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General Chat Thread, BBC News - Black Hole's 'Big Meal' Could Spark Fireworks in General; Originally Posted by CHR1S No, it would actually take 20 years, your thinking of the faster than light theory. No. ...
  1. #31


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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    No, it would actually take 20 years, your thinking of the faster than light theory.
    No. If you travel at the speed of light, it will take you no time at all to traverse the 20 light years. No time will pass for you, you will not age. If you travel there and back again, your friends will be 40 years older than you. To them, it will appear to have taken you 40 years, to you, the journey would be instant. All this is a consequence of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

  2. Thanks to pcstru from:

    CHR1S (10th January 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Undetected doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
    Yes and no. I did say there was no evidence for life elsewhere in the universe, that doesn't discount that evidence might be found. Science though wants evidence and in the absence of evidence, there is no basis to claim that there is other life out there.

    There is a problem for the theory that other intelligent life exists summed up by the Fermi Paradox. And the more likely you think life is, the more difficult it becomes to explain why we don't see any evidence of it.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    ...only 9.5 minutes...
    8 minutes 20 seconds [on average as the distance from The Sun to The Earth varies between 91 and 94 million miles averaging out at around 93 million miles]

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    You have to make some BIG assumptions but, IF life is generated by sheer fluke (and no biblical intervention) what are the odds on the initial conditions forming a molecule that in turn multiplied and diversified AND THEN mutated and evolved AND THEN branched off into different types of life AND THEN continued to evolve?
    5 to 1? (ish)

    Seriously though, the likelihood of sentient life evolving from the primordial matter of the universe is a big deal. It may be soooooo unlikely that by all rights even we shouldn't have made it, but we just got really really lucky with the chemistry and here we are. Of course, it seems inevitable to us because we are here asking the question, which couldn't be asked if we hadn't evolved in the first place. If we discovered there really is no other life you might ask "Just how did we end up on the only planet with life?", to which the answer is of course, no other planet could evolve a being capable of asking that question, so here we are (a bit like: of all the possible zygotic combinations from my parents' gametes, why did I end up me? Ans: only I can ask that question).

    It's one possible and somewhat depressing conclusion of the Weak Anthropic Principle, but there is always the more optimistic Strong Anthropic Principle arguing that the conditions of our universe must be pre-disposed to evolving sentient life, otherwise we wouldn't be here to observe it ourselves. Gotta hope for life out there though, dontcha? I live in hope, but three score and ten doesn't give us much of a window to be in the generation that makes first contact.

    Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Al
    Last edited by VeryPC; 10th January 2014 at 05:55 PM.

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    This is a brilliant topc!

    Also a bit of a pet love of mine.

    There's been a number of Horizon episodes that address a lot of the subject matter here (but of course don't give you the answers) these are:

    Are We Alone in the Universe? - Series 44 episode 7
    Do You Know What Time It Is? - S45 E5
    Who's Afraid of a Big Black Hole? - S46 E4
    Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? - S46 E15 (just to add extra confusion)
    What Happened Before the Big Bang? - S47 E3
    How Big Is the Universe? - S49 E4
    How Small Is the Universe? - S49 E5

    That's a whole bunch of fantastically mind-boggling, wonderful sciency knowledge and a fine way to spend a weekend!

  7. #36


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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryPC View Post
    Gotta hope for life out there though, dontcha?
    Looking at what 'intelligent' life is doing to itself and everything else on earth, I'm not entirely sure about that.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Looking at what 'intelligent' life is doing to itself and everything else on earth, I'm not entirely sure about that.
    Perhaps that's God's will


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    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    No. If you travel at the speed of light, it will take you no time at all to traverse the 20 light years. No time will pass for you, you will not age. If you travel there and back again, your friends will be 40 years older than you. To them, it will appear to have taken you 40 years, to you, the journey would be instant. All this is a consequence of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
    Gah, I thought time dilation was after LS... I stand corrected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Looking at what 'intelligent' life is doing to itself and everything else on earth, I'm not entirely sure about that.
    Well, let's put the emphasis firmly on 'hope' that if we find intelligent life that they can teach us a thing or two about sustainable planet management.

    Al
    Last edited by VeryPC; 13th January 2014 at 12:17 PM.

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    CAM
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    The more likely answer is if an alien race is capable of making interstellar trips, they are more then capable of wiping us out like a bug on a windshield so they can acquire the easily accessible source of water on our planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    The more likely answer is if an alien race is capable of making interstellar trips, they are more then capable of wiping us out like a bug on a windshield so they can acquire the easily accessible source of water on our planet.
    Oh come on! As if they want water. You've seen Signs, right?! :P

    I'd like to think if there are any alien races out there capable of space travel, they have the technology to monitor our planet, too. Think of all the video games we have about wiping out alien invaders. Mass Effect, Halo, to name two of the bigger-name ones. And then there's movies and books on top of that! I don't blame them for not making contact

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    No. If you travel at the speed of light, it will take you no time at all to traverse the 20 light years. No time will pass for you, you will not age. If you travel there and back again, your friends will be 40 years older than you. To them, it will appear to have taken you 40 years, to you, the journey would be instant. All this is a consequence of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
    but wouldnt you also weigh an infinate amount and require an infinate amount of energy to get to that speed? i dont see with current knowledge getting anywhere near those speeds the only hops is if we can get round it (like hyperspace/warp in sci-fi)

    as to life out there. There had to be several generations of stars to make the higher elements needed that takes time. it might just be that we are the first intelligent life out there (something has to be). Even if there are others our search for life is basically a search for liquid water (and we keep finding that in odd places in our solar system) and that at distance is not the easiest thing to do its often hard enough to find a planet at all with current tech and we still cant directly observe them just infer their atmosphere via spectroctroscopy.

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    Quite an apt article from The Observer from yesterday: Why you can't travel at the speed of light | Science | The Observer

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    but wouldnt you also weigh an infinate amount and require an infinate amount of energy to get to that speed? i dont see with current knowledge getting anywhere near those speeds the only hops is if we can get round it (like hyperspace/warp in sci-fi)
    Yes, travel at the speed of light is impossible unless you are a massless particle. IMO absent of 'warp drive', interstellar travel is extremely tricky for biological life. Even a robot AI would face issues of reliability that would be ... taxing, but even so - a few hundred thousand years should see any replicating machine (von neuman probe) colonize the entire galaxy.
    as to life out there. There had to be several generations of stars to make the higher elements needed that takes time. it might just be that we are the first intelligent life out there (something has to be).
    Something has to be yes, but if that is the case, then think how improbable intelligent life is. The universe is already 13.8 billion years old with at least a hundred billion galaxies, each with an average hundred billion stars perhaps each of them with multiple orbiting planetary bodies. If we are the first, then intelligent life is extremely improbable and we might just be the last.
    Even if there are others our search for life is basically a search for liquid water (and we keep finding that in odd places in our solar system) and that at distance is not the easiest thing to do its often hard enough to find a planet at all with current tech and we still cant directly observe them just infer their atmosphere via spectroctroscopy.
    Water is (and should be) fairly common. What would be uncommon is free oxygen. We are starting to Image extra solar planets directly, but the only way to determine chemical composition of anything simply by looking at it (as opposed to seeing how it reacts chemically), is spectroscopy.

    I user to be much more confident that we would find life elsewhere than I am now. If we do, I don't expect it to be intelligent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soveryapt View Post
    I have this with my daughter (10) at the moment .. my mum n dad bought her a telescope last Christmas but she's only just getting into it, so I'm waiting for a clear night to be able to sit out and have a look at a few, but I've been explaining about the whole fact that a lot of the stars we can see might no longer exist and we're just seeing them as they were.
    Tell her that suppose she had a perfect telescope and looked at a planet which was millions of light years away. Suppose that on this planet was a mirror. Ignoring planetary alignment, she would see a refection of earth, but she wouldn't see herself, she would see dinosaurs walking the earth.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 13th January 2014 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Mistake made in timescales

  17. 2 Thanks to jinnantonnixx:

    soveryapt (13th January 2014), VeryPC (13th January 2014)



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