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Alien life is out there. But our theories are steering us away from it.

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Alien life is out there, but our current theories seem to be steering us away from it, says this scientist.

Alien life is out there. But our theories are steering us away from it. : Read more
As the report concludes "In the search for extraterrestrial life, scientists must be thoroughly open-minded. And this means a certain amount of encouragement for non-mainstream ideas and techniques. Examples from past science (including very recent ones) show that non-mainstream ideas can sometimes be strongly held back. Space agencies such as NASA must learn from such cases if they truly believe that, in the search for alien life, we should "expect the unexpected."

Currently we have 4168, confirmed exoplanets, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia

Presently, none are confirmed with alien life on them. The geocentric solar system debate vs. heliocentric solar system, developed verifiable, repeatable observations and testing to overcome the geocentric paradigm in astronomy that dated back to Claudius Ptolemy and earlier. Tycho Brahe made efforts to show Mars parallax at Mars opposition, placed Mars farther away from Earth than the Sun but failed, Tycho did not refute Copernicus. This is just one example. There is also the history of meteorite ALH84001 (1996) and what happened with this space rock and life on Mars announced in 1996. Rigorous testing and repeatable verification standards should not be set aside to promote a *new paradigm* as sound science.
 
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Dec 3, 2019
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All this psycho-babble and talk about how open mindedness is key are just simply missing the primary point to why science is taboo to most. A human learns to communicate around the three year old time frame. Most humans start formal schooling at 6-7. And what happens, in regards to education, during that initial 3-4 yr span; most humans are introduced to religion. Not only that, but actively discouraged to explore, experiment and be curious. How I have heard it put; we teach our children to walk and talk then tell them to sit down and shut up.

Often kids are refereed to as "sponges" and will pick up on anything. Translate; as very young humans learning is easy and an opportune time to mold and instill fundamentals to produce a productive older human. However, all that is being instilled in our young humans is metaphysical bull-cockery, don't question religious elders and never contradict the biblical word.

If, in fact, that beginning time could be spent empowering our young humans that they have the ability to be skeptical, always ask the tough questions and that in experimentation is the only way to discover the truth.
 
Jan 15, 2020
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I am fairly new to Space.com, but as a lifelong amateur astronomer, I'm disappointed to see this article here. I come here for real science. UFOs are not real science. There is absolutely no evidence that UNIDENTIFIED flying objects are spacecraft piloted by alien species, much less by future, time-traveling humans. I enjoy science fiction as much as any scientist, but I feel we must resist the temptation to include "sciency" topics here. The day I see an article taking astrology seriously will be the last day I come to Space.com.
 
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Oct 24, 2019
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We are a Pre-Intelligent species. Still limited in our allowed imaginations by the political, dogmatic and corporatized sciences. An individual's experience can even recognize what science cannot. That tells us how far behind reality science truly is. Aliens? The math says yes, Astronomy says highly probable but most the rest of the sciences prefer to categorize such a possibility as a threat to their practical self-concerned stability. Religion went through this cognitive dissonance stage before the new paradigm of Science took hold too. Pure science would naturally take us there, but it is easy to see why the current conditions and ill-informed and subjective sub-sciences and even some myopic opinions are more of a thick stagnant, politically and an economically polluted river that has at least slowed to a crawl or even has stopped flowing and might never reach the ocean of knowledge that is promised to an unencumbered and naturally evolving intelligence.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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[edited]

On warm wet planets life will be VERY similar. The similarities will be the most striking finding. If the available elements are the same we will likely find many of the same biochemical processes. Yes many of the genes will have earth counter parts. Designs will be similar. If you don't know how I know this ask.

Life that may evolve in places other than warm wet planets, in space for example. If something like this does indeed exist it will be very different. In fact it may already be right before our eyes.

[edited]
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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You can reasonably say that you are not convinced but if you think there is no evidence you are clearly not qualified for the discuss. So why are you posting?
Sunspot is correct. There is no evidence that UFOs are piloted by ET Aliens. None. Zero. If you think you have some credible, verifiable evidence to the contrary, please post it here.
 
Dec 11, 2019
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With a few changes I could replace "aliens" by "ghosts" in this article... sometimes the easiest answer is the most likely to be right... Mankind has been trying to find alien life for the last 30 years... and nothing so far... two options: there is no life out there (at least not as abundant as previously thought) OR the search methology is wrong... you pick your answer...
 
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Jan 21, 2020
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Alien life?

What could be more alien than a creature that can navigate in pitch darkness, communicate abstract ideas, withstand +400 psi pressures that collapse its rib cage, swallows its food whole and headfirst, doesn't use any technology, has a larger, more convoluted brain than humans?

Dolphins. We humans have been mostly ignoring them since we came down from the trees. John C. Lilly notwithstanding, they are creatures that have watched us evolve, and could, if we approach them correctly, tell us a lot about ourselves and that part of the world where most of our senses and our technology are almost useless, the ocean.

But I know them to be creatures of sophistication and intelligence, capable of the emotion of love and devotion.

Best of all, nobody doubts their existence!
 
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Jan 15, 2020
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You can reasonably say that you are not convinced but if you think there is no evidence you are clearly not qualified for the discuss. So why are you posting?
Show me the evidence! If you believe that the human race has proof of space aliens, you should not be posting on a science site, you clearly don't understand the difference between real science and science fiction.
 
Jan 21, 2020
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I am fairly new to Space.com, but as a lifelong amateur astronomer, I'm disappointed to see this article here. I come here for real science. UFOs are not real science. There is absolutely no evidence that UNIDENTIFIED flying objects are spacecraft piloted by alien species, much less by future, time-traveling humans. I enjoy science fiction as much as any scientist, but I feel we must resist the temptation to include "sciency" topics here. The day I see an article taking astrology seriously will be the last day I come to Space.com.
Hi, I should have written 'extraterrestrial life', not 'alien life'. That was the only mistake. By 'alien life' I actually meant life of an alien kind. I wasn't talking at all about UFOs. The kind of thing I'm thinking of is the case of the discovery of 51 Peg b. Scientists had looked for Jupiter-size planets with the wobble method, but theory dictated that such planets couldn't exist at short period orbits. Gordon Walker searched with the wobble method between 1980 and 1992, but never checked his data for planets with an orbital period under 40 days. Marcy and Butler made the same mistake. Then in 1995, as I'm sure you know, Mayor and Queloz discovered 51 Peg b with an orbital period of only 4 days. Walker later wrote "We had all been looking in the wrong place". This is what I'm thinking of: cases where our theories bring us to look in the wrong place, or, even if we do look in the 'right place', we miss the significance of what we're looking at because of how our theories bias our thinking.
 
Jan 21, 2020
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Alien life?

What could be more alien than a creature that can navigate in pitch darkness, communicate abstract ideas, withstand +400 psi pressures that collapse its rib cage, swallows its food whole and headfirst, doesn't use any technology, has a larger, more convoluted brain than humans?

Dolphins. We humans have been mostly ignoring them since we came down from the trees. John C. Lilly notwithstanding, they are creatures that have watched us evolve, and could, if we approach them correctly, tell us a lot about ourselves and that part of the world where most of our senses and our technology are almost useless, the ocean.

But I know them to be creatures of sophistication and intelligence, capable of the emotion of love and devotion.

Best of all, nobody doubts their existence!
Agreed, but there are even better cases. E.g. octopuses are more alien. See the 2016 book *Other Minds* by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Octopuses are arguably a very 'alien' intelligence.
 
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Jan 21, 2020
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With a few changes I could replace "aliens" by "ghosts" in this article... sometimes the easiest answer is the most likely to be right... Mankind has been trying to find alien life for the last 30 years... and nothing so far... two options: there is no life out there (at least not as abundant as previously thought) OR the search methology is wrong... you pick your answer...
Please note that the article makes no reference to 'aliens'!
 
Jan 21, 2020
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This nonsense about life being very different shows an ignorance of the science.

On warm wet planets life will be VERY similar. The similarities will be the most striking finding. If the available elements are the same we will like find many of the same biochemical processes. Yes many of the genes will have earth counter parts. Designs will be similar. If you don't know how I know this ask.

Life that may evolve in places other than warm wet planets, in space for example. If something like this does indeed exist it will be very different. In fact it may already be right before our eyes.

Most of you are trying hit above your league on this.
All this psycho-babble and talk about how open mindedness is key are just simply missing the primary point to why science is taboo to most. A human learns to communicate around the three year old time frame. Most humans start formal schooling at 6-7. And what happens, in regards to education, during that initial 3-4 yr span; most humans are introduced to religion. Not only that, but actively discouraged to explore, experiment and be curious. How I have heard it put; we teach our children to walk and talk then tell them to sit down and shut up.

Often kids are refereed to as "sponges" and will pick up on anything. Translate; as very young humans learning is easy and an opportune time to mold and instill fundamentals to produce a productive older human. However, all that is being instilled in our young humans is metaphysical bull-cockery, don't question religious elders and never contradict the biblical word.

If, in fact, that beginning time could be spent empowering our young humans that they have the ability to be skeptical, always ask the tough questions and that in experimentation is the only way to discover the truth.
It's a tricky balance, but I do think we need much more 'critical thinking' in the education system. Students coming up to university/college level often want to know what they need to know. When we tell them that we want them to make their own minds up about X, Y, Z, they look at us like we've gone mad.
 
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Jan 15, 2020
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You can reasonably say that you are not convinced but if you think there is no evidence you are clearly not qualified for the discuss. So why are you posting?
The article, and the book, clearly assume that "UFOs" are real, physical objects. That they are flying crafts being piloted by "somebody". We just haven't figured out who. This is incorrect. We already know that the vast majority of UFO "sightings" are normal goings-on in the night sky - planes, meteors - now we have to add drones and RC planes with lights. And of course outright hoaxes, which are usually easy to spot. But I am only interested in mainstream science, because that's what gets results. And there is no peer-reviewed article announcing the discovery of alien life. Or somebody from the future hanging around (I mean really!). And seeing all this stuff on Space.com makes me sad. But I guess when we have a scientific illiterate as "president", anything goes. But it tells me that, even here, clicks are more important than the truth.
 
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Jan 21, 2020
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If you *really* want to have an open mind, do not discount the possibility that we indeed are the only intelligent life in the universe. True, we don't know that we are, but we also don't hear from anybody. True, that's the Fermi paradox, but then again, the Fermi paradox has all sorts of explanations. One of which is that we are alone. We are all that there is. Until we hear from someone else.
 
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Jan 20, 2020
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Scientific discussion requires that you understand what words mean. Evidence is all things that seemingly support a hypothesis. No one told you there is proof of alien life. We all know it exists but there is no proof. That intelligent life has come here there is no proof but there is abundant evidence in support of the hypothesis. No one told you there is proof. If you don't know the difference educate yourselves.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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Yes the military scrambling fighters on a giant tick tac with no conventional propulsion that out performs our best craft is evidence. [edited] Ask yourself what is more realistic, that the Russians who are very far behind us on most things have a craft like this or that it is from alien origins? We don't know what they are but if you try to dismiss the best hypthesis out of prejudice you are repeating the same type of errors mankind has committed since the earliest days of science. The earth revolves around the Sun, trust me.
 
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Oct 21, 2019
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Saying no evidence is almost always ignorant. You can find evidence for nearly any hypothesis. If you don't understand that you open yourself up for ridicule. Yes there is evidence. Plenty of it. Idiots who say things like this when you mention the evidence they argue that its not proof showing that they don't know the difference between proof and evidence and that they know nothing about science.
[edit] what evidence is. From various dictionaries regarding science:

1:the available facts or information proving whether a belief or proposition is true or valid

2:something that furnishes proof

Anecdotes, photos, videos, and testimonials that do not prove something, are not evidence if they do not prove, or disprove a belief or theory or claim.

Essentially, if something does not exist, then there can be no evidence that it exists.
If something does exist, then there can be evidence that proves it exists.
THAT is science.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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We are a Pre-Intelligent species. Still limited in our allowed imaginations by the political, dogmatic and corporatized sciences. An individual's experience can even recognize what science cannot. That tells us how far behind reality science truly is. Aliens? The math says yes, Astronomy says highly probable but most the rest of the sciences prefer to categorize such a possibility as a threat to their practical self-concerned stability. Religion went through this cognitive dissonance stage before the new paradigm of Science took hold too. Pure science would naturally take us there, but it is easy to see why the current conditions and ill-informed and subjective sub-sciences and even some myopic opinions are more of a thick stagnant, politically and an economically polluted river that has at least slowed to a crawl or even has stopped flowing and might never reach the ocean of knowledge that is promised to an unencumbered and naturally evolving intelligence.
What do you mean by pre-intelligent? Are you suggesting that as time goes by we will "evolve" to become more intelligent? I submit that the humans, of say, 10,000 years ago were more intelligent than we, as they were less exposed to accumulated genetic damage by cosmic rays etc. Their lack of performance is simply due to the lack of accumulated knowledge available today. The pressure of the expression "survival of the fittest" perhaps should be altered to "survival of the most intelligent". Which is not the case these days.

Blaming religion; yes I suppose in some cases with some religions or corruptions of the Christian religion, but the Bible has nothing to say on the subject. It states that the earth was created for man. It does not state that life was created elsewhere. It also does not say the life was NOT created elsewhere. There is just no information to go by. In the absence of knowledge, speculation is useless.
 
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Oct 24, 2019
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Intelligence as the concept is used here should clearly imply that an established planetary civilization has a sustainable understanding that allows a continued evolutionary path not cut short by practices, functions, and behaviors that would clearly limit the lifespan of the planetary biological species including lifeforms and resources related to the main species source of food, energy, general health or simply balance.

We are suffering impending dangers on many levels of our existence despite a rich planetary resource and possession of and knowledge of new technologies that could positively or negatively impact our global mortality, yet held back by legacy ignorance in our secular, cultural, governances and proprietary self-implemented limitations of actions to change inevitable outcomes. We as yet cannot agree on the nature of the problems so that a concerted effort to solve any issues endangering the very ecosystems, climatic and geo-impacts that singularly or especially in combination will threaten life on the planet. The planet survives in any case, and changes that will impact the biosphere and threaten general lifeforms to extinction levels will after any event rebalance in mear tens of thousands of years. Even a massive impact from meteors will not remove all life, as bacteria in deep Earth rock will persist. But for a pre-intelligent species whose very existence can impact conditions that threaten its own continued survival and that of many co-existing lifeforms in the biosphere, if the problem is not perceived or understood to the point of the species changing behaviors or creating technologies and or methods to stop continued degradations leading to a catastrophic failure of conditions of life on the planet.

So, the term Pre-Intelligent simply implies we are as yet not smart enough to realize we are killing ourselves and cannot understand ourselves or our planet enough to plainly see this and prevent our civilization's death. One simple example is our use of nuclear technology and some have used this as a possible indication of a truly intelligent species outliving the dangers of their own technologies and war-like attitudinal propensities. If humans cannot live with itself and possess weapons to kill itself many hundreds of times over, it logically implies a low probability of survival of itself and other lifeforms and conditions essential to its own survival.

On your second point. "the Bible" is one of many ancient peoples doctrines for the several religions and faiths that we have in history and many including the western bible talk about other lifeforms, angels, gods, and monsters. The western religious writings have been rewritten and modified by many rulers and leaders to apply to their own believed or political or power-centric interpretations, the original meanings, much of which are lost and obscured by time. Interpretations (angels= aliens?), you might cite cannot be verified and have become part of the obscuration of any high spiritual or metaphysical original meanings. As such is not part of our intellectual or intelligent thinking but allocated to beliefe and faith not necessarily limited by what science might understand or agree with. Other than the idea of faith, possibly meaning the effect of a collective intention that can have a physical effect, so that it might well be a science we've yet to understand and use as a technology of our consciousness to effect conditions and outcomes despite scientifically implied limits or expectations. Until Science is unified with an understanding of consciousness like Bohr and Einstein were deflected from by their governments they worked for, compelling them to otherwise work on weaponry and war tech and away from their desired research on consciousness that they found implied in the physics they worked. Then we can hybridize our understanding of reality as observed, we are not yet in possession of a sufficient understanding to deal with the local or external universe we live within.

Thirdly, life is implied everywhere throughout the known universe in our thinking now. Panspermia, the known phenomena of life or life-related materials coming into our biosphere from space, either from local planetary and post and protoplanetary, cometary (ice) or from possibly beyond our solar system. This is actually verified and a part of our search for life beyond our own planet. It can be known and argued that our planet is constantly bombarded by materials having either an earmark of life structures or actual lifeforms including materials for the original creation of life in the form of amino acids in addition to bacteria, microorganisms, etc. The Earth has been impacted since it's creation by billions of objects. Many possibly recorded in recent times.

The general point is that we are one of possibly uncountable species around not just our galaxy but possibly most if not all other galaxies, Our survivability as likely others, depends on all mentioned, but likely many other factors we've yet to perceive let alone understand. There is much to know as a species that might be one of many that came and went for various reasons on Earth. But think about this. Our DNA indicates it is many billions of years older than the Earth itself.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Paraphrasing Justice John Paul Stevens when he was writing about pornography, I cannot describe what alien life would look like, but I will know it when I see it. Exo-life forms will eat, breathe, excrete, reproduce, and evolve. These factors will distinguish that life form from non-living chemistry. How they will di thatr is another question; one that will be answered when we observe it.
 
Oct 21, 2019
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So, the term Pre-Intelligent simply implies we are as yet not smart enough to realize we are killing ourselves and cannot understand ourselves or our planet enough to plainly see this and prevent our civilization's death.
That is far outside of the accepted definition. You might want to consider making up another term that actually fits your definition.

One simple example is our use of nuclear technology and some have used this as a possible indication of a truly intelligent species outliving the dangers of their own technologies and war-like attitudinal propensities.
It will be nuclear technology that will provide much of the future energy requirements, and probably the propulsion systems that make space travel more practical.

Thirdly, life is implied everywhere throughout the known universe in our thinking now. Panspermia, the known phenomena of life or life-related materials coming into our biosphere from space, either from local planetary and post and protoplanetary, cometary (ice) or from possibly beyond our solar system.
There is no scientific reason to believe that life evolved anywhere else. Panspermia merely removes the fact of abiogenesis by one level. It is possible this is the only planet on which it evolved.

Our DNA indicates it is many billions of years older than the Earth itself.
I have seen nothing that supports that claim. Please provide credible, verifiable proof of that claim.
 
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Dec 18, 2019
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I have long felt that space scientists are biased in claiming that life is likely or even possible in these harsh, sterile environments. Yes, life can adapt over time but it has never been shown that abiogenesis is that common or easy. On the contrary...as far as we know, it has only occurred one time ever. Life seems to be far more rare than they want to admit.
 

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