Author Topic: What's Cool in Science This Week?  (Read 106927 times)

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Offline Emeraldlis

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2017, 07:44:08 AM »
Thanks, E.  I have no basis in my belief other than sheer numbers.  Billions of Galaxies?  There HAS to be life out there.  Whether it looks like us or not, I don't know.  Might be.  Might not.  But the Mars rover just found mud remains and where there's mud remains, there was water and...you know the rest.

I've stated this on site before, I truly believe in order to survive, man is going to have to colonize the solar system.  Whether it's on space stations orbiting planets, in habitats on moons or planets or some combination.  But it needs to happen.  The human race is going to suck the planet Earth dry if we don't find alternate ways to live in harmony with the environment.  And part of that is going to be learning to get resources off planet.  At least mineral ones to begin with.

It is very difficult to create life.  But like you said with billions of galaxies each having billions of stars life should exist elsewhere.
I really hope we find it soon so we can get rid of that religious idea that the universe was build for mankind.
Some scientist think we can even find some form of life in our solar system  (in the ice on the poles of Mars, in subsurface seas on moons of Jupiter, ...)

About colonization I feel different : we abuse one planet, so instead of cleaning that one we just move to the next one to do the same thing there.
We can get minerals by mining asteroids without the need to live there.    I do support the scientific reasons to go to other planets.
We still have about 4 billion years before our sun goes into its red giant period so there is some time left ...

The fact that Earth seems destined to support human life is logical.  If some parameters were different we wouldn't be here to even think about all this.


My view on that is if we can figure out how to live on Earth and not purposely kill ourselves through pollution, deforestation, greenhouse gas, etc., we can learn to live anywhere.  The problem right now is having the incentive to do it.  You would think the warnings we've been getting the last 30 years would be enough, but, no.  The human race is like a student that has an exam in the morning that determines whether they pass or fail and not studying for it until five minutes before it's supposed to start.

I really like your analogy of the student studying for exams five minutes beforehand , that made me smile MD , it's a great way to put it  O0 I agree with you and Pete , that we are abusing our planet , and that if something doesn't happen soon , there just won't be an earth here for us to even inhabit or live on anymore :( 
I know , like we've said , that water is essential to life . The earth had water on the planet before life appeared . But for a single cell to even be formed you need both proteins and enzymes , one can't exist without the other . It's the building block of a cell , and we are made from those cells . So it's great that they've found mud on Mars , and that means water ....but that still doesn't indicate life ,it  just indicates that if life was made there like us , then it could survive with water :) of course that life would then have to thrive in the conditions on Mars ...atmosphere and such .

I do think though , that even if we could get the resources off our planet and live elsewhere , we'd just wreck that place as well , if we can't take care of where  we already live , then how are we going to take care of any other planet ?

I honestly don't think there is any other life out there in the universe like ourselves with all the diversity we have on our planet . We've been around for millions of years according to scientists theory's , so why in all that time has there been no contact ? Of course people could say we've had ufo 's ......but it always surprises me with all of those stories , that aliens don't seem inclined to to show us how to travel , or stay put on the earth and learn us about there civilisations and where they live . They just seem to want to pick up one random person and probe their brain and dump them back on earth . For what purpose ? They're always painted as being more intelligent than us with technology , so surely they aren't learning much from us  ???

I do however hope that one day all of those galaxies and planets will be put to good use . I hope one day there will be more life around in the universe other than us , I just don't think at the moment that there is . Of course that's just my opinion , I totally respect both of your beliefs that you feel there could be life out there :)   O0

I do agree though
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Offline Pete Dero

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2017, 09:23:26 AM »

I honestly don't think there is any other life out there in the universe like ourselves with all the diversity we have on our planet . We've been around for millions of years according to scientists theory's , so why in all that time has there been no contact ? Of course people could say we've had ufo 's ......but it always surprises me with all of those stories , that aliens don't seem inclined to to show us how to travel , or stay put on the earth and learn us about there civilisations and where they live . They just seem to want to pick up one random person and probe their brain and dump them back on earth . For what purpose ? They're always painted as being more intelligent than us with technology , so surely they aren't learning much from us  ???

Making contact is no easy matter.  The star closest to us (Proxima Centauri) is more than 4 light-years away. (4.2 light-years, 40 trillion km, or 25 trillion miles !).  If life exist on the planet around this star it means any signal would take more than 4 years to reach us.  Should we detect it, it would take antother 4 years for our response to get tot them.  Not comfortable for communication.

Living beings traveling at lightspeed (if this even is possible) will come into contact with strange effects described by the theory of relativity.  When you travel a high speeds time goes slower for you than for the people who stay in place (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation).
If you could travel to Proxima Centauri at lightspeed and make it back you would be 8 years gone but everybody you left behind would be dead.  Maybe others found other ways of travel but according to  Einstein's Theory of Relativity nothing can exceed the speed of light.  When we look at stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (approximately 160,000 light-years away- what still is near as far as astronomical distances go) what we see might already be long gone as it left that system 160,000 years ago. Closer to us, within 20 light-year, there are only some 50 stars and most of them are smaller ones. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs

Why other civilizations didn't contact us ?
Let's say they took a look a few thousand years ago : 'we found a race and most of the time they spend killing each other'
They check back last century : 'they are still killing each other but they are getting better at it ...'
Maybe they don't contact us for the same reason you don't talk to ants : you don't see any use in it as you consider them to be inferior beings ...

There is also a small paradox in science : we use Keppler, Seti and others to look for alien civilizations but when someone claims they saw a UFO we try to prove them wrong and look for an earthly explanation.



Offline Ubercat

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2017, 09:47:59 AM »
... There is also a small paradox in science : we use Keppler, Seti and others to look for alien civilizations but when someone claims they saw a UFO we try to prove them wrong and look for an earthly explanation.

Great post!  I wouldn't call this a paradox, however. It's just the scientific method trying to keep us from getting egg on our faces.
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Offline MetalDog

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2017, 10:03:50 AM »
One thing I think people need to come to terms with is that humanity is a parasite.  If you imagine the earth as a single cell, and humanity as a virus on the outer cell wall, then you can view all of what we do to survive as bad for the cell.  All our activity is geared towards our own survival, so, how we use our environment determines how we live.  And even in a best case scenario, and we husband our resources like misers, there will come a day when there is no more iron, or gold, or oil, and so on and so on.  So, we'll have to find it somewhere else or die.  That means our solar system.  We need to get out there.  And soon.
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2017, 10:38:30 AM »
I wouldn't have called us parasites but yeah I agree we need to get off this tiny rock, and soon.

Actually colonizing another planet will be a extremely huge undertaking, as described but Jason elsewhere, and beyond our current capabilities, but we need to start with bases and mining operations on other stellar bodies. Once it commercially viable, and lucrative, the science will follow on quickly.

Offline Pete Dero

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2017, 11:29:31 AM »
One thing I think people need to come to terms with is that humanity is a parasite.  If you imagine the earth as a single cell, and humanity as a virus on the outer cell wall, then you can view all of what we do to survive as bad for the cell.  All our activity is geared towards our own survival, so, how we use our environment determines how we live.  And even in a best case scenario, and we husband our resources like misers, there will come a day when there is no more iron, or gold, or oil, and so on and so on.  So, we'll have to find it somewhere else or die.  That means our solar system.  We need to get out there.  And soon.

There is an alternative (not undisputed) view in science that claims all of this doesn't matter : the steady degeneration of human DNA would eventually lead to the total extinction of humanity given enough time.
The most pessimistic view gives us another 6000 years, optimists claim new science will fix the degeneration.  http://www.riseearth.com/2013/09/the-human-race-is-dying-dna.html?m=1#.Uul63WRdWkQ

About the resources : most can be recycled or replaced.   When pushed we seem to find new solutions (Cold fusion ?)
It is also safer and cheaper to mine asteroids by robots then sending humans there.   Unless you have an atmosphere and a magnetic field to protect you radiation in space can be deadly http://www.space.com/21353-space-radiation-mars-mission-threat.html
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a10732/can-we-protect-mars-explorers-from-deadly-cosmic-radiation-16887969/


Offline MetalDog

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2017, 11:55:54 AM »
Thanks for the links, Pete.  Not real well read on the topic, I just know what human nature has revealed to me through the years and I am not optimistic.  I will say, there do seem to be turning points in time where we get it right.  I just pray we take the right direction when it presents itself.
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2017, 12:06:28 PM »
There is an alternative (not undisputed) view in science that claims all of this doesn't matter : the steady degeneration of human DNA would eventually lead to the total extinction of humanity given enough time.
The most pessimistic view gives us another 6000 years, optimists claim new science will fix the degeneration.  http://www.riseearth.com/2013/09/the-human-race-is-dying-dna.html?m=1#.Uul63WRdWkQ

^From the article:
Quote
One of the most interesting revelations in Genetic Entropy is Dr. Sanford’s and other workers’ analysis of the Biblical account of life expectancies. In a statistical regression analysis of declining lifespans since Noah (lived 950 years), after 32 centuries since Noah the life expectancy has declined to about 70. The remarkable aspect is that this curve, which shows a sharp drop-off after Noah and a more gradual decline about 1,000 years ago, is that it is very similar to theoretical curves presented by other researchers that show genetic degeneration. Either Moses faithfully recorded the events (and ages) recorded in Genesis, or he was a skilled statistician who made up data with a remarkable fit to an exponential curve!

Noah and his biblical lifespan are being used as a scientific benchmark? Really!?
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2017, 12:06:32 PM »
Cold fusion is a pipe dream... sadly....

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Offline Ubercat

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2017, 12:34:35 PM »
There is an alternative (not undisputed) view in science that claims all of this doesn't matter : the steady degeneration of human DNA would eventually lead to the total extinction of humanity given enough time.
The most pessimistic view gives us another 6000 years, optimists claim new science will fix the degeneration.  http://www.riseearth.com/2013/09/the-human-race-is-dying-dna.html?m=1#.Uul63WRdWkQ

^From the article:
Quote
One of the most interesting revelations in Genetic Entropy is Dr. Sanford’s and other workers’ analysis of the Biblical account of life expectancies. In a statistical regression analysis of declining lifespans since Noah (lived 950 years), after 32 centuries since Noah the life expectancy has declined to about 70. The remarkable aspect is that this curve, which shows a sharp drop-off after Noah and a more gradual decline about 1,000 years ago, is that it is very similar to theoretical curves presented by other researchers that show genetic degeneration. Either Moses faithfully recorded the events (and ages) recorded in Genesis, or he was a skilled statistician who made up data with a remarkable fit to an exponential curve!

Noah and his biblical lifespan are being used as a scientific benchmark? Really!?

And yet another thing that bible god did a half-assed job on. Crappy DNA!  :clap:
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Offline Pete Dero

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2017, 01:12:27 PM »
There is an alternative (not undisputed) view in science that claims all of this doesn't matter : the steady degeneration of human DNA would eventually lead to the total extinction of humanity given enough time.
The most pessimistic view gives us another 6000 years, optimists claim new science will fix the degeneration.  http://www.riseearth.com/2013/09/the-human-race-is-dying-dna.html?m=1#.Uul63WRdWkQ

^From the article:
Quote
One of the most interesting revelations in Genetic Entropy is Dr. Sanford’s and other workers’ analysis of the Biblical account of life expectancies. In a statistical regression analysis of declining lifespans since Noah (lived 950 years), after 32 centuries since Noah the life expectancy has declined to about 70. The remarkable aspect is that this curve, which shows a sharp drop-off after Noah and a more gradual decline about 1,000 years ago, is that it is very similar to theoretical curves presented by other researchers that show genetic degeneration. Either Moses faithfully recorded the events (and ages) recorded in Genesis, or he was a skilled statistician who made up data with a remarkable fit to an exponential curve!

Noah and his biblical lifespan are being used as a scientific benchmark? Really!?

Oh, sorry.   #:-) :pullhair:   I linked to the first thing I could find (without reading the full article  :uglystupid2:)    I am an atheist myself so please ignore that explanation.

This might be a bit better (I hope) : http://genetics.thetech.org/weakened-gene-pool  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26953265

Offline Emeraldlis

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2017, 04:46:55 PM »

I honestly don't think there is any other life out there in the universe like ourselves with all the diversity we have on our planet . We've been around for millions of years according to scientists theory's , so why in all that time has there been no contact ? Of course people could say we've had ufo 's ......but it always surprises me with all of those stories , that aliens don't seem inclined to to show us how to travel , or stay put on the earth and learn us about there civilisations and where they live . They just seem to want to pick up one random person and probe their brain and dump them back on earth . For what purpose ? They're always painted as being more intelligent than us with technology , so surely they aren't learning much from us  ???

Making contact is no easy matter.  The star closest to us (Proxima Centauri) is more than 4 light-years away. (4.2 light-years, 40 trillion km, or 25 trillion miles !).  If life exist on the planet around this star it means any signal would take more than 4 years to reach us.  Should we detect it, it would take antother 4 years for our response to get tot them.  Not comfortable for communication.

Living beings traveling at lightspeed (if this even is possible) will come into contact with strange effects described by the theory of relativity.  When you travel a high speeds time goes slower for you than for the people who stay in place (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation).
If you could travel to Proxima Centauri at lightspeed and make it back you would be 8 years gone but everybody you left behind would be dead.  Maybe others found other ways of travel but according to  Einstein's Theory of Relativity nothing can exceed the speed of light.  When we look at stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (approximately 160,000 light-years away- what still is near as far as astronomical distances go) what we see might already be long gone as it left that system 160,000 years ago. Closer to us, within 20 light-year, there are only some 50 stars and most of them are smaller ones. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs

Why other civilizations didn't contact us ?
Let's say they took a look a few thousand years ago : 'we found a race and most of the time they spend killing each other'
They check back last century : 'they are still killing each other but they are getting better at it ...'
Maybe they don't contact us for the same reason you don't talk to ants : you don't see any use in it as you consider them to be inferior beings ...

There is also a small paradox in science : we use Keppler, Seti and others to look for alien civilizations but when someone claims they saw a UFO we try to prove them wrong and look for an earthly explanation.

Thanks for the links and the info :) I have read einsteins theory of relativity , it's quite a while ago though , so it's nice to have my memory refreshed . The stats you've given about the distances between stars is mind blowing , you definately know your stuff and it's great to have you pass that knowledge on to me and whoever else is intrested , I certainly find it all really intresting . What you've said just more or less cements my own belief that we are the only life in the universe . If there was other life out there , I just think we would have known about that a very long time ago . I hope that in time life will spread through the universe , but I think that it will be us doing the colonising. And quite frankly , we don't treat our own planet that well , so it fills me with dread to think that we'd be let loose on the universe , just to turn that into a wasteland :( I think there are a lot of problems to solve on earth first . But I'm an optimistic person , and I have faith that we aren't doomed !!
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2017, 12:36:54 AM »
of course there is life out in the universe.  the problem isn't so much distance as time though.  over a mere billion years there could exist 100000 10000 year old cultures.  if they dont overlap, or are in close proximity then they might never know about each other.
I think there have been 100s, if not 1000s, of intelligent species running around this galaxy.
just not now, and not near us.
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Offline Pete Dero

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Re: What's Cool in Science This Week?
« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2017, 02:00:06 AM »
This is Stephen Hawking's view (and I am with him on this  8) ):

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/apr/30/stephen-hawking-right-aliens
Hawking believes that, based on the sheer number of planets that scientists know must exist, we are not the only life-form in the universe.

If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," Hawking has said in a forthcoming documentary made for the Discovery Channel. He argues that, instead of trying to find and communicate with life in the cosmos, humans would be better off doing everything they can to avoid contact.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/im-atheist-stephen-hawking-god-space-travel-n210076

The idea that we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant.