Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Here's another post about something I don't know for a fact (nobody does) but which I've thought a lot about and would like your opinions.

Do you believe in life on other planets out there somewhere, maybe in a galaxy far far away?

Or do you believe we here on earth are the only intelligent life? (Using the word "intelligent" rather loosely.)

If there are other places with life on them - "life" as in thinking creatures and not just microbes of some sort - are they more intelligent than we are? Have they advanced more than we have? Is space travel (or even time travel) in their repertoire?

I have been told (and can't argue) that there are so many planets out there it would be an incredible fluke if we were the only planet with some sort of "people" on it.

I am hesitant to use the word "believe" since my friend the Rocket Scientist put it into perspective for me. But if one simply formulated a theory, it would seem reasonable to theorize that by sheer numbers alone, there would be other people out there. (I am starting to use the word "people" now instead of "life," because I am talking about intelligent creatures, really, and not primitive plant life.)

If there are other intelligent creatures, people, out there, what are the ramifications of that?

I suppose if there are "others" out there, then the theory that "life" might have been planted on earth might not be as far fetched as I was ridiculing in my recent post.

What do YOU think the possibilities are, that you have been quiet about until now? I won't call you crazy if you think there is other life out there. I just want to know what you think it might be like. Or are the possibilities endless?


  1. I'll rush in where it appears angels fear to tread, at the risk of being held up to ridicule. :)

    I've always wondered why, when we think of the possibility of other life forms, we restrict ourselves to life that is only a variation of life on earth. When I hear someone say, such and such planet couldn't support life, I wonder why not? Just because it couldn't support our form of life doesn't mean to say it couldn't support a totally different form based on totally different systems. The "beings" could be microscopically small. They could be as diffuse as a puff of air. They could be totally beyond our comprehension and so, I suspect, could their intelligence.

    There are enough examples of things in our own world that are on the borderline of being living entities that demonstrate the diversity on one small world. Why then could the whole universe not manage to produce a much greater diversity?

    Of course our universe may merely be someone else's raindrop.

  2. I'll even go so far as to say I "believe" there are other forms of intelligent life out there. The belief is not scientific and is personal, but the sheer numbers you noted make it impossible for scientific part of my mind to discount the possibility even if I wanted to. Though I don't.

    I can speculate on their forms, intelligence, capabilities, but really, I'm content to believe they exist.

    I also agree with A that our perspective tends to limit what we believe is possible. We can't know that there is not a viable form of life in the poisonous furnace that is Venus or the stormy non-surface of Jupiter.

    I don't know when we'll know for sure, whether we find this life only after we cross vast oceans of space or if they find us first. Perhaps we never will.

    I suspect, though, that the universe has far more surprises in store for us than even the most imaginative of us have conceived.

    Reality can be amazing!

  3. I'm a fan of the Drake equation, which works on the idea that once a civilization reaches an unknown level of advancement it destroys itself, thus making it difficult for them to interact with other advanced civilizations.

    Another problem with contacting other races is that we have to be at or near the same level of technological advancement to interact with each other. This problem is further increased by the vast distances of space and the time it would take a message to get around.

    Then there is the whole dinosaur thing-these big dumb brutes ruled the earth for 180 million years-so we can assume that similar groups of very successful but not very bright lifeforms fill the cosmos.

    But like you, I am fond of the idea that aliens such as Michael Jackson do exist and have visited out humble little planet.

  4. Not only do I believe (without quotes) that life out there exists, I believe it's in constant flux with our own lives, exists in ways we cannot in our limited experience imagine, and filters through our own world in ways we may never come to understand.

    Nothing scientific. Too Piscean for that.

  5. BTW, thanks for the URL update. No wonder I hadn't visited lately!

  6. So far, so good. I believe in the Law of Large Numbers, so I believe in the possibility of not only life, but similar life, more or less. (The numbers are pretty high, after all.) Of course I realize there is a difference between probability and actual evidence.

  7. @A. - Our universe might be somebody else's raindrop? You are so poetic. :)

    @Stephanie B - Reality IS amazing!

    @Descartes - You are so much further advanced than I am when it comes to Science Fiction. The Drake Equation? Sounds about right. But will we ever meet these other beings? - or will that theory always make it impossible?

    @Shakespeare - but what I want to know is if we will ever meet these other people, and what do you think that would mean for us? For them?

  8. All you need to do is a bit of Astral Projection, go out and find a few aliens and meet them. You could chat up Ramtha, Seth, and Abraham while your at it.

    All the tales of people meeting aliens here are pretty grim, though I do like most of the Whitley Strieber stories.

    In the end, your question about really meeting aliens boils down to what you definition of reality is. If your looking for an Independence Day or Close Encounters kind of meeting, I'm thinking no. But individual tourists stopping by and harassing farmers? Sure, why not.

  9. I'm convinced that in an infinite universe, this planet can not be the only one harbouring life.
    However, like A, I don't necessarily think it would be a biped of about six feet tall, with slightly rearranged human features. It might, say, be silicon based. who knows? Crystalline? A cloud? Does it need to be in our scale? No, it might be as big as a planet or as small as a very small thing. How about its timescale? might its life be akin to that of a glacier, making a three-toed sloth look like speedy gonzalez, or maybe it's activiyies might go on as fast as a speeding bullet.
    Would we recognise it as intelligent life? Would it recognise us as so?
    I always laugh when I hear that such and such a place can't support life because there's not enough oxygen. I wonder if anywhere else in the galaxy, there's a race of scientists, gazing at us, and saying earnestly, well, of course, earth could never support life, it's atmosphere is full of deadly oxygen, and besides it's far too hot/cold, blue, or whatever.



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