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 Post subject: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Could There be 100 Billion Potentially Habitable Planets in the Galaxy?
by NANCY ATKINSON on MARCH 15, 2013


Read more:http://www.universetoday.com/100767/could-there-be-100-billion-potentially-habitable-planets-in-the-galaxy/#ixzz2Nrdu0rhv

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A visualization of the “unseen” red dwarfs in the night sky. Credit: D. Aguilar & C. Pulliam (CfA)


As we’ve reported recently, the likelihood of findings habitable Earth-sized worlds just seems to keep getting better and better. But now the latest calculations from a new paper out this week are almost mind-bending. Using what the authors call a “very careful extrapolation” of the rate of small planets observed around M dwarf stars by the Kepler spacecraft, they estimate there could be upwards of 100 billion Earth-sized worlds in the habitable zones of M dwarf or red dwarf stars in our galaxy. And since the population of these stars themselves are estimated to be around 100 billion in the Milky Way, that’s – on average – an Earth-sized world for every red dwarf star in our galaxy.
Whoa.

And since our solar system is surrounded by red dwarfs – very cool, very dim stars not visible to the naked eye (less than a thousandth the brightness of the Sun) — these worlds could be close by, perhaps as close as 7 light-years away.
With the help of astronomer Darin Ragozzine, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida who works with the Kepler mission (see our Hangout interview with him last year), let’s take a look back at the recent findings that brought about this latest stunning projection.

Read more

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Naaah...We are all alone in the universe Steve. Didn't you get the memo?

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Takes a bit more than a habitable planet to develop life, Aros. ;)

This is pretty cool, I hope we find something.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:59 am 
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I've always thought that since we are on the outer arm of the galaxy that we would be considered the backwoods. As you got closer to the galactic hub the chances of sentient beings interacting would increase due to the relative closeness.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:14 am 
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But so would the radiation from the galactic center. Our position is actually considered the galactic version of the "Goldilocks zone"...far enough to avoid radiation,, close enough to enjoy high metallicity in our star.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:19 am 
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Interesting stuff, but I just have to laugh at the person who wrote: “very careful extrapolation” followed by "they estimate there could be upwards of 100 billion Earth-sized worlds". Don't get too specific there.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:50 am 
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MontanaHawk05 wrote:
But so would the radiation from the galactic center. Our position is actually considered the galactic version of the "Goldilocks zone"...far enough to avoid radiation,, close enough to enjoy high metallicity in our star.


I would conjecture that life could adapt to that radiation and still thrive.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Depends on the kind of radiation. I've seen articles that predict life around a red dwarf; its photosynthesis would turn leaves black to absorb the infrared light, but it could exist.

Certain kinds of radiation, though, are deadly to any kind of carbon-based life.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:23 pm 
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It's a big assumption to think life in another part of the galaxy is based on carbon, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:31 pm 
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RolandDeschain wrote:
It's a big assumption to think life in another part of the galaxy is based on carbon, though.


That's the most interesting part of the equation to me. Theoretically non-carbon based life forms are possible, but it would take a very carefully constructed balance to achieve anywhere close to what we see on Earth. Carbon is by far the preferred base for life, just based on all the surrounding and supporting chemicals and chemical constructs.

And every time I think of this, it always reminds me of the movie Evolution. Their aliens used a base one up from our construct, thus the selenium used as arsenic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Based on how many planets we've found that have life thus far, I'd say it's incredibly rare that carbon-based life forms came about in the first place. Human beings are still too egotistical to realize how unique our planet is and its rise with life was, IMO. We can't conceive of an "easy" way for there to be life based on something besides carbon, so it must be impossible or exceedingly rare. :roll:

One of the biggest, and most ignored, lessons that the history of science has taught us is that at any present time, we think we know significantly more than we actually do, and that we're always just about to turn a corner that changes a lot of things. It's ignorant and egotistical to assume everything we know right now is fact. We used to think the speed of light was a constant, did we not? It's the whole "go back and show Christopher Columbus a television, and he'll think it's witchcraft" thing. Nobody around that time would have the first clue about how a TV operated or how to make another one, or figure it out by taking that one apart.

It amazes me that ANYBODY thinks all of the things we can't explain right now, and half of the ones we THINK we can, are not in all likelihood incorrect assumptions on our part based on the limited knowledge we have right now. Wait until we've invented microscopes that are a thousand times more powerful than the best we currently have, and we'll probably discover a whole new level of sub-atomic particles or something that make up the smallest stuff we can see right now.

100 years from now, the human race will laugh at some of the ignorant stuff we believe to be fact right now, and those same people will be confident that all they know is correct, and that there is only a limited amount of information that we do not yet know at that point; and they'll be just as wrong then as we are now.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:45 pm 
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RolandDeschain wrote:
Based on how many planets we've found that have life thus far, I'd say it's incredibly rare that carbon-based life forms came about in the first place. Human beings are still too egotistical to realize how unique our planet is and its rise with life was, IMO. We can't conceive of an "easy" way for there to be life based on something besides carbon, so it must be impossible or exceedingly rare. :roll:

One of the biggest, and most ignored, lessons that the history of science has taught us is that at any present time, we think we know significantly more than we actually do, and that we're always just about to turn a corner that changes a lot of things. It's ignorant and egotistical to assume everything we know right now is fact. We used to think the speed of light was a constant, did we not? It's the whole "go back and show Christopher Columbus a television, and he'll think it's witchcraft" thing. Nobody around that time would have the first clue about how a TV operated or how to make another one, or figure it out by taking that one apart.

It amazes me that ANYBODY thinks all of the things we can't explain right now, and half of the ones we THINK we can, are not in all likelihood incorrect assumptions on our part based on the limited knowledge we have right now. Wait until we've invented microscopes that are a thousand times more powerful than the best we currently have, and we'll probably discover a whole new level of sub-atomic particles or something that make up the smallest stuff we can see right now.

100 years from now, the human race will laugh at some of the ignorant stuff we believe to be fact right now, and those same people will be confident that all they know is correct, and that there is only a limited amount of information that we do not yet know at that point; and they'll be just as wrong then as we are now.


What if you're wrong though? :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:48 pm 
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We need to find the Mass Effect relay!

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:21 pm 
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CANHawk wrote:
We need to find the Mass Effect relay!


But then we'd have to fight off those Reapers eventually, no thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:01 pm 
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The old "Could Be" is what keeps NASA taking our money! The problem is (NASA's theory) that we can see dark items that move in front of stars, but what are those items?

It could be another plant, it could be a metor, it could be a black hole, it could be god, it could be anything...but lets spend some more cash to find out....nothing


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Spokane wrote:
The old "Could Be" is what keeps NASA taking our money! The problem is (NASA's theory) that we can see dark items that move in front of stars, but what are those items?

It could be another plant, it could be a metor, it could be a black hole, it could be god, it could be anything...but lets spend some more cash to find out....nothing


It could be Brett Farve!

But we should still investigate.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:34 pm 
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OkieHawk wrote:
CANHawk wrote:
We need to find the Mass Effect relay!


But then we'd have to fight off those Reapers eventually, no thanks.


Why do we keep coming back to Firefly?

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:49 pm 
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MontanaHawk05 wrote:
OkieHawk wrote:
CANHawk wrote:
We need to find the Mass Effect relay!


But then we'd have to fight off those Reapers eventually, no thanks.


Why do we keep coming back to Firefly?


...I do hope you aren't serious about that statement Montana or you're nerd card will be revoked and no more Star Trek for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Spokane wrote:
The old "Could Be" is what keeps NASA taking our money! The problem is (NASA's theory) that we can see dark items that move in front of stars, but what are those items?

It could be another plant, it could be a metor, it could be a black hole, it could be god, it could be anything...but lets spend some more cash to find out....nothing


NASA is one of the most important things the US does and one of the only things the US gov has gotten right lately imo. There will always be a 1000 and 1 reasons to not "waste" money on space exploration. We need to spend money on war, on boosting the economy etc... But NASA is something we can always be proud of as citizens. That our gov is funding a program that is going towards humankind's curiosity and exploration of the unknown. But I guess you would rather see it turned into another dirty bomb for the middle east?


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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:09 pm 
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therealjohncarlson wrote:
Spokane wrote:
The old "Could Be" is what keeps NASA taking our money! The problem is (NASA's theory) that we can see dark items that move in front of stars, but what are those items?

It could be another plant, it could be a metor, it could be a black hole, it could be god, it could be anything...but lets spend some more cash to find out....nothing


NASA is one of the most important things the US does and one of the only things the US gov has gotten right lately imo. There will always be a 1000 and 1 reasons to not "waste" money on space exploration. We need to spend money on war, on boosting the economy etc... But NASA is something we can always be proud of as citizens. That our gov is funding a program that is going towards humankind's curiosity and exploration of the unknown. But I guess you would rather see it turned into another dirty bomb for the middle east?


Yep. NASA advances our knowledge of science. And it's a whole lot more than just finding out what's behind star number 1,000,000.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:13 pm 
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To NASA doubters, watch this video with Neil deGrasse Tyson sound clips from his speech to Congress about NASA funding: (everyone else, too)



iOS users: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... lGemHL5vLY

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Do this math... $526 billion divided by 300 million people. Would you rather have that cash back or have been told we made it to the moon?
Me too!!!

Any other claims of "NASA has helped in this or that area" will never be accompanied by the details of the invention. You are just told, Yep NASA helped with wireless radios.

Its just not enough bang for the buck!


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:27 pm 
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I vote for the moon.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Really? Give me 5 bucks and I will tell you I went to Mars and give you some questionable photos of my trip as well


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:40 pm 
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Wait-o-minute, I take it all back. I just called NASA and asked about aliens, and they said...
"Aliens do exist. They're just waiting for Chuck Norris to die before they attack"

So if you add the moons photos plus the Chuck Norris information then YES I can justify not feeding hungry children for the sake of NASA. EFFING STUPID!


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:48 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
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Peaches, I don't know what a God troll is, but I do know you are the one member I can not beat so I will not argue with you :)


Last edited by Spokane on Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
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peachesenregalia wrote:
Spokane, you are a God-troll, my friend. Thank you. I want you to post more.


Peaches, if you want some troll man-meat in your mouth, just ask him.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Roland is different, He is ok with "going insane and is ok with people dying" over a nfl trade, so be careful :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 pm 
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I mean, just look at his sig!!! He's the troll master.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:27 pm 
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peachesenregalia wrote:
I mean, just look at his sig!!! He's the troll master.

In all fairness, the sig is true! Obama spoke of a "Jew tax" and Bush flat out said He is anti Jew. Its good to know what people are thinking.

Back on topic.

We don't know if there are other planets or not due to the lack of light on the planet.


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:43 pm 
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OkieHawk wrote:
CANHawk wrote:
We need to find the Mass Effect relay!


But then we'd have to fight off those Reapers eventually, no thanks.


Ya, but think of all the blue chicks we could score with! Put me down for blue chicks! Giggity!

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:49 am 
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As a nerd i've always wished it was like Mass Effect except minus the death and wars and reapers and such... you know cause that'd suck.

Seriously though, i wish i was born later on so that i could be apart of a space exploration team. how BAD ASS would that be?!?!?

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:34 am 
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Im late getting in..havent had time for real posts..

First on the OP... this isnt the good news we'd like it to be in my opinion. First, yes, we can imagine situations where life exists on planets orbiting red dwarves..but life evolving there seems to be problematic. Red dwarves come about when a "normal" star first goes nova, then shrinks up. Because of its low energy output its "Goldilocks zone" (the zone where life could exist because there is the possibility of liquid water) is quite near the star. But when the star went Nova all the inner planets were engulfed, just like the Earth will be one day by our own sun. So.. after the star recedes into a dwarf.. you would then need a (presumably rocky) planet to move into a nearer orbit for some reason..then need it to be stable there. All the moving around..and the transfer of the planet from the outer solar system..is going to reduce the odds of other things that help life evolve, if they are not strictly necessary.

And if all THAT is in error, then in fact what this discovery may point to is not it being more likely that we are not alone, but quite the opposite. Another 100 billion potential life sheltering planets out there, and still.. despite that if intelligent life is common there must be intelligent species with billions of years of history.. we hear deafening silence. It is the one confirmed fact we know. No matter where we listen or observe, we dont find any sign of life anywhere. The Fermi paradox hangs ever heavier as we learn more and more about our own galaxy...

To address some of the comments.. its not a "huge" assumption that life elsewhere would be carbon based. The complex chemistry presumably needed for complex life needs a base that can be combined into many different compounds easily. Carbon really has no rival, though some theorize that silicon might do in a pinch.

As far as the idea that it could be "anything" that is moving in front of the stars.. that shows ignorance on several levels. First, it didnt happen that something passed in front of a star. No. Astronomers laid out a theory.. with predictions. IF a planet passed in front of a star..what would we observe? Then they go out and observe. If it matches up with predictions, then for the time being the best info we have says its a planet..and it would be based on not one observation, but a combination of things. It notably COULDNT be a meteor.. a meteor would be too small to show up. Remember too that many of these planets have been measured TWO ways as well.. by the blocking of light and by the gravitational effect it has on its planet star. If something blocks like like something planet sized would..orbits like a planet would.. has the mass of a planet .. guess what? Its a planet. Unless you have any other hypothesis that fits the data?

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:02 am 
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Couldn't agree more, Ross. The Fermi Paradox is really the main reason why I believe we are alone in the observable universe.

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I've never heard of this Fermi thing... but now that I've read about it, it makes me sad. What I chilling thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:03 am 
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Its far outside my specialty but Ive spent.. countless hours at universities I visit discussing it with different professors, and Ive read a handful of books on the paradox.. discussing solutions to the Paradox. None hold up except.. we are alone. But it doesnt make me sad.. it makes me feel..responsible. It gives me a sense of purpose, of duty. I want to do well with my life because in all of this galaxy it may be that I am part of the only life that exists, I am part of the galaxy's voice..the part of existence that can actually know there IS an existence. Its an honor..a privilege that I want to take full advantage of. I dont want to waste a single day I have of my LIFE.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:21 am 
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That's very eloquent, and well stated Veta.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:52 am 
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OkieHawk wrote:
...I do hope you aren't serious about that statement Montana or you're nerd card will be revoked and no more Star Trek for you!


Meh. There's no more Star Trek for me anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:57 am 
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But...but...you love JJ Abrams...

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Alright, after reading about the Fermi Paradox (glad to have learned about it at least) there is a slight flaw in it's assumption. This flaw is that we are applying our knowledge of human technology and trying to use it as the basis for alien technology. If there is intelligent life elsewhere, isn't there the possibility that they have a way of shielding their transmissions from us? Or, it may be something that we have heard, but didn't realize what it really was.

I realize that this is part of the counterpoint to Fermi, and one that I agree with.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Plus, isn't there evidence (a lot of evidence) that we get visitors all the time? Fermi just seems to ignore that.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:47 pm 
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It's no wonder the guy who doesn't believe the earth is spinning also thinks NASA is a waste of money. Oy.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:29 pm 
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twisted_steel2 wrote:
Plus, isn't there evidence (a lot of evidence) that we get visitors all the time? Fermi just seems to ignore that.


That depends on how loose your definition of "evidence" is.

@Okie: Most theories on this topic suffer from that. Pretty much all of them that I know of, actually. Human beings are terrible at comprehending things we don't have an existing basis of knowledge or visualization for. We can't even really comprehend what a 4th dimension would be like. 2D is flat, 3D is what we have in the real world; depth. What would a 4th dimension to reality be like? 4D is even referred to as an "abstract concept" in mathematics.

Human beings trying to comprehend what an intelligent alien race would be like is a joke. We're probably more likely to fire a dart out of a cannon and hitting that particular grain of sand on a beach 2 miles away than we are to accurately predict what an intelligent alien race would be like. We might not even be able to see them. Human eyes are poor by nature's standards, same with all our other physical senses. What if they can only be seen by infrared, or some other kind of light wavelength that the human eye can't see? We could even have this whole planet already populated by an alien race if they exist in a 4th dimension, or have technology that exists within, but separately from, our own.

There are all kinds of crazy possibilities, many of which we can't even come up with in our own heads. You want to know why I'm confident we haven't had aliens in the traditional sense on this planet as of yet? Look at how they're visually portrayed by pretty much every account, anywhere. In broad terms, they are human. They are bipeds with builds similar to human beings. They have two eyes, a nose, a similar-looking mouth, a neck much thinner than the head, similarly-shaped appendages with digits on the end also known as fingers, etc.

Aliens are just humans projecting, right now. A lot of us want to believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:34 pm 
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I also find it very egotistical to think that we are it, that there is nothing out there in an infinite universe. Maybe that's my faith to a certain extent, but I'm not going to join the Church of Scientology because of it though :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:37 pm 
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I can't speak for others, but my belief that we're probably alone in the universe as far as intelligent life goes is mainly due to how many incredible things had to happen to give rise to the evolution of man in the first place. We don't know either way, though; and I'm not a firm believer (as in, I don't think I 'know' we're alone) in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:53 pm 
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RolandDeschain wrote:
There are all kinds of crazy possibilities, many of which we can't even come up with in our own heads. You want to know why I'm confident we haven't had aliens in the traditional sense on this planet as of yet? Look at how they're visually portrayed by pretty much every account, anywhere. In broad terms, they are human. They are bipeds with builds similar to human beings. They have two eyes, a nose, a similar-looking mouth, a neck much thinner than the head, similarly-shaped appendages with digits on the end also known as fingers, etc.


Unless they are our gods. The original master race that produced half-monkey/half original alien creatures that could use half their brains and come up with rudimentary, yet complex ideas by building upon each previous generations success. :2:


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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
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RolandDeschain wrote:
I can't speak for others, but my belief that we're probably alone in the universe as far as intelligent life goes is mainly due to how many incredible things had to happen to give rise to the evolution of man in the first place. We don't know either way, though; and I'm not a firm believer (as in, I don't think I 'know' we're alone) in it.


I agree, we don't know, that's why I likened it to faith. Well, I guess it is faith really.

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 Post subject: Re: Sciency stuff-100 billion habitable planets in our galaxy?
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:58 pm 
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OkieHawk wrote:
I also find it very egotistical to think that we are it, that there is nothing out there in an infinite universe. Maybe that's my faith to a certain extent, but I'm not going to join the Church of Scientology because of it though :lol:


Off-topic

I saw they have a booth at Southcenter mall now. Doesnt say Scientology but its the whole 'free stress test' thing.

Just think, $200,000 later and you get to hear a really weird sci-fi story! :mrgreen:

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