Do you believe that we're alone?

As in, do you believe “intelligent” space aliens exist?

What do you think they might be like?

Do you think humans will ever make contact with any of them or vice versa?

It’s a terribly big universe for us to be the only ones. I think it likely that there is other intelligent life in the universe (unless we’re the first). What might they be like? They might be like anything. Or nothing that we can relate to.

‘Ever’ is a long time. I don’t believe the Earth has been visited. The distances are just too great. Contact? We might pick up a signal of some sort; but given the distances, the senders may have been dead for a million years before we received it. I don’t think humans will be Homo sapiens in a million years.

The universe is so vast . . . I think it’s teeming with life, including “intelligent” life. But we have no reason to believe they’ve ever been here. But if we survive long enough, there’s bound to be contact.

There’s almost certainly more life out there somewhere. In a universe as big as the one we can see, “one” is just an impossible number of inhabited planets. We already know that highly versatile organic molecular structures form quite readily in many circumstances; our own record shows that life sprang up on Earth almost as soon as it was done cooling. It seems likely to me that life has arisen on billions of other worlds, and may have produced intelligence on millions.

For some values of “has,” that is. The sheer vastness of the distances involved makes it difficult to talk about concurrency. The chances of what we would call “civilizations” ever meeting each other across the gulf of interstellar space are slim. Unless some incredible revolution in our understanding of the Universe shows us that it is indeed possible to bridge the stars faster than light itself, First Contact will have to wait until some point far in our future, involving descendants of ours that may bear as much resemblance to us as we do to the first eukaryotes.

Either that or robots. That would be cool too.

This is just a WAG, but I strongly believe that aliens exist, but they are so far away, even the closest ones are too far away for us to hope to ever find out for sure in the next few hundred years. With hundreds of billions of galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars with possible planets. It is highly likely that there are aliens. But they are really, really, really far away. And they have no incentive to come visit us or contact us other than the same kinds of motivations we have: high curiosity but not a lot of resources to act on them.

I think it’s possible that intelligent life is really, really rare - like, say, one planet with intelligent life per 100,000 stars. But that still means we’re not even remotely alone.

Imagine that you were designing a universe’s most basic parameters. Could you design them so there would never be life? Sure. Could you make them so there would probably be tons of life? Sure. But how would you fine-tune the parameters so there was likely to be exactly one intelligent species?

My point is that if the universe has the right parameters for one intelligent species to emerge, it probably has the right parameters for more than one to emerge.

I don’t think anyone can say one thing or another about it.

Life Ingredients Found on Extra-Solar Planet

I don’t understand at all how they can know what a planet light-years away is composed of, in fact I am skeptical that we actually know what the Earth’s core is composed of, or what the Sun or Jupiter are composed of, but who knows?

Trying to project a timeline for first contact is pretty silly. It’s possible that a more advanced species has ALREADY contacted us, but was so far beyond our comprehension that we couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It’s also possible that there isn’t any life in this galaxy but maybe some in other galaxies. Who knows? No one posting in this thread, or at least if they do, they’re not telling.

There is also the possibility that there are other forms of intelligences that grow around completely different organizational principles than we would recognize on Earth, and that we might not even see them as life at first.

Maybe we’re the first species to achieve sentience. Hey, someone has to be!

Maybe, hundreds of thousands of years down the line, civilizations throughout the galaxy will remember us as the Great Old Ones, the ancient and mysterious race who brought knowledge and terror to the known universe. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

It sounds like they are using absorption spectroscopy. Different molecules absorb different wavelengths of light, so comparing the light coming from the star with and without passing through the atmosphere of that gas giant lets them work out what molecules are present.

Life?

Yes.
Life more advanced than slime on a rock.

Unproven.

Very advanced life–i.e. life that looks good in a bikini? Sadly doubtful.

I think Bith Shuffle has it about right.

I also like the fact that there could be some forms of ‘intelligent’ alien ‘life’ who would not consider us to qualify in either category.

Each one of these thousands upon thousands of galaxies have billions of stars. Many, if not most, of those star systems have planets. Some of those planets will have the right balance of factors to allow for life to evolve. Some of those forms of life will have developed into sentient beings.

Whether there are any of a similar state as us, or beyond, it’s hard to say, though I expect there will be a few here and there. Which may add up to tens of thousands or even more.

None of them are visiting us in saucer shaped craft and shoving metal rods up our bottoms.

I believe that life, ‘aliens’ must exist. And that makes us aliens too.

I certainly hope there are other civilizations out there somewhere. It’s rather depressing to think that humans represent the pinnacle of “intelligent” life in the universe.

I’m sure there is intelligent life, I am less sure we will ever discover a form of communication that will travel faster than the speed of light…so we’re alone in the hermit sense.

I don’t think we’re alone and there probally is intelligent life more advanced than us out there somewhere. Have we be visited? If we have then I’m sure any civilization that can cross the intersteller void could do a better job keeping their presence a secret that the supposed “Greys” have.

First look at this image…
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6254/353424.jpg
There are over 10,000 galaxies in that tiny little square of space, each containing up to 1 TRILLION stars.
As has been said, there are more stars than there are grains of sand on Earth.

There are almost certianlt millions of stars of there hosting intelligent life.

Now after looking at my image and thinking about how many intelligent life forms there are out there, there is only one thing that humbles me and makes me think there is a tiny tiny tiny TINY reason why there isnt…
…someone had to be the first.

We’d better start building our ancient temples of eldritch horror right now. No sense procrastinating! :smiley:

I’m less doubtful. Just look at the sheer scale of the universe! I’m sure that somewhere out there exists, has existed, or will exist some other form of life that looks good in a bikini.

I, for one, will not rest until we’ve found it.

Suddenly John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech makes more sense to me. I always wondered why he was so into the space programme.

God created Man, looked upon his work, and said, “That’s the last time I hit the workshop on a Friday afternoon after a 3 martini lunch. Never again!”