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Does aliens exist? - Serious debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 359 times Debate No: 88702
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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I require a serious opponent, who is ready to work on this s**t and not just throw stuff into the air.
First round: introduction (without argumentation yet!): why you chose this position
Second round: Arguments and claims
Third round: Reply and new arguments (if there is)
Fourth round: Ending and conclusions.
I believe, based on logical reasons, there are unearthly life forms in the universe, or at least there will be in the future. It just seems impossible for me there will not be.
Good luck, Con!


Hi, I accepted your challenge because I believe aliens existence is unlikely. By "aliens" I mean a sufficiently advanced species that is able to interstellar travel. If by alien you mean "another form of primitive form of life in another planet", I do believe that's kinda likely and I've wasted your challenge, yet I could take the con for the sake of the argument.
Debate Round No. 1


Okay, let's agree, for the benefit of the discussion, that we will debate if there are intelligent extra-terrestrial life forms.
I have only one argument, but it's a strong one: statistics.
Earth is one of 8 (or 9 as some scientists claim lately) planets in the solar system. We have about 200 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone. There are about 100 billion galaxies in the universe, which means we have about 100 sextillion (10^23) stars. 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Even if only 0.1% have suitable conditions for life, and only on 0.1% of them life have been developed, and only 0.1% of these inhabited planets have intelligent life forms, we still have 100 trillion intelligent life forms in the universe, an average of 1000 per galaxy.
Now, I know what you're about to say. 'How is it that we have not yet found them?'
There are few logical explanations for this question.
First of all, Why would we? People always say that aliens will contact us, but, what reason do they have to do that? As Dougels Adams (rest in peace) said: "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea." (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). We, the humans and the rest of planet earth, are so primitive and so unimportant, why would the intelligent super-developed life forms will even bother to check if there are any living creatures here?
There are also many other options. As I said earlier, there are few life forms in our galaxy. Maybe, and I'm just theorising, they find our primitiveness amusing, and they watch us like zoo animals. Maybe the aliens are so developed they don't need their body anymore, and they live in their own cyber-spaces without troubles. Maybe the first creature to become galaxy-class developed conquered the entire galaxy, and now they mute all of the others. Maybe their existence is so strange for us, we can't even notice it. (Imagine a super-slow creature that takes a week only to say 'hi'.)
The statistics requires that aliens exist, and there are so many explanations and options, that I can not believe the small and poor humans are the only ones out there.


First of all, you're making some assumptions which could be false like "0.1% have suitable conditions for life, etc", so the conclusion of "1000 per galaxy" may be invalid since you started with "maybe false premises". I was not going to ask why didn't the make any contact with us, since they have no motive to visit us (as you stated).
My point is the non-existence of living creatures able to do interstellar travel is that it's something which requires great technologies. The CLOSEST start to ours is proxima centauri and it's distance to our planet is roughly 4 light years, so it would take you 4 years to arrive there traveling at light speed. That's really hard, first of all you need a LOT of energy to accelerate a body to almost the speed of light (only mas-less particles can travel at light speed) and then you need a lot of energy to stop it. Also you have to count for inertia, accelerating from 0 meters per second to 3x10^8 m/s in a few seconds would kill you, so if you wanted to achieve almost light-speed you'd need to do it kinda slow, and then you'd need to stop slowly too. So it would take you more than 4 years to arrive to the CLOSEST star. Interstellar travel not only requires great technologies but also a lot of time. The distance between stars would be reduced by near light speed travel because of special relativity (Lorentz contraction) yet they'd be gigantic distances. If a species wanted to think about "fast" interstellar/intergalactical travel the most viable solution would be curving space time, but that requires even BIGGER amounts of energy, not even the energy released by a star during its whole life would be enough.
Leaving aside the technological issues the capability of developing intelligent life that's able to reach such technological power is also a tough thing. Think about humans, they could destroy themselves yet we don't even have enough technology to travel to proxima centauri, and we're not even close of being a civilization type II according to the Kardashev scale. In order to achieve that we would unite in one nation, "Nation Earth", yet wars, belief and strong nationalism divide us. An extraterrestrial life able to interstellar travel should not only have technological power but also being smart enough to cooperate in order to achieve that level. That last one is quite hard to get, since life start with the simple purpose of surviving. You would require a highly cooperative species to also become the "intelligent dominant species" in that planet. Something like "super intelligent ants", otherwise achieving great technologies and the level of cooperation needed for interstellar travel becomes even less likely.
So I believe that in order to get all of those things in such young universe it is extremely hard, it is far more probably that intelligent life is partially developed and then extinguished, never reaching what is needed "rule an entire galaxy".
Debate Round No. 2


Okay, as I said in the beginning of my argument, I thought we will discuss about intelligent life in the universe, not about civilisations which are capable of interstellar travel, but I think I can handle it.
The main accomplishment which astrophysics trying to reach is interstellar travel. Lots of new ideas pop up at any moment, trying to solve the problem in many ways and angles. One of my favourite possible future solutions is the Alcubierre drive: bending the space-time in a way that significantly shortens the path, which is based on a solution of Einstein's field equations of general relativity.
Another way suggested by the scientists is wormholes, 'shortcuts' in our universe. Again the theory originate from general relativity, and science doesn't stop trying to achieve it.
Earth is, approximately, a type 0.7 on Kardashev scale. And we are getting closer. From our progression we can deduce that a type II civilization will probably have one of the techniques, and type III...
I believe there are type III civilizations in the universe. The universe exists for about 15 billion years. It's possible, even likely, that there are some intelligent creatures out there that live slightly longer than us the humans. Because our pace of technological progress is exponential, even one million years will make an enormous difference.
About cooperation, I agree that this can be a problem, but, remember, extraterrestrial life forms might not have the same kind of society like us the humans, or the same way of thinking, or even the same way of existing! Even if the aliens were like us, the future of the human kind is to become one big group. As long time passes (and I'm talking about intergenerational orders of magnitude) more groups merges. We might have many countries on these days, but if you compare it to medieval days - we are much more connected. You can find similarities in most of cultures and societies over the world.
And, if all will go as planned, soon the human race will colonize other planets in the solar system. In 100 years, I bet, Mars will support Earth financially while Ceres's government will strongly oppose, or anything like that. The vision of one united 'nation Earth' isn't far as you think.

For the benefit of the rest of the readers, here's an explanation about Kardashev scale -


You must be careful then in defining "intelligent life" because as long as I'm concerned monkeys are pretty smart since they can use tools and also form societies. I though of intelligent life in a interstellar/intergalactical sense, so yes, I wouldn't consider humans to be a intelligent at all, since we hold more power of self-destruction than power to colonize other planets. In a sense, we're still animals looking for our own survival. But leaving human instinct aside, defining "intelligent life" it's a complicated subject, only defining "life" it's already a tough challenge (virus being the most clear example, since they need a host to perform "living being activities").
Those ideas were the ones I resume as "curving space time" and the biggest problem with all of them is the amount of energy required to achieve those things. You would need a loot of founding as well and if we're talking about humans that's pretty hard to achieve. As Einsteins said when he was asked why they were able to develop atomic bombs but not atomic energy yet, "politics is harder than physics". Despite science answering questions and thinking in new ways to achieve greatness, that's just a tool and such tool can be used to do something useful or to benefit a few people, some "elite". Approximately 1% of the global population controls 50% of the global wealth - - .
Also 15 billion years isn't a lot of time if you consider universal scales, life has been around for 4.5 billion years, so that's why I said our universe was pretty young yet. Also in order to get to "intelligent life" you need a at least multi-cellular life and some believe there's a great barrier between uni and multi-cellular life since it took about 2.5 billion years to get from one to the other. About the "exponencial advance of our technology", I believe you are referring to Moore's law, yet that kind of technology has a huge barrier that we're going to hit pretty soon, the quantum realm. In the quantum realm things becomes counter-intuitive and noone truly understands what's going on in such a micro-scales in the way we can understand classical mechanics. We may have the math to describe such phenomena, but we have no deeper understanding of it.
I contemplate the posibility of aliens being different to us, and in order for them to cooperate I mention they should """evolve from a ant-like species""", which are one of the most cooperative species. But that consideration would add a factor which makes your statistical analysis about the probability of intelligent life able to interstellar travel even smaller. Considering most of the species choose a non-comperative survival strategy would greatly reduce the probability of the developing of such species.
I don't think humans are near to become one big cooperative species, as I stated before 1% of the global population holds for 50% of the global wealth, religious extremist responsable for terrorist attacks on other countries, the greatest countries being the ones who are quite the nationalism type. An even more obvious example is the fact that usually people don't trust to stranger, that's because most of people only look for their benefit or their benefit and a few people who surround them (family, friends).
Science advance faster than society, those must go toghether in order to succed as species.
Debate Round No. 3


So, what would I say in the last round?
I am sure that extraterrestrial life forms exist. As the Doctor said in my favorite TV show, Doctor Who, "It's a big universe. Anything happens somewhere."
I agree that there are many challenges in the way of becoming an intelligent creature, but think. The numbers are huge. The possibilities are almost infinite. Yes, most of the creatures will fail and stay only as primitive life forms. Yes, it will take time to become evolved enough. But it will happen eventually. If you try enough time, there will be intelligent aliens. Isn't 14 billion years enough?
All you need is one. Only one. One life form to colonise the galaxy. And it won't take long, about 50 million years. ( 50 million might sound a long time, but remember that the universe is 14 BILLION years old, so even if an intelligent alien is quite young, it surely has colonised the galaxy already, and as I've said earlier, there are many reasons why we haven't got a message from this alien yet.
If there are no intelligent aliens out there, why do we keep looking for them? NASA invests a lot of money in efforts to receive messages from outer space, in a gigantic project called Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (aka SETI). The people of NASA aren't dumb, they will not look for aliens if there can't be some.
Trust NASA. Trust me. And more important, trust your belief. Because if you don't believe, what you have left?


In this final round we present our conclusions, but firstly allow me to recommend you this Youtube videos, they'll be pretty fun to watch if you still haven't seen them.
As you can see I choose solution 1 from the second video as my argumentative tool and took this debate for fun.

Actually that paper you submitted is quite useful for my argument, according to it, it would take 50 million years for a species to colonize an entire galaxy, that's 0.05 billion years. The universe is 14 billion and the observable universe is 46 billion light years of radius, and it takes about 0.01 billion years for a planet to form. Let's make the horrible approximation that it takes about 5 billion years for a planet to develop life advanced enough to start a galactic conquest (the higher this number, the better for your argument, that's why I round 4.5 to 5). it would take 0.05 billion years to that species to conquest their own galaxy, according to your link. So, planet formation + developed life on it + galactic expansion = 5.06 billion years. Considering that light takes a good time to reach us, let's say we can actually see this civilization flourish at a 20 billion light years radius. Don't you think we would see clues of an intergalactic civilization at a sphere of radius of 20 billion light years? I mean, a civilization so advanced to colonize an entire galaxy would clearly leave some massive clues of their presence, as we discussed before they should be able to manipulate space-time which requires enormous amounts of energy, we would notice those weird and unnatural and artificial space-time curvatures, yet we see nothing.
As a conclusion:
- Existence of life in other planets? Yes
- Existence of a species able to reach an intergalactic conquest? I don't think so, since the limit is probably the fact that there's a limit to what a living being can achieve, since his instincts will always be first.

So as we have conclude this debate, let me tell you some fun stuff. If the universe is infinite it can contain every possibility you can imagine. So let's make a fun though experiment, let's assume that there's only one species advanced enough to conquer it's own galaxy. But if we think that this universe extension is infinite indeed, there's a catch. In a limited space-time like here, right now, there is a finite combination for all the quantum possibilities a system can take. So considering that and a infinite universe, the events in space-time of a infinite universe must be repeated infinitely many times. Long story short, if the universe is infinite at some distance things start to repeat over and over again. So if there was in the whole (non-repetitive micro universe inside the infinite universe) one species which could conquest a galaxy, there would be actually an infinite and repetitive species that achieve galactic conquest.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by dr_sepheroth 5 months ago
I would not refer to them as Aliens as that is disrespectful.

The number of stars in our quadrant, of our galaxy that have planets within the habitable zone has been estimated at over 100 million. If this estimate holds true for the other three quadrants off our galaxy we have over 400 million stars containing planets that are in the habitable zone and capable of supporting life.

Now that is just in the Milky Way Galaxy.

There are an estimated 52 trillion galaxy's in our universe.
Some are no bigger then a gold ball others are huge.

The good news is with so many planets in the habitable zone of their star's Extra Terrestrial life is certain.

The Bad news is Andromeda is predicted to start collision with the Milky Way this year. So weather man kind services to see more then space bacteria is highly questionable.
Posted by Stonehe4rt 7 months ago
Posted by Death23 7 months ago
Obviously he means foreigners.
Posted by lannan13 7 months ago
Posted by Peepette 7 months ago
If you define alien I may take you on.
No votes have been placed for this debate.