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View Full Version : Are we alone in the universe? The royal society meets.

25-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Tomarrow, at 6:30PM GMT

Representatives from Nasa, Eminent academics and scientists, the European Space Agency and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. and Lord Martin Rees the President of the Royal Society and Astronomer

Will meet to discuss the possibility of ET's being among us here on Earth.
The conference will also address the social implications of the search for alien life. Albert Harrison, from the University of California, Davis, will discuss how human beings might respond to the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence

You will be able to watch it live at the following website, if you are interested.

25-01-2010, 08:22 PM
Awesome. I'll make sure to tune in :)

26-01-2010, 09:35 AM
*adjusts tinfoil hat*

They're here, have been for years! The Queen is a lizard person *nod*.

On a more serious note; the Church has accepted there may be life out there, although this is more than likely just a move to keep in line with the way society moves, rather than real acceptance. Question is why would alien life be here if not to study us? And if they are studying us I doubt they will show their faces in public any time soon. We as a race can't even get on with our own neighbours. If aliens did 'land on the White House lawn' the human race would, hopefully, unite to welcome them, or blow the living crap out of those 'Grey coloured FREAKS!'...


26-01-2010, 05:01 PM
Acctually Bunneh you said something i was going to say "Why would they want to speak with us even if they were here?

Looking down from above all they can see is the insanely rich letting the poor die, humans killing each other on a daily basis, amongst all the other crap like desroying the planet and sucking it of its natural resources while pumping tonns of pollution in to the air, Humany isnt a very nice species.

or maybe they will come, and blow the shit out of us?

26-01-2010, 05:05 PM
Looking down from above all they can see is the insanely rich letting the poor die, humans killing each other on a daily basis, amongst all the other crap like desroying the planet and sucking it of its natural resources while pumping tonns of pollution in to the air, Humany isnt a very nice species.

Who's to say that any aliens wouldn't have the same problems? Or worse? Class segmentation is a feature of many societies. Natural resources are by their nature limited, but also required (until an alternative is found). Conflict is also a feature in every species.

Sure, they *could* be perfect and peaceful and have solved all their problems.. but they could just as easily not have.

26-01-2010, 05:42 PM
The interesting argument is whether humanity as a species, given the ability to colonize other worlds, would not be viewed as a parasite by other sentient life. If other life was discovered and found to be on an inferior technological level how would we interact with them? It's easy to reverse the scenario and imagine how we would be treated looking at the defining traits of the human species as a whole.

Watching the Live webcast now. Shame I couldn't be there, but I had to raid and all that :)

26-01-2010, 05:50 PM
Well According to the Drake-Equation, adjusted to the present knowledge of our universe, there should be at least one other intelligent civilization in our Galaxy. And our Galaxy is only one out of billions.

26-01-2010, 06:17 PM
Royal society thingy is just starting now, pople are taking there seats, 14 mins to go

26-01-2010, 07:45 PM
Well that was quite interesting. Shame they ran out of time for questions.

26-01-2010, 07:58 PM
yea, it was interesting, i liked the QA guy at the end, one with the bold head, like "this is a question everyone is scared to ask" lol, people behind him were laughing... lol

27-01-2010, 07:48 PM
"Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people."

-Carl Sagan

28-01-2010, 08:21 PM
Altho i do belive in other life in the universe, i dont belive that the human race will ever be able to discover that, neither will anyone else be able to discover us. Or at least not be able to actually travel here.

(Just throwing out some thoughts below now)
For life to exist, you need a planet with exactly the right temptrature, wich we have been so damn lucky to have.
I mean, look at the coldest place on earth... Its so cold that life(Or at least human life) would not be able to live there in a natural way.
And the hottest place on earth, is so hot that thousands die everyday as a result, for various reasons.

Thats a really damn small line for how a planet must be placed to be able to support life. But i belive that really all thats needed, so i dont see how its possible for people to think that there CANT be other life.

But to my original point, i dont see how anyone can belive that its possible to travel across the universe to visit other galaxies for example.

28-01-2010, 11:59 PM
You're restricting your view of life too much. So, human life can't survive in the hottest/coldest place on earth. But even on earth, other life can.

Life forms evolve based on their environment (and other things). So if ANY life can live in the coldest place on earth, then that life can theoretically evolve into intelligent life.

Random figure on the internet says there's 35 trillion planets. That's an awful lot of chances for the perfect conditions for life to exist.

Visiting other galaxies seems out of reach at the moment, even in the far future, but other solar systems? Definitely within our lifetime.

29-01-2010, 10:11 AM
It's certainly viable, although I'll likely be dead and buried before we leave the confines of our own system. I expect to see the first human on Mars within 20 years but we do need to get a base of some sort situated on the Moon first as it's a good staging point.

With regards to hitting other systems and galaxies, 200 years ago the idea of going to the moon seemed implausable yet that was managed (or according to some, wasn't). We once lived on a flat planet which would send us falling into hell if we sailed too far. What I'm saying is eventually science will lead us to the stars; but I don't share Turiel's optimism with regards it happening in our lifetime, as much as I'd love to see it.

Moon again in 10 years, then Mars in 20. First humans into another galaxy in around 100 years, tis a guestimate though. That is if the lord lets us :P

29-01-2010, 01:59 PM
we do need to get a base of some sort situated on the Moon first as it's a good staging point


29-01-2010, 04:12 PM
I dont really agree with the possiblility on such long distance travel.

Traveling within our own solar system, sure, but i dont belive in us getting much further.

To get as far as to another solar system within a normal humans lifespan you will need a speed that we cant even imagine at this point, altho i dont see how we cant get to such a speed at some point.

But when you move at such a speed, even a microscopic little stone will pierce a hole through any ship we send out there.

When riding a motorcycle, a little fly hitting your helmet at 60km/h makes the same impact as a tiny rock would if someone threw it at you when casually walking around.

Maybe a bad example but i suppose you understand what im getting at.
Forcefield around spaceship anyone?

But even WITH a forcefield around the ship, there are meteors EVERYWHERE. Earth is bombarded with meteors all the time every day. What will we do once something like that hits the ship at the speed of light? :P

29-01-2010, 05:24 PM
Current solid and liquid fuels are sufficient to move about the solar system (even so it takes a considerable amount of time to cross inter-planetary distances, but it is doable). Such energy reactions however are inefficient for longer distances. The amount of time it would take to travel to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system, using current chemical reaction-based propulsion systems is hardly realistic, even when considering using slingshot to accelerate the spacecraft outwards.

No doubt better propulsion systems will come into existence. Already a few are known of that would enable to us to travel to other star systems, though controlled fusion reactions as a way of propulsion is strictly theoretical at the moment (cold fusion go!). Interstellar space is quite cluttered with debris though which limits the speed of travel. Even a grain of sand would cause severe damage to our imaginary spaceship.

Intergalactic travel in 100 years? The distances involved are hard to grasp considering current technology. If it were possible there would be little reason to explore outside of the Milky Way anyway, at least initially. The risk of failure is high; although intergalactic space is mostly empty it is not completely devoid of dust particles. Well it's kind of pointless to discuss whether a speck of dust would damage the ship as we're talking about FTL travel, so this is already science fiction and I might as well propose we warp drive through subspace to the Magellan Cloud :)

Anyways there is already an interest in placing a man on Mars, having a lunar base, commercial spaceflight is already a reality (if you're rich) and the impending fuel crisis is sure to accelerate efforts in mastering new ways of getting from here to there.

If I live as long as I'm planning on I'll be around to see first man on another planet, and perhaps first unmanned flight to Alpha Centauri? Who knows!

29-01-2010, 05:44 PM
Intergalactic travel in 100 years? The distances involved are hard to grasp considering current technology.
Well, it's not like a lot of current technology (internet, with wireless network on top, GPSes, microwaves) was easy to grasp or predict 100 years ago, so who knows what will happen?
And as for fusion, it seems that scientists found that fusion might be a lot easier than they thought (don't remember exact information, and I'm not knowledgeable in that matter; just heard something about lasers usage/tests or something).

30-01-2010, 03:11 AM
Well the mechanics of fusion itself are easy enough: whereas current nuclear energy, or fission, is created from splitting the nucleus of an atom, fusion involves forcing two nucleus to merge into one. Basically think of how two magnets will repel each other, the idea is to overcome this repulsion by forcing them close enough. The energy output of either of these far outdoes chemical-based reactions.

The problem of course is that as everyone knows nuclear fission reactions leave radioactive material, and at the moment a nuclear fusion requires tremendous heat to overcome the nucleus' electrical repulsion. While the required heat can be achieved by (ironically) controlled fission, the big problem is maintaining the heat so that the reaction can be sustained.

There are several variations of course and it gets quite a bit more complicated than that. However it definitely looks promising.

16-02-2010, 01:50 AM