General Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are we really the only ones in all the galaxies?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21354 points ) December 19th, 2009

Whether or not what people see in the sky are from another planet or secret government aircraft we are not the only people in the universe (or beyond it). Look at the mathematics, for as long as the universe is suppose to be here along with the number of stars it is impossible for live not to have happened on another planet. Taking the thought eons ago some primordial ooze was in the right place at the right time when a bolt of lightning zapped life into it. If it could happen here, then it could have happened out there. To believe it could only have happened here would be as if 5 states got together to create a powerball lotto and after one person won it, it would roll over perpetually with out ever having another winner. But that never happens, someone always win again. How could it be that being a numbers game or randomization of events that it could happen once and never repeat itself please you science, logic, math etc, to support the argument? To believe mankind is the only sentient beings in all the galaxies would not be rather arrogant?

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46 Answers

Xann009's avatar

Statistically? ... Probably not.

Polly_Math's avatar

Can’t say without proof, but it does seems likely. I want to believe it. Then again, it may be wishful thinking. It’s all speculation at this point.

jackm's avatar

You want math that supports we are the only intelligent life?

There are a little over 100 billions galaxies in the universe. What if life has a less than 1 in 100 billion chance of evolving intelligently?

You say it seems crazy knowing the size of our universe that life wouldn’t have evolved elsewhere, but you have no idea what the probabilities of life evolving is. No one does. We don’t even know how it happened.

Now I am not trying to prove we are the only ones here mathematically, I am simply saying that we can’t discuss it mathematically until we know the probability of the events we are discussing.

Xann009's avatar

Well, in my case, I’m not assuming they’re intelligent…

jackm's avatar

@Xann009
Ok, even if they are not intelligent, we don’t know the probability of life evolving at all.

_Jade_'s avatar

There is no way for me to know, but I seriously doubt it. If there are other life forms they may be very different from us, though. And I agree, thinking that we are the only occupants of the billions (?) of galaxies is, to say the least, a bit arrogant. But…who knows for sure? :-)

Xann009's avatar

Maybe not, but I’m going to remain glass half full.

jackm's avatar

@Jade
How is it arrogant?

gemiwing's avatar

Part of me hopes no, while part of me hopes yes. We can’t know for sure-yet.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Xann009 Why would some not have intelligence? If their live cycle started 700 billion years before us they would surely have grown pass the 20 cell organism stage.

jackm's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
What facts are you basing that off of? We have no idea what factors went into our development of intelligent life.

_Jade_'s avatar

@jackm: It’s just my opinion…but to think that we are the only ones in all the vastness of space, seems to me to be overstating our importance a bit. Others who disagree make some good points, but I just happen to think that MAYBE we are not alone. Either way..there is no proof one way or another. (But maybe I have simply watched too many Star Trek episodes..lol) ;-)

Xann009's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well, I am of the belief tha the universe isn’t even close to that old. I’m not looking to get into an argument about the age of the universe. However, I could ask you the exact opposite. Why would all potential life in the universe have to be complex and intellegent? If you buy into it, life on earth was once unintellegent (by our standards.)

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

Let me try to explain something before concluding on an answer.Looking at the size of the sun and the amount of heat and light it radiates,earth’s distance from it is the most appropriate for sustenance of life.The distance and the intensity of light as well as temperature has made it possible for the atmosphere to be the way it is and life to originate as unicellular beings.The changes that took place that resulted in unicellular development, needed energy and as we all know, Sun is the source of all energy on earth,so it’s the Sun that made it possible.The zone that earth is in,is called the life sustaining zone.Just a few miles the nearer to the sun or far away from it could turn it into an arid desert or bring about another ice age.The distance earth is poised in the solar system from the sun, results in keeping earth at the optimum temperature for the vast diversity of flora and fauna to flourish on it’s surface,atmosphere and in waterbodies.So,it’s the distance from the sun that makes the blue planet a distinguished one in our tiny solar system(as compared to the entire universe).
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Many things are hidden and still not explored, but a common logic that we can apply is,if earth is at a distance from the Sun that makes life possible,why not another planet at a distance that receives the same amount of light,energy and temperature from a sun in this vast universe?There might be many such planets and people might be there who would be more advanced or still in the early phases.One thing we shouldn’t look over is, the conditions prevailing(atmosphere,soil type,terrain,waterbodies or any other liquid bodies) over there and the way the surrounding is.If the planet has some unknown elements and if life originated from something other than carbon,hydrogen and oxygen,they won’t look similar to us and they might not think the way as we all do on earth.
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Reaching out them is not an easy task as, light takes 4 years to reach the nearest star from earth.Hence,it’s hard at present,but you may never know if they reach us first or sometime in future we expect to reach them out.Whatever may be the outcome,but it might not take a course that’s being shown in Alien and Sci-fi movies.We are humans and we have human perceptions that they might attack us or would like to rule us,but who knows what their plans might be.If we consider people like us in physical sense,they might not think the way we do due to difference in culture and civilization norms that grew on the basis of love and not war or hatred or desire to dominate.All this might sound a bit crazy at the moment, but when this is gonna happen,it would make proper sense, just like the “Apple falling from the tree”, did after so many years.
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Thanks
ETW
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Roby's avatar

Then call me arrogant…they are nothing out there.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The statistical analysis that Carl Sagan did about 30 years ago shows that we are in all probability not alone. With the distances even within our galaxy being so great we may not be able to contact them. SETI is the best hope we have now of finding out.

YoKoolAid's avatar

I think we all can agree that no one can know right now because there is no proof. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

the100thmonkey's avatar

The goldilocks zone assumes something similar to the anthropic principle – a geocentric principle, if you will. We have no idea if life even exists elsewhere in the universe, or what substance it uses as a solvent.

Any statistical analyses – like The Drake Equation are fundamentally flawed as they must make several assumptions.

We simply don’t have enough evidence.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Yes. Unless you have met space aliens.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Nope.My mother-in-law is out there.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@the100thmonkey Correct, we don’t even know exactly what we are looking for. Silicon-based, Calcium-based, Chlorine or methane breathing. We cannot allow ourselves to narrow our search with terran analogues. The statistical speculations of Drake, Sagan et al are based heavily on assumptions but their purpose is to show possibilities to the layman. To explain that the search is worthwhile.

asmonet's avatar

You answered yourself in the first sentence of your details, you made your own question not ‘are we alone’ but rather ‘you agree with me, right?’ Pointless.

asmonet's avatar

@Roby: How can you possibly say that with any level of certainty?

Christian95's avatar

do worms live in Australia?
Yes
do you have direct proof?
NO
Do you have an indirect proof?
YES

This is the exact situation with extraterrestrial life.We don’t have a direct proof but we have indirect proofs(maths,physics etc).
If we don’t have a direct proof does it mean life doesn’t exist anywhere else?
NO
I think we should believe in our intelligence and common sense and agree that we aren’t alone in the universe.
In the tribal state of human kind every human thought that his tribe is the only one.And where are we now? billions of humans on Earth.How can you say that in 2000 years(for example)we won’t be a part of a grander society?

ragingloli's avatar

It doesn’t even have to be carbon based.

Sandydog's avatar

When I look at M42 through a telescope, I find it very difficult to believe that we’re “alone”
The sheer size of the universe boggles the mind – does it even have an ending?
We can neither say with certainty that we are unique, or that we’re not, but the odds to me are against us being by ourselves

dpworkin's avatar

@engineeristerminatorisWOLV We used to know that the sun’s energy is the source of all life, until we started exploring the deep oceans and came upon different life forms that never have the benefit of sunlight.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@pdworkin Yes, around the heat vents. They seem to use sulfur compounds in interesting ways, too.

antimatter's avatar

Was God or something else so stupid to create only one world with life on it?
Or was all the matter and antimatter in the universe only created for on earth like world?
Was evolution only restricted to Earth?
If you are naive to answer yes to one of these questions than I think you can be naive to say that the world is flat. There are billions of stars and planets and it would be a lot of waste if we were alone! I think we should think logic here, life could have been created by chance or it could have been created with purpose we will not have the answers but what is important is that we should learn to stop to be naive to think that we are alone. I think there is a good chance that we are not alone. The question still remains how will we interact with other beings when we meet them? Are ready for that? Look at the South African film District 9 is that how we will treat aliens it they crash landed on earth? Or will we live in harmony with aliens like in the Star Trek and Star Wars films?
I stick to my guns we are not alone

galileogirl's avatar

The only one whats?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@antimatter I believe if any sentient life out there knew of us and even visited here to observe the way out naturalist do Silverback apes, etc in the wild, they would keep looking. I do not believe they would attempt to make contact no matter what great mysteries they had to share. They would more than likely understand our mentality (or immaturity) and figure unless they could speak a language from here, governments (most likely the US leading the charge) would try to blast them from the sky; shoot 1st investigate later. We would be so sure the visitors was of the “enslave or eliminate humans” variety they would not get close without getting fired upon.

jackm's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
Why do you say the US would ‘blast them from the sky?’
You have absolutely no reason to believe that.

ragingloli's avatar

@jackm
That is what they did at the Battle of Los Angeles when they sighted a UFO in the sky: cover the skies with FLAK fire. But to be fair, that was during WW2.

jackm's avatar

@ragingloli
They thought it was another Japanese attack.

ragingloli's avatar

@jackm
Well, whatever they thought it was, they did not know what it was (and they still have no idea today, btw), so this is a case of ‘shoot first ask questions later’.
Whether they would react similarly today probably depends on the circumstances and most likely would require an already ongoing war.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

@pdworkin :You are absolutely right, but the way the oceans are,is due to sun’s energy no matter if light travels to that point or not.Heat always travels to the bottom of the ocean and even to the bottom of Mariana Trench by covection though,in very little amout .Though, they are not dependent directly on sun’s light,they are dependent on it’s heat as sun keeps the ocean warm enough for the creatures to live at that depth.That amount of energy is still good enough to sustain life in that depth.Those creatures have adapted themselves to that sort of environment where they won’t need much of energy from sun, but they still do need some portion of it.
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Coming to the surface of earth, the 10% law is what defines the energy flow.The amount of energy sun radiates,plants gets 10% of it to do systain themselves.The animals feeding on plant get 10% of the plant’s energy and those feeding on the animals get only 10% of animal’s energy.
If we start with 10,000 calories,the plant get a 1,000,herbivours get 100 from plants and carnivors get only 10 from the herbivors.The scavengers who feed on carnivours get 1 calorie only.
Hence in someway or other,we are dependent on the sun for sustainence.Either due to temperature and heat,or due to it’s energy passed through food chain.

ragingloli's avatar

@engineeristerminatorisWOLV
most of the energy in the deep comes from underwater volcanoes and geysirs, not from the sun. the area around them is also where the most life is.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

@ragingloli,:Indeed but when to talk of the ocean environment as a whole, the sustenance of life is not possible without the sun and the very origin of life on the planet is due to sun’s involvement only.That’s why we don’t expect life forms to exist on Venus or on Mars.

ragingloli's avatar

@engineeristerminatorisWOLV
actually it is. there are organisms that live deep down under the earth in rock and they literally eat rock. they are never exposed to any sunlight. and because the earth’s core is basically a huge ball of liquid metal, they have it warm down there too.
same with deep see organisms. they don’t need light to live, and the volcanic activity will keep them warm and the water liquid.

also, the jupiter moon europa is covered by a thick layer of water ice. the cracks in the surface and especially the nature of the cracks has led scientists to believe that below the ice curst there is a huge ocean of liquid water, kept liquid only by the tremendous gravitational shearing forces excerted by jupiter. and if water is liquid, there is sufficient energy to support life.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

@ragingloli : You have great points over here, and in no means I could deny the points you have put forth,but regarding jupiter and other planets,it’s most of guess work going on.There might be life or there might not be.We have no proofs.We have never done any analysis, on the surface of Jupiter.We just draw out factoids based on images sent by the rover missions and that by Hubble telescope.One day you’ll see certain things getting approved and they other day the’d be rejected.
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What I mean to say is, no one knows what reality is.The Scientists who do research on those creatures under water, are themselves not 100% sure if they were originated there or they are just upper sea creatures which went deep down to the bottom and got adapted to that environment.The blind fishes those live in the bottom of the sea,have modified eyes.They don’t need light to see objects,but when you have a close look at their eye area,you’d notice that once they had eyes and now they are covered with scales and there’s an impression of eyes beneath it.If we go by Darwin’s theory of evolution, it says, they are actually creatures of the sea which live in the phozone of the sea and might have migrated to the deep sea and have adapted themselves with natural course of evolution,but we don’t have any proofs to that and neither to the Darwin’s evolution theory which is widely contradicted.So, I think we are not yet in a position to arrive on any conclusion at the very moment.
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ragingloli's avatar

@engineeristerminatorisWOLV
i wasn’t talking about the higher lifeforms down there, but about microbes that live around the volcanoes. it is quite possible that life itself may have started around these volcanoes and from there went upwards.
If we go by Darwin’s theory of evolution, it says, they are actually creatures of the sea which live in the phozone of the sea and might have migrated to the deep sea and have adapted themselves with natural course of evolution,but we don’t have any proofs to that
Whales are actually descendants from land based mammals. They still have remnants of hind legs in their skeletal structure.

Darwin’s evolution theory which is widely contradicted.
It isn’t widely contradicted. In addition to the very extensive fossil record (with countless transitional species), Genetics supplies us with more then enough evidence to conclude the correctness of evolution,, even if no fossils ever existed. In fact, it is the best supported theory in science. We have more evidence for the correctness of evolution than for gravity.
My favourite ones are endogenous retroviruses, e.g. viral dna inserted into the host dna from past viral infections that can be found, gene for gene, on the same chromosome, at the exact same position in both humans and apes, to which the only viable conclusion is that both had a common ancestor that was infected with the virus and then passed on the viral code to both its humans and non-human ape descendence.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

Quite possible and at the same time we can’t deny that they might have possibly originated on the land and then the microbes on the shore areas were washed into the sea,adapted themselves to the sea environment and kept on moving deeper and went on down till the point of volcanoes.

Below are some links which shows that manipulations were done in order to prove the theoy right at many points.I don’t say that it’s Darwin’s theory is wrong,but we have to listen to the side who bring about loopholes in the theory.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9800E4D71E39E333A25754C2A96E9C946196D6CF

http://www.cstnews.com/Code/FaithEvl.html

http://www.conservapedia.com/Theory_of_Evolution_and_Cases_of_Fraud,_Hoaxes_and_Speculation

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jackm As to why I think the US would attack 1st then investigate later? Well, Uncle Dam never got over Pearl Harbour, and factor in 9/11, the Cold War paranoia it becomes rather easy. If any nation tried to violate US air space (as we often do their’s because they can’t stop us) they would scarcely live to tell about it, if they could not speak English or communication could not be established with them, they would be Hellfire or Sidewindered into pizza toppings.

bean's avatar

there defiantly is a high probability of life on another planet, and out of all the other galaxies that exist with in our universe, hell no we are not alone! thats what I believe… life occured on earth, defiantly could of occured in a different galaxy….we just don’t know or have any real evidence yet…

dpworkin's avatar

Gee, why all the defiance?

bean's avatar

:( typing too fast… oops

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