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    Proof Of Aliens Is Just Around The Corner
    By Gerhard Adam | August 16th 2010 09:26 PM | 19 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Proof of aliens within 25 years?  What's the basis for this optimism?

    Well, of course, it's the Drake equation.  It had to be.  While it is certainly reasonable that everyone has their own perspective and opinion about the likelihood of alien life, it is not reasonable to pretend that the "Drake equation" provides some sort of inside track.

    The article, "Proof of Aliens Could Come Within 25 Years, Scientist Says", lays claim to Carl Sagan's "calculation" of N = 1,000,000, while Drake himself places the value much lower at 10,000.  So with two orders of magnitude separating the "calculations", we're to believe that such speculation has merit because of the Drake equation?

    I would suggest that one cannot legitimately claim the calculating power of an equation if the terms aren't defined.  Therefore regardless of the results produced by the Drake equation, the simple reality is that it is ultimately no different than using a Ouija board to make predictions.  It's not a theory, it's not even a hypothesis.  It's merely a collection of terms that suggest what needs to be considered before attempting to establish a probability of intelligent life.

    Of course, the most obvious consideration is that it might not even be remotely accurate.

    Historically Drake used the following values for his calculation in 1961:

        * R* = 10/year (10 stars formed per year, on the average over the life of the galaxy)
        * fp = 0.5 (half of all stars formed will have planets)
        * ne = 2 (stars with planets will have 2 planets capable of developing life)
        * fl = 1 (100% of these planets will develop life)
        * fi = 0.01 (1% of which will be intelligent life)
        * fc = 0.01 (1% of which will be able to communicate)
        * L = 10,000 years (which will last 10,000 years).

    Drake's values give N = 10 × 0.5 × 2 × 1 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10,000 = 10.

    So I would suggest that before we simply plug in more numbers and do the calculations, let's test one of the most obvious terms in the equation.  The third term (ne) indicates that of the stars with planets, two planets will be capable of developing life.  This is clearly a testable hypothesis.  We can use our own solar system.  So I would suggest that before we start planning the dinner party we're going to throw for the first aliens, perhaps a more modest goal would be to see if we can find even one more planet in our solar system that has life.

    That would be a sufficient factor in deciding whether the rest of the Drake equation has any possible merit at all.  In addition, it would be a strong reality check on what finding an alien life form really represents.

    Comments

    Quentin Rowe
    Hi Gerhard,

    I agree. I fail to see how they can assign a time to discovery. Further, the Drake equation calculates roughly the likelihood of life out in our universe,  taking no account of the chances actually being able to find it, which would depend on technology, mood, and perhaps the weather.

    If life were to be found on mars, even living organisms, I doubt it would change peoples stance on the issue. I predict it would merely reinforce opinions. The problem of the liklihood of other life in our universe would be shifted from Earth-centric, to solar-system centric. Not much of a change at all, really.

    Cheers,
    Quentin.
    Gerhard Adam
    If life were to be found on mars, even living organisms, I doubt it would change peoples stance on the issue.
    Probably so, but it would double our sample set.  Life on Mars would provide support for the assertion of the number of planets within a solar system that would have life.  In addition, if its found on one other planet, then it lends more support to the notion that life may be a "normal" state.  Until that occurs, we only have our one sample planet and without any further evidence, we don't even know if life has a high or low probability of occurring anywhere else.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Well I have the evidence of my own eyes, that at least one UFO appeared to exist in Tyagarah near to Byron Bay Australia on Sunday December 10th for about 15 minutes between about 11am and 11:30 am on a sunny summer Sunday morning.

    I was having a cup of tea with a girlfriend on my deck, which is 100 metres above sea level and which overlooks Tyagarah and Byron Bay, when my friend pointed and said 'oh look, a flying saucer'. I looked at the object in the sky which did look remarkably like a 'flying saucer' and decided that it must be a glider that was flying directly towards us and that the reflection of light on its windscreen must be somehow creating an optical illusion of a stationary flying saucer. So I dismissed it as a glider and a strange optical illusion.

    We carried on eating and drinking and discussing my friend's big night out in Byron Bay the previous day which was pretty interesting. After about 5 to 10 minutes my mind started to wander and I looked back at the expansive ocean view to the ocean and the lighthouse on the Easterly most point of Australia, and to my amazement the 'glider' was still in exactly the same position.

    At this point I realised that a glider can't be motionless for 5 to 10 minutes, so I decided to focus my telescope on the object. It took my friend and I about a minute to get the telescope focused on the UFO. I then had a close look at a silver slowly rotating disc with slight protusions which emphasised this slow rotation. The UFO looked a lot like the typical image we see in Sci-fi films of a flying saucer, it was silver and disc shaped and looked to be about the size of or a bit bigger than a large double garage. Until that day I had not had any particular interest in UFOs, since that day I had a keen interest which is beginning to wane after nearly 4 years of not seeing another.

    I started to rush into the house to get my camera and while watching it over my shoulder, the UFO which had been in the same position and location for about 10 to 15 minutes suddenly tilted 45 degrees, left side down, right side up, and we saw a slight movement upwards to the right and then it disappeared into thin air before our eyes.

    The impression I had was that it was waiting in that position for the right moment to leave the Earth's atmosphere and then set off at something that seemed like the speed of light towards somewhere in the universe in that direction. If I knew more about astronomy I could probably work out roughly which galaxies are in that direction on that day at that time in that location, and one day when I have some time, I hope to do this.

    When I tell people this story most people are naturally a bit incredulous. I can understand that, because until you've actually seen something like this with your own eyes or had evidence of flying saucers confirmed by governments, scientists, the media etc most people would prefer to think that we were either both hallucinating at the same time on the same spot or both seeing some man-made flying object  that has a rational explanation, or that we are both lying for some reason.

    If it was a man made flying object then there must be some pretty amazing new aviation technology out there, that is being kept from the average person's general knowledge. If it was an alien made flying object then there are aliens out there with some pretty sophisticated aviation technology too.

    In an infinite universe I think that the Drakes equation helps to explain that if inteligent life has occurred on one planet then it will have occurred on infinite planets throughout the universe. However the chances of them being able to contact us by travelling the distances required make contact unlikely, unless of course they can travel at or close to the speed of light, which is what the UFO appeared to be doing. Or alternatively if they can travel through some conduit like a worm hole or black hole, that somehow shortens the distances between 2 locations. 

    I also agree with Stephen Hawkings that if these highly intelligent and technologically advanced aliens do exist, which is likely both mathematically and from what I have seen with my own eyes, then they are probably far more technologically and intellectually advanced than us, because hey, that's not difficult when you look at the mess we are making of this planet, and some of them may not have our best interests at heart, or whatever their equivalent organ might be.

    One day they might treat humans like humans treat bonobos!
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    Well I have the evidence of my own eyes, that at least one UFO appeared to exist in Tyagarah near to Byron Bay Australia on Sunday December 10th for about 15 minutes between about 11am and 11:30 am on a sunny summer Sunday morning.
    It's only because UFO has become synonymous with aliens from space instead of being just what it is - an unidentified object in the air.   Everyone in the world has probably seen a 'UFO' in the real definition at one point or another but it's what they assume, or even want, it to be that makes the difference.

    If you want it to be an alien ship that just happens to be able to travel millions of miles yet conveniently does so in the human eyesight spectrum, you will convince yourself it was.  :)
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    If you want it to be an alien ship that just happens to be able to travel millions of miles yet conveniently does so in the human eyesight spectrum, you will convince yourself it was.  :)
    Actually, I don't want it to be an alien ship. I find the whole idea of unrecognised aliens here on this planet rather unnerving. I would much prefer a rational explanation that it was somehow a man-made object or an Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomena (UAP) which doesn't have any aliens on the inside.

    The more I read about UAPs the more I want to believe that this was the case, but unfortunately I haven't read anything that explains the slowly rotating protrusions on what seemed to be a metallic disc or why it suddenly headed off like that, looking as though it had an intelligent purpose for leaving the atmosphere.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    There's no doubt that what you saw was unidentified, but that's a pretty far stretch to conclude that it's an alien spacecraft from another galaxy.  What you know, is that it is unidentified.  Nothing more.
    The impression I had was that it was waiting in that position for the right moment to leave the Earth's atmosphere and then set off at something that seemed like the speed of light towards somewhere in the universe in that direction.
    I don't want to dismiss what you saw, but why would you presume that the direction of motion had anything to do with anything.  Even an airplane taking off from L.A. to New York City may fly west before turning around.

    As for the speed of light, well ... that becomes a bit more problematic.  The theory of relativity isn't a problem to be solved.  It is a statement of how the universe works.  If you're suggesting that it doesn't work that way, then there needs to be an alternate explanation.  It isn't enough to simply argue that some alien civilization has found away around it.

    In addition, I can't even imagine what the frictional effects of air would be on a spacecraft attempting light speed travel within the Earth's atmosphere. 
    In an infinite universe I think that the Drakes equation helps to explain that if inteligent life has occurred on one planet then it will have occurred on infinite planets throughout the universe.
    It doesn't matter how many planets exist, if the only sample you have is one.  Until there is more than one, there is no basis for assuming that infinity makes a bit of difference.  Also you cannot have an equation if you don't actually know the values of the variables.  The first half of Drake's equation may be confident in the astronomical sense, however the last half makes statements about biology and society that simply aren't credible.
    ...then they are probably far more technologically and intellectually advanced than us...
    Let's not forget that they are also incredibly shy.  After all with all the advanced technology and intelligent, they clearly are clueless about how to remain out of sight.
    If it was a man made flying object then there must be some pretty amazing new aviation technology out there, that is being kept from the average person's general knowledge.
    I don't know how amazing it might be, but most assuredly most of the aviation technology is being kept from the average person's general knowledge.
    I also agree with Stephen Hawkings that if these highly intelligent and technologically advanced aliens do exist ...
    I can understand the sentiment, but Stephen Hawking has no more credibility in that assertion that the average person on the street.

    As I said in the beginning, I have no doubt that you saw something, and clearly you don't know what it was.  However, this doesn't mean the remaining conjecture becomes any more plausible simply because the object was unidentified.

     
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    There's no doubt that what you saw was unidentified, but that's a pretty far stretch to conclude that it's an alien spacecraft from another galaxy.
    Sorry Gerhard but where did I conclude that it was an alien spacecraft from another galaxy? It is you that has concluded that not me. I prefer to think that the UFO was also a UAP and I have concluded nothing. I have simply speculated about the possibility of aliens existing and this UFO having possibly being an alien spacecraft.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    In answer to your questions.



    I don't want to dismiss what you saw, but why would you presume that the direction of motion had anything to do with anything.  Even an airplane taking off from L.A. to New York City may fly west before turning around.
    Well, first of all I said it was just the impression that I had based on gut feeling, nothing scientific of course. However I assumed that the direction was important because if I was going to ram my foot down on the accelerator and leave this planet at the speed of light, or close to it, I would point my vehicle in the direction that I wanted to go.

    What would be the point of flying at the speed of light for 5 minutes in the wrong direction? OK, along the way I might have to turn left or right to miss a planet or star, so maybe that's what you mean? Either way the direction that this UFO or UAP left is still an indication of roughly where it was heading.

    An aircraft taking off from LA has many more restrictions than me heading straight to Zeta Reticuli for example. It has an air traffic controller telling it where it can fly on specific flight paths at specific heights. It is also very constrained by the force of gravity and the atmosphere which keeps it in a narrow band around a curved sphere, the Earth.



    It doesn't matter how many planets exist, if the only sample you have is one.  Until there is more than one, there is no basis for assuming that infinity makes a bit of difference.  Also you cannot have an equation if you don't actually know the values of the variables. 
    The value of infinity is infinity. All mathematical equations become pretty stupid once infinity is a factor in an equation or when you divide by zero. However, I thought it was generally accepted mathematically that if something occurs even once in an infinite population then it will inevitably occur an infinite number of times.



    I can understand the sentiment, but Stephen Hawking has no more credibility in that assertion that the average person on the street.
    Yes, and it is his Stephen Hawking's unproved theory or hypothesis of Hawkings Radiation that is being used to justify why the Large Hadron Particle Accelerator experiments at CERN are safe, because if a micro black hole was accidentally created the CERN, scientists claim that Hawkings Radiation will guarantee that it fades away without a problem, instead of growing exponentially and consuming the planet in just under 2 years, see the  Interview with Professor Otto .
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    However, I thought it was generally accepted mathematically that if something occurs even once in an infinite population then it will inevitably occur an infinite number of times.
    Except that in practical terms it isn't infinite.  There is an event horizon against which light can never be detected even if it were emitted at the beginning of the universe.  Since the universe is expanding, there are always more stars and galaxies that are crossing that event horizon and are effectively lost to us.

    Therefore the total state of the universe is irrelevant, since the universe we can actually experience is finite.
    Yes, and it is his Stephen Hawking's unproved theory or hypothesis of Hawkings Radiation...
    Except that we aren't talking about Hawking Radiation.  We're talking about his assertion that there are intelligent technologically advanced aliens.
    What would be the point of flying at the speed of light for 5 minutes in the wrong direction? OK, along the way I might have to turn left or right to miss a planet or star, so maybe that's what you mean?
    Because it wouldn't make any difference.  Originally you mentioned tracking galaxies in that direction, but the point is that the closest star is still 4.22 light years away, so plotting a straight-line course, doesn't make any sense.
    An aircraft taking off from LA has many more restrictions than me heading straight to Zeta Reticuli for example.
    No actually the opposite is true.  There is no "straight" to Zeta Reticuli (for example) with a travel time of 39 years at the speed of light.  There isn't even a "straight" path to the moon.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Except that in practical terms it isn't infinite.  There is an event horizon against which light can never be detected even if it were emitted at the beginning of the universe. Since the universe is expanding, there are always more stars and galaxies that are crossing that event horizon and are effectively lost to us.
    But I don't agree with these practical terms that the universe isn't infinite. Just because there is an event horizon against which light can never be detected by someone sitting on planet Earth or in a relatively nearby spaceship doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and there was no beginning of the universe, the idea is stupid. The universe has always existed and always will. Humans are simply animals with reasonably highly evolved brains which have evolved for their survival, who have to think in these finite terms 'practical terms' and put boundaries on everything.

    The world that a human lives in requires everything to have a beginning and an end and a boundary or horizon, so that is all that a human can understand, it seems that infinity is beyond human comprehension. That is why you have to create these practical terms and constraints that you and most scientists are placing upon the universe.

    However, I personally believe that the universe does not have a start or an end, it just exists infinitely in every direction. This means that it contains infinite smaller multiverses like the one that we are living in, some of which are slowly contracting and others that are slowly expanding and which all started with their own multiversal Big Bang. There must therefore be infinite Big Bangs in infinite universes because nothing else makes sense to this bonobo.


    Therefore the total state of the universe is irrelevant, since the universe we can actually experience is finite.
    Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    But I don't agree with these practical terms that the universe isn't infinite. Just because there is an event horizon against which light can never be detected by someone sitting on planet Earth or in a relatively nearby spaceship doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and there was no beginning of the universe, the idea is stupid.
    I'm not sure what your point is.  Whether the universe is infinite or not, the point is that when light can no longer reach us then it is undetectable.  It doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, but it does mean that with respect to "infinity" being applied to life, it simply isn't true.  If light can't reach us, then neither can a spacecraft, even traveling at the speed of light.

    So regardless of what might be taking place in that neighborhood, the practical upshot is that it is undetectable and unreachable by us and any aliens.  That's what is meant by the practical terms.  We cannot know anything about the universe beyond the observable. 

    The point that the universe is expanding is that there will be more and more galaxies that reach this state, which means that over time, we will have even fewer possibilities for alien contact.

    More importantly, one has to distinguish between the universe versus the matter that is in it. 
    Nowadays, the total number of particles in the universe has been variously estimated at numbers from 10^72 up to 10^87.
    http://ajy.stormloader.com/reallife.html
    So if there are a finite number of particles, then there are a finite number of planets, as well as possible life forms.  The universe itself, doesn't actually enter into the consideration of life.  In other words, the concept of "infinity" as applied to the universe relates to the space it occupies and not the matter in it.
    ...it seems that infinity is beyond human comprehension.
    On that I would have to disagree.  It seems that infinity is an invention of the human mind.  All one has to do is examine Zeno's Paradoxes, to see how readily susceptible humans are to invoking infinity even when it has no basis in reality.  Once again, mathematics says that there are an infinite number of values between any two numbers, however this only exists in the human imagination.  There is no real world corollary to this, since matter cannot be infinitely divided.  So in physics we find that there is a lower bound to the universe.  Therefore, it would seem plausible that there is also an upper bound.  However, while you may not like the idea of a beginning or end when it comes to the universe. the point is that we already know about one limit.  No reason to believe there aren't others.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sorry, so perhaps I misread your statement:
    I can understand that, because until you've actually seen something like this with your own eyes or had evidence of flying saucers confirmed by governments, scientists, the media etc most people would prefer to think that we were either both hallucinating at the same time on the same spot or both seeing some man-made flying object  that has a rational explanation, or that we are both lying for some reason.
    Unless there was a word dropped, you pretty well indicated that flying saucers were confirmed.  So, if that's not what you meant, then I'm sorry for suggesting you reached that conclusion.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Yes I can see it can read like that but that's not what I meant, I should have said that if the Governments, scientists and media confirmed that there are UFOs so please accept my apology.


    With regard to your reference to Zeno, I checked out the link and found what I consider to be a perfect example of human beings limited reasoning around infinity or plurality as they call it.
    See http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-zeno/

    You think that there are many things? Then you must conclude that everything is both infinitely small and infinitely big! You think that motion is infinitely divisible? Then it follows that nothing moves! (This is what a ‘paradox’ is: a demonstration that a contradiction or absurd consequence follows from apparently reasonable assumptions.)The Argument from Denseness

    Well I'm afraid I don't get that at all. What does he mean by motion being infinitely divisible and how on earth does he deduce that nothing moves from that? Maybe I'm the one being really limited? Gerhard, can you explain this to me please?

    If there are many, they must be as many as they are and neither more nor less than that. But if they are as many as they are, they would be limited. If there are many, things that are are unlimited. For there are always others between the things that are, and again others between those, and so the things that are are unlimited. (Simplicius(a) On Aristotle's Physics, 140.29)

    This first argument, given in Zeno's words according to Simplicius, attempts to show that there could not be many things, on pain of contradiction. Assume then that there are many things. First, he says that any collection must contain some definite number of things, neither more nor fewer. But if you have a definite number of things, he further concludes, you must have a finite — ‘limited’ — number of them; he implicitly assumes that to have infinitely many things is not to have any particular number of them.


    Here is a prime example of humans insisting that even if there are an infinite number of things then there must be a definite number of things because otherwise they can't imagine it.

    Second, imagine any collection of things arranged in space — imagine them lined up in one dimension for definiteness. Between and two of them, he claims, is a third; and in between these three elements another two; and another four between these five; and so on without end. Therefore the limited collection is also ‘unlimited’, which is a contradiction, and hence our original assumption must be false: there are not many things after all. At least, so Zeno's reasoning runs.
    Therefore the limited collection is also unlimited, but only in his head!
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Most of the paradoxes are based on the same idea of things being infinitely divisible.  Zeno's point was to demonstrate the absurd consequences of such reasoning.

    The easiest way to explain it is to consider this example (which is a minor variation of the various paradoxes).

    Imagine shooting at arrow at a target.  At some point the arrow will have traveled half the distance to the target.  At another, that distance will be halved again.  In effect, we can keep doing that an infinite number of times.  However, the problem with that is that we can "prove" that by infinite divisions the arrow can never reach the target, since every distance away from the target can be divided again.

    Aristotle's response to this problem was to indicate that infinity was a mental concept that only existed in the human mind.  As a result, while our mind can infinitely divide the distance of the arrow from the target, the real world doesn't behave that way and therefore can't be analyzed that way.

    This is similar to the issue of imagining an infinite number of divisions between any two numbers.  In other words, between 0 and 1, there are an infinite number of values that can be determined, however this is merely a mathematical abstraction since the world can't actually be divided an infinite number of ways.  As a result we hit a lower limit in the world which doesn't exist in mathematics.

    Even more significantly there are the irrational numbers which describe numbers that can never be accurately defined because they present an infinite sequence of decimal places (like pi).  This also means that whenever these numbers are employed they can never be absolutely accurate (in a mathematical sense) because they can never be absolutely represented.  However, we know that despite that flaw, the error introduced is so infinitesimally small that it has no effect in the real world.

    Anyway, my point is that when we experience infinities in mathematics, it doesn't necessarily mean that a "real" infinity is being represented.  Infinity is a mathematical abstraction.  However, even when one considers the universe, the infinity discussed refers to the space the universe occupies (which is expanded), but it doesn't mean that there are an infinite number of particles.  This is precisely why everything is moving farther apart, but there are no new particles being created (since matter/energy can be neither created or destroyed) to fill the empty space.

    The conclusion from this is that if the universe expands indefinitely then at some point there will be no stars visible in the sky because they will all have passed beyond our event horizon.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Another point is that if we have a finite collection of things that can be infinitely divided then we have a contradiction since we can't have both a finite and infinite set of items.

    In fact that is precisely the premise of the Drake equation (which Douglas Adams deals with in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

    "It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in.  However, not every one of them is inhabited.  Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero.  From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, ..."
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat

    More importantly, one has to distinguish between the universe versus the matter that is in it. 
    Nowadays, the total number of particles in the universe has been variously estimated at numbers from 10^72 up to 10^87.
    http://ajy.stormloader.com/reallife.html

    So if there are a finite number of particles, then there are a finite number of planets, as well as possible life forms.  The universe itself, doesn't actually enter into the consideration of life.  In other words, the concept of "infinity" as applied to the universe relates to the space it occupies and not the matter in it.

    The Big Bang theory explains how at the start of this ‘multiverse’ (my name from earlier post), photons and fermions inter-converted freely. Photon gases expanded and cooled and each time fermions were left over in extremely small amounts ~10−10, because low energy photons could no longer break them apart. Those fermions  became the matter in the multiverse all around us.

    In an infinite universe comprised of infinite multiverses with infinite multiversal ‘big bangs’ happening infinitely through time, each big bang would create matter in the same way that matter was created in our multiverse. Therefore the universe is comprised of infinite mass not a finite number of particles.

    Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero.  From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero
    Here is another perfect example of crazy human logic that because something is almost zero then it is zero, when the creation of all of the mass in the universe comes from within something that is almost zero, such as empty space, assuming there is a Higgs boson that creates mass.

    See wikipedia "The Higgs boson particle is one quantum component of the theoretical . In empty space, the Higgs field has an amplitude different from zero; i.e., a non-zero vacuum expectation value. The existence of this non-zero vacuum expectation plays a fundamental role: it gives mass to every elementary particle that couples to the Higgs field, including the Higgs boson itself."
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I'm not sure what your point is.  Whether the universe is infinite or not, the point is that when light can no longer reach us then it is undetectable.  It doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, but it does mean that with respect to "infinity" being applied to life, it simply isn't true.  If light can't reach us, then neither can a spacecraft, even traveling at the speed of light.

    So regardless of what might be taking place in that neighborhood, the practical upshot is that it is undetectable and unreachable by us and any aliens.  That's what is meant by the practical terms.  We cannot know anything about the universe beyond the observable. 

    The point that the universe is expanding is that there will be more and more galaxies that reach this state, which means that over time, we will have even fewer possibilities for alien contact.
    Anyway, back to the hypothetical, highly intelligent and technologically advanced aliens who might not have our best interests at heart who are too far away to reach us. I agree that if Zeta Reticuli for example is 39 light years away and if my UFO really was an alien spaceship heading there at the speed of light, then either time is not that relevant to the aliens or they have some means of speeding up the journey, like a worm-hole for example or even some way of curving space or time in order to get there quicker.

    When I first saw the UFO I started reading everything I could find about UFOs, both on the Internet and in books. The first book I read was 'The Day After Roswell' by written by retired United States Army Colonel Philip J. Corso about a crashed UFO at the airfield which launched the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. I then progressed onto Communion by Louis Whitley Strieber, which I found rather scary, to say the least, it was all about alien encounters and abductions. I then read about 20 more books on UFO's, some were good others were very bad.

    After reading all of these books I was left with the impression that if there are aliens visiting Earth then they are probably physically and mentally well adapted for space travel.

    The typical image of large eyed, almost embryonic looking alien does seem to fit the profile of a creature that could maybe hibernate in a womb-like environment on a spacecraft, and stay alive by being fed nutrients through a cord without the need to breath, and their slim skeletons and body mass might be better designed to withstand the forces of travelling at or near the speed of light than say a human body.

    The other common denominator throughout most of the books was that many claimed that some aliens appear to be able to communicate telepathically with humans, which is also an interesting concept. I couldn't help wondering whether if they hypothetically do exist then they may have been genetically engineered from humans or even bonobos, some time in their distant past?

    Finally, UFO sightings happen all over the world every week, often whole groups of people claim to have seen UFOs sometimes in China, Iran, Chile, in fact almost everywhere in the world where there are people. If you type 'UFO sightings this week' into Google it always returns quite a few newspaper articles and websites from around the world.'
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Your arguments are so cute! She posted a point that disagreed with the OP's thoughts, and the OP attempted to school her. Every time she counters the OP, and is completely correct, the OP manipulates her words, and manipulates facts! Dear God, OP, pick up a copy of The Black Hole War. Pages 1-25 call you an idiot, and they barely speak about what you're claiming.
    Yes, you have some basis, but if you'd stop being an opinionated buttcrack and did more research, you'd realize you're way off on a few things.
    Infinite is a number, for "as many as there are", just like zero. Thus, even though infinite is forever, and zero is never, infinite has an end, and zero exists. Those are some odd rules of physics, ones that I picked up in grade 1.
    Space is infinite, and expanding, but it has an end. It also has and infinite number of parallel universes that are infinite and expanding. Beyond that, there are an infinite number of universes that are infinite in size, with infinite parallel universes that are infinite in size, and every moment, new universes are popping up, and growing rapidly, thanks to gravity.

    Infinite is infinite. I disagree with an infinite number of planets, though, because if planets took up infinite space, earth would be trapped inside of a puzzle make of worlds, stars, and black holes. But, I do think that there is a large possibility of intelligent life, and it is probably all over the god damn place. Not in our solar system, but certainly in another. Perhaps it is three-billion light years away, and we will never meet it, but to say that it isn't there, despite math, is, well, crackbrained.

    I'll probably be called an idiot, or insulted, or have my views disregarded, but I'll lul when it happens. Theoretical physics are theoretical. I don't care which portion of theoretical physics a person studies; it's still a theory. If one calls me a stupid dummy for my views on a theory, alrighty then. I don't believe there is a God, and I've heard it's mathematically unlikely. But, if there is a possibility, a person has a right to his or her own views. Men with cancer have survived 2% chances of living, and been told they were going to die, and still lived. As long as there is a chance, albeit small, I have no right to call a man ignorant.

    I'm awaiting Stephen Hawking's newest book, which I've preordered. He says GOD AINT REAL BITCH, CUZ GRAVITY BE IN THE HIZZY. I was thinking, though... How did gravity even come to be without a God? Of course, one could say, "lul where the fuck did God come from?" I hope Stephen's new book doesn't disappoint

    Gerhard Adam
    I'll probably be called an idiot...
    Probably
    Mundus vult decipi