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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence (Read 279 times)
Capt. Lola B.S.C.
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The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Nov 1st, 2017 at 3:25pm
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For 54 years, SETI has been searching for other intelligent  life in the universe and as of yet, zilch, zip, nada. Let's dispassionately explore the possibilities as to why that is.  Call it a thought experiment, just please don't assume I'm positing the God of Abraham(BOWHUNTER!   Angry).

Maybe we're not finding other life because it's incredibly difficult to for it to occur, evolutionarily or otherwise.  Here are some of the statistically improbable events that needed to occur.

1.) In the beginning(13.8 billion years ago), there was a solar nebula.  There was hydrogen and helium, no other elements at the time of our universes creation, yet somehow we must account for all the other elements that we find in the universe.

I certainly can't say I know personally, but if we defer to authority, science tells us that we know those other heavier elements came from a supernova, several of them.  The death of a star, a super nova, collapses in on itself, creating all the other elements on the periodic table and it explodes out into it's local space. 

Now, consider our universe is said to be the remnants of this solar nebula which is like a big gaseous cloud, that once existed but later collapsed to form our particular solar system.  So we have to have at least one supernova, possibly two or three, occurring at the exact moment and the correct vicinity of our Solar nebula to inject it with the heavier elements, the last supernova causing it to collapse and then explode, beginning our expansion.

How do we know?  One of the coolest discoveries of our time and it hardly gets any air play.  The Allende Meteorite is 4.56730 billion years old, it's composed of material, formed from our solar nebula as it was collapsing to form our solar system and we know that because it has calcium aluminum inclusions that date back 4.56730 billion years old, the farthest and oldest date on record. 

So they find something called Magnesium 26 mixed in with the calcium aluminum and it made no sense until they deduced that magnesium 26 is the decay product of aluminum 26.  It has a relatively short half life, so by the time our planet is formed it had decayed away to magnesium 26.  We have no aluminum 26 on earth because it all decayed away billions of years ago.

The first of many statistical improbabilities, the big bang.  We had to have all these super nova's going off, injecting our solar nebula with all the heavier elements we know today, and in just the right amounts plus none of those can cause our solar nebula to collapse.  Then the last super nova to go off was close enough that it did cause our solar nebula to collapse at just the right moment, at just the right composition, to eventually lead to us, intelligent life. A massively improbable event to kick off all other improbable events.

We'll get to the following massively improbable events in the next chapter, Chapter 2: The Dinosaur Problem.

To be improbably continued..
« Last Edit: Nov 1st, 2017 at 4:01pm by Capt. Lola B.S.C. »  

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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #1 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 4:15pm
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Capt. Lola B.S.C. wrote on Nov 1st, 2017 at 3:25pm:
For 54 years, SETI has been searching for other intelligent  life in the universe and as of yet, zilch, zip, nada. Let's dispassionately explore the possibilities as to why that is.  Call it a thought experiment, just please don't assume I'm positing the God of Abraham(BOWHUNTER!   Angry).

Maybe we're not finding other life because it's incredibly difficult to for it to occur, evolutionarily or otherwise.  Here are some of the statistically improbable events that needed to occur.

1.) In the beginning(13.8 billion years ago), there was a solar nebula.  There was hydrogen and helium, no other elements at the time of our universes creation, yet somehow we must account for all the other elements that we find in the universe.

I certainly can't say I know personally, but if we defer to authority, science tells us that we know those other heavier elements came from a supernova, several of them.  The death of a star, a super nova, collapses in on itself, creating all the other elements on the periodic table and it explodes out into it's local space. 

Now, consider our universe is said to be the remnants of this solar nebula which is like a big gaseous cloud, that once existed but later collapsed to form our particular solar system.  So we have to have at least one supernova, possibly two or three, occurring at the exact moment and the correct vicinity of our Solar nebula to inject it with the heavier elements, the last supernova causing it to collapse and then explode, beginning our expansion.

How do we know?  One of the coolest discoveries of our time and it hardly gets any air play.  The Allende Meteorite is 4.56730 billion years old, it's composed of material, formed from our solar nebula as it was collapsing to form our solar system and we know that because it has calcium aluminum inclusions that date back 4.56730 billion years old, the farthest and oldest date on record. 

So they find something called Magnesium 26 mixed in with the calcium aluminum and it made no sense until they deduced that magnesium 26 is the decay product of aluminum 26.  It has a relatively short half life, so by the time our planet is formed it had decayed away to magnesium 26.  We have no aluminum 26 on earth because it all decayed away billions of years ago.

The first of many statistical improbabilities, the big bang.  We had to have all these super nova's going off, injecting our solar nebula with all the heavier elements we know today, and in just the right amounts plus none of those can cause our solar nebula to collapse.  Then the last super nova to go off was close enough that it did cause our solar nebula to collapse at just the right moment, at just the right composition, to eventually lead to us, intelligent life. A massively improbable event to kick off all other improbable events.

We'll get to the following massively improbable events in the next chapter, Chapter 2: The Dinosaur Problem.

To be improbably continued..


54 years is nothing or, as we say in Cheshire, nowt.


You know when you lose your car keys*?



It takes a while to find them. In a house.

You want some professors with limited budgets, dissatisfied wives (due to the limited budgets) & loads of hot graduate students to suddenly find Jabba the Hutt and Mr. Spock?


Patience, Comrade.
  

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Under Communism, it's the exact opposite.
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #2 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 2:56pm
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Capt. Lola B.S.C. wrote on Nov 1st, 2017 at 3:25pm:
For 54 years, SETI has been searching for other intelligent  life in the universe and as of yet, zilch, zip, nada.










Capt. Lola B.S.C. wrote on Nov 1st, 2017 at 3:25pm:
Maybe we're not finding other life because it's incredibly difficult to for it to occur, evolutionarily or otherwise.  Here are some of the statistically improbable events that needed to occur.


Sounds like you're speaking of Fermi’s Paradox.  Fermi suggested that with the likelihood of civilizations arising we should have seen evidence.

But first ...  the Drake equation..  a means of calculating the number of advanced civilizations.



The answer could be anywhere from 1,000 to as high as 100,000,000 depending on the variables of course.  But certainly the answer is not zero.

Fermi may not have considered the problems separating signals modulated with information from background noise.  Earth has a "Radio Bubble" extending only about 110 light years from Earth.  The number of star systems in that bubble is relatively low.  Of course they'd have to be in the bubble to detect us .. they'd have to be looking for a signal in the right frequency AND they'd have to be able to extract that signal from background noise. 

Then there's the inverse square law where we see that as our radio bubble expands the effective radiated power of the field is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from Earth.  The further from Earth the weaker the signal and more difficult to extract from the background.

If an alien civilization on a planet 10,000 light years away started radio broadcasts 8,000 years ago, we wouldn't 'see' the signal for another 2,000 years.  Say that only used that technology for 500 years.  We'd have a small window of opportunity in which to look in the right direction for a very small weak signal.

If an alien civilization on a planet 1,000 light years away started radio broadcasts 2,000 years ago and only used that technology for 500 years.. we'd have missed the signal as it passed Earth 500 years ago.

Our Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter.  Seems we need to keep up the search a bit longer.

Another possibility is that 'broadcast' via electromagnetic means lasts only a short period of time for a given technologically advanced civilization.   Much of our communications now is by Internet .. copper and fiber optics therefore much less broadcast.

Then there's the recent experiments in Quantum Entanglement.  Where entangled photons theoretically anywhere in the universe react identically and instantaneously to stimuli.  China is leading the way.  An alien communication system using Quantum Entanglement would be undetectable. 


Last.. It's possible that intelligent life invariably leads to self-destruction.  We simply  missed'um.


  
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #3 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 3:25pm
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I am pretty sure I have some pots made from Aluminum 26.  And Stu Gatz's tin foil hats are made from that, too.
  

non sumus stulti
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #4 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 3:29pm
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I'm kind of with Stephen Hawking on this "search for intelligent life from other planets."  I think he said (or at least caused his machine to say) something like this:

"Why do we search for intelligent life elsewhere?  If it exists, it won't be a good thing for us when we find it because it will have then found us.  And I predict we'll be sorry we looked for it."
  

non sumus stulti
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #5 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:29pm
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EF wrote on Nov 2nd, 2017 at 3:29pm:
I'm kind of with Stephen Hawking on this "search for intelligent life from other planets."  I think he said (or at least caused his machine to say) something like this:

"Why do we search for intelligent life elsewhere?  If it exists, it won't be a good thing for us when we find it because it will have then found us.  And I predict we'll be sorry we looked for it."


If a civilization advanced enough to get here from light years away is seeking us, we likely don't have the power to hide from it. It would be like people from the stone age trying to hide from people with night vision goggles.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #6 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:35pm
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BowHunter wrote on Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:29pm:
If a civilization advanced enough to get here from light years away is seeking us, we likely don't have the power to hide from it. It would be like people from the stone age trying to hide from people with night vision goggles.


That's true, but I think Mr. Hawking's point is that that civilization might not be looking for us.  Even if they are, they might not be looking in the right places.  So why make it easy for them to find us if the likely outcome will be bad. And he seems confident it will be.  I think he's right.
  

non sumus stulti
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #7 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:47pm
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EF wrote on Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:35pm:
That's true, but I think Mr. Hawking's point is that that civilization might not be looking for us.  Even if they are, they might not be looking in the right places.  So why make it easy for them to find us if the likely outcome will be bad. And he seems confident it will be.  I think he's right.


If they're anything like us, they'll be looking for us and as I said if they can get here, it's very likely that their means of detection will be beyond anything we can imagine, just as their means of transportation will be.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #8 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 5:13pm
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BowHunter wrote on Nov 2nd, 2017 at 4:47pm:
If they're anything like us, they'll be looking for us and as I said if they can get here, it's very likely that their means of detection will be beyond anything we can imagine, just as their means of transportation will be.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/7631252/Stephen-Hawking-alien-life...
  

non sumus stulti
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Re: The Statistical Improbability of Spontaneous Biochemical Intelligence
Reply #9 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 5:19pm
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Unlike you I don't come here to argue vicariously. If you have nothing of substance to respond then have the honesty to say so. I don't have anything to say to links.
  

Non sequitur:

The Wet Dreams of Mr Cousteau wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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