We are not alone. The Universe is teeming with life, much of it far more intelligent and advanced than mankind

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In this paper, I aim to set out the near certainty that we are far from alone in the universe.

Please bear with me as I try to bring you hard facts. Where certain “facts” are not yet “proven”, they are at least solid theories supported by substantial evidence and respected by most scientists.

Exoplanets - planets not in our solar system (i.e. circling other suns)

Our star, the sun, has nine planets. The question for astronomers has long been whether other stars in the universe also have planets, known as “exoplanets”. Whilst some evidence of this is 100 years old, it wasn’t scientifically proven until 2012. Many more discoveries of exoplanets followed in quick succession.

Thousands of exoplanets have now been found.

It now seems likely that almost all stars have planets circling around them.

This conclusion was first reached in 2013 after evidence of planets was observed in respect of many of the stars close enough to be observed.

Here is a quote from: https://www.space.com/24894-exoplanets-habitable-zone-red-dwarfs.html published in 2014.

  • “The new finds imply that virtually all red dwarfs throughout the Milky Way have planets, and at least 25 percent of these stars in the sun's own neighbourhood host habitable-zone "super-Earths," researchers said”

Since 2013 the evidence has grown stronger as more planets have been found. As of April 2019 at least 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered. There are nearly 3,000 more possible candidates.

NASA estimates that since the exoplanet's first discovery, the number of known exoplanets has doubled every 27 months since.

It takes many years to prove the existence of an exoplanet. Scientists have to observe the planet passing around the star. Some of the orbits could be decades-long making detection a slow process. For that reason it could take decades before we have a good estimate as to how many planets circle each star.

At least 656 of the observed stars have more than one planet. Due to today’s limits in telescope technology it is hard to see small earth-sized planets. It is possible that many of the observed stars have multiple planets which we can’t yet observe. Our star has 9 planets. It seems probable that we have only observed the easiest to spot. Probably each star has far more planets than the one or two detected so far.

Are other planets habitable?

So far we have observed some 408 earth-sized planets which are in the “habitable-zone”, meaning that they receive a similar amount of radiation from their sun as we receive on earth. Conditions would be capable of being similar to the planet earth. We don’t yet know if those planets could actually support life, as it would depend on the chemical makeup.

There are more stars in the observable universe than there are grains of sand on on planet earth.

Our Galaxy has an estimated 250 billion stars. Many galaxies have over a trillion stars. In October 2016, an article in Science (based on deep-field images from the Hubble Space Telescope) suggested that there are about 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe, or about 10 times more galaxies than previously suggested. Putting the two numbers together (250 bln X 200 trillion) suggests there could be 50’000’000’000’000’000’000’000’000 stars in the observable universe. That’s 5 X 10^24 stars. An estimate of the number of grains of sand is ten thousand times lower at 7 X 10^20.

The above numbers are, of course, estimates and the calculations may be out by a factor of 10, or 100 or even 1000s. However the fact remains that we are talking very large numbers of stars. Each star most likely has several planets.

The elements essential for life exist everywhere in space

The elements which were present to allow the formation of life on earth are abundant elements. They exist everywhere in the universe. We don’t know the exact mix, but we know for a fact that the most abundant element is Hydrogen, found in virtually all life forms.

Carbon (C), oxygen (O), hydrogen (H) and nitrogen (N) – make up about 96% of the human body. These elements are known to be among the 7 most common elements in the universe. Countless planets in the habitable zone of stars will have the same elements.

What created life on earth? Was it a unique event?

I won’t elaborate on the devine creation theory, other than to say that if God created life on earth, he probably would not have stopped there. If you are going to grow flowers in your garden, would you stop at ONE seed?

Scientists generally accept that life was created in the brewing mix of elements that swirled in the mud and oceans. Water, methane, ammonia and hydrogen excited by lightening formed into amino acids. As fast as life was created, other elements, like ultra-violet radiation from the sun or the motions of the water would have destroyed it. The chance of survival of any life randomly created would have been practically zero. Fragile microscopic organisms would have been torn apart by the wind rain, ice and chemicals as fast as they came into existence.

The creation of life on earth was thus almost certainly not a single random event. It was created and destroyed trillions of times. Earth was a violent place full of fire and volcanoes, storms and earthquakes. The chance of survival was one in a trillion. Nevertheless trillions of new life forms were created in the rich chemical brew, some of which survived and evolved.

The same thing happened, is happening, and will happen on the trillions of planets which have similar conditions. This is only theory, but it is as logical as saying that if you mix blue and yellow paint in one tin, to get green, the same thing is likely to happen every time you do it.

Is intelligent life rare?

Intelligent life is a common feature of our planet earth. Thousands of creatures and other life-forms on planet earth have some level of intelligence. A reasonable deduction is that intelligence is a possible outcome from the creation of life. Give the prevalence of intelligent creatures, I would argue it is a likely outcome. It just takes a few billion years to evolve.

On any planet where life is created, intelligent life will eventually start to exist. It is a virtual certainty sooner or later. The statistics on planet earth suggest that more than 10% of life on earth has some kind of intelligence.

Given the trillions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions and even trillions of stars, most of which are likely to have planets in the habitable zone, life of every kind will be very abundant.

As intelligent life is the norm, that life on distant planets will include intelligent life of all kinds. It is an inevitable conclusion of the facts as we know them.

Given the trillions upon trillions of planets probably with life, there will be both higher and lower intelligent life forms than the human race.

The chance that we are the most intelligent form of life is close to nil. That would be like winning the national lottery hundreds of times in a row.

How long before we have proof of intelligent alien life?

It won’t be long before we receive concrete evidence of intelligent life, in the form of a radio signal or fly-by space ship launched tens of thousands, (or millions), of years ago from some distant planet. There are so many planets out there, many will have evolved long before mankind, and many will have chosen to blast a message to distant galaxies to say “We are here”.

Will we ever meet aliens?

It seems unlikely. At least it is unlikely we will see aliens made of flesh and blood. No flesh and blood creature could ever reach earth alive. At least not with science as we understand it. The nearest star is 4.2 light years away. Even at the fastest theoretical propulsion speeds it would take thousands of years to get here. That would be 1000s of human generations, all the way back to before Christ or the pharaohs were born.

So far, the fastest speed obtained by a rocket launched from earth is 56,000 km/h. That was Deep Space 1. It would take over 81,000 years to traverse the 4.24 light years between Earth and the nearest known exoplanet, Proxima Centauri. To put that time-scale into perspective, that would be over 2,700 human generations. If there is life on that planet, it is very unlikely they will be visiting us.

It is possible that a digital life form could reach us. Computers with artificial intelligence could slumber for tens of thousands of years while they journey through space. If we ever encounter aliens on planet earth, they are likely to be machine based. Make sure you know where the “Off” switch is on the remote control.

What are the chances that other intelligent alien life is alive now?

It all depends on what we mean by “now”? If the radio signal from a star a billion light years away reaches us tomorrow, those aliens will seem very much alive and in the present. Yet the signal was sent a billion years ago, and the alien race which sent it is very likely long since extinct. There are very few stars which are close enough for us to be confident that the senders are still alive by the time we receive their signal.

Radio signal from Alpha Centauri

If a radio signal was sent us we from the nearest star, Alpha-Centauri, it would only take 4.2 years to reach us. In that case we could be fairly sure the senders are still living. However, given the vastness of time, the probability of us getting a signal from Alpha-Centrai is close to zero. Life there either existed billions of years before ours, or it has not yet come into existence. It could be another billion years before they are evolved enough to radio us. We don’t know.

Is anybody out there?

Somewhere out there, in the vastness of space, some alien being is gazing at the stars, maybe looking at our very own Milky-Way and asking himself the question “Is anybody out there?”

We are not alone.

7CBD75CF-994A-4CC0-B5C7-3B7B0D82CF9E.jpeg

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Interesting read. Love the topic. Always intriguing.

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I'm also a stern believer that there are other life out there. Honestly, just thinking that we are the only intelligent life out there is just sheer arrogance. Our universe is vast and very old and if Earth manages to sustain life surely other planets can do so.

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Using numbers proposed by scientists, (as referenced in the Wikipedia article on the Drake Equation), suggest that the Milky Way galaxy currently contains 15'600'000 currently active intelligent life forms capable of communicating to us.

Multiply that by the 200 trillion galaxies, and we reach a figure of 31'200'000'000'000'000'000 forms of intelligent life currently in existence.

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I don't even know how to count that, lmao! Yet despite that staggering number there are still people that refuses to believe that we are not alone.

My own theory is: ...until Mam is capable enough to have cosmic awareness (along with our technology) aliens will still be unreachable. When we begin to realize that we are not just a citizen of this planet, but part of the vastness of lifeforms and materials in the universe and immediate dimensions, that will be the time that we could say hello to them.

An ant living in a rainforest doesnt dream of giants humans living in New York City since they are not ready to comprehend it.

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Good point. Mankind is not ready yet for the discovery. If we can discover alien intelligence, then it disrupts the beliefs of most of mankind.

How hard was it to accept the "Round" Earth discovery, even after Pythagoras proved it? 2000 years later, people were still being burned at the stake for believing the earth was not flat.

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Thanks for your appreciation. Let us keep on looking up the sky and dream.

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Good article, from a religious and biblical point of view, mankind was created by beings that did not originate from Earth...
Joh_18:36 Yeshua answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.
https://steemit.com/aliens/@prime-cleric/aliens-are-here

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There are a number of books written which provide ample "evidence" that life was introduced to earth by aliens, or by God. Take your pick. ("We are not the first").

Hello,

Your post is well thought out and very well presented except that it is not one that will "stand up in court", so to speak, except in a "court of public opinion" which it apparently has done well in terms of upvotes.

I aim to set out the near certainty that we are far from alone in the universe.

note: "aim", "near certainty" are not what I'll bet my eternal life on.

Please bear with me as I try to bring you hard facts. Where certain “facts” are not yet “proven”, they are at least solid theories supported by substantial evidence and respected by most scientists.

Again, "try", “facts” are not yet “proven” are mere guesses.

"substantial evidence" are calculated based on assumptions and the current understanding and limitations which will change - as this post stated

Our star has 9 planets. It seems probable that we have only observed the easiest to spot. Probably each star has far more planets than the one or two detected so far.

respected by most scientists

Who are they? Are they quoted out of context as in the Global Warning hoax?

Scientists generally accept that life was created in the brewing mix of elements that swirled in the mud and oceans. Water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen excited by lightning formed into amino acids. As fast as life was created, other elements, like ultra-violet radiation from the sun or the motions of the water would have destroyed it.

I am a Christian for over 50 years and I studied and practiced Chemical Engineering for 13 years.

I have yet had anyone to show me the chemical equations of this chemistry phenomena. If any had done some chemistry "experiments" such as extracting caffeine from tea, s/he will know that the transformation or conversion from one compound to another is never a one-step process.

So, putting the elements together and wave a magic wand or even lightning is pure fantasy❗

In all this, one must decide to believe in creation or in evolution❗

Having studied chemistry and then Chemical Engineering and some biochemistry, the likelihood of "evolution" is nil in many ways.

Two reasons or factors -

  • energy of transformation
  • geometry in the process

If the same scientist knew for a fact about the "evolution process", the same will have eliminated cancer.

Preventing or curing cancer is much easier from the perspective of biochemical processes and our understanding of natural materials.

Note: chemotherapy is poising the patient and betting that the poison will kill the cancer cell before it kills the patient.

Again, only mathematics and logic can be proven.

A scientific theory can only be validated - replicated within the specified context.

Lastly, conspiracy theory sells!

But, what profits a man ...

Mark 8:36 KJV - For what shall it profit a man, if he - Bible Gateway
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+8%3A36&version=KJV
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

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Thanks @freedomshift for your comments. I see you don’t agree with many or most of my points, and that’s fine. If I get you, the key point is that you don’t really agree with, is the academic view that life was brewed in a torrid mix of chemicals and lightning in the mud and oceans of early earth. Rather you go for the divine creation. Did you read my sentence “If God craeted....”. I believe I covered the possibility that you are right, whilst leaving open the probability that he didn’t stop at earth.

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As a chemist and then chemical engineer - It's easier for me to believe that a freak incident that cause all the stars and matters to line up in just the right way than for this fantasy -

life was brewed in a torrid mix of chemicals and lightning in the mud and oceans of

and to create even just one DNA molecule.

And, remember -
"what came first? The chicken or the egg?"

Now extend that a million times❗

The next question -
What came first? The life-form or the DNA that makes it?

And, I'll need the process and the numbers - time, materials, energy, the steps and the numbers of steps and their sequence❗

This is much harder to have a randomly chosen group of people to perform a play without a plan or script and expect a perfect performance out of it.

I'll even back off from the main issue -
Life can only come from life❗

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As I said, if God created life on earth, why would he stop at just one planet. If you were growing flowers in your garden, you would not stop at just one seed.

I will therefore argue that if God created life, he created it everywhere. He created it on all the habitable planets in the universe. Therefore, my argument that we are not alone stands, even in a biblical sense.

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if God created life

There is no if in this - our eternal life, life after death on earth, depends on this belief.

John 14:2 KJV: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not ...
https://biblehub.com/kjv/john/14-2.htm
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, {a} I would have told you. I go to {b} prepare a place for you. (a) That is, if it were not as I am telling you ...

John 16:4 But I have told you these things so that when their hour ...
https://biblehub.com/john/16-4.htm
I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, ... But I have said these things to you, so that when their hour might have come, you may ...

Jesus told His disciples what they were ready to hear.

Very good point. There is no way there AREN'T aliens considering how many different planets exist

Taking all of this aspects in consideration I started to think differently that I thought before.

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Thought undoubtedly interesting, but I hope we stop devouring the earth and kill each other, to then be able to undertake great spatial proposals.

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Agree, we must make every effort to stop destroying what we have,

Interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

Well I always fall back to Drakes equation...

19085562-D9E1-4862-8488-AC7312AF26EA.jpeg

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

I love to play with the numbers for the variables of that equation.

One thing though, simply the harsh fact of our known physics and here especially, the ultimate speed limit for information and matter, makes me somewhat skeptic if we in our lifetimes will see proof of alien life.

Cheers!

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Thanks for engaging to my comment!

I absolutely see the absurdity of coming to the conclusion that "we are alone" in the cosmos!

The Drake equation just helps me a little to push around some numbers. I first came in touch with the Seti project back in 1997 when we used seti@home in an networked business environment on a few hundred pc's to monitor uptimes of these computers and to do some marketing with it too.

Still besides the well known "Wow!" signal signal that was picked up in 1977 (later believed to be caused by a comet) there has been no second signal picked up that could be interpreted as coming from an alien civilization so far or the ongoing data analysis from Seti didn't uncover such a signal as of now.

There are so many factors coming into play to being able to pick up such an signal or proof of an alien civilization that I'm still critical of this happening in the foreseeable future.

  1. Distance... and the before already named speed limit. If you then even assume that a signal could come from another galaxy please check this List of nearest galaxies here and think about how long a signal will have to travel to reach us. Put this in relation to the time frame since we are able to pick up radio signals for instance and chances to catch "something" become very narrow.
  2. Possibility of detecting an alien signal based on our available technology. Who knows what kind of technology they where using when they emitted signals? Again... we're talking these vast distances and resulting big time chunks. Even if they once used something for us detectable the chance that we are able to pick this up today (or better in the last 40 years) is possibly pretty small.

Either way without proofs it comes down to beliefs, right?

But I would be happy to hear about an alien civilization in my lifetime! That's for sure!

And who knows what they are capable of once they are a "Type III civilization—also called a galactic civilization—can control energy on the scale of its entire host galaxy" or even "higher". Kardashev scale

On the other hand... we are not even a "Type I civilization—also called a planetary civilization—can use and store all of the energy available on its planet".

Maybe it's ok to try to pick up an alien signal. But sending out signals might not be the smartest idea... just saying. Oh right... too late... hahaha!

See this here Stephen Hawking warned responding to alien signals from outer space would be a really BAD idea

Cheers!

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I read the article about Stephen Hawking’s words in the Mirror. I seriously doubt he would have said “replying to aliens is a bad idea”. If he said it, then he was joking, and the paper has reported it out of context. What do you expect from the Mirror?

As for detecting a signal, I think it may happen soon. I personally think that large numbers of aliens have the technology and motivation to beam focussed signals in the direction of possible habitable planets. Why would they do that? For the same reason that nations spread their discoveries to others. Why did we send the spaceship Voyager 1 on a 40’000 year trek to a star called AC +79 3888? Why do people make Youtube videos? Because intelligent life loves to share. That’s why they are broadcasting to the cosmos.

Our technology of today may not be able to receive the signals. With trillions of places to look we may not be looking in the right places. It is only a question of time.

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Thanks for your answer!

I love the way you think about that and I agree for the most part!

Our technology of today may not be able to receive the signals. With trillions of places to look we may not be looking in the right places. It is only a question of time.

I also believe it's only a question of time. We only vary a little on the specific time frame! But who knows? An interesting signal could already been picked up and might just be waiting for the regarding data analysis to be "seen", it could happen today.

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I would love to try and find MY solution to the Drake equation. According to the Wikipedia article you linked:

  • The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.

Repeat: "Milky Way". Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. Current estimates are that there are 200 trillion galaxies in the observable universe.

The skeptics seem to have calculated the answer to the Drake equation as near zero. I.E. they argue that there is no other life except that found on earth. They assume that there are almost no earth-like planets, that the creation of life was a single unique event - a truly freak accident, and that if intelligent life ever existed, it would not have lasted more than 304 years (so the chances of their intelligent period coinciding with ours is very low).

On the other hand, using numbers proposed by scientists, (as referenced in the Wikipedia article), estimates that the Milky Way galaxy currently contains 15'600'000 currently active intelligent life forms capable of communicating to us.

Multiply that by the 200 trillion galaxies, and we reach a figure of 31'200'000'000'000'000'000 forms of intelligent life currently in existence.

I doubt that we will know the correct answer very soon, but as each year of astronomical research passes. the answer to the Drake equation goes higher.

In the event that we were to detect an intelligent radio signal from any region of space, it would blow the maths out of the water. The low-end estimate of "zero", would have to move - alot.

I think we will detect that signal soon. The SETI project is barely a few years old compared to the history of man. Their first discovery cannot be that far away.

Thank u somemuch for this interesting news

Congratulations @swissclive!
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Nice story. Mostly fictional.

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I had an astronomy professor tell me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the earth... How could there only be just us. Pretty self-righteous and ignorant. Nicley put article!

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Your astronomy professor was right. There could be 10’000 times more stars than grains of sand on little earth.

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