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Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space



 
 
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  #61  
Old July 11th 17, 11:56 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Bill Wright[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,818
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On 11/07/2017 11:30, Huge wrote:

The thought of Bill being dead certainly cheers me the **** up.


It cheers me up as well. At least I won't have to endure the puerile
rants of the imbecile left.

The average
IQ of mankind will go up, for one thing.


Not necessarily. As a white Caucasian with average IQ the likelihood is
that my IQ is lower than the average Indian or Chinese but higher than
the average Negro.

Bill
  #62  
Old July 15th 17, 12:09 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Johnny B Good[_2_]
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Posts: 394
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 18:36:19 +0100, tim... wrote:

"Roderick Stewart" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:43:34 +0100, "tim..."
wrote:

Discovering that life had appeared spontaneously and independently
elsewhere (assuming it actually has),

I think that we already "know" that it has

it is whether it has progressed to intelligent form that is unknown.


We don't know it at all.


I thought we had evidence that there has been past microscopic life on
celestial bodies that we have analyzed samples from, from an era when
these bodies had an atmosphere.

my mistake


Well, who here hasn't made mistakes? We're all doomed to make mistakes
in abundance. At least you're intelligent enough to realise that denying
your mistakes is a pointless exercise that does nothing for anyone's
esteem. :-)

Whilst it's true enough that there's ample evidence of biochemical
molecules which form the fundamental building blocks of 'Life' being
created in the interstellar gas and dust clouds, let alone on the moons
of Saturn, there has been no evidence to date of actual living organisms
of any sort, just the discovery of potentially viable eco-systems that
may exist in the sub surface oceans of Europa and Enceladus which might
be harbouring as yet undiscovered extraterrestrial life.

There are very encouraging signs that life forms may have evolved in
other parts of the solar system not yet fully explored. Encouraging
because discovery of extraterrestrial examples of 'life' would go a long
way in answering modern man's quest for knowledge about how our own
existence came to be in this very large cosmos we find ourselves residing
in.

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to the
evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.

I'm not totally discounting SETI's efforts out of hand. Given enough
time and resources, they may well discover evidence of the activities of
extraterrestrial civilisations. On the other hand, they may never find
any such evidence at all, implying that humanity may be entirely alone as
an advanced species in the whole of the universe (not just the paltry
'observable bit').

Either way, this knowledge should motivate us to 'smarten our act up'
either to 'receive guests' or just to take care to avoid extinguishing
the one and only custodian species in the universe.

--
Johnny B Good
  #63  
Old July 15th 17, 08:26 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
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Posts: 4,164
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

In article , Johnny B Good
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to
the evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


However that depends on the unstated presumption that 'life as we *don't*
know it' isn't possible. i.e. That the conditions specific to Earth are the
*only* set which allow life. We simply have no data on which to determine
that one way or another. One data point against trillions of unknown cases.

What we do have data for is the the idea that intelligent life is rare and
hence examples might be so far apart in space/time that communication or
detection is problematic using methods we are aware of. But this still may
be a "insufficient data" situation.

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #64  
Old July 15th 17, 09:42 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
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Posts: 2,091
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:09:11 GMT, Johnny B Good
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to the
evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


I've always thought exactly the same. The Drake "equation" is just a
string of estimated probabilities multiplied together. Some of those
estimates appear to be reasonable ones, based on facts, and since the
equation was first proposed we've discovered a few more facts - but
not (yet?) the most important one. We can make guesses at how life
might progress, but it's meaningless as long as we know nothing about
the probability of life appearing *at all*. Multiply several numbers
together, and no matter what they represent, if just one of them is an
unknown quantity then the whole thing is unknown. It looks like
mathematics, which makes it look clever, but really it's still just
wishful thinking.

Rod.
  #65  
Old July 15th 17, 09:55 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Norman Wells[_6_]
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Posts: 936
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On 15/07/2017 10:42, Roderick Stewart wrote:
On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:09:11 GMT, Johnny B Good
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to the
evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


I've always thought exactly the same. The Drake "equation" is just a
string of estimated probabilities multiplied together. Some of those
estimates appear to be reasonable ones, based on facts, and since the
equation was first proposed we've discovered a few more facts - but
not (yet?) the most important one. We can make guesses at how life
might progress, but it's meaningless as long as we know nothing about
the probability of life appearing *at all*. Multiply several numbers
together, and no matter what they represent, if just one of them is an
unknown quantity then the whole thing is unknown. It looks like
mathematics, which makes it look clever, but really it's still just
wishful thinking.


It's not 'wishful thinking' but a best estimate based, as everyone
involved accepts, on certain informed guesswork. You're free to make
any other different assumptions you want and come up with a different
answer.

But your assumptions would have to be pretty wild to come to the
conclusion that intelligent life on earth is unique. They'd have to
exclude the possibility that the chemical processes leading to life here
could not or would not happen anywhere else at all. And I wonder if you
could possibly justify that.

  #66  
Old July 15th 17, 11:47 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,164
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

In article , Roderick Stewart
wrote:
The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to
the evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


I've always thought exactly the same. The Drake "equation" is just a
string of estimated probabilities multiplied together. Some of those
estimates appear to be reasonable ones, based on facts, and since the
equation was first proposed we've discovered a few more facts - but not
(yet?) the most important one. We can make guesses at how life might
progress, but it's meaningless as long as we know nothing about the
probability of life appearing *at all*. Multiply several numbers
together, and no matter what they represent, if just one of them is an
unknown quantity then the whole thing is unknown. It looks like
mathematics, which makes it look clever, but really it's still just
wishful thinking.


Yes and no. :-)

We should distinguish between the *equation* which includes a series of
variables and the question of how we might decide actual values for each
variable in order to get an overall figures.

Its virtue as an equation is that it lets us divide the question into a
series of sub-questions about the value of each variable.

We can then look for ways to get plausible values for each variable as a
way to build a way towards the result the equation would then give.

This is often the role of algebra.

That we can't currently determine values for many of the variables tells us
what we'd need to work on by observation, etc.

As time passes our ability to make observations improves. When I was young
the idea of ever being able to even *detect* any planets that might exist
around other stars than the Sun was viewed as fancyful. Now we know of
many, many, such planets, and detecting others at an increasing rate. We
are also beginning to be able to find out details about some of them as we
go. Things change and what was assumed to be a hopeless task ends up being
routine.

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #67  
Old July 15th 17, 01:22 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Johnny B Good[_2_]
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Posts: 394
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 09:26:56 +0100, Jim Lesurf wrote:

In article , Johnny B Good
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to
the evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


However that depends on the unstated presumption that 'life as we
*don't* know it' isn't possible. i.e. That the conditions specific to
Earth are the *only* set which allow life. We simply have no data on
which to determine that one way or another. One data point against
trillions of unknown cases.

What we do have data for is the the idea that intelligent life is rare
and hence examples might be so far apart in space/time that
communication or detection is problematic using methods we are aware of.
But this still may be a "insufficient data" situation.


That's the beauty of 'science'. In our ignorance, we may never know with
any certainty the answer to such questions until 'the whole assignment'
has been completed. Right now (and possibly forever) we don't even know
the *size* of 'the assignment'. Absolutely *anything* is possible (well,
if the concept is good enough for the Schroedinger's Cat hypothesis, why
not?). :-)

--
Johnny B Good
  #68  
Old July 15th 17, 01:42 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,091
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 10:55:49 +0100, Norman Wells
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to the
evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


I've always thought exactly the same. The Drake "equation" is just a
string of estimated probabilities multiplied together. Some of those
estimates appear to be reasonable ones, based on facts, and since the
equation was first proposed we've discovered a few more facts - but
not (yet?) the most important one. We can make guesses at how life
might progress, but it's meaningless as long as we know nothing about
the probability of life appearing *at all*. Multiply several numbers
together, and no matter what they represent, if just one of them is an
unknown quantity then the whole thing is unknown. It looks like
mathematics, which makes it look clever, but really it's still just
wishful thinking.


It's not 'wishful thinking' but a best estimate based, as everyone
involved accepts, on certain informed guesswork. You're free to make
any other different assumptions you want and come up with a different
answer.


Guesswork is still guesswork, and on this occasion it can't even be
considered "informed guesswork", because on the most important aspect
of it we are *not* informed. We know what conditions are necessary to
support life as we know it, but we have absolutely *no* information
about what is needed to bring it into existence or, consequently, how
many times this has happened. We only know for certain that it has
happened at least once.

But your assumptions would have to be pretty wild to come to the
conclusion that intelligent life on earth is unique. They'd have to
exclude the possibility that the chemical processes leading to life here
could not or would not happen anywhere else at all. And I wonder if you
could possibly justify that.


I haven't come to that conclusion at all. If you think I have, you've
missed the point, which was that we don't have enough information to
come to *any* conclusion. All we know is what we know.

And I'm not making an "assumption" when I say that we don't know
whether life has arisen elsewhere, or what chemical processes are
necessary to make it happen. It's a simple fact that we don't know.

If people have to fill an emotional void on the subject of
extraterrestrial life with ideas about how likely they think it is,
then they're welcome to do so, but it's wishful thinking and if they
want to build any other ideas on top of that they should really
recognise wishful thinking for what it is.

Rod.
  #69  
Old July 15th 17, 02:03 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Johnny B Good[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 394
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 10:42:56 +0100, Roderick Stewart wrote:

On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:09:11 GMT, Johnny B Good
wrote:

The more I've learned about the series of very *fortunate* accidents
that lead to the Earth's environment that so swiftly became benign to
the evolution of life, the more I think that Drake's famous equation
represents an outrageous level of optimism in discovering other
intelligent species in the Universe that we can actually interact with.


I've always thought exactly the same. The Drake "equation" is just a
string of estimated probabilities multiplied together. Some of those
estimates appear to be reasonable ones, based on facts, and since the
equation was first proposed we've discovered a few more facts - but not
(yet?) the most important one. We can make guesses at how life might
progress, but it's meaningless as long as we know nothing about the
probability of life appearing *at all*. Multiply several numbers
together, and no matter what they represent, if just one of them is an
unknown quantity then the whole thing is unknown. It looks like
mathematics, which makes it look clever, but really it's still just
wishful thinking.


Well, there *is* that aspect of course but it's still worth considering
the many variables that keep coming to light in this probability equation
to give us some perspective on the likelihood of the SETI program
actually producing reasonably incontrovertible proof that 'We are not
alone'.

It's true enough that most of the variables are just 'best guesses',
some of which may or may not be relevant (such as the need for a planet
in 'the Goldilocks zone' to suffer a collision with a Mars sized planet
in order to get a spin axis stabilising moon which will also provide
tidal forces to create interesting habitats to help drive evolution) but
this list of possible factors, if nothing else, provides targets for
research which may prove essential to determining whether or not there is
life elsewhere in the universe. The equation is part of the process in
gaining a better understanding of the problem.

Don't forget, as some proponents for the idea that life pervades the
whole universe would prefer you to believe, anyone is quite free to plug
their own values (best guesses) into this equation to obtain their own
guestimate. :-)

--
Johnny B Good
  #70  
Old July 15th 17, 02:48 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Robin[_8_]
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Posts: 432
Default Horizon 2017: Strange Signals from Outer Space

On 15/07/2017 09:26, Jim Lesurf wrote:

However that depends on the unstated presumption that 'life as we *don't*
know it' isn't possible. i.e. That the conditions specific to Earth are the
*only* set which allow life. We simply have no data on which to determine
that one way or another. One data point against trillions of unknown cases.


Indeed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTka51ky9TE


--
Robin
reply-to address is (intended to be) valid
 




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