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Kepler 22b

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cyghost
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 07:35:13 AM »

After a bit of thought I think it is a spectacular discovery. And if we finally say there *is* life out there, what a magnificent next step to take. With or without media hype or panic.

Just one thing, we are seeing this planet as it existed 600 million years ago, right? So it could have exploded by now, or fallen into their sun or whatever. It is somehow very freaky.
Quote from: mefiante
Nonetheless, there are compelling chemical and physical reasons that strongly suggest that ET life would also be carbon-based to a very high degree of probability.
Is there any indication of what we may predict to expect with what we know of life on earth? Will their DNA, for instance, have the same 4 nucleotides or is that expecting to much? Will they HAVE DNA? Think of the answers we may finally have and just think of the questions it will generate.

Screw the religious with their fucked up preconceived "answers", there is real science to be done here  Cheesy
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All that would happen would be that creationists would just modify their theory a bit
They wouldn't have to. The way some of them ignore and deny observable reality currently, they'd just continue to wallow in their absolute ignorance. Moderates, however, may camels piss on them, will scramble to find obscure passages in their holy books to confirm new findings. One can almost admire the first lot, at least they stick to their guns, the second bunch's intellectual dishonesty sickens me.
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2011, 08:20:57 AM »

Just one thing, we are seeing this planet as it existed 600 million years ago, right? So it could have exploded by now, or fallen into their sun or whatever. It is somehow very freaky.
No, it's 600 light years away, not 600 million.  It still could have blown up, though.

Quote from: mefiante
Nonetheless, there are compelling chemical and physical reasons that strongly suggest that ET life would also be carbon-based to a very high degree of probability.
Is there any indication of what we may predict to expect with what we know of life on earth? Will their DNA, for instance, have the same 4 nucleotides or is that expecting to much? Will they HAVE DNA? Think of the answers we may finally have and just think of the questions it will generate.

Screw the religious with their fucked up preconceived "answers", there is real science to be done here  Cheesy
Quote from: multichocolate
All that would happen would be that creationists would just modify their theory a bit
They wouldn't have to. The way some of them ignore and deny observable reality currently, they'd just continue to wallow in their absolute ignorance. Moderates, however, may camels piss on them, will scramble to find obscure passages in their holy books to confirm new findings. One can almost admire the first lot, at least they stick to their guns, the second bunch's intellectual dishonesty sickens me.
Exobiologists reckon alien life is so different to anything we have here on Earth that it will be almost unrecognisable to us.  I'm not so sure.  The same features have evolved independently on Earth many times in response to evolutionary pressure, so if the environment is 'Earthlike' I would expect the life there to have Earthlike features, i.e. eyes, other sensory organs, etc.  If there is a technological civilisation I would expect it not to be too different from ourselves, because the things (like opposable thumb, pipedalism &c) that make a technological civilisation possible for us would also make it possible for them.

Still, I doubt that they speak English or play cricket.  We'll just have to teach them.
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 08:21:57 AM »

The planet is about 600 light-years from Earth, so we’re seeing it as it was just 600 years ago, a mere eye-blink in planetary terms.  As for the chemical details of ET life, without examining it, it’s impossible to say whether it would resemble that on Earth.  We don’t even know yet whether a different mode of life chemistry is possible.  Moreover, I doubt that we can discern actual life at the distance in question.  All we can say at present is that the planet appears to be in the right zone for complex life to emerge on it.  To test whether it does have life, we’d need to get a much closer look — not an easy task when you consider the mountains of effort we put into examining our closest neighbour, Mars, for life.

I’m well aware of the fluidity of theologies and how easily they get patched up to evade new evidence.  However, there are a few to which the notion is absolutely central that man is some god’s supreme creation, and others which depend heavily on such an assumption.  There is no conceivable way short of redefining “man” in which they can be mended should complex intelligent life at a roughly equal or greater stage of advancement to humans be discovered, so perhaps I wasn’t clear and specific enough.

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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 08:27:54 AM »

The planet is about 600 light-years from Earth, so we’re seeing it as it was just 600 years ago, a mere eye-blink in planetary terms.  As for the chemical details of ET life, without examining it, it’s impossible to say whether it would resemble that on Earth.  We don’t even know yet whether a different mode of life chemistry is possible.  Moreover, I doubt that we can discern actual life at the distance in question.  All we can say at present is that the planet appears to be in the right zone for complex life to emerge on it.  To test whether it does have life, we’d need to get a much closer look — not an easy task when you consider the mountains of effort we put into examining our closest neighbour, Mars, for life.

I’m well aware of the fluidity of theologies and how easily they get patched up to evade new evidence.  However, there are a few to which the notion is absolutely central that man is some god’s supreme creation, and others which depend heavily on such an assumption.  There is no conceivable way short of redefining “man” in which they can be mended should complex intelligent life at a roughly equal or greater stage of advancement to humans be discovered, so perhaps I wasn’t clear and specific enough.

'Luthon64
Indications of the existence of life would not be undetectable.  Detecting oxygen or methane in the atmosphere of an exoplanet would be a strong reason to take a closer look.  Theology is becoming increasingly irrelevent as knowledge pushes back the boundaries of the mysterious.  This upsurge in religiosity we are witnessing is just the last paroxysm of a dying beast.  The discovery of ET will hammer the last nail in its coffin.
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 08:56:58 AM »

Sure, life of various kinds can produce traces that are detectable at stellar distances but my point was only that without some direct or near-direct examination, we wouldn’t know if such life is chemically similar or identical to what we have on Earth, or indeed that it is life at all.

Another point to note is that “carbon-based life” is not synonymous with “life on Earth”.  The latter is (probably) a subset of the former unless it can be shown that “life on Earth” is the only feasible life that depends on carbon chemistry.

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2011, 09:03:52 AM »

Another point to note is that “carbon-based life” is not synonymous with “life on Earth”.  The latter is (probably) a subset of the former unless it can be shown that “life on Earth” is the only feasible life that depends on carbon chemistry.

'Luthon64
Yes, the problem we have here is that (as far as all the evidence we have tells us) all life on Earth has a single origin, i.e. every living thing on Earth is evolved from a single common ancestor.  With a different origin life could indeed be completely different to anything we can imagine.  But I don't see what that has to do with cricket.
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cyghost
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2011, 09:17:56 AM »

600 not 600 million. That is a relief. I guess life might take a form beyond even what we can imagine, precisely because we have nothing to compare it with.

On a water world, with atmosphere, I'd venture to say, life will be very much comparable to life here, precisely because the universe and the laws of physics are predictable and universal. God, after all, doesn't play dice with the universe.

I guess the answer lies in how likely abiogenesis is. Once life exists, it has proven to be extremely robust and rigorous to spread and thrive in even the most hostile of environments. It is that very first step from organic chemistry to what we consider life (which is just organic chemistry in a specific form?) which will determine this.

If abiogenesis is likely and probable, one of the last bastions for god of the gaps will be forever close. I'll rejoice.
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 09:33:49 AM »

Venus and Mars are technically also in our sun's Goldilocks zone. Venus (the goddess of love) is a boiling hell. Mars (the god of war) is a freezing, sterile desert. It should have been the other way round I think as far as war and love is concerned.

The earth had life on it for some 3.5 billion years now. Intelligent life, us, maybe 1 million. How would alien life know we are here? Our radio and TV signals leaking into space and one or two signals send deliberately. That only happened during during the last 100 years or so. How long are we going to be around to carry on doing this? Don't know but I can't see humanity surviving for ever.

If alien planets had similar histories, the chances that their intelligent life is synchronized with ours (their signals arriving now) must be extremely low. Another point is that evolution does not seem to favour high intelligence.

I think there must be life out there in some form or another but it won't have much effect on religion. It will be like the old ships sailing into the unknown, encountering other religions. If it was a primitive tribe, they would convert them, if not, there would be a religious war followed by centuries of mistrust.
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2011, 09:50:55 AM »

i read a book a while ago, by Arthur C Clarke or some such, where humans terraformed mars,(with plant and animal life already there), ditto for venus.  obviously never going to happen for venus.
but, they did find 'cloud whales' on jupiter.  or in jupiter if you will.  which made me think. how do know that life, is what we think it to be.  how do we not know that life could be a 'hive' of individuals, acting together as an entity (much like, might i add, our own bodies).  400 years ago, the idea of bacteria living in the sulphorous, boiling, volcanic pools, could not be conceived of.
what would we know in another 400 years.
to make a final conclusion about anything, is arrogant.  we dont understand the complexities of space/time, dimensions, all that mind-aching stuff.  how can we decide what alien life should look like?  act like?  
they want to find life on mars?  what if the entire planet is a living thing, with a metabolism so slow, it is barely perceptible?  wouldn't that just blow your socks off?
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2011, 09:52:35 AM »

But I don't see what that has to do with cricket.
Well, aren’t cricket bats made of willow wood, rubbed with linseed oil, and the balls covered in leather, stitched with cotton twine?  These are all products of terrestrial carbon-based life.  Then there’s the scoring.  Imagine the trouble it would cause if our Alien XI team was blessed with eight fingers per hand and they counted in hexadecimal… Wink

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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 10:16:47 AM »

how do know that life, is what we think it to be. 

how can we decide what alien life should look like?  act like?
“Therein,” as the Bard of Avon wrote, “lies the rub” — or at least a significant and most tricky part of it.  No single definition of “life” seems adequate even to cover fully the range of it we have found on our home planet, let alone universally.  We have only terrestrial life to compare notes on.  There’s even a bizarre standard by which rocks can be considered to be “life” because minerals, the principal constituents of rocks, are typically built in a systematic way from simpler parts of the environment using external sources of energy such as geothermal heat.  Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis proposes that the whole planet is in a sense “alive”, an idea that New Agers absolutely adore because they are given to conflating “life” and “consciousness”.

However, none of the above suggests that there aren’t clear-cut cases where life is unmistakably life, and those are the ones that we are looking for.  First prize would be discovering sentient or even sapient ET life, but any ET life we might find has the potential to extend vastly our understanding of what life is.

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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 11:11:37 AM »

Another point is that evolution does not seem to favour high intelligence.
Yes, the overwhelming throng and crush of humanity is strong evidence for this:  Stupid people far outbreed the rest…

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Brian
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 12:15:44 PM »

Quote
Stupid people far outbreed the rest…
If that were true the proportion of stupid people would be more than it was some 10 000 yrs ago? No? How do you define stupid? Doesn't the very notion fly in the face of Darwin?
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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 12:52:35 PM »

Stupid people far outbreed the rest…

'Luthon64
Did you see idiocracy?  A comedy on this very topic.  The hero finds himself 500 years in the future, where
(click to show/hide)
up than they
(click to show/hide)
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 14:12:17 PM »

There are some very smart people thinking about this.

For instance this guy is actually trying to make non-carbon based life in the lab (mostly out of metals).

Lee Cronin: Making matter come alive


Also, it seems to me like the US military is suddenly concerned about this new find, and want to fund SETI to check if there be aliens. "Just to be safe" it sounds to me.



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