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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:48 am 
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NASA's Kepler mission has discovered 11 new planetary systems hosting 26 confirmed planets – nearly doubling the number of verified planets and tripling the number of stars known to have more than one planet that passes in front of it.

Read more:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012 ... anets.html

Images:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/keple ... index.html

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:12 pm 
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So cool.

Maybe their Buddhas have ears like Spock. :alien:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:49 am 
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Wikipedia has the current count of known planets outside the solar system pegged at 755.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:44 am 
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No mention of the red dwarf barreling towards us? Hmmm.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:53 am 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Konchog1 wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation


What I like about the Drake Equation was that it used to suggest likelihood of life on other planets was almost 0% chance and then someone comes along later and modifies it and now it's basically 100% sure thing. This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned elsewhere recently that science is a big obstacle. Some new statement from a science expert immediately becomes fact to many people. It's like magic, practically. If science says something is not possible, it becomes hard to have faith and easy to have doubts. Then, at the end of your life, probably the papers will reveal a new scientific discovery: EXTREE! EXTREE! BUDDHAS REALLY EXIST!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:55 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation


What I like about the Drake Equation was that it used to suggest likelihood of life on other planets was almost 0% chance and then someone comes along later and modifies it and now it's basically 100% sure thing. This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned elsewhere recently that science is a big obstacle. Some new statement from a science expert immediately becomes fact to many people. It's like magic, practically. If science says something is not possible, it becomes hard to have faith and easy to have doubts. Then, at the end of your life, probably the papers will reveal a new scientific discovery: EXTREE! EXTREE! BUDDHAS REALLY EXIST!


It won't be 100% until they actually verify life existing outside the earth.

I believe there is life elsewhere in the galaxy, but even if it was intelligent the possibility that we would exist in the same time frame as them is unlikely. That means actual mutual contact with other species off-world is very unlikely. We might hope to pick up the radio signals from a long dead civilization, but actually sending messages back and forth is not likely given the distance both spatially and temporally. Cosmic time is well beyond anything ordinary humans can really conceptualize.

Though I wish I could have a career in astro-anthropology or astrolinguistics...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:18 pm 
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I said "basically." They were saying it was "basically" impossible before. Now the equation is nearly 1 which would be 100%. Of course, it's not proven, but I have never had any doubt, anyway, personally. And they're travelling to our planet, even.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:47 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation


What I like about the Drake Equation was that it used to suggest likelihood of life on other planets was almost 0% chance and then someone comes along later and modifies it and now it's basically 100% sure thing. This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned elsewhere recently that science is a big obstacle. Some new statement from a science expert immediately becomes fact to many people. It's like magic, practically.


Well science is the best method of acquiring knowledge about the physical world. And it is a kind of magic in a sense: clarifying or even eliminating ignorance about an issue is indeed magical.

On the subject of the Drake Equation, it is still highly dependant upon assumptions about the other factors in the equation. We really only know now that most stars, practically all stars, have planets orbiting them and in fact there are more planets than stars in the galaxy (one would except this of course if planetary systems were common). But the other factors are still quite unknown. I usually come up with 4 civilizations in our galaxy from the Drake Equation and I don't think I'm being pessimistic.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation


What I like about the Drake Equation was that it used to suggest likelihood of life on other planets was almost 0% chance and then someone comes along later and modifies it and now it's basically 100% sure thing. This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned elsewhere recently that science is a big obstacle. Some new statement from a science expert immediately becomes fact to many people. It's like magic, practically.


Well science is the best method of acquiring knowledge about the physical world. And it is a kind of magic in a sense: clarifying or even eliminating ignorance about an issue is indeed magical.

On the subject of the Drake Equation, it is still highly dependant upon assumptions about the other factors in the equation. We really only know now that most stars, practically all stars, have planets orbiting them and in fact there are more planets than stars in the galaxy (one would except this of course if planetary systems were common). But the other factors are still quite unknown. I usually come up with 4 civilizations in our galaxy from the Drake Equation and I don't think I'm being pessimistic.

Kirt
And you can remove the last two variables to get the estimate of life in general and then consider that the equation only applies per galaxy. So take the number you get and multiply it by a million times.

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Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Science is also like magic in that it is a spell which overtakes people and makes them believe without questioning. Then, 10, 20, 50 years later a new breakthrough discovery proves what you've been believing all this time was actually wrong.

I'm with Schrodinger on this one. We only look for carbon-based life; any life form which was not carbon-based is not recognizable to us, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact, it is absurd to think so. It's not occam's razor, it's ignorance. As he pointed out, we could be surrounded by life we simply don't recognize as life. With our limited perception of light and sound, it would be exceedingly arrogant to believe we knew much of anything, really. Schrodinger estimated a greater that 99% likelihood of us being basically wrong about the entire universe and everything in it. I agree with that.

If you turn your eyes and ears toward UFO documentaries, you will find a lot of information is out there which basically seals the deal about intelligently-controlled extraterrestrial space ships visiting earth. If you are doubting, that is my suggestion. I could recommend a few good ones to start with.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Konchog1 wrote:
And you can remove the last two variables to get the estimate of life in general and then consider that the equation only applies per galaxy. So take the number you get and multiply it by a million times.


There are different kinds of galaxies but actually e multiply it by at least 125 billion times. There are an estimated 125 -250 billion galaxies in the universe.

The universe is a gigantic life machine some 20 bly in radius.

Which means that Fermi was on to something in 1946 (Fermi Paradox).

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:05 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Science is also like magic in that it is a spell which overtakes people and makes them believe without questioning. Then, 10, 20, 50 years later a new breakthrough discovery proves what you've been believing all this time was actually wrong.


Science is not belief. Science is falsifiable and is a myth - an organizing, explanatory story but one that we improve over time. In most cases now the myth is refined (atomic theory) but in most cases in the past the myth was completely overturned (Ptolomy's epicycles, the germ theory of disease) or newly introduced (gravity, evolution). It is an ongoing discussion where the best explanation is actually used (or in some cases, multiple explanations that better fit specific circumstances). And it is confined to the physical world.

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We only look for carbon-based life; any life form which was not carbon-based is not recognizable to us, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


No we don't. On planet Earth we know know for certain that there are at least three different life systems: life dependent upon the Sun (before the discovery of ocean vents this was all the life we knew), and two forms of life dependent upon geothermal energy (microbes living in rock a few miles beneath our feet and the marine live clustered around geothermal ocean vents). Then we also have extremophiles found in various extreme conditions (like living in geysers). We knew a little about these when I was a kid but they were basically not explored until recently.

Quote:
Schrodinger estimated a greater that 99% likelihood of us being basically wrong about the entire universe and everything in it. I agree with that.


Well that's certainly the case.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:18 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
padma norbu wrote:
Science is also like magic in that it is a spell which overtakes people and makes them believe without questioning. Then, 10, 20, 50 years later a new breakthrough discovery proves what you've been believing all this time was actually wrong.


Science is not belief. Science is falsifiable and is a myth - an organizing, explanatory story but one that we improve over time. In most cases now the myth is refined (atomic theory) but in most cases in the past the myth was completely overturned (Ptolomy's epicycles, the germ theory of disease) or newly introduced (gravity, evolution). It is an ongoing discussion where the best explanation is actually used (or in some cases, multiple explanations that better fit specific circumstances). And it is confined to the physical world.


I was speaking in a general way, not trying to give a precise definition of what science is. I believe things based on what is commonly held to be scientific "fact," as do we all. This is why I say it's an obstacle; we've been trained more or less to accept it because people who are presumably expert in some specific area told us that's how it is. Pretty hard to argue with that unless you want to be ridiculed as some sort of backwards luddite.
kirtu wrote:
Quote:
We only look for carbon-based life; any life form which was not carbon-based is not recognizable to us, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


No we don't. On planet Earth we know know for certain that there are at least three different life systems: life dependent upon the Sun (before the discovery of ocean vents this was all the life we knew), and two forms of life dependent upon geothermal energy (microbes living in rock a few miles beneath our feet and the marine live clustered around geothermal ocean vents). Then we also have extremophiles found in various extreme conditions (like living in geysers). We knew a little about these when I was a kid but they were basically not explored until recently.


Schrodinger said that "we only look for carbon-based life." Look up when he said this and see if he was correct. As far as what we look for on other planets, that is still basically the case.
kirtu wrote:
Quote:
Schrodinger estimated a greater that 99% likelihood of us being basically wrong about the entire universe and everything in it. I agree with that.


Well that's certainly the case.

Kirt


Darn tootin'. I'm right about something! :woohoo:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:47 pm 
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padma norbu wrote:
Schrodinger said that "we only look for carbon-based life." Look up when he said this and see if he was correct. As far as what we look for on other planets, that is still basically the case.


We have been exploring life based not on carbon for some time now. We just don't have any examples that we recognize. This very discussion was presented in Crichton's "Andromeda Strain" from the 70's.

Esp. with Titan people are exploring the possibility of non-carbon based life directly. In Titan's case the first question is if there is enough energy to even support complex molecular processes. Apparently there is.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:01 am 
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Schrodinger's point still stands quite strongly and easily on its own logic (and he wrote it in 1946). Any lifeform sufficiently alien to us would not be recognized as "life."

The sort of cellular lifeforms which they discovered can live in boiling hot springs and frozen ocean depths where they previously thought no life could live is not exactly the sort of thing you'd call "intelligent life."

Another point Schrodinger brought up is the fact that we only recognize something as "intelligent" if it happens to communicate to us in a way we can understand. Therefore, the sun and the moon and the earth are not intelligent, even though, they are literally our parents which provided us with life and consciousness.

The search for life on Titan is no different as they are starting with a premise regarding molecular complexity. This rules out the possibility of intelligent life—or dumb life—that is not molecularly complex; ie. it does not have the qualities we expect :: it is not "life."

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