The Instigator
awesomeAlan
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
GranTurismo2448
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
awesomeAlan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,300 times Debate No: 12640
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

awesomeAlan

Pro

Although there is no definitive evidence that any aliens or even intelligent alien life forms exist in our universe, there is an extraordinary possibility that they do exist in our universe. I am skeptical of the UFO stories throughout the world and the mysterious 'crop circles', but I find it considerably difficult to believe there isn't one other intelligent life form outside of our planet, Earth.

"Intelligent: having the faculty of reasoning and understanding" (1)
An intelligent life form does not only pertain to humans. Just as humans are able to resolve a situation with reasoning and understanding, a life form as simple as an ant or a fish can solve a problem just the same. For example, ants work together in a colony by collecting food and providing protection to the rest of the colony in order to survive. Intelligence is not just a measure of one's mental ability, but also of being able to recognize and react to environmental factors in order to stay alive.

"There are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe", say astronomers. (2) This is what the number 70 sextillion looks like: 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. The number of stars in the universe exceeds this amount. "The real number could be much, much larger still -- some people think it is infinite", says Simon Driver of the Australian National University." (2) 70 sextillion only represents what the telescopes' range can show. "Based on calculations by Charles Lineweaver and Daniel Grether at the University of New South Wales, at least 25 percent of Sun-like stars have planets." (3) This means there is an overwhelming trillions and trillion of planets in our universe. Also stated by Lineweaver, "...the rapidity with which life arose on Earth suggests that more than 10 percent of terrestrial planets have life." (3) The possibility that we are the only thinking beings in the atronomic universe we live in would be astounding.

"To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational, the real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like." - Stephen Hawking

There is an unimaginable amount of space in our universe which is filled with dark matter, stars, planets, asteroids, meteors, and certain life. Did we get that lucky to be on the one and only planet suitable for intelligent life or bacterial life at the very least? Or is there many other planets similar to ours which also have intelligent life, maybe even of greater intelligence than our own? Looking at the odds of our planet being the one and only appropriate for intelligent life, I know there are other planets with intelligent life. There could be another civilization just like the human race, wondering the same thing. Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer for SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), is so confident that he set a date for our likely encounter with intelligent alien life forms. Seth Shostak stated, "It is quite likely that there is life elsewhere in our galaxy, and there's a real possibility that we will find evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life by the year 2025." (4)

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://www.space.com...
3. http://dsc.discovery.com...
4. http://www.space.com...
GranTurismo2448

Con

Good Luck

First I would like to rebut my opponents argument.

The argument- "Intelligent alien life forms exist in our universe."
"Exist- to have actual being; be" (1)
My opponent's first point begins with, "Although there is no definitive evidence that any aliens or even intelligent alien life forms exist in our universe".
My opponents contradicts his argument with this first statement. The word exist means aliens for sure are, but his first statement implies there is only a chance that aliens may be.

Affirmation: There is no definite evidence that alien life forms exist in our universe.

"Proof-evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true" (2)
Based on the previous affirmation, there is no evidence. Because their is no evidence there is no proof that aliens exist. I attest that the odds of alien existence are high, but these odds are not enough to give proof that aliens exist. The idea of the presumption of innocence (innocent till proven guilty) fits well here. Until there is proof of alien life form existence, it cannot be guaranteed, not even assumed that alien life forms exist in our universe.

1.http://dictionary.reference.com...
2.http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
awesomeAlan

Pro

As we all know, the argument is whether or not intelligent alien life forms exist in our universe. Con argues that they do not exist in our universe, while I argue that they do exist in our universe.

Con started by stating that 'exist' means to have actual being or to be. I have no argument there; however, I disagree with Con when he stated that I contradict myself in the following phrase: "Although there is no definitive evidence that any aliens or even intelligent alien life forms exist in our universe." Con continued to explain that the word 'exist' now "means aliens for sure are." Is it possible to see a source where you got this new definition, Con? Also, I do not see how the above statement of mine shows any implication that "there is only a chance that aliens may be." I only stated there is no definitive evidence of aliens, such as, interaction with aliens or reliable photographs.

"Definitive: serving to decide or settle finally" (1) The evidence brought forth by people around the world of UFO's, alien bodies, and other objects belonging to alien beings, extraterrestrials, is not definitive due to its inability to settle the debate of the existence of intelligent alien beings in our universe.

Con then presented another definition, this time of 'proof'. After viewing Con's source for this definition, I concluded that he used the first dictionary result and the first definition given. Con only copied down part of the definition given here. "Proof: evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, OR TO PRODUCE BELIEF IN ITS TRUTH." (2)

Con's affirmation is correct, that there is no definite evidence that alien life forms exist in our universe. His statement based on his affirmation that "there is no evidence," is incorrect. As I previously stated, there is evidence, but not definitive evidence.

Con then agreed with the extraordinary well-favored odds that aliens exist, but states they "are not enough to give proof that aliens exist." "Proof: evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, OR TO PRODUCE BELIEF IN ITS TRUTH." (2) During round 1, I provided sources of whom are highly knowledgeable of the topic of extraterrestrials, such as Stephen Hawking and Seth Shostak. These two men believe in the truth of the evidence that alien life forms exist; thus, making the evidence proof. "Hawking has suggested the possibility of alien life before but his views have been clarified by a series of scientific breakthroughs, such as the discovery, since 1995, of more than 450 planets orbiting distant stars, showing that planets are a common phenomenon." (3)

In the last sentence of Con's argument, he states "Until there is PROOF of alien life form existence, it cannot be guaranteed, not even assumed that alien life forms exist in our universe." Because I have clarified that the evidence is proof of alien life form existence, then according to Con, it can be guaranteed that alien life forms exist in our universe.

I believe I addressed every point made by Con, and if not then I will remember to come back to them in round 3. Best of luck to Con.

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://dictionary.reference.com...
3. http://www.timesonline.co.uk...
GranTurismo2448

Con

Pro's first rebut is irrelevant. Pro claims that in my previous argument, my definition "exist" changes from "to have actual being or to be" to "(subjects) for sure are." "To be" and "are" are the same verb just with different persons, in this case being aliens. The subject is plural and therefore the verb form has to be plural and "are" is the plural form of the verb "to be". In fact, "to be" and "are" are synonymous. (1) Therefore, as previously stated, Pro's first rebut is irrelevant.

"Definitive: serving to decide or settle finally" (2) The evidence brought forth by people around the world of UFO's, alien bodies, and other objects belonging to alien beings, extraterrestrials, is not definitive due to its inability to settle the debate of the existence of intelligent alien beings in our universe" I agree with pro's claim here. The evidence that has been provided is not definitive enough to prove alien existence. Because the evidence is not definitive and can't prove alien existence, it is irrelevant to the debate.

Pro eventually moves on to point out my previous argument only partially defined "proof". This is true, but the 2nd part of the definition, "Or to produce belief in its truth," (3) is also irrelevant. The debate is whether or not alien life forms exist in our universe, NOT if some believe that aliens exist. Pro goes on to list two scientists. Pro says, "These two men believe in the truth of the evidence that alien life forms exist." "Believe-to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so."(4) Pro states that these men merely "believe" and by the definition of believe, there is no absolute proof of alien existence.

"Proof" has been broken down into several parts, but it stands that there is NO proof that alien life forms exist in our universe. As long as there is no proof, it is impossible to claim that the statement , "alien life forms exist in our universe," is true.

1. http://thesaurus.com...
2. http://dictionary.reference.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
4. http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 2
awesomeAlan

Pro

Throughout this debate I have noticed Con has agreed with at least two points I have made. The first being that there is indeed evidence of alien life forms. The second being that there is incredible odds against the idea that Earth holds the only intelligent life forms in the universe, which I remind you has at least 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.

The first paragraph in round 2 of Con's response means nothing to me. He made point that he didn't use different definitions, and doesn't disagree with any other points I made in paragraph 2 of round 2.

In the second paragraph Con said there is evidence of alien existence which contradicts his statement in round one, but that the evidence is irrelevant. The debate's title is Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe. "Evidence: that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof." (1) "The evidence that has been provided..." (Con) This evidence is not irrelevant. It is completely relevant to this debate.

In round 1 Con's argument was that I need proof. "Until there is PROOF of alien life form existence, it cannot be guaranteed, not even assumed that alien life forms exist in our universe." I presented evidence which produced belief in its truth, which can be defined as 'proof'.

Con said 'merely belief' by a couple men, Stephen Hawking and Seth Shostak, is not enough to show 'absolute proof' of alien existence. Let us go back to my first argument where Hawking says, "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational, the real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like." Hawking's statement is clearly more than just belief in the idea of aliens existing in our universe. Also Shostak's comment that "there's a real possibility that we will find evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life by the year 2025" shows much more than just belief in extraterrestrials in our universe.

It is not just these two men who are sure of alien life forms on other planets. "The telephone poll, which questioned 1,000 Americans, found that 60 percent of those surveyed believe extraterrestrial life exists on other planets." (2)

These claims of irrelevance about my arguments by Con were completely wrong and unnecessary. The only part of my first rebut that was irrelevant was described in Con's irrelevant first paragraph of round 2. I'll leave this round at that with one more round to finish my argument if this need be so.

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://www.space.com...
GranTurismo2448

Con

Pro claims that I have agreed with two points. The points being, "there is indeed evidence of alien life forms" and " The second being that there is incredible odds against the idea that Earth holds the only intelligent life forms in the universe, which I remind you has at least 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars."
The first of these points has been manipulated though. Yes I agree there is evidence of alien life, but the evidence is not definitive. The inconclusiveness of the existing evidence renders it useless and irrelevant.

His second rebuttal claims that my previous rebuttal in round 2 was useless as it proved nothing. This is fallacy. In round 2 Pro said that I had manipulated the definitions in my first point. My round 2 rebuttal proved this wrong making my first paragraph relevant and true as he has not provided successful rebuttal for it.

Pro also claims that the evidence that has been provided is relevant. Earlier Pro said, ""Definitive: serving to decide or settle finally" (1) The evidence brought forth by people around the world of UFO's, alien bodies, and other objects belonging to alien beings, extraterrestrials, is not definitive due to its inability to settle the debate of the existence of intelligent alien beings in our universe. In order for evidence to be useful it has to be definitive, and since this faulty and unreliable evidence is not definitive, it cannot prove anything and is irrelevant.

"I presented evidence which produced belief in its truth, which can be defined as 'proof"-Pro
This evidence didn't prove aliens exist. It just made some believe aliens exist, and belief is "-the act of having confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so." One can believe in something and still be wrong.

Pro uses sources such as the respected Stephen Hawking and Seth Shostak. Hawking's states," To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational, the real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like." Hawking makes a purpose to say "the numbers". The numbers relate to the odds of alien existence showing that even he can't say with proof that aliens exist. Pro says that Hawking more than believes in aliens, but based on this quote, Hawking is still giving odds that aliens exist, so he can't know for sure, he can only, at best, strongly believe.

It may be true that 60% of those surveyed believe extraterrestrial life exists, but the fact remains, they only believe and one can believe and still be wrong.

From the average person to some of the most intelligent scientists, many believe that alien life forms exist, but there are also many that believe aliens don't exist. It doesn't really matter who believes and who doesn't all that matters is that there is no definitive proof that aliens exist, therefore it cannot be truly said that alien life forms exist in our universe

1.http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
awesomeAlan

Pro

If I had a 100 sided die and I rolled it, then the odds of me rolling a 1 are 1 in 100. If I rolled this die once then there is a 1% chance that I would role a 1. After rolling the die numerous times, I rolled a 1. I am 100% sure that the 1 can be rolled again. I proved that 1 could be rolled. Let Earth and its life represent the number 1. Because Earth exists, the 1 was rolled. Therefore, a 1 can be rolled again because I proved it was rolled once. If I roll a 100 sided die the amount of times that there are planets, then ever time a 1 appears, a planet with life should exist. I chose a 100 sided/numbered die in which each number has an equal chance of being rolled. I chose this die for this example because the odds are very slim for rolling a one and 100% possible for each number to be rolled. This is similar to how the odds are slim of having the perfect circumstances for life to exist on a planet and 100% possible for the perfect circumstances to exist. The different circumstances possible are represented by 100, and 1 represents the perfect circumstance. Since life exists on Earth, this example proves that life had the same chance of being produced any where else in the universe.

As I previously said, "planets are a common phenomenon." There are 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 visible stars in our universe. "By combining the world's exoplanet data and correcting for these factors," Lineweaver said, "we obtain a larger fraction of stars with planets around them: 25 percent" (1) 25% of 70 sextillion is 1,750,000,000,000,000,000,000.

If I roll the 100 sided die 1,750,000,000,000,000,000,000 times, then I should roll a 1 17,500,000,000,000,000,000 times. Therefore, there should be 17,500,000,000,000,000,000 planets with life on them. All these planets represent the 1% chance that life exists in out universe. This enormous number, 17,500,000,000,000,000,000, is only 1% of 1,750,000,000,000,000,000,000 which represents the predicted amount of total planets in the universe. Now let us say there are 875,000,000,000,000,000,000 different circumstances that could influence whether or not a planet has life. One of these 875,000,000,000,000,000,000 different circumstances has to be the perfect circumstance in which life exists. According to the math, there must be exactly two planets of the 1,750,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in our universe that have existing life forms. This can only be true if there happens to be as many as 874,999,999,999,999,999,999 different circumstances other than the perfect one.

The Drake Equation is a simple and "accepted tool used by the scientific community."
A basic summary: The Drake Equation is an equation created by Frank Drake in 1961. The equation uses specific factors, including the rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life and the fraction of those stars with planetary systems, to estimate the number of technological life forms that exist in just our galaxy.
N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L
N = The number of civilizations in The Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

" To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational, the real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like." - Stephen Hawking
What reasons or evidence does Con have to disagree with the existence of aliens other than the lack of 'absolute proof'? Does Con therefore not agree with the widely accepted ideas of evolution, black holes, and that the continents were once together as one, Pangaea? What will it take to convince Con that aliens do exist in our universe? Con stated in round two that the unbelievable odds are not high enough and that until there is proof of alien existence it cannot be even assumed alien life forms exist in our universe. Does Con really need actual interaction with an alien life form? Will he believe images for NASA or SETI or just argue that they are fake? And because these images are not definitive enough for Con then they are completely irrelevant to the debate of alien existence?

1. http://dsc.discovery.com...
2. http://www.seti.org... (the 4th section)
GranTurismo2448

Con

Pro's extended math equations and scientific explanations are all very impressive, but all they do is better explain the odds that aliens exist. Odds mean that there is at least 2 possible outcomes. So yes alien existence maybe likely, but the fact that aliens may not exist is still a possibility.

Pro proceeds to question my argument. Pro asks, "What reasons or evidence does Con have to disagree with the existence of aliens other than the lack of 'absolute proof'?" What reasons does Pro have to believe that aliens do exist other than a few blurry pictures and odds.? It seems that Pro believes in alien existence is because there are high odds. Does Pro consider odds to be evidence or even proof? Can Pro truly believe in aliens without definitive proof? What about the Earth being flat? What about the Earth being the center of the universe? These are some other theories that were accepted without proof because they seemed "likely". Does Pro believe in these theories as well? Can Pro truly, without any definitive evidence, accept that aliens exist simply because the odds favor it?
Debate Round No. 4
awesomeAlan

Pro

Intelligent: having the faculty of reasoning and understanding"
An intelligent life form does not only pertain to humans. Just as humans are able to resolve a situation with reasoning and understanding, a life form as simple as an ant or a fish can solve a problem just the same. For example, ants work together in a colony by collecting food and providing protection to the rest of the colony in order to survive. Intelligence is not just a measure of one's mental ability, but also of being able to recognize and react to environmental factors in order to stay alive.

Con's argument in this debate is that aliens DO NOT exist but he stated, "the fact that aliens MAY NOT exist is still a POSSIBILITY." Con accused me of saying the possibility of alien life forms exist when I used odds of their existence. Con is said that there is a POSSIBILITY that alien life forms MAY not exist when his argument is that they simply do not exist. Con agreed the odds of aliens existing are great as I explained in full depth in argument 4. What are the odds that aliens do not exist?

Con avoided to answer all of my questions directed toward him. In response to my question, "What reasons or evidence does Con have to disagree with the existence of aliens other than the lack of 'absolute proof'?", Con responded with another question, "What reasons does Pro have to believe that aliens do exist other than a few blurry pictures and odds.?". I do not need any other reasons to believe that aliens do exist other than the pictures of UFOs, the "6689 UFO sightings since October of 2003" (1), the statements from highly educated scientists, and the incredible odds that show aliens must exist. I do consider the odds to be evidence. The odds connected with the rest of the evidence give the proof. Yes, I can truly believe in aliens without definitive proof. The theories that Con gave were, indeed, accepted without proof, but they were proved to be wrong. Because Con used this approach to argue, then he must provide the evidence to prove that aliens do not exist in our universe, just as, the theories he stated were proved wrong. I do not believe in those theories because they were clearly proved wrong. I do not accept that aliens exist simply because the odds favor their existence to such a great extent. I accept aliens exist because of the pictures of UFOs, the "6689 UFO sightings since October of 2003" (1), the statements from highly educated scientists, and the incredible odds that point toward the existence of aliens in our universe.

Brief information of two leading scientists in the search for extraterrestrial life: "Frank Drake, the founder of SETI, has devoted his life to establish the presence of aliens. He is famous for coming up with the Drake or Green Bank equation. Carl Sagan also insisted that it is impossible that no other intelligent life exists in the universe other than on Earth." (2)

Comments about Con's argument up through round 4: Con only used two references. Both, of which, were used only to explain interpretations of different words. Con agreed to two points enforcing the idea of aliens existing in our universe. The first being that there is indeed evidence of alien life forms. The second being that there is incredible odds against the idea that Earth holds the only intelligent life forms in the universe. Con attempted to declare information irrelevant that was clearly relevant to this debate. "Because the EVIDENCE is not definitive and can't prove alien existence, it is irrelevant to the debate." Evidence of alien life forms is not relevant to this debate? Con contradicts part of what he says in round 1. In round 1 Con said, "Until there is proof of alien life form existence, it cannot be guaranteed, NOT EVEN ASSUMED that alien life forms exist in our universe". Then in round 4 Con said, "yes alien existence maybe likely". Con made an assumption in round 4 that alien existence could be likely.

If the viewers who are still reading believe that aliens exist in our universe, like the 60% of people in America, then it is fair to say that you agree with my side of the debate that "Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe."

1. http://www.ufoevidence.org...
2. http://www.buzzle.com...
GranTurismo2448

Con

Pro ends with, "If the viewers who are still reading believe that aliens exist in our universe, like the 60% of people in America, then it is fair to say that you agree with my side of the debate that "Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe." Pro must have very little confidence in his debate if he's asking the reader to agree and vote for him.

My final statements:

"Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe"
This is the title of the debate. Based on Pro's argument, shouldn't the title be something more like, " Its likely that alien life forms exist in our universe" or "There's a good chance" or even "Even though there is NO definitive evidence, odds are aliens are in existence." Instead Pro's title implies there is no doubt. How can this be said? As it stands humans have not made any contact or even seen an alien life form. For as long as humans have been searching for definitive evidence of alien existence, none has been discovered. One may assume this is because it just takes more time, but why can't it be possible that its because there is no evidence to discover because aliens don't exist?

Pro, throughout the debate have referenced several scientists. These scientists don't have any definitive evidence either. They are basing their statements, like Pro, on the odds. Pro is taking a bandwagon approach. "These scientists believe aliens exist and because of that, you should too!" This doesn't prove anything other than a couple of scientists have an same opinion, the BELIEF in aliens.

Pro has based his entire argument on odds. The odds are in his favor, but they are only odds. While my argument is based on fact. The fact that there is currently no definitive evidence of alien existence. This is fact, and as long as this is fact, the statement, "Intelligent Alien Life Forms Exist in Our Universe," cannot be said to be proven fact.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sherman_Flipse 2 years ago
Sherman_Flipse
I believe that one reason for humans never seeing a genuine extraterrestrial life form is that they simply haven't discovered us yet. They probably have not broken the light barrier and, therefore, have not been able to reach us or pick up our massive amount of radio wave emissions. If they have broken the light barrier, they may have simply overlooked us. We are in one of over seventy septillion star systems and they may interpret our radio emissions as simple static. The ones in our own galaxy may not have evolved the physical ability to manipulate the environment and create basic tools (much like marine mammals) or they have not been around long enough to know how to leave their solar system. I believe spacefaring extraterrestrial life is very rare and it may take quite some time before we (or they) have the technology and resources to search enough star systems for technologically advanced life forms to be encountered.
Posted by malayangpilipina 3 years ago
malayangpilipina
Maybe those other aliens out there are also wondering if we exist or not. Cool.
Posted by Clockwork 3 years ago
Clockwork
Drake equation < Theory that intelligent life destroys itself. Although that wouldn't necessarily disprove the resolution.
Posted by Puck 3 years ago
Puck
Eh, ya resolution isn't probabilistic, your arguments are though.
Posted by belle 3 years ago
belle
cool debate. i'm surprised pro hasn't referenced the drake equation yet...
Posted by GranTurismo2448 3 years ago
GranTurismo2448
agree, then there is no debate needed
Posted by awesomeAlan 3 years ago
awesomeAlan
Wouldn't that have made this argument to easy to win for myself? haha
Posted by feverish 3 years ago
feverish
Pro really should have inserted the word "probably" into the resolution.
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