alien invaders

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Postby Danny B » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:52 am

To go unfashionably back on topic ;), aliens coming here? To this planet? Not going to happen due to the HUGE distance and commensurate investment of resources required. Even if it eventually does, or indeed already has and does on a regular basis, we'll be none the wiser for it.

Compared to a species that can traverse interstellar distances, we're about as clever as those chimps that have been spotted using sharp rocks as cleavers. We're shockingly close to perfecting materials that can bend/absorb light. What do you reckon a technological civilization with a couple of hundred thousand years of advancement on us are capable of?

For all we know, there's a dozen different interstellar David Attenborough types poking around the planet and marvelling at how bacteria (the Earth's dominant life form) has managed to colonise ambulatory, bipedal, meat-sacks to act as a combination of food source, home and transport for them.

Of course, it's also entirely possible that no-one will ever want to talk to us. :P
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:00 am

What would want to meet us meat? :lol:
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Postby Quark » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:55 am

It's a valid point: Why bother traversing the galaxy in order to meet a bunch of bickering apes that can't even look after their own planet? In my opinion, if there are aliens out there, more advanced than us, they'll probably do their best to avoid Earth altogether.

Also, interstellar travel. Assuming you go along with accepted physics, it's impossible to go faster than light. The faster you go, the greater your mass, hence the greater your energy, and at the speed of light (Or the largest possible fraction of it) you'd just end up as molecular gloop.
Even if light-speed was possible, it would be nigh on pointless because even at that kind of speed, it takes years to reach the nearest star. The nearest planet is even further and the nearest one with potential is barely a micrometre-wide blip on our largest telescope. Light takes millions of years to reach Earth from distant stars.
So, our best hope is something akin to 'hyperspace'. But what might this be?
The dangerous thing about discussing this, of course, is that it's far too easy to slip into sci-fi. Black holes aren't really holes; Wormholes can't be created and sustained without some kind of exotic matter. Assuming we discover this 'exotic matter' to keep a small wormhole from collapsing, it would be extremely dangerous. This shouldn't be much of a problem once it is contained and controlled - after all, there's enough potential energy in your computer to destroy a sizable chunk of the planet:

E=MC2 :twisted:

In a nutshell, this means that in every piece of matter (M) there's a ton of energy(E), and that energy is the matter(M) multiplied by the speed(C), and squared. Something actually travelling at the speed of light, therefore...
KABLOOIE! :D
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:10 am

But how does the TARDIS work then? :wink:
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 am

The TARDIS works by suspension of disbelief and gabbling the science too fast for the audience to follow :wink:
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Postby Dotsie » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:32 am

Sounds perfectly valid to me 8)
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Postby Quark » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:45 pm

It uses some freaky sub-space drive powered by psuedo-science ;)
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Postby chris.ph » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:03 pm

the tardis works on using the time vortex to bend space and time honest :lol:
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:57 pm

Thanks that explains then :wink:
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Postby Quark » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:10 am

Apparently there's a limit on the amount of time that intelligent life can evolve. This means that intelligent life, all around the universe, should be evolving at the same time, give or take a few thousand years. Indeed, it's possible that the first alien species we meet won't be terribly advanced or terribly primitive - they could be in a similar position to us!
But that's just wistful thinking. There's a lot of ground to cover.
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:22 am

But humans didn't start evoloving until 3 million years ago. The dinosaurs were around for nearly 200 million years before that, so if an intelligent species started evolving at the same time as the dinosaurs, then they would be exponentially more advanced than us!
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Postby Dotsie » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:14 am

Bacteria didn't really do much for about 3.5 billion years. If they'd got a move on with the whole mitochondria/chloroplasts and whatnot, we could have been here sooner.

Also, galaxies and planets aren't all the same age. Although if they are much older, there probably won't be enough heavy elements to form complex life.
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Postby Quark » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:28 pm

Yes, some are older than others, especially when they are made of the recyclings of previous ones. :x I forgot about that. Must check the weak anthropic principle again.
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Postby chris.ph » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:42 pm

i think my head is just recovering from a dark matter pass or was it new years eve :lol: 8)
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