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Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

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Obi1
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Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Obi1 » August 31st, 2016, 11:29 pm

I always think intelligent life "must" exist elsewhere in the cosmos if it is true that the cosmos is infinitely large and filled with infinite matter. Assuming both are true why do I assume this? I always tell myself that all the permutations of matter and events exist somewhere out there but that can't be true. For an extreme example there can't be a world where a person wakes up every morning and does one head-stand in each room, repaints his kitchen, and buys 10 new pet dogs. I say this because it is against intelligent behavior so like we would say something is "physically impossible" that scenario would be against intelligent life-form behavior.

So why should I assume that there must be life out there if I don't really believe that every thing that can exist would exist in an infinite universe?

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Greta » September 1st, 2016, 12:28 am

Seemingly, under certain conditions, it appears that life is inevitable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElMqwgkXguw

It's true that infinite possibilities are only theoretical and the OP's examples are exceedingly unlikely to be actualised. After all, if all possibilities had occurred then possibilities would not be infinite. So there are many possible permutations, but only ever the most likely ones as shaped by time, gravity and information. That is why we exist - we are the forms in this part of space that are persistent. The less resilient entities soon disappeared.

There appears to be a hierarchy. Most energy is free floating but some is compressed into matter. Most matter is dark energy, plasma and gas, but some of it is liquid and rocky. Only a small percentage of rocks are organic molecules. Just a small proportion of organic molecules are alive. A tiny percentage of life is intelligent, and a smaller proportion again is self aware.

I'm personally leery of the chances of intelligent life evolving on a planet tidally locked in red dwarf stars' habitable zones, regularly being irradiated by the stars' frequent ejections. There may be rings of habitability on the edge of the outwards side, relatively protected from radiation but not frozen but I cannot see such zones being large enough to support the kinds of populations needed for an intelligent species to advance. It's possible that planets around these stars grow hardy unicellular life that can survive being ejected into space and seed more habitable planets orbiting main sequence stars. The usual guess is that unicellular life will be much more common than multicellular life in the universe. Each emergent step in nature results in something more rare than before.

About 2% of stars are main sequence stars like our own. Our one example and theoretical projections suggest that these are most likely to produce life on their planets. However, many of those stars won't harbour life-bearing planets. They might be in unstable binary systems, or located along the overly energetic spiral arms of a galaxy, or to close to the galactic centre, or too far in the outskirts of the galaxy which is mostly comprised of hydrogen and helium, and too low in organic molecules to get life going.

Even if intelligent life can only form around one in a million stars, that still leaves perhaps 100,000 prime candidate planets in our galaxy and 20,000 trillion prime candidates in the universe. Consider the possible events over the next 14 billion years on those trillions of planets orbiting main sequence stars under favourable circumstances. Probabilities suggest that much more rare and interesting entities than us will emerge! The alternative - an otherwise sterile universe populated only by life on Earth - would be bizarre.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Obi1 » September 7th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Thanks for the thorough reply!

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Gordon975 » October 5th, 2016, 2:00 pm

The earth was created some 4.55 billion years ago together with the rest of the solar system.

Life existed on earth at least 3.55 billion years ago as bacteria.

There has always been a debate about the emergence of life, the chemicals that are needed can be created but putting
them together in the right and a life sustainable order is an almost impossible thing to imagine happening.

The universe can be considered infinite and therefore the chemistry of life guaranteed to be created and to come
together in the right order somewhere, but, as this planet at its creation would have been an extremely inhospitable
place for the chemistry of life, even if it existed, to come together in the right order it is hard to imagine this
happening in the early period of its existence.

Life may exist throughout the universe but that does not mean that it evolved in multiple places just by chance.

Some estimates put the number of earth-sized planets in our galaxy at seventeen billion and it is believed there are
billions of galaxies and an almost limitless amount of time for the creation of life somewhere in one of the galaxies
on one of the planets.

Assuming that life is universally made of the chemicals that we have detected, it is impossible for simple life not
to evolve somewhere, given that from the laws of probability and permutation there is a virtually
infinite number of chances that it will.

There is perhaps a cycle of life that means that eventually simple life becomes self aware and able to comprehend its
environment, detect other inhabitable worlds, create the technology to escape the planet on which it evolved, and
even create the correct creatures in the form of bacteria to manage a journey of thousands of years to another place
on which it can thrive and itself potentially evolve to become self aware, and begin the cycle of life once more so
perhaps life came here from somewhere else in the universe.

All life tries to maximize its habitation of the environment in which it finds itself.

The purpose of all living things is to maximize their population using whatever environment is available. Life
forms adapt to changes in the environment and support other species of life in the quest to achieve the maximization of
the population of all living organisms.

The Human species is part of one living entity that survives on this planet, made up as it is of all the life
forms that inhabit it; each species of life relies for its survival on all others and so achieve the best outcome for
the collective existence of life.

A species such as the human one may be the mechanism that life uses to propagate itself throughout the universe; its
role is potentially to propel the basis of life from the surface of this planet to other habitable worlds where it
can thrive.

This does not mean the human species will make the journey the distances and time scales are far to great for such a
venture, it is life such as bacteria that it may be our responsibility to send to other worlds and so further
maximize the habitation by life of new environments beyond this one, life could have arrived, in our solar system from
just such a journey having been sent by other technologically evolved life forms.

Other creatures on other planets billions of years ago may have reached the same intellectual understanding of their
environment as the human species and to preserve the existence of life launched it into space and so to other
worlds, this matches the natural cycle of life, as we know it with birth and death, a planet is born, life moves to it
and creates a home and evolves to the point where it can repeat the process before the planet eventually dies.

The understanding of the environment and the technology that the human species has developed has very nearly put it
in a position to send simple life forms to other Worlds.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by LuckyR » October 5th, 2016, 10:31 pm

Obi1 wrote:I always think intelligent life "must" exist elsewhere in the cosmos if it is true that the cosmos is infinitely large and filled with infinite matter. Assuming both are true why do I assume this? I always tell myself that all the permutations of matter and events exist somewhere out there but that can't be true. For an extreme example there can't be a world where a person wakes up every morning and does one head-stand in each room, repaints his kitchen, and buys 10 new pet dogs. I say this because it is against intelligent behavior so like we would say something is "physically impossible" that scenario would be against intelligent life-form behavior.

So why should I assume that there must be life out there if I don't really believe that every thing that can exist would exist in an infinite universe?
I am no Cosmologist but I believe it is only a minority that currently believe in an infinite universe.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Present awareness » October 5th, 2016, 11:26 pm

Life is abundant throughout the universe. I can't prove that it is and you can't prove that it isn't, it's simply a matter of opinion. The universe streches out through an infinity of space. I can't prove that it does and you can't prove it doesn't. Opinions vary and always will and it makes no difference whether you feel you are of the majority or the minority.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by LuckyR » October 5th, 2016, 11:51 pm

Present awareness wrote:Life is abundant throughout the universe. I can't prove that it is and you can't prove that it isn't, it's simply a matter of opinion. The universe streches out through an infinity of space. I can't prove that it does and you can't prove it doesn't. Opinions vary and always will and it makes no difference whether you feel you are of the majority or the minority.
Actually it does. If the universe is infinite it is certain that there is other life on other planets. If the universe is not infinite (which it probably isn't) then while it is highly likely that life exists elsewhere, it is not a mathematical certainty that there is life elsewhere.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Greta » October 6th, 2016, 2:02 am

LuckyR wrote:
Present awareness wrote:Life is abundant throughout the universe. I can't prove that it is and you can't prove that it isn't, it's simply a matter of opinion. The universe streches out through an infinity of space. I can't prove that it does and you can't prove it doesn't. Opinions vary and always will and it makes no difference whether you feel you are of the majority or the minority.
Actually it does. If the universe is infinite it is certain that there is other life on other planets. If the universe is not infinite (which it probably isn't) then while it is highly likely that life exists elsewhere, it is not a mathematical certainty that there is life elsewhere.
Billions of galaxies filled with billions of stars. An estimated number of planets in the universe is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I expect there'd be a comparable number of moons. These numbers are so far beyond comprehension that they might as well be infinity for all intents or purposes.

If life isn't currently common in the universe there will probably come a time when it - or perhaps the products of life - proliferates much more than it does today. The "solution" to the Fermi paradox that says humans are the first intelligent civilisation strikes me as credible, at least based on the minuscule amount of information we've so far been able to glean about interstellar and intergalactic worlds.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Burning ghost » October 6th, 2016, 2:20 am

I would prefer "incredible" yet within the bounds of possible. For all we know we may well in all actuality be the least "intelligent" and "advanced" species on the planet. The vision and sight of the human race is, afterall, bound by itself and the bias of its own relative outlook and position.

It is not that life "must" exist elsewhere. It is just from what we know about chemistry it seems highly probable that there is life on other planets to the point where, given our current understanding, it would be extraorxdinary if there was not.
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by 1i3i6-- » November 22nd, 2016, 5:42 pm

There is nothing that establishes that life 'must' exist elsewhere.
The only thing that is established is that it is possible. Not even highly probable.
It is even held as highly improbably by many high ranking scientist.

Furthermore, the possibility/probability depends on an understanding of 'life', the conditions for life, and the universe.
That is ever changing as thus are the possibilities/probabilities.

It's an interesting pursuit nonetheless. It's not where i'd put my resources but can understand that many do.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » November 24th, 2016, 9:05 pm

Obi1 wrote:I always think intelligent life "must" exist elsewhere in the cosmos if it is true that the cosmos is infinitely large and filled with infinite matter. Assuming both are true why do I assume this? I always tell myself that all the permutations of matter and events exist somewhere out there but that can't be true. For an extreme example there can't be a world where a person wakes up every morning and does one head-stand in each room, repaints his kitchen, and buys 10 new pet dogs. I say this because it is against intelligent behavior so like we would say something is "physically impossible" that scenario would be against intelligent life-form behavior.

So why should I assume that there must be life out there if I don't really believe that every thing that can exist would exist in an infinite universe?
You make a fallacious reasoning, hence your doubts. You use a form of equivocation. Equivocation was first described by Aristotle, as a fallacy, which uses the same-sounding word with different meanings, and by equating the meanings (which ought not to be equated) states a property of one meaning, and insists that it's the property of the other meaning (which it is not).

You equate "can" with "can". In one sense of "can" you group things that are possible, but highly improbable; in the other sense of "can" you group things that are possible and highly probable; and then you say that the first "can" can't happen, therefore you have the right to reject all "can"s.

Well, you don't have the right to reject all "can"s. You must factor in the probability of something's ability to happen. Life is probable. Biological or other. But some activities are not likely. Like a God that tosses HIMSELF into hell to rule over all the undersorrow of the world. It is possible, but unlikely. Or a God who is omnipotent, uses his own omnipotence to reduce himself to be less omnipotent.

-- Updated November 24th, 2016, 9:13 pm to add the following --
1i3i6-- wrote:There is nothing that establishes that life 'must' exist elsewhere.
The only thing that is established is that it is possible. you forgot the notion that in an infinite universe everything that is possible has infinitely many replicas. This is a fact well-known. Not even highly probable.
It is even held as highly improbably by many high ranking scientist.Ad hominem fallacy. That's A. B. is that scientists are not ranked. And C. is that you probably can't name any high-ranking scientists anyway who claims this. So it's a false claim made by you.

Furthermore, the possibility/probability depends on an understanding of 'life', the conditions for life, and the universe. the understanding that changes is over what constitutes "life". But biological life, as found on Earth, is not in the realm of what depends on understanding.
That is ever changing as thus are the possibilities/probabilities.

It's an interesting pursuit nonetheless. what pursuit are you talking about? You are introducing a topic, pursuit, as if someone else has proposed it. It's not where i'd put my resources but can understand that many do.
Ignorance is power.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Greta » November 24th, 2016, 9:54 pm

There was a well publicised misquote of Prof Brian Cox earlier this year. I saw the documentary in question and he did not say that intelligent life could not exist elsewhere. He wondered, if life did only exist on Earth, what that would mean to us, ie. we would be unique and especially precious, and we would also wonder whether our existence was a fluke or whether we were simply just the first to make a breakthrough that's sure to be followed by many others due to probabilities and the laws of physics.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by 1i3i6-- » November 25th, 2016, 5:54 am

Renee wrote:
1i3i6-- wrote:There is nothing that establishes that life 'must' exist elsewhere.
The only thing that is established is that it is possible. you forgot the notion that in an infinite universe everything that is possible has infinitely many replicas. This is a fact well-known. Not even highly probable.
It is even held as highly improbably by many high ranking scientist.Ad hominem fallacy. That's A. B. is that scientists are not ranked. And C. is that you probably can't name any high-ranking scientists anyway who claims this. So it's a false claim made by you.

Furthermore, the possibility/probability depends on an understanding of 'life', the conditions for life, and the universe. the understanding that changes is over what constitutes "life". But biological life, as found on Earth, is not in the realm of what depends on understanding.
That is ever changing as thus are the possibilities/probabilities.

It's an interesting pursuit nonetheless. what pursuit are you talking about? You are introducing a topic, pursuit, as if someone else has proposed it. It's not where i'd put my resources but can understand that many do.
If you follow science, the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe vs not fluctuate from highly probable to highly improbable with the changes of the seasons.
It is thus possible for life to exist elsewhere but is neither highly likely or highly unlikely.
So, per the OP, life 'must' not exist elsewhere. It is only that it is possible that it does.

There's no reason to complicate this and the commentary is based on scientific revision/reinterpretation every other season of the drake equation.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Platos stepchild » November 27th, 2016, 7:46 pm

It doesn't matter whether life, or even the precursors of life are ubiquitous throughout the universe; the question of intelligent life is altogether different. Consider, for example the role played by the moon in our cultural and intellectual history. Earth's moon is the largest satellite, by far in our solar system, relative to it's host planet. This gave the moon a pivotal influence on making the Earth habitable for all life. It slowed the Earth's rotation enough for the solar day to make photosynthesis profitable.

But, the moon's effect on humanity is incalculable. It's a fortuitous accident that the sun is roughly four hundred times larger than the moon, and yet is (again, roughly) four hundred times farther away from the Earth. This accident makes solar eclipses possible, complete with an awe-inspiring corona. Consider just how many times we came close to going extinct throughout our history. Now consider just how crucial religion was to our early survival. I believe it's safe to infer that religion, bolstered by the ability to anticipate solar (as well as lunar) eclipses made a fundamental difference in keeping humanity alive.

The sun and the moon appear to be the same size. Since the lunar orbit is slightly inclined from the Earth's orbital plane, eclipses don't occur as frequently as do, say the phases of the moon. This relative infrequency made such eclipses especially portentous, because they couldn't be anticipated with the same ease as the full moon. The sun's corona could be read as an endorsement of a king. Sudden darkness in the middle of the day was frightening. By knowing when an eclipse would occur, rulers were able to coerce their subjects, and legitimize their authority, providing much needed stability.

Arguably, were it not for a solar eclipse Einstein's general theory of relativity wouldn't have been confirmed. As esoteric as the math was, the cultural importance may well have saved Europe from the grizzly aftermath of the first world war. The New York Times ran a headline, which said Light All Askew in the Heavens. People looked upward just when they most needed to be lifted upward. The heavens have always fascinated us, and at times have saved us.

We know that many living things are influenced by the cycles of the moon. And although we share in that same influence, the cultural implications of our moon have gone a long way toward making us human. It's hard to imagine our lives without the moon; but, does that mean intelligent life couldn't have evolved elsewhere in the universe, without a similar fortuitous accident? We, of course can't know that for sure. But, what we do know is just how intertwined our evolution as human beings is with our one-and-only satellite. And, that's enough to make us skeptical of too many accidents.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by 1i3i6-- » November 27th, 2016, 9:01 pm

Platos stepchild wrote:It doesn't matter whether life, or even the precursors of life are ubiquitous throughout the universe; the question of intelligent life is altogether different....
As is consciousness ...
Yet again, a very deeply insightful post Platos-stepchild.

Throughout my journey to increase my understanding in life, I have always maintained that there is a bigger and bigger picture that is more and more connected every step of the way. This guiding light has yet to fail me in my pursuits whether scientific or spiritual.

It is very hard to speak with individuals who close themselves off to this idea and limit themselves and thus their works.
Glad to see I am not alone in being able to see a grander picture amidst the science and go in pursuit of it in my works.

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