I'm reminded of the conversation in Men in Black, where K states that human thought is so primitive it is considered an infectious disease in much of the universe. This is just another kind of spore.
Astroplanet boffins in America say that humanity may not, as had been expected, soon be the target of an interstellar assault from alien civilisations unwisely enraged by Web-2.0 teenybopper portal Bebo. It appears that the planet Gliese 581d - which might have mounted an invasion of the Solar System as soon as 2049 - cannot …
"If it is, of course, we're looking at potential grumpy radioactive mutated aliens who might also be superhumanly strong. " .... in HyperRadioProActive Methodologies would be an Opportune Convenience for Humanity to Ponder and Process for Quantum Leaping.
Dispensing Live Operational Virtual Environments CodeXSSXXXX ....... AIMedicine .... and VXXXXine.
And a Gift from Uncle Sam ur AI
When they say life is unlikely, they really mean, human life or life very, VERY much like ourselves - hell, just look at the extremophiles on this planet, and that's just life with a common origin. One world! Who knows what other possibilities there are for organic or non-organic (Silicon is less likely than Carbon but who knows?)
I reckon there must be at least 100,000's of life supporting worlds within this galaxy and maybe 1000's with intelligent life. Its a bit depressing if we're only looking for life like us. Guess its good that the aliens stay away... A world that elected G W Bush twice is obviously not ready for a close encounter.
If we are invaded by a ravening, self-mothered pseudohydrozoan immortal Dr Who jellyfish clone vampire blobomination horror-swarm, it'll actually be a highly-radioactive, ravening, self-mothered pseudohydrozoan immortal Dr Who jellyfish clone vampire blobomination horror-swarm.
This is comforting news how exactly?
MAD Magazine ran a satire of Telstar (an early comm satellite) in which the viewers' TV picture is replaced by the head of stereotypical alien saying, "We, the people of the planet Saturn, salute your technical achievement, but should you continue to send us reruns of "The Gale Storm Show"* we will have no alternative but to destroy your planet."
*An old American sitcom. Brits please read "Keeping Up Appearances" instead.
Say there was a planet with intelligent life like ourselves....wait just me
And they had radio telescopes listening out of waves.
What are the chances they would be able to understand our data?
Also why do people think that other life would have to be identical as us.
What about a species evolved to live in a steamy atmosphere
I love reaching a particular sentence in a Reg article where I think "this must be a Lewis Page story." I then scroll back up to check the byline, and 95% of the time I'm correct.
The "Lewis Point" in this story was of course the aforementioned "ravening, self-mothered pseudohydrozoan immortal Dr Who jellyfish clone vampire blobomination horror-swarm." Excellent.
"to pull excess carbon from its atmosphere and confine it in rocks to prevent runaway greenhouse warming"
"Our model predicts that tides may contribute only one-quarter of the heating required to make the planet habitable"
So what is it? Too cold or too hot. They have no f#@&ing clue yet, so they should stop trying to sound authoritative with wild conclustions about the conditions there. They have no idea when the last large meteor hit it which would = internal heating, possible isotope decay + magnetosphere + tectonics + land mass + volcano and earthquakes. I'm pretty certain they have no way of knowing if it has a large moon(s), the wobble would be too small.
Gather more data first.
'So what is it? Too cold or too hot.'
The answer is - it depends.
On a small planet that cools quickly, or where there isn't enough tidal massaging to keep it turning over; CO2 comes out of volcanoes, reacts with the surface rocks to form carbonates and gets locked away forever. No CO2, no greenhouse effect, the surface of the planet begins to cool, eventually taking water vapour out of the atmosphere - increasing the cooling, and you end up with a Mars.
If the planet gets too hot - from being too close to the sun, there's no chance of surface oceans as it boils into the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and taking with it one of the big carbon sinks for dissolved CO2. Over a certain temperature, the carbonates in the crust also start to release CO2, the greenhouse effect goes crazy bad and you have Venus.
'Not strictly a prerequisite to organic life. Other solvents (e.g. ammonia) work just as well if you've evolved swimming in them.'
True to an extent, although apart from ammonia being a nasty chemical capable of tearing apart proteins; it's also liquid at such low temperatures that chemical reactions run really slowly - so even if we did meet an alien lifeform that smelt like a blocked toilet, it'd be a painfully slow conversation - a bit like IMing over BT Total Broadband (see I got an IT angle) - the good news is that you could probably run away from it.
But speed doesn'r automatically convey importance or significance. A species that operates on timescales long enough to watch continental drift isn't necessarily one that hasn't got anything important to say. Its true, though, if we met one they would either not even notice us, or we would appear like mayflies to them.
Protiens are not a prerequisite to life either -- protiens are for the likes of *us* and if *they* were using ammonia as a solvent then it would be very unlikely they would have any use for them. Here on Earth, there are bacteria that live and feed happily on ammoniac compounts and excrete nitrates in return. Thankfully, otherwise no agriculture.
Ammonia is only a nasty chemical if you didn't evolve in it. To those that did, liquid water would probably be as every bit as nasty as ammonia is to us.
I appreciate our ammonia-swilling methane inhaling overlords.
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