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The truly AWESOME scale of the UNIVERSE
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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: The truly AWESOME scale of the UNIVERSE Reply with quote

frederick23 wrote:

NASA has confirmed 238 planets outside our solar system in a few years using Kepler. Intelligent life given the odds? Id say its just about a certainty.


Well, first you have to define "intelligent" and then define "life". And I am not being flippant here. We have a view of intelligence based on neural activity. We use distinctly anthrocentric terms to talk about intelligence - reasoning, deduction, analytical thought, etc. We test these concepts with human generated tests. All of this is biased towards a carbon and neural based life form here on earth. Which bring us to the second ill defined term - "life". What exactly defines life? For us the definition probably includes concepts like DNA and evolution, and perhaps reproduction. But if you want to avoid the trap of earth-centric concepts, you need to allow possibilities that do not include those elements. So what would the common denominator be that describes life on earth but is not too restrictive to recognize that things may exist that are way beyond our imagination?

I think it is interesting that we look to the stars but I also think we are a bit arrogant if we think we can shoe-horn things into our human way of looking at things. Human history is littered with chauvinistic cultural prejudices and this is one more trap to fall into. What we really should do is mind our own back yard, fix the problems we have here on this planet, and leave the poor rest of the universe alone.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2360

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think using the term "life as we know it" works. We can only speculate from our own unique perch while acknowledging there are many perches. (or not)

Here's a cool link I came across...
http://www.livescience.com/42457-dark-energy-galaxy-map-aas223.html

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frederick23



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no Windoggie, Flux Capacitor!! Ebay! I am no Physicist otherwise I would have the physics of a waterstart down. Pretty sure the Big Crunch has been proven will not happen. It is expanding never to crunch back. Whether it comes back to bite us? I heard another Astro guy explain it something like throwing a ball up in the air, instead of it coming down, it continues to go up and accelerates as it does. Makes no sense to me. Something to do with dark energy some kind of anti gravity. Dark matter is is gravity. Matter is matter. Ratio is something like 60% dark energy, 30% dark matter and the rest is matter? I loose understanding if it isn't something I can see like pennies and baseball stadiums. neutrons, quarks, big bangs and entire universes from a single point? I haven't got a clue how they figure that out.
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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windoggie wrote:
I think using the term "life as we know it" works. We can only speculate from our own unique perch while acknowledging there are many perches. (or not)



OK, so we find a planet full of blobs of silly putty looking stuff. Not life as we know it, so this planet and its resources are up for grabs by earthling Big Industry. Maybe the silly putty blobs are perfectly happy and we just screwed them out of their planet because they are not "life as we know it".
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2360

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scottwerden wrote:
a planet full of blobs of silly putty looking stuff. Not life as we know it

We report, you decide.
http://www.chemistryislife.com/t

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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frederick23 wrote:
Makes no sense to me. Something to do with dark energy some kind of anti gravity. Dark matter is is gravity. Matter is matter. Ratio is something like 60% dark energy, 30% dark matter and the rest is matter? I loose understanding if it isn't something I can see like pennies and baseball stadiums. neutrons, quarks, big bangs and entire universes from a single point? I haven't got a clue how they figure that out.


The funny thing behind all this is Einstein could not figure it out either. He introduced a fudge factor in his General Theory of Relativity to properly balance gravity and the assumed size of the universe. He called it the "cosmological constant". He later called it his worse blunder of his professional life because it was seemingly disproved by the discovery of an expanding universe by Hubble. However now it is back in fashion and the whole dark matter thing is the explanation. So don't feel alone - it is a concept that is still evolving, apparently.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2579

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scottwerden wrote:
...it is a concept that is still evolving, apparently.

Careful....... some posters here don't believe in evolution.
.
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frederick23



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonder what the James Webb Telescope will reveal in 2018? 100x more powerful than Hubble. The size of a tennis court, set to be in an orbit called the L2 point. 1.5 million km out. It is a gravitational balance point between Earth, Moon and Sun. Very little rocket thrust is needed to keep it in place.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3222

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are very smart aliens on this planet we can't communicate with. It will not be different in other places.
Dolphins, whales, elephants......

Orangs are smarter than my brother in law and he talks all the time.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1546
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frederick23 wrote:
Wonder what the James Webb Telescope will reveal in 2018? 100x more powerful than Hubble. The size of a tennis court, set to be in an orbit called the L2 point. 1.5 million km out. It is a gravitational balance point between Earth, Moon and Sun. Very little rocket thrust is needed to keep it in place.

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