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Is There Life On Other Planets?


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#41 Skeptic

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:35 AM

Could it be when he healed Bartimaeus?

#42 Fortigurn

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:38 AM

So what are the agreed on odds for a cosmic catastrophe such as an asteroid running into us?  They must be amazignly slender, if we've only had one in the last few thousand million years.


From NASA's FAQ page:

(NEO = near earth object)

We don't know when the next NEO impact will take place, but we can calculate the odds. Statistically, the greatest danger is from an NEO with about 1 million megatons energy (roughly 2 km in diameter). On average, one of these collides with the Earth once or twice per million years, producing a global catastrophe that would kill a substantial (but unknown) fraction of the Earth's human population. Reduced to personal terms, this means that you have about one chance in 40,000 of dying as a result of a collision. Such statistics are interesting, but they don't tell you, of course, when the next catastrophic impact will take place...next year or a million years from now? The purpose of the Spaceguard Survey is not to improve these statistical estimates, but to find any individual rock that may be on a collision course.


The earth is relatively small compared to other planets. So it presents a smaller target than, say, Jupiter. Interesting what the guy has to say about advance warning at present, though...

Ok, so we should be looking at a global catastrophe once or twice every million years. Which means there should be plenty of evidence on earth that life has been extinguished and re-ignited a few times by now. More than a few times. Many times.

Where do I go to view that evidence?

Sounds to me like Fermi had a very good point.


Sure he did. For what its worth, I don't believe in extraterrestial intelligence. I'm not even sure I believe in terrestrial intelligence...!


:shades:

#43 Guest_Colter_*

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 07:58 AM

Does anyone remember where in the Gospels Jesus  says if your eyes could be anointed you could see the heavens opened and behold angels ascending and descending or something to that effect? I'm not thinking of the baptism but I saw It last night while researching something else and can't recall where??? I'm at work and can't spend all morning looking for it but I think we can use this statement to show that there are things that we can't see or energies that we can't detect like a stealth bomber. :tarkus:

The last verse of John chapter 1.

1:49
Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

1:50
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

1:51
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Thanks Dave.

Heaven open? Thats what I was thinking. Theres a whole other world out there. :coffee:

Edited by Colter, 03 May 2005 - 08:00 AM.


#44 CaptainCutshaw

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 08:01 AM

Compare with Gen 28. :popcorn:

#45 Guest_Colter_*

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 08:48 AM

Compare with Gen 28. :popcorn:

Yes, I C. :tarkus:

#46 Adanac

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 10:45 AM

While I don't think there is life on other planets I wonder why people think because there is an absense of evidence that this means there is none? Why is the absense of space colonization proof of anything at all? What if there is a planet a billion light years away with life? We don't know about it but just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Anyway, I believe we are the only inhabited planet in the universe ever.

#47 Hyperion

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:27 AM

While I don't think there is life on other planets I wonder why people think because there is an absense of evidence that this means there is none? Why is the absense of space colonization proof of anything at all? What if there is a planet a billion light years away with life? We don't know about it but just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

The point of the Fermi Paradox is that it is sometimes stated that life is common in the universe, and that it is not unusual for life to arise from inanimate matter, and even intelligence is not especially unusual. In just our own galaxy it is estimated that there are 100 billion stars. If only 1% has planets, and only 1% of these have life, and 1% of those have intelligent life, that means 100,000 civilisations in our galaxy alone. Any one of these could have easily colonized the rest of the galaxy in only a few million years (a million years is less than 0.01% of the commonly accepted age of the universe).

So the simplest answer to the paradox is that intelligent life is not as common as is often assumed. In fact, it is not a stretch to conclude that at least in our galaxy, humanity is unique. This has some implications to discussions about creation and biogenesis, but I won't go there since BTDF rules forbid it.

But you are right Adanac, the paradox does not prove that no other intelligent life exists, and nop one claims it does, but it does say that if it does exist, it is extremely rare.

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#48 Adanac

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:41 AM

Ah, thanks Hyperion.

#49 Guest_Colter_*

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 12:11 PM

"In my fathers house there are many mansions."

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#50 Skeptic

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:57 AM

While I don't think there is life on other planets I wonder why people think because there is an absense of evidence that this means there is none? Why is the absense of space colonization proof of anything at all? What if there is a planet a billion light years away with life? We don't know about it but just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Anyway, I believe we are the only inhabited planet in the universe ever.

Adanac, that is more or less what I have been saying above. :clap2:

#51 Skeptic

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:39 AM

Fortigurn

Ok, so we should be looking at a global catastrophe once or twice every million years.  Which means there should be plenty of evidence on earth that life has been extinguished and re-ignited a few times by now.  More than a few times.  Many times.

Where do I go to view that evidence?


There are plenty web sites listing impact craters, with their statistics, including the magnitude of the devastation they wreaked. The fact that these impacts happened right in your and my backyards is not in dispute (see links below). The question is: do you believe that life existed when they struck or not. That would make the difference between deducing that life must have been dealt a huge blow every time a huge one hit or deducing that there was no-one around to witness the upheavals.

Here are some links:
Click here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
and here...

Speaking of our own backyards:

3.5 Billion Years Ago
Long before Earth's landmasses looked as they do today, a 12- to 30-mile-wide meteor smacked into the ocean somewhere on the planet and started a tsunami powerful enough to inundate all land areas. Only the tallest mountains remained above water. Scientists have found remnants of the catastrophe in some of the oldest rocks on Earth—in Western Australia's Pilbara Block and in South Africa's Barberton Greenstone Belt. They are still actively searching for the enormous crater the impact would have created.


That's one huge piece of rock!

BTW it's no coincidence that Johannesburg is called the City of Gold and that high grade gold deposits exist in Pilbara...

Edited by Skeptic, 04 May 2005 - 01:48 AM.


#52 Fortigurn

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:13 AM

Fortigurn

Ok, so we should be looking at a global catastrophe once or twice every million years.  Which means there should be plenty of evidence on earth that life has been extinguished and re-ignited a few times by now.  More than a few times.  Many times.

Where do I go to view that evidence?


There are plenty web sites listing impact craters, with their statistics, including the magnitude of the devastation they wreaked. The fact that these impacts happened right in your and my backyards is not in dispute (see links below). The question is: do you believe that life existed when they struck or not. That would make the difference between deducing that life must have been dealt a huge blow every time a huge one hit or deducing that there was no-one around to witness the upheavals.

Here are some links:
Click here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
here,
and here...

Speaking of our own backyards:

3.5 Billion Years Ago
Long before Earth's landmasses looked as they do today, a 12- to 30-mile-wide meteor smacked into the ocean somewhere on the planet and started a tsunami powerful enough to inundate all land areas. Only the tallest mountains remained above water. Scientists have found remnants of the catastrophe in some of the oldest rocks on Earth—in Western Australia's Pilbara Block and in South Africa's Barberton Greenstone Belt. They are still actively searching for the enormous crater the impact would have created.


That's one huge piece of rock!

BTW it's no coincidence that Johannesburg is called the City of Gold and that high grade gold deposits exist in Pilbara...

I'm fully aware that there have been many catastrophes of this nature, but the ones I'm interested are the ones which have extinguished life on this planet, which then had to start either from scratch or pretty near it.

According to the statistics you've provided, this must have happened many times now. I'm interested in sites which provide the evidence for this destruction of life and re-ignition cycle.

#53 Hyperion

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:25 AM

I'm fully aware that there have been many catastrophes of this nature, but the ones I'm interested are the ones which have extinguished life on this planet, which then had to start either from scratch or pretty near it.

According to the statistics you've provided, this must have happened many times now. I'm interested in sites which provide the evidence for this destruction of life and re-ignition cycle.

Impacts of the size that Skeptic wrote about would cause massive climactic upheaval, a lot of death and some extinctions but would not be enough to cause the massive extinctions that occured at times like the end of the dinosaurs. That sort of extinction would be caused by even larger impacts that are rarer.

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#54 Hyperion

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:33 AM

I just came across this site that discusses these issues at more length, and appears to confrim what I say above, but with some facts and figures.

For example, here are the estimated rate of impacts to size:

Posted Image

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#55 Skeptic

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:21 AM

Impacts of the size that Skeptic wrote about would cause massive climactic upheaval, a lot of death and some extinctions but would not be enough to cause the massive extinctions that occured at times like the end of the dinosaurs. That sort of extinction would be caused by even larger impacts that are rarer.

I agree, Hyperion.

Remember, Fortigurn, the word "re-ignition" conjures up in my mind the idea of evolution that everything is reduced to primitive life forms and requires a huge evolutionary process just to get back to a decent level of development. But that that is not what these theories talk about: they say that human beings survived at the same level of development, but just had to make do minus all the technology and infrastructure they had accumulated and assembled up to that point.

For proof that certain civilisations existed that exceeded our present level of technology, Hancock (who is an engineer) points out the engineering feats inherent in the pyramids. Things like stone carcophagi that have been shown to have been drilled out with drills of which the drill bit revolved many times faster than the fastest one on the market today. Or the alignment of the pyramids that show a margin of error so small that they make today's master builders look like amateurs. These structures are supposed to have been built by people with bronze age technology...

The mystery of how many things in the pyramids over the world were built, remains. Guys like Hancock turn to mythology and folflore from cultures around the world to find the answer. The use Indian mythology that talk of Gods flying on magic carpets hurling balls of fire at each other, as being the way ancient people would interpret and record a 'dogfight' in the air between two extra-terrestrial pilots piloting their spacecraft.

It is when they mix fact with myth to come to comclusions that are at best speculation, that these authors lose me. But I admit I find the 'fantasy' of imagining these things to be very stimulating...

Human beings have huge imaginations and they are not shy to use them, it seems... :coffee:

#56 Fortigurn

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:29 AM

Impacts of the size that Skeptic wrote about would cause massive climactic upheaval, a lot of death and some extinctions but would not be enough to cause the massive extinctions that occured at times like the end of the dinosaurs. That sort of extinction would be caused by even larger impacts that are rarer.

I agree, Hyperion.

Remember, Fortigurn, the word "re-ignition" conjures up in my mind the idea of evolution that everything is reduced to primitive life forms and requires a huge evolutionary process just to get back to a decent level of development.

Yes, I was under the impression that the statistics you were providing (not from the crackpot), stated that this happens every hundred million years or so. Which means it must have happened a few times by now (how old is the earth - about 4.5 billion years old?).

But that that is not what these theories talk about: they say that human beings survived at the same level of development, but just had to make do minus all the technology and infrastructure they had accumulated and assembled up to that point.


Yes, I get the general idea. It sounds a bit like science fiction to me. I'm not actually interested in this part, I'm actually asking how many of the life destroying catastrophes we've had in the last 4.5 billion years.

For proof that certain civilisations existed that exceeded our present level of technology, Hancock (who is an engineer) points out the engineering feats inherent in the pyramids. Things like stone carcophagi that have been shown to have been drilled out with drills of which the drill bit revolved many times faster than the fastest one on the market today. Or the alignment of the pyramids that show a margin of error so small that they make today's master builders look like amateurs. These structures are supposed to have been built by people with bronze age technology...


Yeah, some good engineering there, for sure.

The mystery of how many things in the pyramids over the world were built, remains.


It does, but this doesn't actually concern me overmuch. I'm not into speculating why certain knowledge was lost - from what I can see, if a civilization bites the dust sufficiently hard, then we lose track of a lot of what that civilization had. Some of that stuff may be reinvented or rediscovered, some of it may not. Tough luck on us if we don't find it again.

#57 Hyperion

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 04:07 AM

Yes, I was under the impression that the statistics you were providing (not from the crackpot), stated that this happens every hundred million years or so.  Which means it must have happened a few times by now (how old is the earth - about 4.5 billion years old?).

The the fossil record does indicate several mass extinction events. The best known one is the end of the dinosaurs, but that is not the biggest one. If anything, these mass extinctions have happened more frequently that every 100 million years, but there could be more causes than massive meteorite impacts.

Yes, I get the general idea.  It sounds a bit like science fiction to me.  I'm not actually interested in this part, I'm actually asking how many of the life destroying catastrophes we've had in the last 4.5 billion years.

They were likely more frequent early in the earth's history as there was a lot more junk flying around the solar system. Generally it is believed that multi cellular life has existed for about 600 million years, so we will see little history of extinctions prior to that. There have been observed in the fossil record to be about 6-10 mass extinctions since then, though some feel the number to be as high as 23. See here

Edited by Hyperion, 05 May 2005 - 06:24 AM.

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#58 Evangelion

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 05:33 PM

For proof that certain civilisations existed that exceeded our present level of technology, Hancock (who is an engineer) points out the engineering feats inherent in the pyramids. Things like stone carcophagi that have been shown to have been drilled out with drills of which the drill bit revolved many times faster than the fastest one on the market today. Or the alignment of the pyramids that show a margin of error so small that they make today's master builders look like amateurs. These structures are supposed to have been built by people with bronze age technology...

The mystery of how many things in the pyramids over the world were built, remains.


But however it was done, we know it was achieved by mortal men with Bronze Age technology. And we know this because they left behind various records related to the process.

Thus:Most likely the Pharaoh employed a large work force, indeed as many as 100,000 men, but for only a fraction of the year. During the months of July, August, September and October, the Nile River flooded the land. This was actually a blessing for the Egyptian farmers as it allowed new fertile soil to be laid down over the fields. But it meant the farmers were unable to grow crops during this period. It is likely that the Pharaoh required his subjects to work on public projects, like the pyramids, during this season.

Egyptian records indicate that the laborers, while being drafted against their will, were actually well cared for by ancient standards. Regulations have been found covering the maximum amount of work allowed per day, the wages received and holidays entitled to, each worker.

By only requiring work to be done during flood periods, the Pharaoh could get a lot done without impacting the normal Egyptian economy. He probably also employed a much smaller work force year round on the project. Some would have been employed doing the skilled stonework while others planned and prepared the site for the laborers that would be available during the next flood season.

The shape of the pyramid are the logical one for producing buildings of great height when the building material available is stone. The design mimics the natural geometry of a mountain, an incline of about 52 degrees. The Egyptian architects realized the ever widening base would easily support the increasing number of stone blocks above it making the structure very stable.

An average 2 and 1/2 ton limestone block used in the pyramid construction would have probably taken 8 men nine or ten days to move from the quarry, float across the Nile, and drag to the top of the pyramid.

The most likely method of getting the blocks to the top of the structure was through massive construction ramps. Exactly how the ramps were laid out is unknown, but they may have been straight or in a spiral pattern around the pyramid. The ramps may have been topped with a surface of Tafla, a clay. Tafla, when wet, becomes very slippery and may have allowed the Egyptian builders to use shorter, steeper ramps than might have otherwise been possible. By wetting the ground in front of the block a slick path would be created allowing the stone to be dragged by rope as it sat on sledges.

It is also possible the stones could have been moved on rollers. By placing rounded logs under the stone, crude wheels would have made the load easy to pull. Pictures inscribed on ancient monument walls, though, suggest the blocks were dragged without the aid of rollers. Once a stone was at the top of the pyramid, it was probably moved into its final position with the use of levers.

We can see the Egyptains didn't become great pyramid builders right away. They needed some practice. They started by cutting tombs into the rock of the desert floor and building mastabas (from the Arab word meaning "bench") over them.

Mastabas were raised, flat, platforms. Some were twenty-five feet high and two-hundred feet square. Imhotep, architect to the Pharaoh Zoser, changed this by building his king a mastaba and then placing another, smaller mastaba right on top of it. On top of that he placed another even smaller mastaba. When he was finally done the structure had six levels and resembled a stepped pyramid.
Source.

The "high tech drill" thing is a theory I've never heard before, but even at face value it doesn't sound very plausible.

People were happily running with these crazy ideas until Dr Thor "Phat Boy" Heyerdahl came along and blew them all out of the water with Kon-Tiki, his discoveries in the Galapagos, his home-made Easter Island statues and Ra I & II. :coffee:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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