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  1. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by Santti View Post
    That's... strange.

    What could theologians possibly tell, that random people from the street, can't? And what does one even do with such information? Alien life exists, but not tell anyone, because people might freak out? Alien life exists, but tell it in some religious way? Or is this just some odd way or trying to secure more funds in the future?

    I just don't understand...
    A lot of good behaviour by religious people is due to fear/love of their god. Now imagine the believe of billions of people is shook in its foundations. How many will go nutjob and start shall we say bad behaviour because why the fuck not when there is no god anymore punishing you and the hell you wanted to avoid all your life is a lie too.

    So finding a strategy how to break the news to religious people seems needed.

    Btw, I think religions will just adapt with some kind of "yeah well God is such a great guy, he made them aliens too".

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twdft View Post
    A lot of good behaviour by religious people is due to fear/love of their god. Now imagine the believe of billions of people is shook in its foundations. How many will go nutjob and start shall we say bad behaviour because why the fuck not when there is no god anymore punishing you and the hell you wanted to avoid all your life is a lie too.

    So finding a strategy how to break the news to religious people seems needed.

    Btw, I think religions will just adapt with some kind of "yeah well God is such a great guy, he made them aliens too".
    I don't think your argument is a big concern though because even in a secular society it's not in an individual's best long term interest to be immoral. A moral society will improve over the long run, an immoral one won't. No amount of religion or a lack of belief in religion can change that.

  3. #163
    Quote Originally Posted by Forogil View Post
    There are claims that it can check atmospheres of some exo-planets and possibly find that https://earthsky.org/space/james-web...-1-exoplanets/ https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45400144

    However, those are not the most likely candidates for life and they are quite close, so the likely answer is that there isn't life there - but possibly somewhere else that JWST cannot find.
    Quote Originally Posted by Julian Rayne View Post
    There are some thermodynamically unstable chemicals that would be a very strong indication of life. For example free oxygen used to be considered a marker for photosynthesis. I think that's what they mean. James Webb would be capable of analyzing the atmospheres of exoplanets through spectroscopy. So if it found some of those chemicals it would strongly increase the probability of life.

    I still thing theology has no place in science. They might as well hire psychics, anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, astrologers and homeopaths while they're at it.
    Thanks, that makes it clearer. This clearly does not need theologians though, for two reasons - first, we won't know if there actually is life on planet X (read, aliens), only that planet X might actually support life and second - that theologions have no place in science, as already said. But that is such a can of shit it better should be left unoppened.
    For humorous example - an event from Latvia this year comes to mind when the official public debate about euthanasia had only 2 doctors but 4 priests. Make of it what you will.
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  4. #164
    I swear guys if you bring problems to this thread with your religious talk... just don't address that topic at all. NASA is trying to cover as many aspects as possible for the miniscule off chance that they might discover something out there. Let's leave it at that.
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  5. #165
    The team was sent home to get some rest before tensioning the sun shield. This will obviously affect the schedule going forward, but I’d rather wait a few extra days than have someone make a mistake due to being sleep deprived.

    Today also marks one full week since the observatory's long-awaited Christmas-morning launch.

    But launch wasn't the most nerve-wracking time for JWST. During its first week in space, the telescope has deployed its solar arrays, conducted two course-correcting burns, and unfolded the massive sunshield that will protect sensitive instruments from the sun. The full deployment process requires one month and more than 300 points where a wrong step will doom the observatory.

    The next step in that marathon is to separate the five membranes of the sunshield in a process that NASA calls "tensioning" and that is expected to take two days. Originally expected to begin today and conclude tomorrow, it will now begin tomorrow and conclude Monday (Jan. 3), if all goes smoothly.
    https://www.space.com/james-webb-spa...nsioning-pause

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    I swear guys if you bring problems to this thread with your religious talk... just don't address that topic at all. NASA is trying to cover as many aspects as possible for the miniscule off chance that they might discover something out there. Let's leave it at that.
    Yeah true, in my experience it's always best to frame that topic in terms of the 'supernatural' instead of religion. That's one way to talk about the same topic without it being against the rules and without being offensive.

    Also as far as aliens go one reason why aliens cannot be inherently incomprehensible to human beings is because their bodies and minds must operate based on the exact same laws of physics that control homo-sapiens. Thinking that advanced aliens can't be understood by humans and vice versa must be wrong because it implies there is something supernatural about them that can't be explained.

    Oh and does anyone know how many species of life on Earth can survive in a (near) zero gravity environment like outer space without it interrupting their biological processes? I wonder if it's like 99% or 60%, or if it were a minority of species that can survive in space then homo-sapiens got slightly lucky with our biology.
    Last edited by PC2; 2022-01-02 at 04:24 PM.

  7. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    Yeah true, in my experience it's always best to frame that topic in terms of the 'supernatural' instead of religion. That's one way to talk about the same topic without it being against the rules and without being offensive.

    Also as far as aliens go one reason why aliens cannot be inherently incomprehensible to human beings is because their bodies and minds must operate based on the exact same law of physics that control homo-sapiens. Thinking that aliens can't be understood by humans and vice versa must be wrong because it implies there is something supernatural about them that can't be explained.

    Oh and does anyone know how many species of life on Earth can survive in a (near) zero gravity environment like outer space without it interrupting their biological processes? I wonder if it's like 99% or 60%, or if it were a minority of species that can survive in space then homo-sapiens got slightly lucky with our biology.
    We cannot really survive in space though. Reproduction in space is most likely not possible, or at least severely impacted, and we have to wear suits so that we don't boil and freeze at the same time when exposed to outer space directly.

    But you're right when you say that the same laws of physics apply to us and them.

    However, think of it as you trying to commnunicate with a shark. You know the shark can feel blood from miles away. A shark would still be forever unable to explain to you how he does it.

    Maybe if the alien race was advanced enough to establish a common communication with us and we're not talking about only an animal-type alien, then we could better understand each other. The problem is still the old saying, that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Though my hopes are slim anyway. Whatever Webb finds, it will be millions opon millions of years old. If there WAS some signature of life out there, there is no way to bring forth definitive proof that there is still something out there.
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  8. #168
    Quote Originally Posted by Keten View Post
    Look at you guys, talking about aliens If Webb does happen to find signs of life on an exoplanet, it will almost assuredly be nothing more than plant life, much more likely to be microbial even. That's a much more realistic conversation to be having than talking about how the little green men operate. Talking about aliens just makes scientists look like kooks.
    What are you talking about? In the absence of data, any assertion is equally valid. It could be microbes, it could be flying alien insectoids, it could be a mind hive of sentient Borgs.

    All equally possible because our only reference point is earth and life here.

    Are we kooks for accepting that we exist?

    We won't really answer the question how it looks like anytime in the foreseeable future unless we find it within our own solar system.
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  9. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Keten View Post
    But we do have data, as your second paragraph even asserts. We know that complex life on Earth is a fairly recent development, when compared to the timespan of the existence of life in general. Intelligent life has existed for an even tinier fraction of the span of life on this planet.

    Life first formed on Earth about 4 billion years ago, complex life about 570 million, plants about 470 million years, trees about 400 million, intelligent Humans about 2.4 million. In the history of life on Earth, intelligence of some sort has existed for about 0.05% of that time.

    Or I could just save myself time and reference the Drake Equation.

    And, yes, talking about aliens in regards to scientific experiments makes science look stupid. Even more stupid than inviting theologians to contribute in some fashion. If people want to talk about aliens they should make a thread about aliens, not crap up a thread about real science and space exploration with LGM nonsense.
    But you have nothing to compare it to.

    You have a data quantity of 1 only. You need a minimum of 2 to make any kind of statement about rarity. Life could be abundand or ultra rare. We don't know with just US as point of reference
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  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    The team was sent home to get some rest before tensioning the sun shield. This will obviously affect the schedule going forward, but I’d rather wait a few extra days than have someone make a mistake due to being sleep deprived.
    Today also marks one full week since the observatory's long-awaited Christmas-morning launch.

    But launch wasn't the most nerve-wracking time for JWST. During its first week in space, the telescope has deployed its solar arrays, conducted two course-correcting burns, and unfolded the massive sunshield that will protect sensitive instruments from the sun. The full deployment process requires one month and more than 300 points where a wrong step will doom the observatory.

    The next step in that marathon is to separate the five membranes of the sunshield in a process that NASA calls "tensioning" and that is expected to take two days. Originally expected to begin today and conclude tomorrow, it will now begin tomorrow and conclude Monday (Jan. 3), if all goes smoothly.
    https://www.space.com/james-webb-spa...nsioning-pause
    Definitely better to take some time and make sure it's done right than risk a mistake.

  11. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    What are you talking about? In the absence of data, any assertion is equally valid. It could be microbes, it could be flying alien insectoids, it could be a mind hive of sentient Borgs.
    These are not equally likely. It's like saying that the lottery ticket could be a dud or the million-dollar-price, so both outcomes are equally likely.

    A mind hive of sentient Borgs would likely have colonized Earth by this time - as Trappist-1 is so close.

    There are also a number of issues that make it seem as if Trappist-1 planets are less hospitable to life than Earth; dimmer sun and they are likely tidally locked. The only thing it has going for it is that it is a lot older, but there seems to be millions of more likely candidates for intelligent life.

    It's like the story of the drunkard looking under the street-light for his keys, even though the keys were dropped two blocks away, since it's easier to look there. It's the same with looking for life at Trappist-1.

  12. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by Forogil View Post
    It's like saying that the lottery ticket could be a dud or the million-dollar-price, so both outcomes are equally likely.
    No. That's apples and oranges. With a lottery ticket you know exactly what the odds are, because there are no unknowns.
    Well, other than the next jackpot numbers

    A mind hive of sentient Borgs would likely have colonized Earth by this time - as Trappist-1 is so close.
    That's assuming FTL travel is possible at all. Trappist-1 is 40 light years away and if it has sentient life, nobody knows whether they are technologically advanced, or if they are, whether they are THAT advanced. At least we have not received any radio signals from there.

    The Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, can reach a max speed in its second stage of 28,968 kph. Or ~8047 m/s
    That's 0.00268419027% the speed of light. I'm not going to math it all out, but that would roughly still take about 800k years to reach Trappist-1.

    But you know... the universe is billions upon billions times larger than just that. So if there's nothing there, who is to say that there isn't one around the other corner? Or on the other side of the universe. Point being - we cannot know and we can't make any predictions, so why not treat it as a serious possibility whenever we look out into space?

    It's like the story of the drunkard looking under the street-light for his keys, even though the keys were dropped two blocks away, since it's easier to look there. It's the same with looking for life at Trappist-1.
    Well, Webb will be looking at the first 2% of the existence of the universe. It will see so far out there, that Trappist-1 won't be the only interesting target.


    People thought Hubble was cool. But then it produced the ultra deep field image and everyone lost their freaking mind. Webb will dwarf that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Keten View Post
    First, "Likelihood of life" is not what you quoted nor asserted. We were talking about the complexity of life if found (whether microbial, plant, complex), not if it would be found at all. Otherwise, your comment about microbes, insectoids, or Borg makes no sense.

    So now that you've shifted the conversation topic, I did also address what I'm quoting here by referencing the Drake Equation, which takes into account the likelihood of life at all and recognizes that we don't have data to firmly address that at this time because, as you say, we only have the one example.

    I hope for your next response you stick to a topic and actually speak about what you're quoting rather than jump around.

    Maybe try following the conversation then? Without knowing how easy it is to actually form "life", nobody can say that microbes or plants are more likely than apes and other sentient life.

    It doesn't matter if intelligence on earth only exists for 0.05% of life's exstence on this planet, because you have nothing to compare it to.

    Maybe we're just plain unlucky, and elsewhere it takes only a couple of hundred years to get to our stage. Or maybe it's the opposite and we managed to advance faster than any other lifeform in the universe.

    Both scenarios can be equally the case because of the absence of enough data.

    The Drake Equasion is nothing more than intelectual masturbation anyway. It even says in your linked article

    Criticism related to the Drake equation focuses not on the equation itself, but on the fact that the estimated values for several of its factors are highly conjectural, the combined multiplicative effect being that the uncertainty associated with any derived value is so large that the equation cannot be used to draw firm conclusions.


    So I don't really know why you would bring it up in a conversation at all.
    Last edited by Tsarez; 2022-01-02 at 09:14 PM.
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  13. #173
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    No. That's apples and oranges. With a lottery ticket you know exactly what the odds are, because there are no unknowns.
    True it's similar to that situation, as apples and oranges are both fruits and of fairly similar size.
    Scott Sandford at NASA Ames has written the seminal paper on that. (true story.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    That's assuming FTL travel is possible at all. Trappist-1 is 40 light years away and if it has sentient life, nobody knows whether they are technologically advanced, or if they are, whether they are THAT advanced. At least we have not received any radio signals from there.
    No, that's without assuming FTL travel - but assuming that they are very technologically advanced, as a Borg collective is by definition. So you are just arguing against your idea that I dismissed.

    And the non-detection of radio signals is fairly meaningless standard - as our own radio signals aren't really detectable with our current technology from even the nearest star (well, obviously excluding our sun).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    The Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, can reach a max speed in its second stage of 28,968 kph. Or ~8047 m/s
    That's 0.00268419027% the speed of light. I'm not going to math it all out, but that would roughly still take about 800k years to reach Trappist-1.
    Yes, a fairly short time - less than a million years, compared with several billion years that we have had life on earth; and Trappist-1 billion of years older.

    So, assuming there's intelligent life it's very unlikely that it developed during just the last million years also on Trappist-1 among the several billion years.
    Obviously they might have blown themselves up - but then there are no longer there, and even the bio-markers might be gone.

    However, realistically: Voyager 2 from the 1970s will soon be flying away at 40km/s (it's still accelerating). At that speed it would take 300k years.
    And there are scientists working on 'Breakthrough Starshot' that will accelerate probes to 0.15c to 0.2c; so reaching Trappist-1 in mere centuries - we could do that for a mere couple of billion dollars, so I'm sure the Borgs could as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarez View Post
    But you know... the universe is billions upon billions times larger than just that. So if there's nothing there, who is to say that there isn't one around the other corner? Or on the other side of the universe. Point being - we cannot know and we can't make any predictions, so why not treat it as a serious possibility whenever we look out into space?
    We cannot know, but my point is that there are several reasons why it's unlikely that Trappist-1 is the best place to look for it.
    Those are the kind of predictions we can do; and scientist need to do that in order to figure out where to look.

    If they observe something they also need to predict what could create that observation, as bio-marker depend on prediction what chemistry life would generate. Consider all the excitement about 'phosphine on Venus' - turns out that it was likely Sulfor-dioxide - https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.09837 - and that was on a nearby planet that has been studied for some time. The unknowns and risks for confusion on Trappist-1 are even larger.

  14. #174
    Quote Originally Posted by Keten View Post
    Look at you guys, talking about aliens If Webb does happen to find signs of life on an exoplanet, it will almost assuredly be nothing more than plant life, much more likely to be microbial even. That's a much more realistic conversation to be having than talking about how the little green men operate. Talking about aliens just makes scientists look like kooks.
    You honestly think we’re the only intelligent life in our galaxy… the universe? I’d say denying that is what makes you look like a "kook".
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  15. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Blossom View Post
    You honestly think we’re the only intelligent life in our galaxy… the universe? I’d say denying that is what makes you look like a "kook".
    There are two very different topics that should be untangled: life in the universe in general, and life in the universe detectable by JWST.

    You can think that there's intelligent life in the universe, but that JWST has little chance of detecting it. That doesn't dismiss JWST as meaningless, as it's mainly intended for other astronomical observations.

  16. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Blossom View Post
    You honestly think we’re the only intelligent life in our galaxy… the universe? I’d say denying that is what makes you look like a "kook".
    I don't know because scientists haven't figured out the sequence of physical transformations that lead up to the first replicator. Until they know more about the requirements to get to any form of life there is virtually no way of knowing the truth or the probability.

    In any case advanced aliens won't be evil because there is no reason to be evil. There's basically an infinite amount of potential resources for every entity in the universe so it doesn't actually make sense that anyone needs to wipe out anyone else in order to ensure their own survival and prosperity.
    Last edited by PC2; 2022-01-03 at 12:33 AM.

  17. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    I don't know because scientists haven't figured out the sequence of physical transformations that lead up to the first replicator. Until they know more about the required transformations to get to any form of life there is virtually no way of knowing the truth or the probability.
    In any case advanced aliens won't be evil because there is no reason to be evil. There's basically an infinite amount of potential resources for every entity in the universe so it doesn't actually make sense that anyone needs to wipe out anyone else in order to ensure their own safety and prosperity.
    You sound just as ridiculous as you typically do when talking of things you know nothing about.
    Humans are just as likely to be livestock as annoying obstacles in the way.

  18. #178
    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Blossom View Post
    You honestly think we’re the only intelligent life in our galaxy… the universe? I’d say denying that is what makes you look like a "kook".
    I’d say attempting to make a definitive statement either way makes one look silly.

  19. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowferal View Post
    Humans are just as likely to be livestock as annoying obstacles in the way.
    Not really because the way people are thinking about advanced aliens doesn't make a lot of sense. If they are truly "advanced" then why would they be blind to humanity's existence on Earth and its plight? Also why are we calling them "advanced" if they are racist against humanity and would want to murder us all? They sound ignorant to me.

    People just enjoy being paranoid and pessimistic and they like to think they are good but "the others" out there must be evil. It's not very rational.
    Last edited by PC2; 2022-01-03 at 01:53 AM.

  20. #180
    Scientifically speaking, how much of biochemistry is responsible for human emotion?

    That's a test question btw...

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