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Life on other planets? watch

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    (Original post by polthegael)
    Spoken like a true Cornish Republican! You must have some idea of your work for next year, anyway... Go ahead... Dream!

    Society for the Protection of Wasters and Dreamers
    Lol...I'm starting Universtiy to do medicine in September if I get the grades.
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    (Original post by firebladez777)
    Lol...I'm starting Universtiy to do medicine in September if I get the grades.

    Which uni? I'm off to Cambridge to do medicine. U/c offer as I did A-levels last year

    I know what it's like to wait on results... A tad scary and it seems like it takes forever...

    Best Wishes,

    Pol
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    (Original post by polthegael)
    Spoken like a true Cornish Republican! You must have some idea of your work for next year, anyway... Go ahead... Dream!

    Society for the Protection of Wasters and Dreamers
    I can't help but thinking you're being very harsh here. The question asked is whether we think there's life out there. I think most people would agree that its fairly certain that there is in some form somewhere. Ok the next question is there life out there that has the potential to be either benefitial to us or presents a threat. That would presumably mean a civilisation of similar or greater technological advancement as ourselves within our region of the galaxy - If we were to discover that there was life in the alpha Centuri system and they were going to present a threat to us in the next 50 years then I believe we have the technology now to conduct extra-terrestrial combat if this was the way to defend ourselves if required. Currently we have no need to wast the trillions of dollars this would cost but if the future of humanity depended on it we would. The question of if there is any potential friends or foes nearby is much more difficult to answer.

    We have only 1 planet as an example of where life has evolved. We have only 1 example of the necessary steps that have resulted in an intelligent species capable of dominating its own planet and colonising other planets in its solar system. There is nothing to say there are not other ways to reach the same final state - we can only look at what are the chances of life evolving along a similar path to our somewhere nearby. To do that you need a planet with liquid water. This planet must be stable enough to not have any emerging life completely wiped out by whatever events (be it solar variability, nearby supernovae, geological overturning of the crust or too high a rate of bombardment). There is also an argument that for life to evolve rapidly there must be periods of mass extinctions when new forms have a chance to establish themselves - i.e. if the planet is too stable then life will evolve but it will never get beyond relatively simple forms and probably won't present a threat or be of much interest. Given a suitable planet wqe also have the question how does life start - no one knows the answer and this is why its so interesting to see if there is evidence of life on other planets within our solar system - if it seems to be everywhere where the conditions are right then we only need to find suitable planets/moons to find potential life. The final question is how common are these potential planetary homes for extra-solar life. As has already been stated we can't really detect the small planets at the right distance around their parent stars yet - if we had the political will to set up an optical telescope array in orbit around Jupiter then we would be able to but that aint gonna happen so the search for potential sites for life will be severely limited.

    From the look of things we're the most technologically advanced civilisation in our region of the galaxy unless there is someone vastly more advanced who doesn't wish to be seen. However there is no reason to suspect this will remain the case. You have to remember that we would only have been detectable to a similar civilisation as oursleves in a very nearby stellar system for only about the last 100 years. There could easily be a civilisation about to 'appear' nearby and they could have a rate of advancement that is very different to our own. There is no evidence that I am aware of that there are no potential homes for extra-solar life on our nearest neighbouring stars (although I accept that it is very unlikely in the Centauri system due to the orbiting patterns of Alpha, Beta and Proxima). There is evidence saying there are not large gas-giants around nearby stars except the ones already discovered and if you are of the school that says you need a gas giant orbiting outside the orbit of the habital planet to reduce the rate of bombardment to an acceptable level then that obviously reduces the chances further.

    In summary - let the people dream if that's what they want to do.

    (Original post by davey_boy)
    In summary - let the people dream if that's what they want to do.
    Thanks Dave!
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    (Original post by davey_boy)
    I can't help but thinking you're being very harsh here. The question asked is whether we think there's life out there. I think most people would agree that its fairly certain that there is in some form somewhere. Ok the next question is there life out there that has the potential to be either benefitial to us or presents a threat. That would presumably mean a civilisation of similar or greater technological advancement as ourselves within our region of the galaxy - If we were to discover that there was life in the alpha Centuri system and they were going to present a threat to us in the next 50 years then I believe we have the technology now to conduct extra-terrestrial combat if this was the way to defend ourselves if required. Currently we have no need to wast the trillions of dollars this would cost but if the future of humanity depended on it we would. The question of if there is any potential friends or foes nearby is much more difficult to answer.
    I don't disagree. I would sooner see the money pumped into a new super collider than some updated Reaganesque Star-Wars program for extra terrestrial combat.

    It sickens me to see all the money wasted on wars here, why waste even more inventing stuff we are unlikely to ever need.

    Take a little island populated by ancient Egyptians, say... Inform them that the might of the modern-day US military is going to attack them in 50 years. They can do all they want, but their island will still go to join its mate Atlantis at the bottom of the sea. A superior race coming to screw us over will do exactly that. There will be nothing we can do about it.

    "Take me to your leader. Resistance is futile."

    (Original post by polthegael)
    Which uni? I'm off to Cambridge to do medicine. U/c offer as I did A-levels last year

    I know what it's like to wait on results... A tad scary and it seems like it takes forever...

    Best Wishes,

    Pol
    Probably KCL, if not then Bristol. Applied to Cam (Downing College) but got pooled then rejected.

    Good luck to you too, ...and yes, the waiting is most unpleasant. I try not to think too much about it, since I have no influence any more.
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    (Original post by polthegael)

    Take a little island populated by ancient Egyptians, say... Inform them that the might of the modern-day US military is going to attack them in 50 years. They can do all they want, but their island will still go to join its mate Atlantis at the bottom of the sea. A superior race coming to screw us over will do exactly that. There will be nothing we can do about it.

    "Take me to your leader. Resistance is futile."
    True - nowt we can do about someone big and nasty coming to squash us but we can do something about someone similar to ourselves coming and attempting to squash us. As I said it looks like we're the most technologically advanced civilisation in the near galaxy, it would pay for us to keep a look out to see if there's anyone out there likely to catch us up.
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    For those that have contributed to this thread, or for others who are interested in this topic, this article may be of some interest.

    (Original post by 85ah11)
    For those that have contributed to this thread, or for others who are interested in this topic, this article may be of some interest.
    Good article
 
 
 
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