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20,000,000,000 habitable planets in the galaxy - So where is everyone?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by NeilFawcett, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. NeilFawcett

    Capodecina

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    One in five suns has a habitable world - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24824007


    This has always confused me; Assuming life is fairly common, why is the galaxy seemingly so quiet? ie: We've not heard a peep or seen anything to suggest there's any intelligent life out there.

    Either life isn't very common, indeed are we basically alone for all intents and purposes, or is space so difficult and unfriendly to travel across and exist in, that most species just end up staying (marooned) on their original planet, stagnate, and ultimately use up all their resources.... and fall back to a non-technological level.


    Where are all the species that became spacefaring millions of years ago?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  2. Castiel

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Jun 26, 2010

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    POTENTIALLY habitable planets. Assumptions based on more assumptions.
     
  3. ubersonic

    Capodecina

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    Birmingham
     
  4. Stelly

    Don

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    Also depends on there evolution, we could be the most advanced species in the universe...

    Stelly
     
  5. edscdk

    Soldato

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    Posts: 6,665

    reading on the time span it took to get from single to multi cell life, then (possibly) how many specific things had to happen to make us smart (as in harsh environmental changes favoring inteligence) - its possible we are the highest tech life in the galaxy...

    Life is probably common, inteligent life is a different matter
     
  6. d_brennen

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    Life does not have to be intelligent in the way we think of intelligence. Being able to wonder what's out there isn't a prerequisite, bacteria have been doing just fine for billions of years
     
  7. NeilFawcett

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    Well, remember we're a few generations down star wise. ie: Our star is not a first generation star. So it's entirely possibly life arose billions of years before us on that front.

    Also remember there's been a number extinction events on earth that has slowed down (intelligent) life arising by hundreds of millions of years potentially.


    Odds are (if we assume life is common place) that many alien races arose before us, so where are they?
     
  8. JHeaton

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 19, 2009

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    Scary thought. :o

    The distances involved are quite large. Even the nearest star to us is almost five light years away and the nearest potentially habitable planet may be a great many more. Unless a civilisation has advanced to a point where they are capable of faster-than-light travel (assuming it would be possible), the chances of an encounter are practically non-existent (and even then, the universe is massive - they might have set out in a completely different direction!). You are also right in that space is a hostile environment. Unprotected, the radiation levels can be lethal. Hang around near Jupiter and you'll see what I mean. Err, well. Briefly. :)
     
  9. NeilFawcett

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    Let's reduce 1 in 5 to 1 in 500?

    200,000,000...

    Where is everyone?
     
  10. d_brennen

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    They are here, milking our benefits, stealing our womenz and taking our jaaabz
     
  11. d_brennen

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    On the contrary, extinction events create niches and favour the most resilient (and sometimes smartest) species. Humans would be nowhere to be seen if there wasn't several extinction events to clear the way for mammals etc
     
  12. NeilFawcett

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    But all it would take is say a billion years ago, a single intelligent race to arise on one of these billions of potential planets to then became a spacefaring race.

    In that time their technology would surely have reach the level that their automated craft could have traveled/colonized most of our galaxy.

    In short, why isn't there a single "bot" from any such race in your solar system?

    Why isn't there a single "light house" we can see. Why isn't there a single signal we can detect?

    It all points to the suggestion our galaxy is very empty. ie: Species are short lived and do not simply leave their home planet and continue/spread for ever more. Maybe space is just too unfriendly? Maybe resources run out, and that's it...
     
  13. Castiel

    Capo Crimine

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    You could reduce it to 1 in 10bn...but the problem remains....we are the only evidence of live in the Universe...everything else is mere speculation. We are just as likely to be the only life as to be just one of a trillion lifeforms throughout the galaxy. We might even be the very aliens we so crave to find. We might well simply not be worth the effort to talk to.....

    We could be one a billion intelligent lifeforms that evolved in our Universe, it might be as simple as we are the only current ones..we could be the last, we could be the first, we could be unique or we could be commonplace, we simply have no way of knowing at this time...therefore it is speculation based on assumptions drawn by what we have extrapolated from a single example.
     
  14. NeilFawcett

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    Maybe, maybe not... There could well have been intelligent life all the sooner had we not had some of our half dozen mass extinction events.

    But that's all besides the point... There's no reason to assume we are the first intelligent spacefaring species in the galaxy on that front. Other life/planets would easily have had that chance long before us.
     
  15. Castiel

    Capo Crimine

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    Equally there is no reason to assume we are not....we simply do not have enough information to make any authoritative assumptions about how life came about on our own planet, let alone extrapolate that to other, as yet, unexplored potentially habitable planets.

    We can speculate, dream and imagine what is out there in the great expanse of the universe...but that is all it is, currently.
     
  16. ToxicTBag

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    Care to visit Middlesbrough and repeat that with a straight face? :D
     
  17. NeilFawcett

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    I think you're prevaricating.

    We can now see most stars have planets. And many of them are in the right orbits for what we believe are conditions conducive to life.

    Now of course we are only speculating on this, but we'd be naive to believe that on hundreds of billions of planets, we are the only intelligent life to arise surely?

    Indeed, surely it must have occurred numerous times. Hence my question... If intelligent life has occurred elsewhere, where is it? Is there a reason why life isn't common place, or is there a reason why it's simply so quiet. ie: Spread too thin and simply can't see/hear each other?
     
  18. NeilFawcett

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    Again, I think it would be naive to suggest the "random" events that brought us about, are so special and unique that they couldn't occur in billions of other planets. The very fact we are here is proof it can happen... so why assume we're "that special?"

    IMHO
     
  19. Addicted

    Mobster

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    Misleading article is misleading. Or the thread, either or.

    POTENTIAL is the clue here, we've only just realised Mars has water on it, and we haven't even looked at the other 19,999,999,999 planets in any great detail whatsoever.
     
  20. Raumarik

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    I was wondering, we always assume there are other races and to many people it would make sense, but what if we're the first or one of the first and there are not "elder" races out there?

    I'm not by any means saying we're the best, most important etc. Just that just there is a chance that we have a head start or none of us has gotten to a point of inter-galactic travel yet.