General Question

aaronb's avatar

Are we alone?

Asked by aaronb (21points) October 2nd, 2008

I just watched a TED talk by Stephen Hawkins asking just this question… My own personal belief is that we’re only alone until we meet.

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22 Answers

osullivanbr's avatar

I agree with the we’re only alone until we meet thought. There is no way that we can be the only form of civilisation in existence. Like Stephen said in that talk though, they are very very far away.

The end of that talk about “Will we Survive?” was a bit scary don’t you think?

cheebdragon's avatar

We are not alone, we have Bruce Springsteen.

JackAdams's avatar

Essentially, I agree that, “we’re only alone until we meet.” I could not have said that better.

In the movie Contact, Ted Arroway tells his young/curious daughter, “If we’re the only intelligent life in the Universe, then it sure is an incredible waste of space.” [paraphrased]

Lucasian Professor Stephen Hawking, whom I admire and respect, disagree on some salient points. I have read much of what he has written during his illustrious career, and I certainly respect his opinions and beliefs, but in some cases, I respectfully think that some of his more controversial remarks are based on his own lack of belief in the existence of a so-called “Creator” or, if you will, “Master Architect of the Universe.”

He is an avowed atheist, and I think that taints some of his statesments, regarding the existence of both the Universe, and the evolution of life within the known Universe.

For example, the link in the question to the talk he gave, has him saying, “The Universe can spontaneously create itself out of nothing.” [verbatim quote]

I disagree with that conclusion, based on the philosophy espoused by so-called Creationists, who claim that, quote, “The banana did not self-create!” I agree with that statement, in that something that doesn’t exist, can’t “make” itself suddenly come into existence. To do so, would be to imply that before the banana became a physical object, it was existing as some sort of spiritual intellect, and suddenly decided, “I will now become physical matter.” I don’t think so!

Likewise, the good professor claimed in his talk that, “We believe that life arose spontaneously on the Earth.” [verbatim quote]

I guess he has a mouse in his pocket, because of his use of the word “we,” unless he was referring to three entities: “me, myself and I.”

But, at least he used the word “believe,” so it didn’t sound as though he was stating a scientific fact.

Nothing can exist without being created, using the broadest-possible definition of that word, and everything that currently exists, had to have had a “start,” or “beginning,” IMHO. And, by saying that, I have to acknowledge that Gawd must have had a “beginning,” also, or He could not exist in “the here and now.”

It also begs the question, “If God had a ‘start’ or ‘beginning,’ then who or what created Gawd?”

One thing Professor Hawking stated, with which I concur, is that “Civilizations don’t last very long, but destroy themselves.”

It is the nature of sentient beings, I guess, to eventually allow themselves to envision themselves as Gods of some kind, based on their scientific accomplishments, and once they have elevated themselves to that level, they must eliminate all whom they consider to be their “inferiors.”

Enemy invaders for another planet will not have to do anything at all, to conquer our planet. They will just have to sit back and wait for us to cause our own extinction, as a species.

loser's avatar

We’re not alone. We have Xena, the warrior princess!

basp's avatar

I have always suspected we are really just the science experiment of a highschool aged being.

fireside's avatar

LOL – Look mom, I grew something on my planet!!!

delirium's avatar

Its statistically improbable that we’re alone.

aaronb's avatar

Some would argue that it’s statistically improbable that we’re here at all.

GAMBIT's avatar

We are alone with our thoughts.

delirium's avatar

Nah, not really.
Drake equation much?

Carl Sagan said: “For most of human history we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Who are we? What are we? We find that we inhabit an insignificant planet of a hum-drum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. This perspective is a courageous continuation of our penchant for constructing and testing mental models of the skies; the Sun as a red-hot stone, the stars as a celestial flame, the Galaxy as the backbone of night. ”

Someone wins the lottery. Its unlikely, but it happens.

fireside's avatar

I read somewhere recently that there are an estimated 10 intelligent civilizations in the universe. Can’t find it now, but may look again later.

delirium's avatar

Fireside: Are you sure you’re not talking about the drake equation?

fireside's avatar

@ delirium – You’re so smart

Considerable disagreement on the values of most of these parameters exists, but the values used by Drake and his colleagues in 1961 were:

* R* = 10/year (10 stars formed per year, on the average over the life of the galaxy)
* fp = 0.5 (half of all stars formed will have planets)
* ne = 2 (2 planets per star will be able to develop life)
* fl = 1 (100% of the planets will develop life)
* fi = 0.01 (1% of which will be intelligent life)
* fc = 0.01 (1% of which will be able to communicate)
* L = 10,000 years (which will last 10,000 years)

Drake’s values give N = 10 × 0.5 × 2 × 1 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10,000 = 10

delirium's avatar

Flattery will get you everywhere, fireside. ;)

goldie008's avatar

Re. Jack Adams says -

< I have to acknowledge that Gawd must have had a “beginning,” also, or He could not exist in “the here and now.”>

(my reply):

Not correct. God is not a separate being Who lives apart from His Creation, that is the error in thinking. God – or Divine Being, or Infinite Presence, or Universal Intelligence – is all-Power, all-Wisdom and Love, and is present everywhere. There is nowhere where the Infinite Presence is not. The Universal Intelligence is in all things and there is no outside IT, “we live and move and have our being in Him,” i.e. GOD IS ALL THERE IS. You need to understand what God refers to in order to have a clearer understanding.

* * *

< It is the nature of sentient beings, I guess, to eventually allow themselves to envision themselves as Gods of some kind, based on their scientific accomplishments, and once they have elevated themselves to that level, they must eliminate all whom they consider to be their “inferiors.” >
(my reply):

Incorrect on several points. The Bible says: “Ye are Gods” (Psalm 82, v.6; and John 10, v.34). In order to better understand this statement you need to go back to the beginning: “God created man is His image and likeness” and this does not mean simply a physical form. It is the Universal Consciousness, or Cosmic Consciousness, which has been indivualized in mankind and is known as “the Christ Mind.” There are many words in many languages to describe this, so words are not so important but the concept is.

Our very centre of “being” is this mysterious “awareness of self” which no one can explain, yet IT IS! In the human form the “pure consciousness” has been covered up by denser layers, of mind, of emotion, of physical matter. It is like the pure white light which has been reduced to various colours being emanated from it, a prism, yet the colours can still dissolve into the white light, its source.

Knowedge is of the mind, Wisdom is of the Spirit. Intellectual advancement based solely on science omits the necessity of development of soul qualities as well. Intellect will build you a house but it is love (soul) that makes it a home. Being out of balance by relying on Intellect will lead to misunderstanding of one’s place in the universe, hence the “self” aggrandizement found in those who think but do not open the heart to the higher influences. Well enough for this time.

fireside's avatar

Sounds like the God of Spinoza
Einstein liked that theory also.

Welcome, by the way

lapilofu's avatar

@delirium: My impression of the Drake equation was that we don’t yet know all the variables and can’t actually comment yet on the statistical probability that there is other intelligent life in the universe. Am I mistaken?

girlofscience's avatar

The Drake equation estimates 10 other civilizations. I already talked about this on another thread and got into an argument with some idiot.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’m never alone, for I have the voices in my head to keep me company. :-)

jvgr's avatar

In the end, we’re always alone.

girlofscience's avatar

Live together, die alone.

lapilofu's avatar

Every living creature on earth dies alone.

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