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Extraordinary Claims => Religion General Discussion => Topic started by: Drew_2017 on February 26, 2017, 06:54:39 PM

Title: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on February 26, 2017, 06:54:39 PM
I think this research is really exciting there is a distinct possibility we may find evidence of life elsewhere in my lifetime. On a side note, what's interesting is the confidence scientists seem to express that life will be found. They seem to assume if an exoplanet is in the 'Goldilocks' zone with earth like conditions it should result in life occurring. Is that thinking justified considering we don't actually know how life processes began?

“That doesn’t prove they're definitely capable of supporting of life,” he said. After all, one or two of the three planets could be like Venus in our solar system, which has nasty conditions. But still, three planets is better than two or one, odds-wise. “With three bites at the cherry, you have to be optimistic that there’s a good shot one of them has the potential to be Earth-like.”

He added: “As far as we know right now, I’d say there are no show-stoppers to stop life from living on these worlds.”
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on February 26, 2017, 07:44:09 PM
We already know there is water and amino acids in the nebula clouds beyond any planet.  So detecting water and amino acids in a planet spectrum won't be much of a surprise.  But if the alien life is like dinosaurs, it will be hard to detect their radio signals ;-)
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Blackleaf on February 26, 2017, 07:57:38 PM
The more we look, the more Earth-like planets we will find. I doubt that any of these three that you mention have life on them, but I'm certain that there is at least one other planet in the universe that has life on it.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Ro3bert on February 28, 2017, 06:29:03 PM
I am either mathematician nor a statistician but with billions and billions of galaxies out there I think there is almost a certainty there are many planets capable of sustaining life. If there is life on this planet then the probability that there are many more is almost a certainty. It just doesn't make sense that there wouldn't be others. The non-statistician in me can't imagine only one planet sustaining life in the whole universe.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Sorginak on February 28, 2017, 06:34:20 PM
Theistic humans are especially fond of thinking this is the only planet capable of sustaining life because they like to think they are special.  If there is life on other planets, they have to either admit that they are not special unto their god or that god does not exist. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Mr.Obvious on February 28, 2017, 06:38:21 PM
There being life out there? Highly likely.
Us finding it? Highly unlikely.

To the best of my current understanding.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on February 28, 2017, 08:02:36 PM
I am either mathematician nor a statistician but with billions and billions of galaxies out there I think there is almost a certainty there are many planets capable of sustaining life. If there is life on this planet then the probability that there are many more is almost a certainty. It just doesn't make sense that there wouldn't be others. The non-statistician in me can't imagine only one planet sustaining life in the whole universe.

I don't think we are taking into account how vexing it is to figure out exactly how life got started on earth, the only known place. If we could duplicate the process I think we'd have a better grip on the odds of it developing elsewhere. As it is now, they seem to think if a planet has water and is in the same zone as our planet life will spontaneously occur.

Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Blackleaf on February 28, 2017, 08:39:23 PM
I don't think we are taking into account how vexing it is to figure out exactly how life got started on earth, the only known place. If we could duplicate the process I think we'd have a better grip on the odds of it developing elsewhere. As it is now, they seem to think if a planet has water and is in the same zone as our planet life will spontaneously occur.

Water just means that it is possible for life to occur. Presumably (and this could turn out not to be true), life requires water to survive. And the water has to be in liquid form, not frozen as it is in many places. So if there's water on a planet, it has a better chance of having life than most of the rest of the universe.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: doorknob on February 28, 2017, 08:57:32 PM
I don't think we are taking into account how vexing it is to figure out exactly how life got started on earth, the only known place. If we could duplicate the process I think we'd have a better grip on the odds of it developing elsewhere. As it is now, they seem to think if a planet has water and is in the same zone as our planet life will spontaneously occur.

Um you may not know how life got started but science has already demonstrated how life came into existence. Just ask how single celled organism began to come to life. There are replicating molecules that started the chain into simple proteins and so on. That is no longer a mystery. well you can read the article your self right here.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16382-artificial-molecule-evolves-in-the-lab/

You can look up more one how one celled organism became multi cellular after that it should be pretty obvious how animals and insect evolved down the line. 

actually now I'm more interested I'll see you down the rabbit hole.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Blackleaf on February 28, 2017, 10:14:38 PM
Theistic humans are especially fond of thinking this is the only planet capable of sustaining life because they like to think they are special.  If there is life on other planets, they have to either admit that they are not special unto their god or that god does not exist.

If life is discovered on other planets, the theist's story will change, as it always does.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 05:10:58 AM
Theistic humans are especially fond of thinking this is the only planet capable of sustaining life because they like to think they are special.  If there is life on other planets, they have to either admit that they are not special unto their god or that god does not exist.

Humans are definitely not special.  A dolphin told me so.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on March 01, 2017, 09:52:07 AM
Um you may not know how life got started but science has already demonstrated how life came into existence. Just ask how single celled organism began to come to life. There are replicating molecules that started the chain into simple proteins and so on. That is no longer a mystery. well you can read the article your self right here.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16382-artificial-molecule-evolves-in-the-lab/

You can look up more one how one celled organism became multi cellular after that it should be pretty obvious how animals and insect evolved down the line. 

actually now I'm more interested I'll see you down the rabbit hole.

I read the article and I don't think they attempted to mimic early earth conditions to demonstrate how life came about naturally unless the early earth was capable of making test tubes.

Rather than start with RNA enzymes – ribozymes – present in other organisms, Joyce’s team created its own molecule from scratch, called R3C. It performed a single function: stitching two shorter RNA molecules together to create a clone of itself.

Further lab tinkering made this molecule better at copying itself, but this is not the same as bringing it to life. It self-replicated to a point, but eventually clogged up in shapes that could no longer sew RNA pieces together. “It was a real dog,” Joyce says.


I believe the real point was to simulate early life and show how natural selection would occur in a tightly controlled environment.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Hydra009 on March 01, 2017, 12:03:17 PM
If life is discovered on other planets, the theist's story will change, as it always does.
This quandary comes up a lot on Christian forums.  Some will deny the possibility outright, but some are prepared to adapt their views accordingly.  One explanation I've read is that life on other planets didn't have original sin and therefore don't have a Jesus figure.  Alternatively, maybe they had original sin and had some sort of alien Jesus figure to get them back on track.  Regrettably, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask if the alien prophet Aun'Va should be considered an Abrahamic prophet.  I'd imagine it'd be a little jarring to walk into church and see a new face on the stained glass windows, lol.

Some of these people are even prepared to try to convert aliens or to syncretize alien beliefs with their own.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: doorknob on March 01, 2017, 12:10:51 PM
Well drew it's science. These are the building blocks of life and since 2008 which when this article is from, much more has been discovered. It is a process of learning, trial and error.

Also we can't forget life took billions of years to evolve into what it is to day. So no, no one in science is just claiming that life came from nothing or that it just suddenly popped into existence. these replicating molecules sure they are not alive but they are the precursors of life.  They explain how life came to be with naturalistic explanations.

So do we have all the answers right this very moment? Of course not! Science is an ever growing field and we learn more and more as we go. We will get there it's only a matter of time.

So I guess it depends on what you consider frustrating. What ? Would you have them through up there hands and say "f it I can't do it!" I quit or I give up it this proves a creator did it?

When will you realize that science is so close and religion is so far behind it's also a matter of time before Most people start abandoning religion. The religious will be able to deny the evidence against their teachings no more.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 01:01:20 PM
This quandary comes up a lot on Christian forums.  Some will deny the possibility outright, but some are prepared to adapt their views accordingly.  One explanation I've read is that life on other planets didn't have original sin and therefore don't have a Jesus figure.  Alternatively, maybe they had original sin and had some sort of alien Jesus figure to get them back on track.  Regrettably, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask if the alien prophet Aun'Va should be considered an Abrahamic prophet.  I'd imagine it'd be a little jarring to walk into church and see a new face on the stained glass windows, lol.

Some of these people are even prepared to try to convert aliens or to syncretize alien beliefs with their own.

Sci-fi Christians are definitely evangelical ... since The Martian Chronicles.  Babylon 5 was another.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on March 01, 2017, 02:12:00 PM
If life is discovered on other planets, the theist's story will change, as it always does.

Theism belief is that a Creator caused the universe and life to exist. There is no mandate from theism that life be located on earth only. Specific religions might be upset.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 01, 2017, 03:07:02 PM
Annelid is on the right track, though it fails to address the origin of the RNA itself. Here is the origin of the RNA itself:

6 May 2008 Chaitan (Photos by Carlos Guttierez)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/photogalleries/volcano-photos/

First life was anaerobic. That is why the amino acids formed in the Miller-Urey volcanic spark experiment of 1959 included such things as beta cyanoalanine. Cyanide will indeed make human breathing problematic.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Mr.Obvious on March 01, 2017, 04:58:10 PM
Annelid is on the right track

Rank =/= name
You're the second newbie to make that mistake recently. :p

Welcome to the forum btw.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Unbeliever on March 01, 2017, 05:30:07 PM
A planet doesn't necessarily have to be in the Goldilocks zone, if it has enough self-generated heat to have liquid water underneath its surface, in order for it to be a life-bearing planet. There are planets and moons in our own solar system that have underground aquifers, or even oceans. That makes the chances of finding life a lot better than if only those in the special zone were considered.


But scientists don't have "faith" that we will find life "out there" because they know that just because a thing is possible, that doesn't mean it is actual. All of us will just have to wait and see what can be seen.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Unbeliever on March 01, 2017, 05:32:46 PM
Humans are definitely not special.  A dolphin told me so.
Did the dolphin also thank you for all the fish?
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 05:59:24 PM
Annelid is on the right track, though it fails to address the origin of the RNA itself. Here is the origin of the RNA itself:

6 May 2008 Chaitan (Photos by Carlos Guttierez)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/photogalleries/volcano-photos/

First life was anaerobic. That is why the amino acids formed in the Miller-Urey volcanic spark experiment of 1959 included such things as beta cyanoalanine. Cyanide will indeed make human breathing problematic.

Attended a lecture by Dr Cyril Ponnamperuma way back when.  He did research in early atmospheres.  Amino acids are also found in the nebular clouds.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 01, 2017, 06:19:18 PM
Yes, "Spinoza" is also on track, but since the word is not the thing, we chose "annelid" as the location of the enunciation we replied to. What did science call the name of the billions-of-years-old fossil worm from the iron deposits of Minnesota/Michigan? Perhaps a better idea is to use the number of the post when replying. Ambiguous is the evidence for glycine in space, recalling its unique folding feature vs. other amino acids.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 07:24:46 PM
Yes, "Spinoza" is also on track, but since the word is not the thing, we chose "annelid" as the location of the enunciation we replied to. What did science call the name of the billions-of-years-old fossil worm from the iron deposits of Minnesota/Michigan? Perhaps a better idea is to use the number of the post when replying. Ambiguous is the evidence for glycine in space, recalling its unique folding feature vs. other amino acids.

Worked on silicon based life form ideas when a wee sprout ... but 3d chemical structure wasn't right, non-planar.  Sorry, no Horta for you ;-(  I suspect other random permutation coding structures are possible, other than the DNA/RNA combination.  But I didn't get a grant to do that Dr Frankenstein biochemistry.  Also Los Alamos wasn't brilliant enough to hire me to help with the Human Genome project.  All that DNA testing they are selling, they just like collecting spit, and then make up the results ;-)
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 01, 2017, 07:44:28 PM
Post #20: "We are aware of becoming atmosphere." (Hubertus Tellenbach, Melancholy). Post #22: Alzheimer's onset can occur as early as thirty years of age, and this in some accordance with the presenilin protein that can carry an alanine-to-valine polymorphism. We implicate glycine's unique folding capabilities in the first ever tumor found in chicken crystallin (eye), and early-atmosphere beta-cyanoalanine of Miller-Urey's volcanic spark to lack of oxygen in the birth canal of the Kennedy daughter's profound mental retardation and even more profound PTSD.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 07:51:07 PM
Good to meet you Mr Lovecraft.  I had your last post analyzed (please excuse) .... after one of mine in another string this evening was matched to Stephen King.  Shall we haunt this gothic web site together?  I hope we don't meet up with the writer who matches the dialog of Pennywise.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 01, 2017, 08:05:58 PM
Radioastronomer Hans Deeg has studied exoplanets for decades. When riding with him out to the Very Large Array one night in New Mexico, my question was "Is there any kind of coherent signals coming from space?" His answer was "No, there's only noise."
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 01, 2017, 08:08:14 PM
Radioastronomer Hans Deeg has studied exoplanets for decades. When riding with him out to the Very Large Array one night in New Mexico, my question was "Is there any kind of coherent signals coming from space?" His answer was "No, there's only noise."

Haha ... you were talking to an alien shapeshifter.  Too bad it didn't shape shift into a beautiful woman.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 01, 2017, 08:23:09 PM
#26: "It" did happen to marry a beautiful woman. Hans Deeg is now in the Canary Islands, and you can write to him if you wish. At the time Hans was investigating Red Dwarfs by looking out through Draco. NASA Astrobiology's Baruch Blumberg has done some experiments in space on mammary gland proteins in sub-gravity, but he was really fascinated by the fact that the hepatitis B virus, after assembly, then (returns [italics]) to the endoplasmic reticulum! A confirmed glycine finding in space is sorely needed, though in the meantime, there's the lunar surface, which is a most reasonable stepping stone to Mars. Since the Japanese are well ahead, perhaps a robot-manned expedition. Of course, a robot "doctor" would be most necessary.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on March 01, 2017, 09:33:08 PM
A planet doesn't necessarily have to be in the Goldilocks zone, if it has enough self-generated heat to have liquid water underneath its surface, in order for it to be a life-bearing planet. There are planets and moons in our own solar system that have underground aquifers, or even oceans. That makes the chances of finding life a lot better than if only those in the special zone were considered.


But scientists don't have "faith" that we will find life "out there" because they know that just because a thing is possible, that doesn't mean it is actual. All of us will just have to wait and see what can be seen.

I agree about the Goldilocks zone this is why they might find life on moons around Saturn and its relatively close to us.

The word faith has gotten a bad rap and become a pejorative term meaning belief in something with either no evidence or all the evidence against it. In the real world we put faith in things because they have been reliable. We have faith in chairs to support our weight precisely because for the most part they always do. Scientists have confidence in finding life because naturalism kind of demands it. According to naturalism all this is by chance and if it happened on earth then it should happen elsewhere.
 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 12:36:57 AM
Well drew it's science. These are the building blocks of life and since 2008 which when this article is from, much more has been discovered. It is a process of learning, trial and error.

Also we can't forget life took billions of years to evolve into what it is to day. So no, no one in science is just claiming that life came from nothing or that it just suddenly popped into existence. these replicating molecules sure they are not alive but they are the precursors of life.  They explain how life came to be with naturalistic explanations.

So do we have all the answers right this very moment? Of course not! Science is an ever growing field and we learn more and more as we go. We will get there it's only a matter of time.

So I guess it depends on what you consider frustrating. What ? Would you have them through up there hands and say "f it I can't do it!" I quit or I give up it this proves a creator did it?

When will you realize that science is so close and religion is so far behind it's also a matter of time before Most people start abandoning religion. The religious will be able to deny the evidence against their teachings no more.

More and more planets get discovered, and as our techniques are refined, we see planets more similar to Earth. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Blackleaf on March 02, 2017, 12:59:39 AM
I agree about the Goldilocks zone this is why they might find life on moons around Saturn and its relatively close to us.

The word faith has gotten a bad rap and become a pejorative term meaning belief in something with either no evidence or all the evidence against it. In the real world we put faith in things because they have been reliable. We have faith in chairs to support our weight precisely because for the most part they always do. Scientists have confidence in finding life because naturalism kind of demands it. According to naturalism all this is by chance and if it happened on earth then it should happen elsewhere.

I don't like that definition of faith. Mainly because I've seen it misused by Christians a ton of times. "I have faith in this chair when I sit on it. That's like how I have faith in God." No. No it's not. You can see that the chair exists. You cannot see God. You can test the chair to see if your "faith" is justified. You cannot test God. Faith that a thing will continue to behave as previously observed on many occasions is completely different from faith in an invisible god who can't be observed at all.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: doorknob on March 02, 2017, 02:14:17 AM
Worked on silicon based life form ideas when a wee sprout ... but 3d chemical structure wasn't right, non-planar.  Sorry, no Horta for you ;-(  I suspect other random permutation coding structures are possible, other than the DNA/RNA combination.  But I didn't get a grant to do that Dr Frankenstein biochemistry.  Also Los Alamos wasn't brilliant enough to hire me to help with the Human Genome project.  All that DNA testing they are selling, they just like collecting spit, and then make up the results ;-)

I thought you might like this

https://www.wired.com/2014/05/synthetic-dna-cells/

I decided to add this too.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150710-genetic-alphabet/
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 03:07:50 AM
Faith is simply all false.  I do not accept believe or faith as a basis of any argument.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 02, 2017, 06:52:11 AM
I thought you might like this

https://www.wired.com/2014/05/synthetic-dna-cells/

I decided to add this too.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150710-genetic-alphabet/

Thanks.  I was happy to stop my brainstorming, after realizing the only point of science is to create more weapons to kill more people.  Your links are just part of how bioweapons research is still ... a threat.  Physicists knew sin after Hiroshima.  Biologists will too.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 07:52:55 AM
Radioastronomer Hans Deeg has studied exoplanets for decades. When riding with him out to the Very Large Array one night in New Mexico, my question was "Is there any kind of coherent signals coming from space?" His answer was "No, there's only noise."

A better answer might have been, "There is nothing we have been able to distinguish from the noise at the frequencies we are monitoring."

I believe the probability of life elsewhere in our universe is high. The odds of another advanced civilizations capable of emitting signals we can receive and recognize during the period of time we have or even will be listening are probably very low though. The best evidence for this we have comes from observations of our own solar system. Observations that would lead us to believe that even if life is common on other planets most of them don't have an environment that remains relatively stable long enough to allow an advanced civilization to evolve. So even if life is common advanced civilizations are probably rare. The chances of one existing during a window in time at location that would allow us to hear them are very low.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 08:18:25 AM
A better answer might have been, "There is nothing we have been able to distinguish from the noise at the frequencies we are monitoring."

I believe the probability of life elsewhere in our universe is high. The odds of another advanced civilizations capable of emitting signals we can receive and recognize during the period of time we have or even will be listening are probably very low though. The best evidence for this we have comes from observations of our own solar system. Observations that would lead us to believe that even if life is common on other planets most of them don't have an environment that remains relatively stable long enough to allow an advanced civilization to evolve. So even if life is common advanced civilizations are probably rare. The chances of one existing during a window in time at location that would allow us to hear them are very low.

Quite right.  "Noise" can be only something we do not yet understand.  Yet. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 10:18:53 AM
Quite right.  "Noise" can be only something we do not yet understand.  Yet. 

It isn't just that. Our focus on the search for ET's signals has mainly focused on the 1 to 10 GHz frequency spectrum. One of the reasons for that is that above 10 GHz the universe gets very noisy. Signal to noise ratios would be very low. It becomes very difficult for us to discern them from the noise so we don't expend much effort looking for this type of signal there. Other civilizations could be communicating via frequencies we don't monitor such as ULF.

But like I said, I believe the main reason we haven't detected signals from other civilizations is the distribution of advanced civilizations in space and time probably makes us the only one there is in this area at this time.         

Here is one for you. The pantheists could be right. Our universe is god, and the noise we hear from space could be god's own thoughts. Thoughts we are interfering with by broadcasting reruns of I Love Lucy. If so then contrary to the hopes of theists like Drew we aren't the end goal of existence but rather a parasite causing concentration problems, and all the broadcasts of The Donald lately have probably caused a hell of a migraine.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 10:41:13 AM
It isn't just that. Our focus on the search for ET's signals has mainly focused on the 1 to 10 GHz frequency spectrum. One of the reasons for that is that above 10 GHz the universe gets very noisy. Signal to noise ratios would be very low. It becomes very difficult for us to discern them from the noise so we don't expend much effort looking for this type of signal there. Other civilizations could be communicating via frequencies we don't monitor such as ULF.

But like I said, I believe the main reason we haven't detected signals from other civilizations is the distribution of advanced civilizations in space and time probably makes us the only one there is in this area at this time.         

Here is one for you. The pantheists could be right. Our universe is god, and the noise we hear from space could be god's own thoughts. Thoughts we are interfering with by broadcasting reruns of I Love Lucy. If so then contrary to the hopes of theists like Drew we aren't the end goal of existence but rather a parasite causing concentration problems, and all the broadcasts of The Donald lately have probably caused a hell of a migraine.

I know about the frequencies, and I know the Drake equation.

I see a couple possibilities here. 

1.  Extra solar travel is simply not possible for a variety of reasons.
2.  Every galactic civilization never finds another.
3.  We are utterly unmatched in time.
4.  Every emerging space civilization is immediately killed by advanced ones,
5.  Space-faring civilizations are rare.
6.  We are the first or only.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 02, 2017, 10:47:03 AM
Keeping "noise" in context, Hans was replying to one not versed in physics or astronomy, recalling Rachel Carson's important mediation position, even though she was investigating the development of the catfish pronephros. It gets more intense when considering who the astronomer tells about the incoming asteroid.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 10:48:34 AM
I know about the frequencies, and I know the Drake equation.

I see a couple possibilities here. 

1.  Extra solar travel is simply not possible for a variety of reasons.
2.  Every galactic civilization never finds another.
3.  We are utterly unmatched in time.
4.  Every emerging space civilization is immediately killed by advanced ones,
5.  Space-faring civilizations are rare.
6.  We are the first or only.


Of the 6 I see number 3 as the most likely. Advanced civilizations are probably rare, and we are probably the only one in our bubble of influence at this point in time.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 10:50:58 AM
Keeping "noise" in context, Hans was replying to one not versed in physics or astronomy, recalling Rachel Carson's important mediation position, even though she was investigating the development of the catfish pronephros. It gets more intense when considering who the astronomer tells about the incoming asteroid.

"Noise" is actually a very technical concept.  I'll ignore the rest...
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 02, 2017, 10:52:12 AM
#39: Yes, the substituting of faith for knowledge is the pathology, and was the cue for the theologian's deceptive use of one of the fundamental illusions of Man since the Neolithic, or Paleolithic: the illusion of not being dead once we already are. The continuity of the pathology showed up again in recent times: the deceptive use of prepositions in the U.S. Constitution.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 10:53:38 AM
Keeping "noise" in context, Hans was replying to one not versed in physics or astronomy, recalling Rachel Carson's important mediation position, even though she was investigating the development of the catfish pronephros. It gets more intense when considering who the astronomer tells about the incoming asteroid.

I'm not particularly well versed in physics or astronomy either, but I am an old SATCOM guy so I have a basic understanding of what the SETI people are doing and how they are doing it.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 02, 2017, 11:03:27 AM
I'm not particularly well versed in physics or astronomy either, but I am an old SATCOM guy so I have a basic understanding of what the SETI people are doing and how they are doing it.

That part I understand.  And what worries me is that any new space-faring species immediately becomes the losers.  We announce our presence, we get killed.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 11:09:56 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk01eeKMD_I
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: badger2 on March 02, 2017, 11:25:35 AM
#42: Then the contradiction surfaces at the point of complexity (GHz) and "basic understanding." There is a "post-media" world already in the background, an esoterica: even if the Skeptic were shown the B.C. Chinese star charts, the originals, of the asterism Jizu, ' group of soldiers' located in the Constellation Lupus, as Kristeva contends in This Incredible Need to Believe), the xian goes right on believing even when they don't. We see the pathology on not claiming enough rights for oneself, in particular, the right to contradict oneself.

Even if the Skeptic knows how to perform carbon dating, how will this be verified and disseminated to the rest of human DNA? Kistemaker, The Chinese Sky During the Han.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: PopeyesPappy on March 02, 2017, 11:49:46 AM
@badger2

You need to learn to use the quote tags if you want to interact with the other members of this forum. It's just plain old rude of you to expect everyone reading your posts to go back and find a previous comment you are replying to because your only reference was a reply number. You have the ability to include the text of the post you are replying to with a single click.

Observations on AtheistForums.com etiquette. - Popeye's Pappy
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 05, 2017, 04:33:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk01eeKMD_I

A nice example, but unlikely that anyone would attack us for the planetary meat.  It is more likely that they would just want to kill off the space-faring threat.  If they came and killed us all off, the rest of the biosphere would likely thrive.  Lions would be no threat to "them".
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on March 05, 2017, 06:57:21 PM
Of the 6 I see number 3 as the most likely. Advanced civilizations are probably rare, and we are probably the only one in our bubble of influence at this point in time.

That depends on how you define 'advanced'.  Compared to what else is most likely out there, what we had ten thousand years ago is 'advanced', even technological in its own way.

Still, I agree, sentient culture probably is rare.  Otherwise I think even with our relatively primitive technology and half-assed efforts so far, we would have heard something demonstrably of ETI origin.

Anyway, we already know item #1 is false, at least as far as automated probes go, since one of the Voyagers is now outside the heliopause and in interstellar space.

Item #2 is statistical only.  Due to the time and space constraints it's likely, but it's not necessary.

Item #3 is highly likely due to time and space constraints.  If (as I think likely) there are only a small number of sentient cultures in the galaxy at any particular time (I peg it at 4-6), the average distance between any two is thousands of light years and the time difference between any two having comparable levels of development is profoundly variable.

Item #4 pre-supposes that there is an über-sentience out there waiting to knock down all possible rivals.  Not impossible, but not bloody likely, I don't think.  A galaxy-wide sentient civilization cannot exist without leaving some detectable trace of itself, so #4 is probably unlikely enough to be discounted.

Item #5 is tautological if technological civilizations are rare in the first place.

Item #6 is entirely possible.  Assuming the principle of mediocrity forces us to assume we are not alone in the universe at a minimum, but there's no reason we can't be the first or the only.  I think 'the only' flies in the face of statistics, but that's not demonstrated.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Hydra009 on March 05, 2017, 07:32:14 PM
@badger2

You need to learn to use the quote tags if you want to interact with the other members of this forum. It's just plain old rude of you to expect everyone reading your posts to go back and find a previous comment you are replying to because your only reference was a reply number. You have the ability to include the text of the post you are replying to with a single click.
Referring to the post number is how they reply on 4chan...soo...[implying]
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Hydra009 on March 05, 2017, 07:40:41 PM
Item #6 is entirely possible.  Assuming the principle of mediocrity forces us to assume we are not alone in the universe at a minimum, but there's no reason we can't be the first or the only.  I think 'the only' flies in the face of statistics, but that's not demonstrated.
It's also possible that we're not the only player out there, but that we're so far apart from most other spacefaring civilizations that we're #1 in our own little corner of the universe, but not necessarily the whole universe.  Not the first in absolute terms, but the first relative to our neighbors, if that makes sense.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on March 05, 2017, 10:21:43 PM
It's also possible that we're not the only player out there, but that we're so far apart from most other spacefaring civilizations that we're #1 in our own little corner of the universe, but not necessarily the whole universe.  Not the first in absolute terms, but the first relative to our neighbors, if that makes sense.
Oh, certainly.  We could easily be the first in our galaxy, or even the first (or only) within ten thousand light years in any direction.  We just can't extrapolate from a single data point.  We don't know how easily life arises, and how often it develops into intelligence.  All we can do at this point is assume the principle of mediocrity: that we're towards the middle of the bell curve, not extremely high or low.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 06, 2017, 06:43:54 AM
Oh, certainly.  We could easily be the first in our galaxy, or even the first (or only) within ten thousand light years in any direction.  We just can't extrapolate from a single data point.  We don't know how easily life arises, and how often it develops into intelligence.  All we can do at this point is assume the principle of mediocrity: that we're towards the middle of the bell curve, not extremely high or low.

Economists extrapolate from a single data point '=)
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: SGOS on March 06, 2017, 08:20:09 AM
I am either mathematician nor a statistician but with billions and billions of galaxies out there I think there is almost a certainty there are many planets capable of sustaining life. If there is life on this planet then the probability that there are many more is almost a certainty. It just doesn't make sense that there wouldn't be others. The non-statistician in me can't imagine only one planet sustaining life in the whole universe.
The more we look, the more Earth-like planets we will find. I doubt that any of these three that you mention have life on them, but I'm certain that there is at least one other planet in the universe that has life on it.

It's not like three goldilocks planets ups the odds that much over just one.  The odds are increased by a number that is best described using scientific notation.  One of three goldilocks planet must have life?  Nah, but one of billions?  The odds start going up pretty fast. 

Suppose we discover a closer goldilocks, and then technology advances to a point where we can actually rule out life on that planet?  I would expect that, even with a similar environment to Earth.  Much of Earth's past was spent in a lifeless humdrum, and when life did start, it was non-sentient.  With sentient life existing for but a thin sliver of time.

If we could speed up time by a factor of millions and watch the entire universe through a powerful telescope, we are bound to see billions and billions of lifeless goldilocks planets, but sentience popping into existence in speeded up time would not be seen as special planets being brightly illuminated by artificial light created by sentience.  What we would see would look more like flash bulbs popping and disappearing as sentience evolves and then goes extinct.  Most of those potential goldilocks planets would be seen as inert lumps of rock devoid of sentience, just as Earth has been for most of it's existence.  So at any given moment in time, the odds of there being life during the brief period of Earth's "sentience" go down again.

I don't think we are taking into account how vexing it is to figure out exactly how life got started on earth, the only known place. If we could duplicate the process I think we'd have a better grip on the odds of it developing elsewhere. As it is now, they seem to think if a planet has water and is in the same zone as our planet life will spontaneously occur.
The vexing aspect of the problem is irrelevant.  It's vexing to scientists as well, but not so much to mathematicians that deal with statistical odds.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 18, 2017, 09:17:26 AM

If we could speed up time by a factor of millions and watch the entire universe through a powerful telescope, we are bound to see billions and billions of lifeless goldilocks planets, but sentience popping into existence in speeded up time would not be seen as special planets being brightly illuminated by artificial light created by sentience.  What we would see would look more like flash bulbs popping and disappearing as sentience evolves and then goes extinct.  Most of those potential goldilocks planets would be seen as inert lumps of rock devoid of sentience, just as Earth has been for most of it's existence.  So at any given moment in time, the odds of there being life during the brief period of Earth's "sentience" go down again.
The vexing aspect of the problem is irrelevant.  It's vexing to scientists as well, but not so much to mathematicians that deal with statistical odds.

We already have a time machine.  When we look at space through distance, we are seeing into the past.  I know you know that, just pointing it out. 

I suspect that, if we could reach distant planets, we would find microbial life abundant.  The universe might actually be filled with microbes.  The real question is if microbes routinely become more complex or not.  And whether any complex structures advance to technology.  And if they don't kill themselves off immediately. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on March 20, 2017, 01:03:01 PM
We already have a time machine.  When we look at space through distance, we are seeing into the past.  I know you know that, just pointing it out. 

I suspect that, if we could reach distant planets, we would find microbial life abundant.  The universe might actually be filled with microbes.  The real question is if microbes routinely become more complex or not.  And whether any complex structures advance to technology.  And if they don't kill themselves off immediately.
I wouldn't rule out microbial life in this solar system -- we still need to get down into the Martian permafrost, and get a rover up to the polar regions, to say nothing of the water on/in Europa and Enceladus, and possibly Ganymede and Ceres.  And of course there's the unresolved question of where the acetylene on Titan is going (http://www.astrobio.net/titan/what-is-consuming-hydrogen-and-acetylene-on-titan/).

The jackpot would be Titanian life.  Not only is biological transport between Earth and Titan virtually impossible, the environment there essentially requires a completely different kind of life to be able to operate at those temperatures, in that solvent.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 21, 2017, 04:03:28 AM
Agree.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Unbeliever on March 21, 2017, 04:54:32 PM
I agree about the Goldilocks zone this is why they might find life on moons around Saturn and its relatively close to us.

The word faith has gotten a bad rap and become a pejorative term meaning belief in something with either no evidence or all the evidence against it. In the real world we put faith in things because they have been reliable. We have faith in chairs to support our weight precisely because for the most part they always do. Scientists have confidence in finding life because naturalism kind of demands it. According to naturalism all this is by chance and if it happened on earth then it should happen elsewhere.
 
You seem to like confusing the word "faith" and the word "confidence." Confidence is not the same as faith, I think. If I sit in a chair, it's because I have confidence that it will hold my weight. But my confidence is never a guarantee that I'm right - the chair could be broken.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 24, 2017, 05:15:14 AM
You seem to like confusing the word "faith" and the word "confidence." Confidence is not the same as faith, I think. If I sit in a chair, it's because I have confidence that it will hold my weight. But my confidence is never a guarantee that I'm right - the chair could be broken.

I agree.  "Confidence" has to do with evidentially expected results from experience.  Like, I sat is that chair 50 times and it always held me.  Faith is (by definition) trust without evidence. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Drew_2017 on March 26, 2017, 03:17:26 PM
You seem to like confusing the word "faith" and the word "confidence." Confidence is not the same as faith, I think. If I sit in a chair, it's because I have confidence that it will hold my weight. But my confidence is never a guarantee that I'm right - the chair could be broken.

The confusion arises because the word faith has become synonymous with believing in something regardless of evidence or even if evidence is contrary to a notion. Why do you think the geyser at Yellowstone park is called old faithful?
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Mr.Obvious on March 26, 2017, 05:19:52 PM
The confusion arises because the word faith has become synonymous with believing in something regardless of evidence or even if evidence is contrary to a notion. Why do you think the geyser at Yellowstone park is called old faithful?

Because it doesn't cheat on it's wife with other geysers?
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on March 27, 2017, 12:45:41 PM
Relevant to this discussion:
https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-material-world-auid-511
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on March 31, 2017, 05:27:13 AM
The confusion arises because the word faith has become synonymous with believing in something regardless of evidence or even if evidence is contrary to a notion. Why do you think the geyser at Yellowstone park is called old faithful?

Your definition of "faith" seems close to accurate to mine, but with error.  Mine is "anything accepted without evidence and even in spite of it.  Something accepted or trusted as true in spite of factual information". 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Atheon on March 31, 2017, 05:48:11 AM
I am either mathematician nor a statistician but with billions and billions of galaxies out there I think there is almost a certainty there are many planets capable of sustaining life. If there is life on this planet then the probability that there are many more is almost a certainty. It just doesn't make sense that there wouldn't be others. The non-statistician in me can't imagine only one planet sustaining life in the whole universe.
With an estimated 100 billion planets in the Milky Way alone, there is likely life elsewhere in the galaxy.

The Drake Equation comes to mind.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on April 03, 2017, 03:53:45 AM
With an estimated 100 billion planets in the Milky Way alone, there is likely life elsewhere in the galaxy.

The Drake Equation comes to mind.

I know the Drake Equation,  It needs a lot of additions these days.  The problem is "likely".  The universe might be filled with planets with sludge or even microbes.  Complex life is not so certain.  Mammalian-style life is less likely.  Intelligent life might be rare or even never developed elsewhere.

There are good reasons to think intelligent life will not come from the sea, from amphibians, or reptiles.  Or even most mammals. 

It seems to me that primates are required and even most planets that develop them won't advance to our level of sentience.  I think that is where the Drake equation fails.  There is a massive step between even primates and sentient versions.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on April 03, 2017, 01:16:11 PM
The only real use for the Drake Equation is as a tool to frame one's thinking about ETI.  There are too many terms for which we do not have hard numbers, only extrapolations based on a single data point - us - and one simply cannot extrapolate from a single data point.

The Drake Equation also necessarily undercounts, since it doesn't address civilizations that have not developed detectable technologies, nor those with sufficiently efficient communications methods that there is essentially zero leakage to be detected at a distance.  So it only addresses technologically communicative civilizations: those that utilize some sort of broadcast technology that can be detected at a great distance.

As they say on public television, let's go to the tote board:

(https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/df83ab73eacd94fd43a9136a2e7352b70e32fc5d)

It's only in the last 20 years that we've started getting observational evidence for factors other than R* -- Drake was a good 35 years ahead of his time when he proposed it.  R*, the number of new stars 'born' every year, is estimated at between 1.5 and 3.  The two terms we've managed to fill in so far are fp and ne -- fraction of stars with planets, and average number of planets per star system that could support life.  As it turns out, fp approaches 1: nearly all stars have at least one planet (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-16515944).

Estimating ne is trickier, since habitable zones are variable, and detecting small rocky worlds like ours is difficult, but right now the estimations are between ten billion and forty billion, but there's a lot of variability because the data is sketchier.  And the number could be much higher, since this term is only looking at life of any sort, not complex and intelligent life.  Besides Earth, there are potential habitats on several other bodies in this system: Mars, Europa, Ganymede and Titan of course, but also Enceladus, Ceres, and even the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Venus.

Everything else is purest guesswork, because from here on out we have nothing but speculation.  The terms fl, fi and fc are completely speculative: in order, the fraction that actually do develop life, the fraction of life that evolves into intelligence, and the fraction of intelligences that develop a technological civilization, and the only genuinely honest answer is "Who knows?"  These are, in many ways, a better indicator of the thinking of the person trying to do the equation than they are of the odds of intelligent life itself.

The last term, L, is the lifetime in years during which a technological civilization's broadcasts can be detected.  This may be a very small window: radio emissions are not much more than a century old here, and already our radio leakage has dropped significantly as communications technology becomes more precise and less 'sloppy'.  There is no RF, for example, from a fiber optic cable.  Transmissions to a satellite are tightly beamed to a specific spot, not broadcast wide and loud.  So the window of opportunity to 'hear' our incidental/accidental broadcasts is closing, after an extremely short time on the astronomical scale.  It may be that ultimately there will only be a bubble of radio emissions around us, slowly attenuating, and a mere 150-200 lightyears thick.  The odds of it passing a civilization at the correct time in their development for it to be detected before it drops to the level of background noise are small indeed.

Personally, I find the Seager Equation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Seager#Seager_equation) more sensible in terms of being able to make estimates on what we might be able to discover, since it is based on fewer guesstimates and is not quite so time-dependent as the Drake Equation.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on April 13, 2017, 03:41:37 PM
A newly announced discovery that's very relevant here: Enceladus almost certainly has hot fluid vents (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39592059) like the 'black smokers' on Earth's sea floors.

What that confirms for the first time is a known life-supporting environment somewhere other than Earth.  Needless to say, it doesn't confirm life.  Still, finding the necessary conditions is impressive.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on April 17, 2017, 05:04:49 AM
I suspect there is pond scum all over the universe. 
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: SGOS on April 17, 2017, 09:39:44 AM
We already have a time machine.  When we look at space through distance, we are seeing into the past.  I know you know that, just pointing it out. 

I suspect that, if we could reach distant planets, we would find microbial life abundant.  The universe might actually be filled with microbes.  The real question is if microbes routinely become more complex or not.  And whether any complex structures advance to technology.  And if they don't kill themselves off immediately. 
Not the best time machine, since it can't take you to when you want to be.  It only takes you to when something happened at your moment in time from when you currently are.  It doesn't increase your odds at seeing life.  Although, it might decrease your odds because as you see farther into the past, you are looking at systems that haven't had as much time to evolve life.

Microbes?  Yes, you have a better chance of seeing microbe infested systems in the early stages of development.  And of course some systems may have formed billions of years before Earth, and could be at a point where more advanced life could have evolved.  Unfortunately, by the time you traveled over there, who knows how many mass extinctions may have occurred, and whether or not any life still exists.  In fact, the entire system may have disappeared in the flash of a nearby supernova, which happened even before you located the then existing system in the first place.

I think the odds of life beyond our system are very good and even likely, but the odds of finding it aren't quite so likely.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on April 17, 2017, 02:02:13 PM
I suspect there is pond scum all over the universe.
Very probably; the speed with which it arose on Earth suggests that abiogenesis is the easy part, and the slowness with which it developed into complex life suggests that's not.

(obligatory disclaimer: yes, I know, drawing inferences from a single data point, yadda yadda yadda)

Finding life -- extant or extinct -- on Mars is important, but we know that material has moved back and forth between Earth and Mars, so cross-contamination is possible even without landings on the surface. 

This is not the case for Europa and Enceladus and Titan.  Anything we find there is going to be a separate origin; they're too far out for a plausible cross-contamination mechanism.  That's the real prize, if anything turns up out there.

Can't wait for the first mission to really sample the Enceladus plumes -- that they were able to get Cassini to do it at all is amazing, now we need a mission out there that's designed to specifically search for life.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on April 17, 2017, 10:38:52 PM
Panspermia ... the theory that life was seeded across the solar system by a giant dick ;-)
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: SGOS on April 18, 2017, 05:11:39 AM
Panspermia ... the theory that life was seeded across the solar system by a giant dick ;-)
Yeah, but what caused the giant dick?
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Ananta Shesha on April 18, 2017, 06:06:31 AM
Yeah, but what caused the giant dick?
It fell out of a quantum bag of dicks.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on April 18, 2017, 06:39:59 AM
It fell out of a quantum bag of dicks.

Unfortunately a Heisenberg dick doesn't stay hard very long, the bigger the dick, the shorter the stay ;-)
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: SGOS on April 18, 2017, 07:58:04 AM
Unfortunately a Heisenberg dick doesn't stay hard very long, the bigger the dick, the shorter the stay ;-)
No, "the older the dick, the longer the stay."
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Cavebear on April 21, 2017, 05:53:12 AM
Given the speed of simple life forming on Earth, it seems plausible that it occurs elsewhere.  The hard part comes when conditions exist to encourage more complicated life.  And I suspect that given certain replicable conditions, complex life could exist. 

The jump to sentient life is way harder.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: SGOS on April 21, 2017, 07:43:48 AM
Given the speed of simple life forming on Earth, it seems plausible that it occurs elsewhere.  The hard part comes when conditions exist to encourage more complicated life.  And I suspect that given certain replicable conditions, complex life could exist. 
The jump to sentient life is way harder.
Not only does it happen faster than I would anticipate, I don't see the difference between life and non-life as some dividing line that is hundreds of miles across.  Really, what's that special about combinations of molecules that perpetuate themselves?  Throw in a combination of molecules that produces some sort of animation, and a few other combinations that do things like improve detection of other molecules nearby (which atoms seem to do anyway), and next thing you know, you've got a combination of things that pulsate.  Such a thing is simple enough that no special designer or natural meta-fluke has to be involved.  Molecules just have affinities that make them combine in infinite ways.  In a sense, evolution was taking place long before life began.

Yeah?  Well what about the human eye?  OK, I suppose that one could be a miracle, especially if it happened overnight, but the ability to detect light (in other words... eyesight) has been around much longer than man by a factor that requires the use of scientific notation.  And primitive light detection systems are still in use today in lower life forms.  Yeah, yeah.  I know:  "If humans evolved form lower life forms, why are there still lower life forms?"  (now there is one impressive argument).

I remember being taught 6 universal characteristics of life back in grade school.  I guess it was supposed to be a life detection kit, so while we were  playing in the dirt, we could decide something was living rather than inert. 

Enter sentience, the big <wahoo> of life.  Now you just can't explain that <think Bill O'Reilly>, so I would propose another couple of characteristics that separate sentient life from non.

7.  The obsession to glorify its own sentience, while at the same time,
8.  Having no ability to understand its own sentience.

In fact, number 7 might be what separates man from the dolphins.

Not only do I think more life in the universe is inevitable.  I also don't even think it's big a deal.  If we ever detect sentient life elsewhere, the first thing we are going to do is figure out how to steal their inert stuff, which is really all we are after in the first place.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Baruch on April 21, 2017, 12:39:35 PM
A materialist would claim ... there is no difference between life and non-life .. between consciousness and unconsciousness.  But not all naturalists are materialists.  Not all naturalists are atheists.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: trdsf on April 21, 2017, 12:54:42 PM
Not only does it happen faster than I would anticipate, I don't see the difference between life and non-life as some dividing line that is hundreds of miles across.  Really, what's that special about combinations of molecules that perpetuate themselves?  Throw in a combination of molecules that produces some sort of animation, and a few other combinations that do things like improve detection of other molecules nearby (which atoms seem to do anyway), and next thing you know, you've got a combination of things that pulsate.  Such a thing is simple enough that no special designer or natural meta-fluke has to be involved.  Molecules just have affinities that make them combine in infinite ways.  In a sense, evolution was taking place long before life began.
I agree, there's certainly a continuum between 'not alive' and 'alive' that passes through 'those are some weird chemicals' along the way.  There's not even a consensus on whether anything as well-studied as a bacteriophage is alive, or just following a chemical program -- and no, I don't care to get sidetracked into a philosophical contretemps about whether or not that's all anything does.  'Life' is just damned difficult to define, and I suspect most of us fall back on the traditional definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it".

I feel comfortable with the notion that a virus is 'more alive' in some sense than a phage, that a bacterium is 'more alive' than a virus, that a paramecium is 'more alive' than a bacterium (maybe)... and really, once you hit that point, there's no sense in which a human is 'more alive' than a paramecium or an amœba.  Humans are both more specialized at the individual cell level and more generalized at the organism level, more conscious, more self-aware, more any number of things, but at the biochemical level, we are not meaningfully 'more alive' than a eukaryote in the same way that we are to a virus or phage.

In light of the possibility of even simple life elsewhere in our own solar system, to say nothing of complex life elsewhere in the galaxy, it's pretty clear we can't look at 'life' as a binary proposition.  If we do, we may miss something incredible when we get to sampling the waters of Enceladus or the permafrost of Mars.
Title: Re: Exoplanets
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on April 23, 2017, 11:37:11 AM
Given the speed of simple life forming on Earth, it seems plausible that it occurs elsewhere.  The hard part comes when conditions exist to encourage more complicated life.  And I suspect that given certain replicable conditions, complex life could exist. 

The jump to sentient life is way harder.
And still pending in rural Missouri.