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Lance April 4th, 2013 7:52 PM

Extraterrestrial Intelligences
Do you believe that somewhere in our universe, other life, in some shape or form, exists? The Drake Equations lends some believability to the notion that there is life out there. If you believe there is, do you expect a monumental discovery in your lifetime?

Also, should we discover evidence of other life, what sort of implications would that entail? What would than mean for our own notions of our beginnings on this planet?


Foxrally April 4th, 2013 9:44 PM

I'm a muslim, and as far as I know, the Quran never said anything against other life forms in other planets.

So yes, I do beleive in extraterrestrial beings.

Who knows? Some other civilisation of humans just like us might be living galaxies away, or some jungle of unknown wild creatures might be lurking in the indiscovered depths of Mars! I think it's an interesting concept, and come on, we can't be the only ones, can we?

Aeon April 4th, 2013 10:17 PM

Arthur C. Clarke once said "Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."

I believe that if such thing exists though, they will be in the form of microbiological organisms. Plus, some of the potential life out there might be so far away, we will not find it for... who knows how long if we even do at all.

Echidna April 4th, 2013 11:38 PM

I kinda have two views on this matter:
  • I'm a fairly religious person. And because of this, I don't believe that God would create anything without a reason. I also believe that God could have created one solar system existing in equilibrium within itself. So yes, I do believe that there is extraterrestrial life out there because why would there be so much space out there if there wasn't?
  • On a scientific perspective, I'd have to say yes. On Earth itself we've found hundreds of thousands of species that exist without the need for the most basic human life necessities. Because of this, we now know that living organisms are very resilient and adaptive!
    That out of the way, we also know, or suspect at the least, that there are planets out there filled with all sorts of materials within their atmosphere, ranging from different air compositions to slightly different variants of water or some other wide-spread liquid on their surfaces. These planets also orbit suns/stars that provide them with light and minimum heat requirements. So in my mind, I don't see why the same circumstances that lead to life on Earth that evolved into us over millions of years, couldn't have taken place on other slightly similar planets out there.
    So yes, from a scientific perspective I do believe there is a possibility for life on other planets.

And those two reasons together kinda form my overall point of view.

More to that, I don't really see extraterrestrial life as little green men with 5 feet and three eye-balls. Hell, life could have developed and evolved in completely different ways to adapt and fit the circumstances on the planets which they inhabit. So for all we know, there might be life-forms out there that don't have noses or ears, or eyes at all! We can never be sure, so I just try to keep an open mind.

Another thing I believe is that there is also a possibility for intelligent life outside of Earth. How intelligent we can't know, but I doubt we'd be able to measure their intelligence by our standards and compare their technology to ours. Their technology may not and most like would not have anything to do with our own. We haven't thought of everything have we? Computers. Cars. Hell they might have some sorts of completely different replacements to store data / prove transport and communication.

Thinking way outside the box there but meh.

Shiny Celebi April 5th, 2013 8:28 AM

I do believe there could be life out there and this is not the only planet with life on it. The universe is a huge place and who knows what's out there, beyond our Solar System and galaxy, there could be lots of planets with life, who knows? I dont think Aliens are like in movies, they could be microscopic or look like anything really.

KingCharizard April 5th, 2013 9:01 AM

I believe there is undoubtedly, however if it is proven the catholic religion will be in great jeopardy... "God created the universe but gave his only begotten son for humanity"? Why not the other races of beings he created why would we be so special?

Kanzler April 5th, 2013 9:05 AM

Very true. Ahh religions were cursed from the start. Except for maybe Buddhism, but I don't know anything about that. By the time that happens, the fetters of Christianity and other Abrahamic religions would probably fall away to Deism.

gimmepie April 5th, 2013 9:16 AM

Do I believe there is extraterrestrial life? Most Likely. The reasons for this are simple, the same conditions that have developed on Earth could easily also develop on another far off planet. There are millions of planets so why is it so hard to believe another one would have come to be through a similar series of events as Earth? Further more, life itself is incredibly diverse and it is hard to say what is truly necessary for life to survive. The basic human essentials aren't even really needed by the tiniest life forms on Earth, and many of these life forms can survive in incredibly harsh conditions (such as the bacteria we accidentally left on Mars, that survived). So I'd say life could probably appear in incredibly harsh environments and that we don't find life like that here just because those environments don;t exist on our own planet... for all we know extraterrestrial life may not even be carbon based.

Do I believe in extraterrestrial intelligence? This is a slightly more difficult question to answer. Honestly, I think it is quite possible that organisms complex enough to be considered intelligent have evolved on another planet (or moon, or asteroid and so on...) but I would say it is far more likely any alien life we discover will be microbial. Then again, who says intelligent life can't be microbial (read the Swarm. It's a fictional story but its concept of an "alien" intelligence is incredible and has had an impact on my own views due to the accurate scientific content).

The implications? Well several things could happen, wide spread panic, religious complications or alternatively the exact opposite could be true. The most obvious implications are that holes would be poked in the foundations of most mainstream religions. For me personally I see this of little relevance. Religions, just like any other organisation, can adapt and change.

For me personally it would have no effect whatsoever as far as religious beliefs go, I'm neither religious nor an atheist. The only thing that would happen for me was I'd become very, very curious.

twocows April 5th, 2013 6:14 PM

I have no idea. Nobody else does, either. This includes the hypothetical aliens.

All I know is that if we ever want to come anywhere close to solving that mystery, we need to invest more in space efforts. When are we going to colonize the moon? Mars? Until we can at least make it that far, there's no point in even asking this question because we lack the technology to figure it out even if they are there. If you really want to know the answer, donate some time or money to NASA or your local space program and write to your political representatives asking them to invest more in space.

TRIFORCE89 April 5th, 2013 7:58 PM

I don't know if there's life out there. Given how vast the universe is, I think it's entirely possible though. The extent to which that life is advanced would be or is advanced is beyond me.

Lance April 12th, 2013 7:23 AM

I should have included this in the OP:


The Drake Equation states that:


N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);


R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fℓ = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
So statistically wise, we may not be alone after all.

CarcharOdin April 12th, 2013 4:31 PM

Space is exceptionally large and ever expanding and there are numerous stars, galaxies, and planets, many of which we haven't even really discovered yet. Plus, like PEDRO pointed out, we've found organisms on our own planet that can survive in conditions hostile to humans and planets that might have conditions for the possibility of life.

Considering all that, I think it's insane to think we're alone.

Pinkie-Dawn April 12th, 2013 5:04 PM

The universe is a big place; there's no telling on what we'll bump into other organisms. Also, I think this article is worth talking about extraterrestrial intellegence, as well as shedding some light about us not being alone:

Harley Quinn April 12th, 2013 6:13 PM

Although it's likely that unless we have an Independence Day situation, we will not know the answer to this for many, many decades (if not a hundred and so years), I think that it's silly to conclude that there is no other life in the universe. No other life out in the universe apart from us? A highly arrogant thought, although it is one that we have no choice in thinking, there being no proof as to whether there is life out there or not. But really, there should be biological life out there somewhere. Bacterial at the least.

But, extraterrestrial intelligence? That I'm not sure of. Again, I think it's highly arrogant to conclude that there cannot be any other intelligent life out there, but there's a difference between bacterial life and organisms that can think on many different levels like us. The existence of intelligent life out there in the universe is not something I'm willing to place a bet on.

Dakotah April 13th, 2013 5:34 AM

I'm still trying to figure out if there's actual life on this planet. :\

Mana April 13th, 2013 8:58 AM

I think we can almost certainly assume that there is life out there, the real debate is about whether it is intelligent.

We normally think of 'intelligent' aliens as being humanoid things with complicated languages and advanced space tech. In my book intelligence is much broader - problem solving, communicating (through language or otherwise), socialising.

Cheshireson April 13th, 2013 11:25 AM

There is most definitely a possiblity of life being out there in our universe, given the right conditions necessary as our Earth has. In fact, astronomers have recently discovered two planets just outside of our Solar System that are prime candidates for harboring living organisms: Keplar-22b and KOI-172.02. They both orbit a Sun-like star, they are likely to contain surface water that provides the basis of life, and the planets are within the ideal habitable zone.

Crux April 13th, 2013 12:32 PM

The universe is, for all we know, infinite.
To assume that we are the only life forms, or that we are the most advanced, is the peak of human arrogance. Period.
That is all.

Jake♫ April 14th, 2013 11:22 AM


With the vastness of the universe, I find it hard to believe that there ISN'T any other sentient life out there besides ourselves. I have no idea how long it will take to discover it, but it has to be out there.

twocows April 14th, 2013 3:06 PM

Current scientific theories hold that (a) the universe is not infinite, and (b) that life developed on earth as a combination of very rare terrestrial and spacial conditions and an unusually fortuitous meteor strike. I'm less convinced every day that there is other intelligent life in the universe, and I'm almost certain there's none in our galaxy at least. That said, we'll never find out either way if we keep slashing the space budget, and it's worth it even if I'm right, as space expansion is the future of our species.

CarcharOdin April 14th, 2013 5:03 PM


Originally Posted by twocows (Post 7624691)
(b) that life developed on earth as a combination of very rare terrestrial and spacial conditions and an unusually fortuitous meteor strike.

Rare, yes, but I don't think it's implausible that it could happen (or has already happened) somewhere else.

Or maybe I'm just simply indulging in wishful thinking.

Lance April 19th, 2013 9:12 PM

I just read another article a few days ago that said that NASA found a solar system with not one, but two planets with earth-like characteristics. Not sure how far away it is, but if we had the means, it'd be worth the visit I think.

Dakotah April 20th, 2013 4:31 AM


Originally Posted by Livewire (Post 7632432)
I just read another article a few days ago that said that NASA found a solar system with not one, but two planets with earth-like characteristics. Not sure how far away it is, but if we had the means, it'd be worth the visit I think.

Yes, I read about them as well. These two planets are about 1200 light years away from Earth (367.92 parsecs). They are circling around the sun-like star called Kepler-62 in the Lyra constellation, with three other planets.

I agree, a visit would be nice, but even at light speed, it would take many centuries to reach the planets. Even with warp technology, as depicted in the Star Trek series, the trip would take approximately 12 years. For now we will have to be content with using telescopes to visit these planets.

BraveNewWorld April 21st, 2013 6:01 PM


Originally Posted by Livewire (Post 7632432)
I just read another article a few days ago that said that NASA found a solar system with not one, but two planets with earth-like characteristics. Not sure how far away it is, but if we had the means, it'd be worth the visit I think.

To send an orbiter there, 1,200 light years away, it'd take about 207,915 years.

The star Tau Ceti, a mere 12 light years away, is believed to have a planet in its habitable zone. It'd take, about, 2,079 years to reach that solar system with an orbiter.

There are some major problems though. The planet is barely in the habitable zone. There's also a debris disk surrounding Tau Ceti, meaning its five planets likely experience many celestial impacts.

To get to the main point of your thread though... I think you'll like this video.

Rain Dancer April 21st, 2013 11:54 PM

For all we know they could already be here.

Perhaps so advanced that they could be visiting Earth as if it was some sort of zoo.

I don't expect anyone to believe, but my sources are close friends having experiences, and a sighting of my own.. Seemed like a ball of light, or some sort of probe, zipping and zigzagging all over the night sky.

Then there's mysteries like crop circles and ancient civilizations and their knowledge.

Yeah, mysteries. We have no idea yet what it could be.

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