View Full Version here: : Not sure what I saw?
08-09-2011, 10:14 PM
Last night I was seeing off my parents who had been baby sitting when I looked up to see two very bright stars. They apeared to be both slowly moving towards the ground (which is how I noticed them).
I asked my parents to look up and one of the "what looked like a star" went straight up. I was quite excited by this.. And with a blink of an eye the other star which had stop moving down disappeared. Then the higher star on the left then also disappeared. I know this seems very strange.. and no I wasn't drinking. My parents weren't as impressed as I was but had seen the same thing.
08-09-2011, 10:27 PM
Sorry, but is was my mother in law and her friend going home. The mother in law had trouble with her broom.. Some sort of power burst that shot her thousands of feet in the air.
Not really, i just had a funny thought. I have seen a few odd things myself that have got me wondering also. :question:
08-09-2011, 10:35 PM
Haha black widow...yer it's quite some xfiles kind of strange.. I was excited because to be truthful I would like UFO's to be real but until this happened I had never seen anything odd!
08-09-2011, 10:43 PM
What you probably saw was two Satellites going in different directions then blinking out as they went into the Earth's shadow.
08-09-2011, 11:05 PM
The only problem with that is they were both slowly moved in the same direction towards the ground, before one shot up? Then held is position.
08-09-2011, 11:08 PM
Can't help you there then :shrug:
08-09-2011, 11:12 PM
Must have been UFO's then.
08-09-2011, 11:46 PM
Unless satallites can move extremely quickly and stop on the spot.. Iam thinking it must be proof that UFO's are real. Unless someone knows of something else it might be.
09-09-2011, 08:26 AM
Nope, it couldn't feasibly be anything else. Little critters with big heads, speeding around the galaxy in their G-force imune craft, abducting cows and people with brains like cows.
We're lucky you saw them, when not even the thousands of aircraft radar or satellite tracking systems did. (of course they didn't, it's a cover up).
09-09-2011, 08:32 AM
There are a bunch of things it could be. Arthur C Clarke wrote a good book explaining all of the natural and man-made phenomena that cause odd looking lights in the sky. I have it somewhere, I'll see what I can find.
Of course UFOs are real, in as much as you saw a flying object and it is currently unidentified. It would be beyond unlikely that it was a pair of Alien craft however.
How about we all assume that it is something explainable and try and find an explanation first. Although the mother-in-law theory may be worth further investigation.
You can start by checking what was in the sky at your location at that time.
09-09-2011, 09:18 AM
If I was an Alien on a strange world, I'd spin along at 35000 feet at 500knots with a blinking light on each side of my 'saucer'.
Then everyone would assume I'm a plane - of course I would be radar invisible so that wouldn't be a problem.
I wouldn't zap around like a kid on a new bike making a show of my aerobatic skills.
09-09-2011, 09:42 AM
The Genuine NASA pictures will appear shortly with a resolution of 100 meters.
It really happened!!!! :rofl::rofl::rofl:
I think it's time to refer to the chart.....
09-09-2011, 11:46 AM
09-09-2011, 12:22 PM
Maybe it was a couple of choppers?
09-09-2011, 01:07 PM
Hi, going against character and being serious for just a moment. What you saw was most assuredly an U.F.O..
An U.F.O. is by definition an unidentified flying object.
I have personally seen multiple U.F.O.'s but I doubt very much that I have ever seen a ship from another planet, galaxy, dimension or time.
The more one looks up the more one will see that brings wonder, puzzlement and pondering.
09-09-2011, 08:06 PM
Yer Brian W, my point exactly. It's funny how angry people will get. The objects appeared like any star you have seen in the sky.. Not a plane,.. Star trek craft etc lol. The day was Wednesday 07/09 at around 8, 8.30pm.
:eyepop: the objects moved slowly... But the one that moved up quickly did not appear larger as it moved very fast then stopping on the spot. So I am ruling out helicopters
09-09-2011, 08:11 PM
Could be barking up the wrong tree here .... what about " min min " lights.
Just a guess ...!! :shrug:
10-09-2011, 05:52 AM
trust no one!
10-09-2011, 11:33 AM
I think it's sad that people aren't open minded. I know what I saw something strange.. If you can't be objective and question things then I feel sad for you. I don't know what I saw.. Hense the Title.
It's more likely that people that are angry have been raised Christian and the thought of other intelligent life..(other than on earth) Upsets them because it throws all there belief systems out the window.:screwy:
10-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Hi Mark, unfortunately these sort of posts will always bring out some form of negative comments for you.
That you see something that you can not determin what it was does not make it an extra terrestial object,and for you to put that connotation on it will always bring out the negative comments.
That we only have your limited description to go on so it is hard to give any definitive answer.
I and a big percentage of people on this site have been observing for a very long time without seeing anything of a nature that cannot be explaned in most cases, in my case over 26 years .
But there will always be cases that because of a lack of any real evidence, no satisfactory answer.
10-09-2011, 04:20 PM
Yes astroron, I agree with you. I have never said it was a alien invasion or anything of this nature. It was an observation made be me and my parents that is all. It was very strange.
10-09-2011, 04:40 PM
all said and done mark...well done for spotting what ever it was????many a night i sit looking up hoping to see something out of the ordinary!!!!!!
10-09-2011, 05:20 PM
you did not fall over at the sight of the first one and the second then appeared to move in a different direction
10-09-2011, 06:25 PM
Haha, no I didn't fall over.
11-09-2011, 09:46 AM
Mark, Dont take it to heart that people are having a little fun with this thread, truth of the matter is that without all the facts, its impossible for anyone to give you a definitive answer.
There are so many things you need to know to assertain what it is that someone else sees.... for example (but not limited to):
2.The EXACT viewing time
3. which direction you were looking
4. The viewing conditions (including light interferance from streetlights, cars going past, neighbours verrandah lights, temperature, humidity)
Then there are all the "almost uncheckables"..
Planes, helicopters, neighbours with laser pointers, festivals or fetes from the day that might have had balloons etc.
Then none of that accounts for what you think you saw vs what you actually saw.
I once spent a full hour as a teenager watching some mysterious lights in the sky.. they were uniformed in their direction.. they were bright and they were moving FAST..they were approximately 30degrees up and they would travel south to north then shoot off at an acute angle then disappear and i was convinced I was watching an invasion.
As i moved around... i noticed there were areas where I couldnt see them.. and areas where I could, also.. when i pointed them out to my girlfriend at the time, she was unable to see them... when I ducked down to her height, they disappeared. I even went through a small amount of time thinking that only when I pointed them out, they disappeared, like an instant "recognition" cloaking device.. but I would stand back up to my original view, and they were back.
Eventually, a car came along the road I was on.. and I could have cried when I saw the very obvious explanation....what I was seeing was actually a reflection from the car lights as they travelled on the f3 freeway, being reflected off some shiny telephone wires that I just couldnt see due to a streetlight up the road hampering my night vision..and the wires being in a complete shadow from the same light.
Point is.. Its really hard to tell what you saw because there are SO many variables, try and have a sense of humour about the "little green men" comments.. people are just having fun.
Incidently, it is unlikely peoples "anger" (i havent noticed anyone getting angry in this thread) is because of a religious viewpoint being thrown out the window, its probably more likely that as scientists/astronomers, the question of aliens comes up in almost every conversation with people you encounter. I know for me the ol.."Have you seen any aliens yet" is only maybe second in comments to people suggesting I am looking through a neighbours window.
Incidently, I havent seen any "intellegent life" apart from the satelites we have put in orbit YET... but man oh man, what an experience it would be if I did!!!(and the neighbours window isnt worth looking through :rofl:)
11-09-2011, 10:43 AM
Hey Zincberg, I also agree with your post. It may have been many things.. Iam unsure. They did appear like stars... Like any other star you will see in the night sky. Only they moved...
I was facing south east when I saw this happen. The viewing conditions were clear.. Very good viewing (for suburbia).
I also have had the "have you seen aliens" and "what's that for, looking at the neighbours" jokes.
What I saw was seen by two other people. And was obvious to me as very strange. I am open to all ideas from anyone.
11-09-2011, 03:36 PM
Would it be possible that what you saw was the exhaust glow from two military jet aircraft travelling side by side. One continues ahead probably to an airstrip and the other does a verticle climb and veers away, then the glow from it's exhaust would then be facing away from you.
I believe you did see something which does require a logical explaination.
11-09-2011, 10:42 PM
I'd like to think what you saw was infact a couple of E.T. ships..
Just because we have no hard evidence of alien life, doesn't mean its not out there. With all the Galaxies and all the Stars in the Universe are we that pompous to think that we are the only planet that has intelligent life (some would say that was debateable as well). It's also feasable that some E.T. civilisations may have advanced far more than our own, and are able to travel great distances with ease. Take the Sci-Fi in Star trek, where they can travel around the Universe with relative ease. The show is set 300 odd years in the future, so considering how for our civilisation has advanced in just the last hundred or so years, how far could it advance in another 300?
Now I'm sure there are people reading this and thinking to themselves that I'm a dreamer, but take yourself back to the late 1700's and try to convice the people of that time that in 300 years we would be using the technologies that we take for granted today....you would probably be burned at the stake!
12-09-2011, 07:14 AM
:) Go back just 30 years and try to convince astronomers about the technology we use today. They would have point blank told you you were lying. LOL
12-09-2011, 09:59 AM
Once before when my mom and I were Cocoa Beach, Florida I saw something interesting. We were waiting for a rocket launch, but not a shuttle launch. And it was back in January 2009 for the launching of a probe rocket.
So it was at night and I saw something (UFO) coming from the east going west with 3 white lights. They didn't flicker or flash and the one in the middle stayed there while the outer ones looked to travel in a out and cross over at the middle. To me, it looked like it was traveling a bit faster than an airplane would, but then I didn't guess at the altitude.
It then reappeared and disappeared to the east at which point just before I told my mom and she saw it.
What does anyone here think about that?
12-09-2011, 11:56 AM
When I was 14, I saw three red lights traveling in a delta pattern. No noise, just gliding silently from roughly south to north. Followed them for a few minutes with my bino's until they suddenly "disappeared" (move into the earth's shadow?)...
Considering it was the mid-70's, my father suggested to me it was probably military satellites... this hypothesis passes Occam's Razor, unlike an Extraterrestrial spacecraft fly-over...
I know a lot of people ":love:" the romance of ET looking down on us covertly , but honestly... :poke:
12-09-2011, 10:28 PM
Hey Astro nut, Ive never seen air craft exhaust glow, so I could not compare. What I saw has a shimmer just like a normal star. They didn't change size, they stayed the same size as the both moved down at the same speed, before the left one shot up.
Jaybee, I agree it does seem possible that there are intelligent beings in the universe somewhere.. Seems to me way to foolish to believe we are it.
The media (news globally) have had a number of strange stories in recent years which can not be explained. More people are looking and often with cameras in phones people are getting pics or videos of strange events.
Oicurmt, I don't know that people love the romance of ET. Most movies show aliens or ufos on a he'll bent mission to destroy mankind.
Most of the astromers and scientists (these days) are of the frame of mind that there is intelligent life in the universe..I am open minded.. But also am open to earthly answers.. To my strange observation.
13-09-2011, 12:16 AM
I agree, but I just don't think that in the grand universe, billion of light years across that ET somehow stumbled upon little planet earth (and took interest), several light years (or millions of light years) from their home planet at such a time that coincidentally they happen to observe pedantic little creatures evolved enough to figure out how to kill each other more efficiently using what to them would be equivalent to us poking each other with sticks :poke: listening to our insignificant society argue about stuff that to them is irrelevant...
The odds of an alien race finding earth and making the journey to our planet from even within the Milky Way itself makes the term "Astronomical" seem, well, rather <:help::shrug:>
But humans continue to be arrogant or stupid enough to somehow believe that "Yep... those aliens really love to 'probe' humans... that's why they are here!" ;)
13-09-2011, 06:26 PM
Haha Oicurmt, If they ever come to earth we will book you in for the first anal probe.. Is that what your after?
13-09-2011, 07:51 PM
ha ha ha ..... mmmmmmmmmm.... maybe? :eek:
18-09-2011, 02:40 PM
:lol: No is was swamp gas . :thumbsup:
24-09-2011, 08:17 AM
It would be VERY VERY foolish and arrogant of us to believe that we are the only intelligent life in the universe, considering that we know the universe is at least 15 billion light years wide. (That we can see)
Consider all the galaxies and solar systems and planets that have the possibility of sustaining life. We have 2 in our solar system alone, and there are several within a few light years of us.
There is NO way we are alone in this massive universe.
Now whether they have visited us is another debate all together, but to turn around and say there is no life anywhere (without evidence to support your rant) just because you don't believe that if there was they wouldn't come here. Is naive and arrogant. We are NOT special, we are NOT unique (Look at how close we are in genetic make up to pigs and monkey's.)
There is too much evidence to suggest we are not alone.
Oh i forgot to add.. the fact that we have found bacteria on mars.. makes anyone who's argument that there is no life in the universe negated. We have FOUND life on other planets. Albeit not intelligent life but life none the less.
We are shaped by our knowledge of whats around us and what we have been taught (very very very very limited knowledge.) There quite frankly could very well be civilisations vastly more advanced than us. (millions of years more considering that we are considered and infant race.) Whats to say they cant travel millions of km at speeds we just don't understand. Them visiting us might be like us taking a trip to Sydney, or taking a trip to the shops. Purely because they are using technology that we just don't understand, and just because we don't understand it does not mean that it doesn't exist.
I could go on and on and on, and no im not some science fiction nut that goes out looking for UFO's spouting rhetoric about how were being visited by aliens so just stop before you accuse. I'm merely more open minded to something than to suggest that it doesn't exist without evidence, or because i was told it doesn't exist. (Like two people looking at a wall and one turns to the other and says that wall isn't there, and the first one nods and says yeah i agree, while a third walks up and paints it.)
24-09-2011, 09:33 AM
Well said amunous. I agree completely. A lot of people are getting evidence of strange objects, all around the world. It appears we are in an awaking stage of our development where people actually begin to think beyond our communities. The Internet is opening people awareness, and creating debate. I think that at the moment we live in amazing times.. With technology bring people together and people sharing ideas.
24-09-2011, 12:51 PM
You need to reference your statement, as it is inaccurate.
27-09-2011, 12:26 PM
The amount of planets etc. in the known universe sounds very big, but the chances of a DNA based software/hardware system developing so far hasn't been shown to be exactly likely, so even from a statistical viewpoint it may not be in favour of life existing elsewhere.
The stuff found in the Martian meteorites hasn't been proven to be bacteria, it looks a lot like it, but the size is way, way, way smaller than terrestrial bacteria, small enough that many scientists believe it would be too small to be able to exist, and that the deposits in the meteorite may be something else altogether. As far as I have read (and I could be totally wrong) the jury is still completely out on whether they represent life or not.
We certainly aren't unique or special amongst life on earth, we share nearly all of our genetic code with mice for instance, but the DNA/RNA system is incredibly unlikely and difficult to come up with from scratch, I believe it did happen here through a random chance (I don't believe in any kind of Skybully creator) but unless we find some as yet undiscovered laws, then the chance of it happening are almost infinitesimally small. Either that or the laws of physics are biased towards the creation of intelligent life, which is a pretty astounding claim.
Either way, we can't know unless we either
(a) find life elsewhere that didn't get there from here, or us from there (i.e. if we found life on Mars, it would mean nothing if life on Earth evolved from bacteria that arrived here in Martian meteorites)
(b) discover something in the laws of physics, or in a new law that biases molecules towards forming life.
We are all just speculating until some new discovery is made that tips the scales one way or the other.
28-09-2011, 08:02 AM
Greetings all !
In the hunt for exo-life discussion, I find three curious statements which can be stated with certainty:
1) the uniqueness of life to Earth can be instantly disproven with the first confirmed exo-life discovery;
2) the existence of exo-life in the universe, can never be disproven with multiple negative discoveries, no matter how vast in number these are;
3) purely mathematically speaking, the numbers of habitable environments throughout the universe, tells us nothing about the uniqueness or otherwise, of exo-life in the universe, until a single instance of exo-life is discovered in an exo-habitable zone.
Inference from beliefs taken from non-insular Earth modelled habitats, is what keeps the search going.
28-09-2011, 11:22 AM
I'd agree with all of that, and would just add, that any exo life would have to be shown to not have originated from the same source.
e.g. If life was found on Mars, it would need to be proven that life on earth didn't begin and a result of life traveling to earth from the Martian surface (inside a meteorite or via some other method). We could find life within the solar system, but unless it also began from scratch it wouldn't tell us anything about whether life is likely to spontaneously erupt throughout the universe.
What I find interesting is that astronomers and physicists generally seem to believe that life is likely if there is sunlight ,warmth and water, you hear it quite often when talking about bodies within the solar system that have some form of water for instance. Not many extrapolate what that belief entails. If water, certain chemicals and energy requirements = a high likelyhood of life appearing, then that would mean somewhere within the laws of physics that a tilt towards life is built into the laws. That is a pretty incredible concept.
28-09-2011, 11:43 AM
Isn't it amazing how far this thread as deviated from the original post of a couple of unexplained lights in the sky:shrug:
28-09-2011, 11:57 AM
Mainly because we are all too dopey to work out what they were :)
I was hoping we would get an answer, but we never got enough detail as to the exact time, location etc. to be able to find out.
28-09-2011, 02:16 PM
Sure .. good points .. it all depends on how one defines 'exo-life' and what one is looking to gain from the conversation.
Even if we did find life elsewhere that turned out to be indistinguishable from Earth's versions, then at least the panspermia theories would then have some evidence based support. (Which would also be a big step forward).
The conversation also needs to keep separate: 'Abiogenesis', 'Evolution' and 'Panspermia'.
Do you think so ?
This doesn't quite work for me, but I can see how a belief might take them (or one) in that direction.
Extrapolation is only valid in deterministic systems (or sub-systems). There is no evidence that the occurrence of exo-life obeys such rules, or can be defined as such a system. As a matter of fact, Earth based life (ie: life as we know it), exhibits uniqueness of features at certain scales and dissimilarities on other scales. Elsewhere in nature (on Earth), this phenomenon constitutes firm evidence that life itself actually follows non-deterministic processes.
Abiogenesis is theorised as being the initial part of the life process. We can also infer from the evidence of similarity/non-similarity at different scales, that Abiogenesis may follow the same pattern .. but this would once again, be imposing our own penchant for determinism upon something we have no previous direct evidence for.
Extrapolation from no existing (past) evidence results in the problem … and this may come directly from our beliefs that everything in nature obeys the laws of determinism, despite plenty of hard evidence for and against (IMHO).
Maybe that's why the folk you mention, stop at the point you mention (over and above the obvious religious trajectory initially established). The instant that trajectory is established, the conversation can no longer be framed within the realm of the scientific process, as it has stepped beyond these boundaries.
PS: We're just chatting here Ron … anyone else is more than welcome to bring this thread back onto the OP topic.
28-09-2011, 02:25 PM
I just meant that I find it interesting that the belief that life may be widespread throughout the universe seems to be more common amongst Astronomers and Physicists than amongst Biologists, I have to work with both crowds and most of the first type when engaged in conversation tend to believe that life is almost guaranteed given the right circumstances and the later think it unlikely. This is only from my personal experience of maybe a few hundred people, certainly not a big enough sample size to draw any real conclusions. I just find it interesting.
I do think that if you equate water and warmth = a likelyhood for life appearing that you are implicitly saying that the laws of physics are tilted towards the formation of life, and that that is pretty amazing if true. Or you are saying there is some other mechanism in the universe that is pro life.
I personally don't believe so, I think we are a freak accident, but I'd like to be wrong. I enjoy the quarantine thoery as well :)
28-09-2011, 03:23 PM
Interesting, Peter .. ie: the two different perspective you mention from biologists and physicist types … hmm.
I'm interested to understand why 'water + warmth = a likelyhood for life appearing' implies that the laws of physics are tilted towards the formation of life ? It sounds to me that from all of the environments possible, if you go looking specifically for (liquid) water + warmth, you might find life (ie: a habitable zone ?)
How is the other conclusion reached ? I'm being quite straight here .. I'm not pushing any agendas etc .. I'm just interested, because I can't follow the steps leading to the "tilted towards the formation of life" bit .. why should this be so? :question:
29-09-2011, 12:46 AM
The variables that have created life on Earth ( through accident or design) would have to be found elsewhere in the universe.
I hope I live long enough to see the universe understood in more detail.
29-09-2011, 03:09 AM
I have no agenda either, and this is really just the result of getting to pick the brains of highly trained people often, and a passion for hammering them about biogenesis. I am intrigued by the difference in belief between Biologists on one hand, and Astronomers & Physicists on the other (in general terms).
If you go looking for life on a planet that already has life on it somewhere, then yes, looking specifically for liquid water + warmth would give you a likely abode to find living organisms. If Panspermia works (i.e. that microbes drift around the universe and land on planets randomly) then that would be a place to look.
I'm talking about biogenesis, or life being created from scratch.
When I talk to the biologists, we tend to talk about a super basic (or ancient) version of life as we know it, i.e. chemical based life with some form of replication system.
At the most basic level, such a system requires, at the very least, proteins that can act along with nucleic acids etc. Most of the people I speak to put the chance of the proteins occuring randomly (forgetting about the acids and other needed items for the most basic imaginable replicating organism, something far far cruder than a single cell bacterium) at about 10 to the power of 50,000.
People often claim that with the sheer amount of stars in the observable universe, that it would be insane not to think life was almost guaranteed, even by chance alone. But the latest estimate I saw of the amount of stars in the universe was about 10 to the power of 21 or something like that.
So although the universe is inconceivably large, to the biologists, the number of potentially habitable planets in the entire universe is almost trivial compared to the odds of even the proteins alone forming, let alone life taking off from there. It would be unlikely to happen even once, let alone many times. The universe seems big, but it is nowhere big enough.
So many biologists believe that to make the crudest raw materials for life (not functional RNA or even DNA, but just the basics to be able to let some crude replicator function) requires odds that are well beyond astronomical. If that is the case, then for life to be likely if you have water and warmth etc. then it requires something to push well against the odds. For protein chains to 'regularly' form against odds of 10^50,000 there would have to be something to make them do so.
This is what I mean about the laws of physics would need to be tilted towards life, there would have to be something in there to go so massively against the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it would require a law that led to greater complexity rather than chaos, the polar opposite of what is currently believed.
To say that life will appear given a basic set of conditions implies that we live in a universe that is inherently friendly to life appearing, that there are laws that govern the way molecules form etc. that inevitably lead to life, that is a massive statement, and one that goes against the little about physics that I know.
29-09-2011, 03:20 AM
That is what the biologists have a problem with, if they are right about the chance of the materials forming being so incredibly rare ( e.g. 10^50000 or even 10^30000) then the universe isn't big enough for it to be likely that the same variables would exist anywhere else that created life on Earth.
Their argument is that you could have 10 billion "earthlike" planets, and the chances would still be infinitesimally small that life would appear.
The conditions during a lotto draw are basically the same each time, the balls start off in the same order, and are dropped from the same height into a barrel that rotates in the same way each time. Yet the sequence of numbers that come out are basically always different.
Imagine a lotto draw with a few billion balls in it, and the chances of a particular number sequence appearing, even though the starting conditions are basically the same each time.
You could do a draw a day for the entire age of the universe and never see your sequence once.
Yet this is billions of times more likely to happen than the proteins required for life appearing even on a single 'earthlike' planet.
If they are wrong, and the formation of life *is* likely, then what is the mechanism that drives molecules to form non-randomly into long complex chains that are non-periodic and specific enough to lead to life?
If they are right, then we are a collosal fluke, and unless panspermia works then we are most likely alone in the universe.
That is the big question for me. Is there an as-yet undiscovered law, perhaps something will come from information theory or whatever it is called these days, that means life is likely in our universe, or are we truly alone?
29-09-2011, 09:27 AM
Hi Peter and others;
Peter: Thanks for your answer (in post #50), to my question. I think the matters you've raised are very interesting and are worthy of a separate thread. If you'd like to continue the discussion, I'd like to suggest we do it in the Science Forum, as a few folk who inhabit that region have biochemistry backgrounds and it'd be great to have their contribution to the discussion.. I'll raise a thread (I think I might call it "Abiogenesis") and perhaps, if you'll join me .. we can take it from there. There's lots of other dimensions which your colleagues might like to consider .. (and that's not to say they haven't already). ;)
As far as the statistical points you raise:
And those 'chances' no matter how small, are not zero, thus it is still possible that life can arise in a universe of infinite dimensions .. and this is a valid point, (even though there is no reason, other than optimism and inference, for believing that a specific life combination might arise).
Interestingly, I think the differences between the infinitesimally small probability you mention, and the offsetting, perhaps infinite size of the universe, depends entirely on which life model one chooses, also. Our modern DNA is almost certainly not how it started out. Pre-biotic ‘life’ was most likely much simpler than modern DNA. Evolution and natural selection modified it to what we see today and its effects should not be underestimated. (Purely theoretically speaking, now). We should look into this in the new 'Abiogenesis' thread. (When I get the chance to start it)
This argument depends on one's belief of what the probability is that life could arise by random chance, in the first place. (Ie: it also most likely assumes a normal probability distribution, random chance selection, etc .. and there is no evidence underpinning any these assumptions, remember).
See also, my above comment on impact of assumptions of what might constitute ‘life’, as these are of primary importance and dominate the conclusion reached.
Just the pessimistic flip-side of the coin.
The optimistic argument carries the same weight.
We won't know until an instance of exo-life is found.
And another 'certainty' … if we don't look .. we'll never find it !
29-09-2011, 09:55 AM
The odds I was quoting was assuming just the creation of a single protein. Even the simplest pre-DNA organism would need lots of proteins and other complex items. Even just an RNA replicator would require more than this.
I don't think people properly understand what a chance of 1 in 10 ^ 30,000 means.
The number of *atoms* in the observable universe is only around 10^80.
So unless the universe was truly infinite then the chance of it happening even twice is below consideration.
And that is just the chance of a single protein occurring, it would take much much more than that for even a pre-DNA super basic ancestor organism to occur.
I'll head over to the other thread, I'm keen to hear what folk far more knowledgeable than myself think on this stuff.
29-09-2011, 06:38 PM
Thanks for your posts... do the scientists have theories on how our DNA took the big jump?
29-09-2011, 07:16 PM
Over billions of years … and constant environmental interactions:
Mutation + Natural Selection = Increased Information.
As pointed out by Szostack's Abiogenesis Theory, no complex protein machinery is needed to get the process started .. and for life functions to commence. This dramatically alters the 1 in 10^30,000 figure argued by Peter's colleagues.
30-09-2011, 06:41 AM
Once we have DNA then natural selection kicks in as the mechanism that moves us 'against the odds' so to speak.
CraigS, even for Szostack's simplest proposed original replicators, it would require multiple self-replicating genetic polymers whose odds are also of the 10^30,000 variety, making the actual odds even worse.
Szostack is attempting to make and then combine two self-replicating systems: a nucleic acid (such as RNA or DNA) that can transmit genetic information and a simple membrane-bound vesicle that keeps the nucleic acid chains from drifting apart. He hasn't actually managed even that yet, and that is in highly contrived and controlled lab experiments. He is working on "the development of a self-replicating genetic polymer." as he says himself " Despite many years of effort, complete cycles of chemical (i.e., nonenzymatic) replication of RNA have not been achieved."
His work is interesting, it looks for far simpler organism models than exist today, but even the simplest of them still have odds that are greater than the number of atoms that exist in the universe. There is the problem.
If someone comes up with a way that life can form that is not unlikely given a set of pretty basic starting conditions (i.e. a chemical soup and some energy input) then that will mean that life forms simply and spontaneously according to the basic laws of physics, that would cause a greater rethink of how the universe works than anything Newton or Copernicus or Einstein came up with. It would break the 2nd law of thermodynamics and mean that we can create non-random, information rich systems by the application of simple laws. It would mean a total re-write of what physicists currently believe (of any macro-level physics theories).
It may be right, but it will take a new branch of science or a total shake-up of physics to be so. That is why the search for *true* exolife (not transpermia) is so important, if found, then we have a fundamental mis-understanding of the way the universe works, and that would lead to a whole new area of scientific enquiry, plus would be very cool.
30-09-2011, 09:18 AM
I'm glad this has evolved into an intellectual debate. I'm sick of people's only arguments being;
Me: So i think there is life somewhere in the universe.
Random person: No there isn't.
Me: How so?
Random person: Because i said so.!! (or only idiots believe in that crap.)
Me: Well what about (insert several points here)
Random person: Uh ahhhh your WRONG!!
And don't forget people... anyone referencing physics and thermodynamics and such. All those papers and theories were derived from experiences or experiments that occurred on earth. Therefore the laws can only be applied to anything on earth. Once you move to another planet with different mass, rotation speeds etc etc all those theories and practices get thrown out the window.
You only have to look at how gravity behaved on the moon to see how stupid it would be to apply the same principles to every planet in the universe. Different gasses on planets would also interrupt the way thermodynamics would work on different planets, unless of course EVERY planet in the known universe is identical and the same distance from their sun, rotating at the same speed, and covered in the same gasses, and has the same mass...
Like i said we are limited to what we know and understand. Once we start exploring space all our laws and rules will be null and void. We are already learning that just by stepping into the inner reaches of space.
Just because a set of biological rules works here doesn't mean that it will work elsewhere. If that was the case we wouldn't need space suits to walk on the moon, but in saying that, just because we cannot survive on the moon does not instantly mean that nothing can survive on the moon. So saying that the only way life can evolve is, this way, because that's how it happened here. Is pure folly, and just shows how narrow minded our species is.
But until we find evidence of Intelligent life elsewhere that we can exchange ideas with and learn about, its all really theories and conjecture.
30-09-2011, 09:24 AM
Good onya Michael !
I whole-heartedly agree.
Its a very interesting topic .. with so much potential for learning .. and so many self-imposed thinking obstacles to break down.
Gotta love the challenge .. and at the end of the day, we all know that no-one can be right either way … otherwise, there would be no point in talking about it, eh ?
(Chuckle, chuckle) ..
30-09-2011, 09:33 AM
Yeah lol i usually never speak to people like that again. I try to surround myself with people of varying degrees of intelligence. Regardless of whether they agree with me or not so long as they can debate the matter in any context instead of flat out denial then im all for it.
30-09-2011, 04:22 PM
I'm pretty sure the theories of thermodynamics work the same way whatever planet you are on.
The whole point of physics is to explain the way the universe works and to be able to then model and predict outcomes with different variables. Different planets would just have different variables, the equations stay the same.
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