History & Exopolitics

New Study suggests Alien Civilizations may number in trillions

  • Achillesls

    This, is not a matter of ‘If” They have discovered this planets ability, billions of years ago! My have even initiated and assisted! Anyone, that looks up at the stars and do not see the other suns! Do not see, other planets rotating around them! Then do not realize, that life may have been around, anywhere and everywhere, for Billions and Billions of years!! Never mind, much longer than us! My Deep Sympathy, to those, that believe that religion is the only way! Here’s a treat, now roll-over, and play dead!

  • gatorallin

    What if you knew that we were Early to the life party for the Universe… what if you knew that were at the 13.8 Billion year mark, of a Universe that has a lifespan of 2 trillion years *(just the lifespan of a small red dwarf star). 13.7 / 2,000 is less than 1%… I hate the assumption that if there is alien life out there it is billions of years ahead of us already…knowing how we are on a 2nd/3rd gen star and knowing it took 4+b years and knowing how complexity builds in layers. what if we are just 1% earlier than anyone else.. (yes, what if we are 20 billion years ahead of everyone else!!). The other thing that is irritating is how drunk people get with a big number.. how afraid they are to chop it down to a small number… but there are 10x 24power of planets out there… or more… ok, cool. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 so that number is way bigger than any number of stars estimated that could have a planet around it… by a few extra zeros… now what if there are only 9 factors that are 1/1,000. so for fun take that huge number and divide it down by 1,000 just 9 times. Yep.. it = 1. Not saying Earth is the only spot out there with intelligent life… just saying it is not really that hard once you understand how many rare factors make up earth. Remember how earth formed? the giant collision with mars like planet.. what if elements and mash up you need Never happens on the same planet on its own.. what if you have to mash up 2 different planets to get the right cake-life mix? what if that is exactly what lead us to our mix of land vs. water… tectonics… magnetic shielding, and 25 other very important things for life to start up.. and then survive and thrive for 4.54 billion years… What if… (and yeah I hope to be wrong… yeah it would be cool to get a new wow signal that is real and listen in to alien TV for 100,000 years until we can draft a reply and also get that message back to them (if they were super close and only 100,000 ly away…..grin). Distance… you have no idea how big space is… and how far apart stuff is and how Fn ridiculously hard it is to move mass (like spaceships or people) at speeds even a small fraction of the speed of light (like 20% LS). Dyson spheres… is a lie… the reason we don’t see any out there is 2 reasons.. .#1, there are none… #2. a stupid idea… #3. ok we have not been looking long or hard enough.. yeah that too…. the use of energy is wrong… the Type 2 and above civ. scale… Nope… .there are none… another stupid idea no one thought through to realize why… again… there are none because there are None…. and yep, that is now how it will work., Yeah I love movies… and warp drives and theories about black holes.. and bending space/time… and time travel. but all those movies lied to us… We are basically trapped in these meat sacks designed only for spaceship Earth. No you can’t leave this solar system… ever… no you can’t send faster than light messages or travel (send stuff). you are limited by the rules of physics… and yeah we still suck and can’t figure out dark energy, dark matter, or even if our calculations are so off we just got the math way wrong and there is not dark energy or matter, we are just looking out through our own galaxy cloud wrong… No there is no simulation… No, stop this infinate universe bubble stuff, just because you find one small spot in the universe missing some stuff… No none of that will prove to be true. None of it… and No we will not find life beyond Earth we don’t move to somewhere.. so nope for Mars.. nope for Europa.. or titan, or Enceladus… or Pluto… Nope/Nope/Nope.. .sorry. the big filter is life does not just start up…. that is the biggest filter of all… luckily we got past that… bad news is there are dozens of other filters ahead… like moving to deep space. and alerting our dna to live forever.. and moving mass without rocket fuel on board (thank you spaceshot for the wake up call it is hard to send anything that weighs more than a stamp to 20% the speed of light). Yep.. .it is just us…. maybe at the 2% mark we get some others out there that pop up…. but guess what… we never hear from them or get to communicate with them as they are too far away and likely moving apart. Unless maybe we get to meet up at the big attractor… or one of them anyhow… so. it is just us… good news we can figure it out if we want to… good news is aliens are not coming to steal your stamp collection… ever. (justmy2bitcoins I could be wrong).

    • Øyvind Ansnes Johannessen

      Ah, a breath of fresh air! Finally someone who understand just how dangerous and dificult space is. It’s not hospitable at all? Here is another thought: the earlier universe was even more dangerous and chaotic life developing too early would be wiped out or never get past single cell stage.

      Another problem is abundance of heavy elements, earlier civilisations may not have enough heavy elements for advanced technology, trapped in primitive society forever. We have arived at just the right time when the universe is not too violent with just enough heavier elements to achieve advanced technology. Maybe even we are too early to get anywhere significant?

      • gatorallin

        I have to agree with you that life needs stability to survive, so the early Universe was way too chaotic to allow the right opportunities to be available and heavier elements were not yet created or available as we would need. Even the location of how close you are to the center of your galaxy plays a critical role as Earth is not close to the center, but further out where it has a chance to develop safely. Some would argue that even our own solar system is perfect to help support life with Jupiter and Saturn both being huge planets that are not too far out and thus act like a vacuum cleaner and suck up the big dangerous asteroids that might otherwise hit the reset button for life every billion years or so if the impacts are too large. The other interesting thing to consider is that life seems to evolve very slowly or even has some need to stay the same once things are stable, so maybe the asteroid that hit the Earth 65 million years ago proved to be just the right size to help us….. a bit smaller and maybe it is too small to force much change….. any bigger and maybe it wipes out all life…. but just right and it wipes out many larger reptiles and allows the evolution of mammals, or smaller mammals that eventually leads to allowing primates and humans (without that asteroid impact maybe the lizard kings are still ruling the Earth today and mammals or primates never get going correctly as they did). I am convinced at the moment that no life starts up around red dwarf stars (who make up 75% of all stars in the Universe).because they don’t put out enough stable energy to support life properly, so you need a sun like star like Earth has. But with that sun like star comes a very critical timeline of about 5-6 billion years…. remember our sun only lasts about 10 billion years, but heats up about 10% every billion. So here we are on Earth at 4.54 billion and the bad news is that in a billion years from now an 10% heat increase could easily be too much and boil off all our oceans and thus all life die. Good news for us we have the technology to make some solar shade and put it out in space between Earth and the sun before then… or make solar powered shields, etc.. we have likely bigger problems over the next 300,000 years like can we not kill ourselves off with War, Nukes, disease, limited resources, run away climate change, etc.. I think we will fix those problems if we can get AI to work with us/for us as hoped. Merge with AI or humans may prove just a cute stepping stone to evolutionary tale. Anyhow… back to Sun like stars required…there is a timeline and so if life by lucky chance gets going around another Earth like twin out there somewhere, the question is… How fast can evolution go… Maybe on Earth our timeline was accelerated by a few odd factors like a Huge moon… like that asteroid from 65 million years ago… just like the difference of your stock market account that grows over 40 years total at 5%…. or at 7%….. what if adding a big moon is the difference of that extra 2%, but over 4 billion years or more it really adds up. For fun take some compound interest calculators and see the difference of only 2% makes over a 50 year period. then do the same for 100 years, then 1,000. In summary think about what happens if you get life to develop on a distant planet with sun that is a ticking bomb for life and intelligent life never can get there on time. There could be dozens or hundreds of other factors that hurt the speed of advancement as well. Imagine one human society that has a natural temperament much more aggressive than humans and they kill each other off to fast… or another that are never violent and never go to war, so technology may never advance fast enough or at the right speed. Or human like creatures never cooperate to work together or invent speech, but never advance to written forms to allow data to pass on to future generations at the speed it needs. What if they don’t have fossil fuels to power their industrial revolutions, what if they are 10% land vs. water, what if there is no fresh water, what if there is no salt water….. the list seems endless. Regardless the next 30 years will be amazing to see what the new WEBB or other telescopes can find out there… I do hope they find some possible habitable worlds out there that are close by as I am afraid we don’t appreciate distance and how long it takes to get anywhere in space. I hope we can fix the aging problem by then also as well as halt diseases (crispr9).

    • tchernik

      Skepticism is good.

      But such level of defeatism is unwarranted.

      It’s better to keep an open critical mind, one that rejects the obvious stupidities and philosophical platitudes plaguing the alien life discourse, but also, remains open to the possibilities brought by time and change.

      We could perfectly be the first ones to the party, that is indeed a possibility. But that also means we could be the Forerunners, the ones that seed life across the stars.

      And that doesn’t require Star Trek-like technology, just a linear increase on existing capabilities. Ships taking centuries instead of millenia to cross the gulfs between close stars would be enough. Bacteria have surprising abilities of endurance and very little requirements for doing long trips.

      If it hasn’t happened before already with someone else, we could one day start taking them to new worlds we believe are likely candidates for sustaining them, but that we cannot reach in person.

      Life doesn’t have to be a single shot occurrence, or one that won’t happen for another trillion years. We can seed the stars and get the ball rolling over there too.

      • gatorallin

        I hope we are the architects of life one day being spread throughout our Galaxy and beyond (before we accidentally or on purpose, get snuffed out before that becomes possible). It will be fun to watch how life/evolution advances from here and if humans as we know them today merge with technology to continue, or end up as one more important step toward something that survives and explores the Universe and the remaining mysteries still out there to solve.

  • Tom Aaron

    The idea of contact being dependent on some type of compatable level of technology is silly.

    We know not to text a dog and an advance inelligence will know how to communicate with us… br it Morse code, drum beats, etc. I wave a ball around and my dog knows we are going to play fetch…I am the ‘intelligent’ one who adapts to his level of communication. Any intelligent civilization out there is millions or billions times more advanced than we are. They will let us know when its time to play the equivalent of ‘fetch’.