ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 25, 2009 at 3:11am
Well I long ago realized that all rivers flow to the sea and made peace then.

My journey is rich with experience and I have done all the things men say they will do and all the things I wanted to do.

My material possessions are suitable to my interests and needs and I cull constantly.

I built my home, depend on myself for most of my food and maintain all that I have well.

I have never used credit as it is known today. Everything is done with cash.

I believe that preparation meeting opportunity alleviates most risk. There is no such thing as luck.

As an engineer I know that a problem well defined is a problem solved and that the light of solutions past holds the answers to new, unexperienced problems.

I never worked very much for others and when I did I saved it all. In my retirement I am a successful day trader but then I seem to be also busy with all the things I have always done in life. So maybe I have not retired but have essentially given up the wanderlust, the priviations and unwarranted trust of others.

I think I will go buy a new car.
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 25, 2009 at 2:36am
Larry L. I like your last two lines...so true, so true.

Yes time can be factored in...I made some allusions to that regarding formation through extinction but you point it up nicely.

I do think the probability of intelligent species on numerous planets corresponding to our intelligence level insofar as the ability to communicate, is quite high.

I fully expect many would seem miraculous to us as would a computer to a 16th century nobleman.

When you are speaking of trillions of planets possible, then our one planet being reality, makes the case for others. I can't imagine us as being the only intelligent, developed people on one of trillions. I mean boink boink, that opens the door for GodDidIt...laughter

I do know however that should we finally meet an intelligent alien, you and I and all the events that surround us on either side for 100's of thousands of years will be completely lost and obliterated by time.
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 25, 2009 at 12:37am
At my age, 70 years old, I have discovered you can't recall all that you have ever read but you can successfully collate data and come to rather accurate conclusions. My son, being a fundamentalist Christian of the worst sort will trip me up on something like radio-carbon dating, not realizing that I have read more about it (being an engineer) than he will ever realize exists...and in all this reading I instinctually understand what they are doing and why it is fact and can apply this data to the problem at hand with equanimity. My son the fundamentalist, wants urls, "Proof" and word for word explanations and he wants me to supply them.

If this is what someone wants from me, I suggest they get off the sofa and look it all up themselves. Check back with us in 15 or 20 years. Me? I did my time at the library table years ago and now I am enjoying and applying the knowledge...not to mention speculative conversations...laughter.
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 25, 2009 at 12:28am
Delie Ives had an interesting insight but, no, I don't believe it will apply. They (intelligent life other than) will generally live in the same time scheme we do.

As to inserting "possibility" into my thoughts is fine with me, I assumed everyone else was familiar with the present ideas of scientists that no intelligent life in the universe other than us was "Highly Improbable". The retort will probably be "What kind of scientists?"

Moving on...There are almost certainly planets just getting their start today and in 15 to 25 billion years may be almost identical to earth. There are others whose star is in its twilight years and life as they know it is coming to a close. But it is quite reasonable to assume that there are also millions of habitable planets that have developed and support intelligent life. Not to say that they are humanlike and then again, that is also in the cards.

As to communicating...seeing as how I am postulating planets quite similiar to earth's makeup, then I assure you, we will be able to communicate. Water is water and numbers are part of the development of intelligence. Intelligence is and if you read any science fiction, rest assured that a large amount of it will come to pass and we are not talking anything very complicated other than what stage of progression the intelligence is situated in.

The dolphin crowd has lost steam simply because dolphins are not of an intelligence level or composition that could ever come up with a computer or telephone. Too far removed from our evolution whereas apes are and have been demonstrated to be able to develop speech and use it to communicate with us. Give them a few more 10's of millions of years. Snakes birds etc...never in this earth's lifetime left. Beasts of the field? 100's of millions of years.

So, we may be talking to something that looks like a water buffalo with tattoos or even a large brained feathered friend but rest assured, we will be talking to a comparable intelligence level to ours, give or take by 100 million or two years.

The damndest thing is that we couldn't travel there in a respectable amount of time at present and so far the skepticism regarding faster-than-light-travel prevails (sans SciFi I grant you) but then again, the universe and all around us is stranger than we can imagine.

All my rambling boils down to this: The elements we have discovered on earth will be present in their entirety on all other planets created in the same manner ours was. This most certainly was from complete chaos and the temperatures, gravities, pressures and attractions our earth separated from are "de rieguer". Although aggregate planet like and dead satellites, asteroids etc. might have life, it will almost certainly have originated elsewhere. Water is a given in all scenarios.

Anyone ever read Issac Asimovs short story on water? When you begin to understand how complicated, foreign and unknowable water is to scientists in this modern age, you will begin to understand how intrinsic we are to the universe.
Comment by Rodrigo M Vasquez on November 24, 2009 at 10:35am
Note that I didnt say "there is no life out there".. but "communicate " with it is just another realm, ... most of the "intelligence" concepts comes from a "human-earth" point of view.. as we evolved and slightly reshaped our environment to fit our needs, on our own scale/time ( as Delia Ives commented too )
We didn't manipulate the microscopic world , or the light spectrum, synchronize with dolphins, or solved the puzzle of self replicating building blocks pre-RNA as an start for understanding "alien life".. ..and all of this is just here.. around the corner.

There is plenty of universes to understand near us to solve before we can even have hope to "discover" and later "understand" something out there. is a long road, and maybe human kind, as we know it, wont live enough to reach that peak.
My only hope is that we, humans, can catch some glimpses, is good enough for me.
Comment by Rudy V Kiist on November 24, 2009 at 9:17am
I agree more with Rodrigo. Although, there may be life out there similar to Earth's, I think it's faulty to assume that if there is any life out there, intelligent or not, that most, if any, is formed or even made of the same building blocks as us. Humans like to think we know more than we do.

And as far as communication goes, I'm sure there are forms of communication that we just can't comprehend. Again, we're not necessarily as intelligent as we might think (^_-)
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 24, 2009 at 3:47am
The conditions that existed for life to begin on earth will be replicated at some time on millions of planets if the numbers we are beginning to realize are true and there is reason to believe we have underestimated the numbers once again.

If life is intelligent, no matter what form, we will be able to communicate or they aren't intelligent...simple.

Slight differences? Probably insignificant in the face of millions of EXACT circumstances at one time or another in the development of a million planets.

The numbers, so far, indicate MILLIONS of intelligences in the known universe.
Comment by Rodrigo M Vasquez on November 24, 2009 at 3:33am
I don't think will be easy to find "intelligent" life AND that we will able to communicate.
The advent of RNA / DNA is so unique to earth, and this planet conditions, that on another place if matter conceive "self awareness" it will be so different that probably we wont be able to classify it that form as " life " .
Ok, we know that there are organic compounds floating around in space, but if they get into grouping in self replicating organisms, whatever comes from there will be so so different,.. that the most we will be able to do is contemplate the variety ;-).
We are the result of the first "kaleidoscope" combination that worked here on earth, and covered the globe on it,, and everything is just repeating over the same formula, on another planet if that set of first combinations is just slightly different on the microscope scale.. I can't even imagine it. :-)
Comment by Ogden Lafaye on November 24, 2009 at 3:17am
I think it is more at achieving civilization rather than intelligence. As to quantum mechanics, I believe in the uniformity throughout the universe no matter what you base your science on.
Comment by E Alsmann on November 23, 2009 at 11:36pm
i totally agree.
 

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