tad unrealistic (yeah people who know their environment have an edge over invaders, but seriously if I was an super-advanced alien drone ship engineer I would have added automated sentry turrets that fire upon any close moving thing that doesn't have clearance codes).

Just in case anyone else is interested its called Alien Invasion by National Geographic.
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Darkel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:02 am

I saw that last summer when it aired, I believe. Very interesting. But yeah that suicide bombing thing wasn't that realistic. Alien security would surely be more up to date.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

[20:34:09] ShadowBroker : What? Your computer radiation made you black?
avatar
Darkel
Administrator

Posts : 1454
Join date : 2012-07-29
Age : 18
Location : USA, Ohio

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by curius on Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:34 pm

I'm a bit late, here goes. For starters I'd like to crush hopes of faster-than-light travel. Lets make a though experiment: Its a bright night with full moon shining. The sight of the moon is actually about a second from past, as that is the time it takes for light to travel from moom to earth's surface. You are holding a gun, that fires projectiles that travel instantly, disregarding the limitations of lightspeed, and the gun is also powerful enoigh to destroy the moon entirely. You decide to shoot the moon. You would see the moon blow up a second before you pull the trigger, as the moon you see is moon from the past. When you see the moon exploding, you hesitate and decide to not pull the trigger. Thus the moon should not have exploded at all, and there is a logical paradox.

This means that information can't travel faster than light. The milkyway is a huge place, and if no information can travel fasterthan light, its even larger. It would be wery challenging to keep an empire larger than few light-years across unified. Also, even the fastest possible ships would need hundreds of thousands years to travel across the galaxy. In this environment, it would be preferqble to focus on utilizing the resources in their own solarsystem as efficiently as possible.

Second thing: Humans hve been listening the star efficiently only for couple decades. As we remember, our galaxy is wast, and even advanced civilisations haven't neccessarily have left their solarsystem, we would need them to either be very close or deliberately trying to contact someone. If there is some civilisations scanning and/or sending messages, the time humans have been listening and visible technologically could easily fit between the sweeps and scans of those civilisatons are making. According the highly hypotetical fermi formula, there vould be some thousand interstellar civilisations. Even if we distripute them evenly across our galaxy and make the assumption that they are trying to contact us, there wouöd easily be at least dozens of lightyears between the nearest of their solarsystem and ours.

So, in my opinion there is no paradox yet, people are just impatient.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
curius
Honorary Member

Posts : 290
Join date : 2012-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Luxembourgish on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:10 pm

Wouldn't it take 2 seconds to see the moon explode, as opposed to -1 seconds?

After humans left the moon, astronauts left a sort of mirror. Later, an experiment was devised: we would fire a laser at the mirror on the moon and see what happens. The laser, of course, was travelling st the speed of light, and the laser returned to earth just more than 2 seconds later.

Not saying that FTL travel isn't impossible, just pointing out an answer to the paradox.

_______________________________________________
"I'll continue to change my username until the end of time." -Prussian/Bavarian/Luxembourgish
avatar
Luxembourgish
Space Dinosaur

Posts : 519
Join date : 2012-07-29
Location : 'Ell if I know.

http://pseudocompsognathus.deviantart.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by curius on Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:21 pm

No, it takes two seconds for light to go there and come back. One second if the trip is one-way.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
curius
Honorary Member

Posts : 290
Join date : 2012-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:42 am

Ok, ok what Curius said makes no sense to me. If it takes 1 second for the moon's reflected light to reach us, wouldn't the moon appear to explode 1 second after we pulled the trigger?

After all, you're actually shooting the moon, not the light that we see just now that shows it a second ago.

EDIT: Guess Prussian bet me to the punch. But anyway, the only way the gun can explode the moon before we pull the trigger is if the bullet goes back in time, which has already been deemed impossible by many. Instant travel is also very likely to be impossible as well, but it wouldn't cause something like that.
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by curius on Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:11 am

You actually mentioned the point right there. Remember the law of relativity. Speed and time Are relative to each other. In other words, when speed is higher, time goes slower. If speed is equal to the speed of light, time stops. If we would folow this formula beyond the border of lightspeed, time starts to flow backwards.

Time is not a rigid thing that flows similary to everyone. Its flow depends on distance and speed. So to return to the moon example, the moon we see is moon from second to the past. So if something would travel instantly from earth to moon, we would see it arrive a second before it left, because when we look to the moon, we see a second to the past.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
curius
Honorary Member

Posts : 290
Join date : 2012-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:52 am

I'm fairly sure that my brain is just being stupid here, but it still doesn't seem right to me, even with the time fluidity explanation.

It takes a second for light from the moon to travel to earth, therefore the moon we see is a second in the past (but not the actual moon itself). If something were to instantly transport itself to the moon, we wouldn't see anything until a second later as the light of the present moon the thing is now on hasn't reached our eyes yet.

My question is how light that transmits to earth upon the thing's arrival (considering the 1 second length of time that it takes to reach us) turns up 1 second before the thing reaches there?

My head hurts.
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by curius on Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:12 am

It is mindtwisting. But the point is that instanteinious trawel is impossible because it would cause these mindtwisting paradoxes. Also i messed up the example, it was bit more complex.

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
curius
Honorary Member

Posts : 290
Join date : 2012-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Randomnator on Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:10 am

Have you got a link to an article or video that explains it better? I'm actually quite interested in how this supposedly works (or causes stuff to fail to work).
avatar
Randomnator
Cadet

Posts : 258
Join date : 2014-08-14
Age : 21
Location : Doing loop-de-loops

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by curius on Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:40 pm

Well, first skim this and look at the animated pictures: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Then you could try to read this. It was the best I found, and has realy good diagrams:http://www.theculture.org/rich/sharpblue/archives/000089.html

_______________________________________________
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
curius
Honorary Member

Posts : 290
Join date : 2012-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: The Fermi Paradox

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum