Author Topic: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?  (Read 3174 times)

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Offline Animeman73

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Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« on: August 05, 2011, 04:01:45 pm »
Well folks the Space Shuttle program is officially history and now we're all thinking what's next.

The questions I pose to all of you are:

Will mankind reach the stars, the other planets of our system, and beyond, or are we doomed to dwell on this one planet forever?

The second question is this. Do you think there's sentient life out there?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 01:39:17 pm by Animeman73 »
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Offline StarryShay

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 05:50:10 pm »
I saw two UFOs when I was younger.

Offline MiriaRose

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 10:03:24 pm »
The U.S. space shuttle program is history for now. That doesn't mean that it won't start up again in a few decades, or that other countries won't continue with their shuttle programs.

"Will mankind reach the stars, the other planets of our system, and beyond, or are we doomed to dwell on this one planet forever?"
Ideally, we could terraform Mars or Io, but that would take several generations. Other than that, unless the speed of light stops being the speed limit of the universe, no, we'll stay here forever. All life-supporting planets are too far away (as in, several million lightyears away), and the two closest ones that could potentially support life are Mars and Io, and even then, we would have to terraform them.

"The second question is this. Do you think there's sentient life out there?"
You mean, other sentient life?  ;)

Why not? There's human beings. If it happened here, why not anywhere else? There's at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, and at least 500 million of them are in the habitable zone of their star.

Humans are not special. We are a tiny blue planet. The universe does not revolve around us.

There isn't much room for discussion here, to be honest. Any other planet with life is too far away, as I said, and terraforming would be costly and take such a long time that it's unlikely to ever be tried. As for sentient life. . I can't imagine why anyone would say we're the only sentient creatures in the universe.
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Offline @random

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 04:58:34 am »
I'll defer to the opinion of Calvin and Hobbes wrt whether sentient life that has been able to observe us would want us around on their planets.. "Would you let in a puppy that wasn't potty-trained?" ;)
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Offline XxBelovedxSoubixX

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 01:20:56 pm »
We've already reached the stars.. and there is no need right now to do so again.
I don't think we're doomed by being on our planet either.
A lot of people don't make it to see other country let alone another planet. So we should be good with the space we have.

There's probably other life out there.
We'll probably never see it but I'm not arrogant enough to say our planets the only one who can support life.

Offline DancingTofu

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 03:09:45 pm »
We've found signs of very primitive (microbial) life activity on other bodies within our SOLAR SYSTEM.  I think it's just as likely that sentient life exists within our galaxy besides us as it's likely that a block of cheese will get moldy if left in the fridge for a few months.

Also, Earth may be a tiny speck in the universe, but so is our galaxy.  So is the entire observable universe.  To say that we are insignificant seems ignorant to me.  Every living being, from the smallest microbe to the greatest leaders and innovators of our society experiences unique circumstances and contributes those experiences to the collective.  I think the goal of humanity shouldn't be to physically reach other sentient life, but to share the collective uniqueness of earth with others in this galaxy who might be wondering if they are alone.  My belief is that we should be shooting signals out into space containing easily decoded encryptions of dictionaries, encyclopedias, history books, textbooks...in the great scheme of things our knowledge is our greatest asset we have to share.  We should reach out to any other possibility of sentient life, from apes to aliens, and try to share that.  Chances are that most other life that we encounter will be much simpler than us (it took hundreds of millions of years for humans to evolve into sentient beings, and tens of thousands of years for us to develop technology that makes space a reachable horizon) or vastly more advanced than us.  I theorize that we would gain a lot of insight from observing less evolved life on other planets, but it would be a mistake to try to inhabit those planets ourselves.  Look at what happened when Europeans colonized the Americas.  The Europeans brought over disease, greed, and government and succeeded in eliminating much of the rich indigenous culture that we now have very little left of to study and learn from.  Likewise, I think that a more advanced, enlightened culture that finds us would be likely to understand that, while we are less advanced, and truly barbaric still in many ways, they would stand to gain more from learning from us than abolishing us.  I believe that the reason we've been unsuccessful in finding signs of extraterrestrial sentience is largely because our society is too focused on war, conquest, and imperialization.  I would not be surprised to find out we are being studied by more advanced alien life, but my guess would be that they're uninterested in revealing themselves to such a warlike and aggressive society.
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Offline MiriaRose

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 05:07:14 pm »
We've found signs of very primitive (microbial) life activity on other bodies within our SOLAR SYSTEM.  I think it's just as likely that sentient life exists within our galaxy besides us as it's likely that a block of cheese will get moldy if left in the fridge for a few months.
Source? Not that I don't believe you, I'm just curious and want to read more.
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Offline flyinvee11

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011, 05:20:12 pm »
@Tofu:

Brilliance.

Offline XxBelovedxSoubixX

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 10:05:13 pm »
I like tofu's way of thinking on the matter.

Offline DancingTofu

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Offline Kimiski

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 05:01:15 am »
The U.S. space shuttle program is history for now. That doesn't mean that it won't start up again in a few decades, or that other countries won't continue with their shuttle programs.

"Will mankind reach the stars, the other planets of our system, and beyond, or are we doomed to dwell on this one planet forever?"
Ideally, we could terraform Mars or Io, but that would take several generations. Other than that, unless the speed of light stops being the speed limit of the universe, no, we'll stay here forever. All life-supporting planets are too far away (as in, several million lightyears away), and the two closest ones that could potentially support life are Mars and Io, and even then, we would have to terraform them.

"The second question is this. Do you think there's sentient life out there?"
You mean, other sentient life?  ;)

Why not? There's human beings. If it happened here, why not anywhere else? There's at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, and at least 500 million of them are in the habitable zone of their star.

Humans are not special. We are a tiny blue planet. The universe does not revolve around us.


You have this habit of saying everything I would, stop that so I can post. lol. But yeah I agree with everything you have said here.
There isn't much room for discussion here, to be honest. Any other planet with life is too far away, as I said, and terraforming would be costly and take such a long time that it's unlikely to ever be tried. As for sentient life. . I can't imagine why anyone would say we're the only sentient creatures in the universe.


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Offline Animeman73

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 01:43:27 pm »
Think I'm going to weigh in on this. YES I do believe there's sentient life in the Universe.

And I think either we're going to make first contact with them or they'll make first contact with us.

And believe mankind will not only reach the stars I think we're eventually going to reach the other planets of the galaxy. One thing I've learned about humanity is this where there's a will there's a way. i think our science will eventually reach the point where we can travel faster than light safely to those other planets. And that day will be glorious indeed, at least as long as they're friendly.
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Offline jaqua

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 12:46:06 am »
Quote
i think our science will eventually reach the point where we can travel faster than light safely to those other planets

As cool as this would be, I doubt it's plausible. Physics states that as an object travels faster it gains an equivalent mass, and to move a larger mass requires more energy (fuel), so really to achieve speeds of that level would require an almost infinite fuel source, which right now to most scientists is basically inconceivable. Perhaps (hopefully!) in the future we'll be able to find a fuel source that could sustain that requirement, though.

That said, I definitely think it's possible for mankind, in the future and once we've developed better technology (which is likely sooner rather than later, since technology is developing at such an extraordinary rate), to reach and even possibly colonize the other planets and moons in our solar system. It wouldn't be in any of our lifetimes and likely not our children's (or possibly even grandchildren's) lives, but at some point, definitely.

As for life on other planets, I think it's silly to think that there WOULDN'T be life on other planets. To quote Richard Dawkins:
Quote
"It has been estimated that there are between 1 billion and 30 billion planets in our galaxy, and about 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Knocking a few noughts off for reasons of ordinary prudence, a billion billion is a conservative estimate of the number of available planets in the universe. Now, suppose the origin of life, the spontaneous arising of something equivalent to DNA, really was a quite staggeringly improbable event. Suppose it was so improbable as to occur on only one in a billion planets. A grant-giving body would laugh at any chemist who admitted the the chance of his proposed research succeeding was only one in a hundred. But here we are talking about odds of one in a billion. And yet... even with such absurdly long odds, life will still have arisen on a billion planets..."
So, yes. Definitely. The odds are laughable that there isn't life out there.

And just a fun fact I stumbled upon recently: recent discoveries suggest (not prove, just suggest) that our universe is not infinite like we once believed, and that it actually has an edge-- and that on the other side of that edge is another universe. Scientists are still super divided on this and there's not a set theory on how this would work exactly, but it's really cool to think about anyway. I just wanted to share that since I thought it was pretty mind-bending to me.

Also a fun fact: hi I love science 6_9
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 02:33:32 am by jaqua »

Offline DancingTofu

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Re: Will mankind reach the stars and is there life out there?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 08:10:21 pm »
Thing about space travel is that you don't have to travel to experience relative displacement in space.  All you have to do is exert a force in one direction and you'll be propelled with an equal an opposite force in the other direction.  There's no such thing as speed in a void; it just happens that most things traveling in the same regions of space tend to be traveling in the same direction due to gravitational orbits.  SO, while it's impossible to reach an atmospheric speed equal to or greater than the speed of light with any matter, it is quite possible to approach a distant celestial body at a rate equal to or even much faster than the speed of light.  The only downside there is that you can run into some real big mapping complications when traveling that fast because a tiny rock idly floating through space could blast a huge hole in a spaceship's hull at that velocity of impact.
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