Aliens and the likelihood of them somewhere.

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JessycaNekoGirl

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So I've been playing the Mass Effect series and doing astronomy research for college and I realized something:

We assume for any kind of life to evolve on other planets in the universe they have to be like us. However, what stops them from evolving to live in a Nitrogen based environment or another gas based environment and also, what stops life from evolving on planets with stronger or weaker gravity or on planets with thicker atmosphere.

This assumption leads scientists to believe life isn't likely on other planets because of how we limit it.

In theory Life could evolve anywhere at any point if the conditions lined up.

I personally believe in aliens because of a quote,
"Either we are alone in the universe or we are not and both options are quite daunting and scary."
I refuse to believe that in the universe and even a galaxy as large as ours we are alone, its preposterous in its probability.
 

Traemo

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There's a few things that are currently considered requirements for the development of life: liquid water being the one most easily measured at a distance. As water is only liquid within a certain range of conditions, that sets some boundaries on planetary conditions that might support life.

Based on chemical properties, I've seen silicon considered as a possible basis for life, albeit one that would require notable lower temperatures than carbon-based life. Nitrogen doesn't tend to form the same array of compounds with widely varying properties that are likely necessary to support complex life. Not saying that something other than C or Si isn't possible, just that it seems extremely unlikely at this time.
 

daLira

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It would certainly be quite scary... and somehow a strange humour of fortune if we would be the only advanced life form in the whole galaxy. Although I don't think so anyway.

The Kardashev scale distinguishes between 3 types of civilizations, as you may know. We ourselves don't even rank on it so far, so we're type 0. And that's the dangerous state basically, the transition between a type 0 and type I civilization. We're not all in all multicultural and one big society, but we have all kinds of mass destruction weapons to simply wipe us out. Just as Einstein said: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

So the theory simply is that there have been plenty of similar lifeforms, but in the end they didn't make it.
However that's only one possibility.
 

egor

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There's a few things that are currently considered requirements for the development of life: liquid water being the one most easily measured at a distance. As water is only liquid within a certain range of conditions, that sets some boundaries on planetary conditions that might support life.

Based on chemical properties, I've seen silicon considered as a possible basis for life, albeit one that would require notable lower temperatures than carbon-based life. Nitrogen doesn't tend to form the same array of compounds with widely varying properties that are likely necessary to support complex life. Not saying that something other than C or Si isn't possible, just that it seems extremely unlikely at this time.

I agree with what Traemo has stated. The only two elements that I have heard of that would allow the stable chemical reactions for life are carbon and silicon. But the other reactions are bases on water as the applicable solvent and substrate required. Nitrogen is basically inert and no volatile for organic reactions, but most of the other gasses effect the development of life. Oxygen is a pollutant from the first forms of life on this planet that has altered the effect of the environment to the system that we understand so far.

I do thing that it would be very narrow minded for us to believe that we are the only place that life exists, but the possibility for life on other planets in other solar systems is still only speculative within our limited mind capacity.
 
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Maxx

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This assumption leads scientists to believe life isn't likely on other planets because of how we limit it.

I don't know how you came to that conclusion. Everything I see in various scientific journals suggests that life in other places is highly probable if not a certainty. The universe is so large, there are SO many planets, that there are innumerable possible places for life to arise.

The conditions for life in some form aren't that restrictive. Temperatures need to be in a range the permits the complex chemical reactions we call life to occur. These chemical reactions have to get energy from something to continue their processes. That energy could be chemical, heat differential, mechanical, light, or some other form of radiation.

Conditions that permit liquid water at least occasionally are more or less necessary for the carbon based forms here on earth, but that's not to say the cat of life couldn't be skinned some other way. Life at absolute zero is unlikely, as it is in the thermonuclear furnace that is a star, where chemistry can't operate. In between those extremes, there are a lot of possibilities. Even if liquid water were a necessary condition, we've discovered enough planets meeting those conditions to say that life has probably happened elsewhere.
 

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We don't know what life really is. Specifically, we don't know if there is a spiritual element to it. If we assume life is just a variety of complex chemical reactions then there is no reason at all to believe the universe is not infused with life from one end to the other. Even with our limited experience, and we have no reason to assume life is limited to our experience, we know our particular form of DNA based life is capable of adapting to a wide range of environmental extremes.
 
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Maxx

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We don't know what life really is. Specifically, we don't know if there is a spiritual element to it.

Even if there is a spiritual element and/or a Big Boss in the sky, why would we expect Him/Her to be so limited either in power or imagination to make this insignificant rock the one and only location for life?
 

GolfCub

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Saying that Earth is the only abode of life in the Milky Way Galaxy is like saying there's only one blade of grass at Augusta National Golf Club. There are certain conditions required for said grass to flourish, and the same is true for all life. Those conditions are set by the laws of physics, so a carbon-oxygen system is the most likely to support anything more than primitive life.
 

Cauthon

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We assume for any kind of life to evolve on other planets in the universe they have to be like us. However, what stops them from evolving to live in a Nitrogen based environment or another gas based environment and also, what stops life from evolving on planets with stronger or weaker gravity or on planets with thicker atmosphere.

There are entire fields on this, and a lot of heavy hitting names in those fields like Sneath, Shapiro, and Sagan. There are no assumptions to this whatsoever in the scientific world.
 
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Misatoismywaifu

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I simply refuse to believe life exists only on Earth, in this Single Star System, in the entire Oort Cloud, nebula and galaxy. I struggle to comprehend an entire plane of existence devoid of any life spare a blue speck of dust flying through space all alone for eternity. It's too depressing to think we 're the only Sentient beings capable of Culture, Arts, Wonders, Etc .
 

ozbub

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I really like the MIB concept that our entire galaxy might simply be a minuscule twinkle in someone's favourite marble....what a hoot, and how the heck would we be any the wiser. Surely our little blue and green planet is not the only place in the almighty universe that has life. Mind you, we should get better at knowing and taking care of ourselves before stressing about aliens we may never meet...ooh yeah, I'm not that convinced about visitors, but it would be really awesome if they did drop in some time.
 

skunk053

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There's definately aliens, apparently they show up around the area the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared.
 

Cottontail

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It's too depressing to think we 're the only Sentient beings capable of Culture, Arts, Wonders, Etc .

Well, that's an interesting point. There may be life on other planets, and it may be quite evolved -- as evolved as it's ever going to be -- but it might not be "intelligent" by human standards. Consider sharks: They're masters of the ocean despite not being particularly smart. If smartness isn't required for success in a particular environment, it may not evolve. There are those who believe that human intelligence, as a genetic mutation, was a purely random occurrence and not truly an evolutionary thing. Or else we were evolutionary overkill, getting better brains where claws and bigger teeth would have been just as good.

In other words: Life may be abundant in the universe, but intelligent life may be extremely rare. If we pointed all of our radio telescopes at an ocean world inhabited by sharks, we'd never know we'd found something.
 
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Drifter

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Even if there is a spiritual element and/or a Big Boss in the sky, why would we expect Him/Her to be so limited either in power or imagination to make this insignificant rock the one and only location for life?
I fail to see how creating trillions of extra galaxies would be evidence of limited power and imagination.:)

Anyway, my point was that from a scientific perspective we should expect life to be present throughout the universe, even if our limited capability doesn't allow us to confirm this.
 

JessycaNekoGirl

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There are entire fields on this, and a lot of heavy hitting names in those fields like Sneath, Shapiro, and Sagan. There are no assumptions to this whatsoever in the scientific world.

In retrospect I should have said this, "I am unaware of any scientist in those fields and the people I know think while improbable we are alone don't see Life forms forming on other planets due to the vdery difficult process to form life.

Also, since I've seen many people on here know much more on this subgect than I, What about life forms based in a Nitrogen-Ammonia rich environment, would you know how that formed?
 
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