The Instigator
grouch3k
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
ishallannoyyo
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Sentient, technological beings exist only on earth

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
grouch3k
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,565 times Debate No: 25765
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

grouch3k

Pro

Given that this universe is ca. 15 billion years old
Given that earth has existed ca. 5 billion years and carbon based life in some form for the majority of that time.
Given that carbon has existed since this universe was ca. 5 billion years old i.e. after first generation stars went supernova.
Therefore sentient technological beings have been possible in this universe for a minimum of 5 billion years.
Assuming that our (or any) technology can advance beyond our present state.
Assuming that this advancement will continue to accelerate at or near historical precedents.
Assuming that this advancement will include exploration and occupation of this solar system within at most 1000 years; and subsequent exploration and occupation of this galaxy within at most 1 million years.
Assuming that these activities will lead to visible changes. First in the solar systems (e.g. asteroid mining, orbit manipulation). Later in the galaxies (e.g. Dyson spheres, engineered novae). If we survive our descendants will almost certainly engage in these and countless other (currently unimaginable) galaxy changing activities.
This could/should have been happening for the last 5 billion years. If only one capable race developed every million suitable years, then there have been over 5000 opportunities to achieve the above mentioned technologies in this galaxy alone. Multiply this by the 50 billion galaxies at least as old as our own.
Given that there exists no evidence of these visible activities having ever occurred in the past.
Therefore sentient, technological beings exist only on earth.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for his comments. I would like to set forth some definitions to guide this debate:

Sentient – having senses, as in touch, smell, etc.

Technology – anything designed to make life easier for humans. Sickles are technology, and so are cars

I will now move into some refutation of my opponent’s points. A lot of them (all) were merely based off of assumptions backed with no evidence.

Given that carbon has existed since this universe was ca. 5 billion years old

Not all life must be carbon based. This is a logical fallacy assuming everything in the universe are like humans.

Assuming that this advancement will continue to accelerate at or near historical precedents.

This is nothing but an unfounded assumption considering how our space program has already been shut down. Venturing into space has not become a thing of the past.

Assuming that this advancement will include exploration and occupation of this solar system within at most 1000 years; and subsequent exploration and occupation of this galaxy within at most 1 million years.

First of all, travelling to space is ridiculously expensive. The Apollo program’s chewed up billions and billions of American dollars. Secondly, travel to Mars would take 10 years for a round trip. That means in 1000 years 100 trips can be made to Mars alone. Occupation of this solar system will not be possible for hundreds of thousands and thousands of years.

Assuming that these activities will lead to visible changes.

This is another baseless assumption. Humans are smart, but not to the point where we will be manipulating planets. We can’t even guarantee safe and fresh water, yet you want us to start changing the orbits of other planets??

If we survive our descendants will almost certainly engage in these and countless other (currently unimaginable) galaxy changing activities.

We are not god. Furthermore, some scientists estimate that humans will go extinct within 100 years [1]. At our current rate of consumption of goods and the destruction of our planet, we will almost certainly not reach 1 million years from now. Furthermore, no matter how far we advance we will not advance to the point where we will be changing billions of tons of matter. This is ridiculous.

This could/should have been happening for the last 5 billion years.

Humans have been possible for 5 billion years. We have only been here for 3000 years, barely a fraction of that time. Evolution takes time, we cannot assume that another race burst from the ground fully formed and evolved.

If only one capable race developed every million suitable years, then there have been over 5000 opportunities to achieve the above mentioned technologies in this galaxy alone.

As I have shown not every planet will have people that evolved spontaneously. Furthermore, the fact that this has not happened in our galaxy means nothing because nothing can manipulate the galaxy if they advanced at the speed that we have. Secondly, the closest galaxy is 25 000 light years away [2], so anything we see now happened 25, 000 years ago so we wouldn’t be able to observe any changes to their galaxy until 25 000 years from now.

Multiply this by 50 billion galaxies like our own.

I have refuted this point already.

I will now move on to my constructive argument, having refuted my opponent’s.

C1: CHANCES

The universe is constantly expanding, proof of which can be found in the distance stars are from Earth. They are constantly getting further and further away, suggesting that the universe continues to expand. There are billions and billions of planets in the universe that we cannot observe, yet the chances are that life exists on those planets. If Earth was a 1/1 million, then there should be 50, 100, 200 other planets just like Earth with sentient life. Why can’t life exist on other planets when there are so many? Furthermore, water has been found on Mars [3], and water is necessary for life as we know it. Mars is so close to us, who knows? Perhaps in millions of years organisms would evolve from that water just like we did on Earth. There are so many galaxies with many more planets than ours; the odds that we are alone are astronomical! In our galaxy alone there are billions of planets that could contain life! [4] To suggest that we are alone goes against the laws of probability!

Clearly the odds are that other life exists out there, this is the only argument needed as it fulfills my BOP. I have refuted all of my opponent’s assumptions so it is a clear vote CON.

SOURCES:
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

2. http://www.google.ca...

3. http://www.udreview.com...

4. http://www.space.com...

Debate Round No. 1
grouch3k

Pro

Perhaps my opening statement was not clear. I do not state that such beings are not possible. Only that they have , up until this time, appeared only on earth. I do not rule out the possibility in the future. I also accept that lower 'life' forms may well exist in abundance.

I use humans as an example of what should be possible because it is the only example I have. We may well not achieve the lofty levels of advancement of which I speak. What I do contend is that there has been more than sufficient time for someone else (carbon based or not) to do so, many times over on many different planets. Why haven't they?

Cost is not a valid argument. A $100,000 colour TV camera of 1965 is $100 today (and it fits in your pocket and is high definition as well). A $100,000,000 human genome reading in 2001 is $8000 today.

Travel time too, is inconsequential. Feasible plans for interstellar travel are already in existence. A solar sail capable of achieving a respectable percentage of light speed is actually possible today. We could travel to the nearest star in a decade. Spend 50 years there building a ship (likely more powerful) and send a few of our offspring to the next system. Jumping like this we could occupy the galaxy in less than a million years. In the 5 billion years (minimum) that sentient, technological life has been possible in the Milky Way alone, why have your millions of alien species been unable to accomplish this? Remember, it takes only one society with these capabilities to occupy a galaxy.

Nothing I surmised is beyond physical law. My only speculation is that a race sufficiently advanced should be able to accomplish these things. If there are these millions of advanced races all over the universe as you surmise, why is there no credible evidence of their existence.

As for the chances argument. In another debate I could easily point out that our existence is astronomically unlikely to be repeated elsewhere or elsewhen. We are the result of a long chain of fortuitous events. From million to one chemical combinations in proto cellular creatures to who knows how many to one odds of a stray asteroid luckily killing off the big dumb dinosaurs that loved to eat smart little mammals who otherwise wouldn't have grown into astronomers.

Therefore sentient, technological beings exist only on earth.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for his comments. I also thank my opponent for clearing up his opening statement. I would now like to provide some refutations.

What I do contend is that there has been more than sufficient time for someone else (carbon based or not) to do so, many times over on many different planets. Why haven’t they?

There are millions of possibilities why. First of all, humans have only existed for roughly 3000 years (we are in the 21st Century). We could’ve been possible for 5 billion years, yet evolution has created us to only be here for 3000, barely a fraction of 1 billion. Now, my opponent expects that other races out there will have spontaneously evolved into technological and sentient beings and have been around for say 4 billion years. Using humans as a model (which is what my opponent has done) we can see that this is clearly impossible. Furthermore, let us assume that a race similar to humans exists out there. Why haven’t they alerted their galaxy? Well, they’ve only been around for 3000 years maximum, and maybe they don’t want to! Not everybody desires to play God.

Cost is not a valid argument. A %100, 000 colour TV camera of 1965 is $100 today

My opponent is trying to draw parallels between space exploration and something as small as a TV. One of the major reasons NASA was shut down was because of the ridiculous cost of sending a man into space.
Travel time too, is inconsequential. Feasible plans for interstellar travel are already in existence. A solar sail capable at achieving a respectable percentage of lights speed is actually possible today.

My opponent failed to provide a source for this information and has also lied to you. A solar sail can barely achieve 1/10000 of light speed after giving it 5 years of travel. [1] He also coincidently forget to mention that solar sails are just that, sails and are not capable of taking a human along for the ride. He ALSO forgot to tell you that solar sails were created and tested by NASA, which has been shut down, thus solar sails are no longer being tested and are no longer becoming more technologically advanced. Thus, time is an important factor as we can barely achieve 1/10000 of light speed. A “feasible” plan of interstellar travel isn’t near existence. At all.

We could travel to the nearest star in a decade.

As per source 1, we can travel to Pluto in 5 years. The closest star is Proxima Centauri which is 39, 900, 000, 000, 000 km away. [2] Travelling at speeds of 150, 000 km/ph we can reach Proxima Centauri in a mere 30 365 years. This lofty goal of a “decade” will be forever beyond our grasp.

Jumping like this we could occupy the galaxy in less than a million years.

We can’t jump like this as I have already shown. There is absolutely no chance we can populate this galaxy in a million years. As I have shown, the way we are destroying our planet has led to irrevocable damage and scientists have estimated our demise in the next century (which has gone unrefuted).

why have your millions of alien species been unable to accomplish this?

This is ridiculous. I have never said that there will be millions in our galaxy, there will probably only be one per galaxy at the max. My opponent is trying to make organisms spontaneously evolve in the span of a year. I have already refuted this, pointed it out in R2 and it has continued to go unrefuted.

Nothing I have surmised is beyond physical law.

Yes, it is. As I have pointed out, if another aliens species was tampering with their galaxy what we would see now occurred 25, 000 years ago. So we would have no credible evidence of their tampering, does that mean they don’t exist?? I can’t see the laws of probability, but do the laws exist?? Of course they do!

our existence is astronomically unlikely to be repeated elsewhere or elsewhen.

Why? The universe is constantly expanding, there are trillions of planets and stars just like ours and as I have shown in R2 in our own galaxy there are potentially habitable planets. There are millions of galaxies just like ours, there just needs to be a single organism to have life. Heck, there might even be life on Mars as pointed out in R2!

My opponent has provided no sources, little to no refutation, and continues to make baseless assumptions and ridiculous claims. I have refuted my opponent’s arguments, used sources and evidence to back it up, and have refuted my opponent’s rebuttal to my own points. It is clear that alien species exist elsewhere and it is a clear VOTE CON.

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.space.com...
  2. http://heasarc.nasa.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
grouch3k

Pro

What I do contend is that there has been more than sufficient time for someone else (carbon based or not) to do so, many times over on many different planets. Why haven’t they?

There are millions of possibilities why. First of all, humans...

From my contention it is clear I am not speaking of humans so I need not respond to my opponents rebuttal. I shall, however expand on my contention. Life has existed on the 4 billion year old earth for ca. 3 billion years. Planets capable of harbouring our form of life (including those circling the older stars in our own galaxy) have existed for ca. 10 billion years. From the human example, the time from first life to us was 3 billion years. So, for 6 billion years even before earth existed planets were capable of producing life. They may have done so, but none produced sentient life or we would know about it.


Cost is not a valid argument. A $100, 000 colour TV camera of 1965 is $100 today

My opponent is trying to draw parallels between space exploration and something as small as a TV. One of the major reasons NASA was shut down was because of the ridiculous cost of sending a man into space.

First, the underlined quote is a simple restatement of my opponents earlier comments about cost and therefore not a rebuttal. Second, my point was to show that expensive technologies always become cheaper, simpler and better with time. Size doesn't matter, and besides, my second example of the human genome project was a huge, decade long undertaking.


Travel time too, is inconsequential. Feasible plans for interstellar travel are already in existence. A solar sail capable at achieving a respectable percentage of lights speed is actually possible today.

My opponent failed to provide a source for this information and has also lied to you.

http://www.niac.usra.edu...;
All of my opponents rebuttals to the solar sail example are answered in the above document.

created and tested by NASA, which has been shut down

http://www.nasa.gov...;

For ongoing research AND implementation see above.


We could travel to the nearest star in a decade.

This lofty goal of a “decade” will be forever beyond our grasp.

As can be seen in the above documents, current technologies allow for speeds of .1 times light speed. That's 40 years to Alpha Centauri. The goal of 10 years may be beyond our grasp now, but certainly not 'forever'.


Jumping like this we could occupy the galaxy in less than a million years.

We can’t jump like this as I have already shown.

Yes we can, as I have shown. Again see above solar sail documentation.


Why have your millions of alien species been unable to accomplish this?

This is ridiculous... probably only be one per galaxy

I asked a question. Grammatically, you can only rebut a statement. However I do understand your point up to the end of the underlined quote. I am happy to see you have scaled back your argument to one species per 100 billion solar systems. Now lets go the final step. You say 1 per galaxy because we see no evidence of any others in our galaxy. True. Solar system redesign cannot be detected in the milky way. But a species only a million or two years more advanced that us should be able to affect galactic redesign. There are 100 billion visible galaxies, half of which are old enough and within a sufficient light cone, to contain 'one at the most' species of this level of advancement. And yet we see no evidence of galactic scale engineering.

My opponent is trying to make organisms spontaneously evolve in the span of a year.

I don't claim this. I apologize if I implied it through my unintentional obfuscation or omission.


Nothing I have surmised is beyond physical law.

Yes, it is.

No laws of physics were broken in any of my suppositions. “Yes it is” is not sufficient rebuttal. Your '25,000' statement that, I assume, refers to the number of light years to the near Magellanic Cloud, is correct. We shall almost certainly want to, and indeed strive to conquer the galaxy when and if we are able. It is possible that other species may exist but have chosen not to manipulate their galaxies. But exploration and 'tampering' are basic human nature. Either none of your allowed minimum of 50 billion capable species thinks this way OR they don't yet exist.

I can’t see the laws of probability, but do the laws exist?? Of course they do!

Specious.


Our existence is astronomically unlikely to be repeated elsewhere or elsewhen.

in our own galaxy there are potentially habitable planets OR one per galaxy

You can't have it both ways. My opponent appears to dispute her/his own arguments.
1 chance in 100 that the right 2 chemicals combined. 1 in 100 that the right asteroid hit at the right time, killing the right species. That makes the odds of ME not at 200 to 1 but 10,000 to 1 (unitary odds against are multiplied and increase exponentially). These are only 2 of the many unlikely events that would have to occur to produce humans. Another couple of dozen such events would make the odds against us being here greater than the number of particles in the known universe. I realize that this makes US equally unlikely, but again, that's another debate.

There are millions of galaxies just like ours, there just needs to be a single organism to have life. Heck, there might even be life on Mars as pointed out in R2!

I agree... just not sentient, technological life.




I gratefully acknowledge my opponents efforts, skills and persistence and invite her/him to another debate of their formulation.

This is a difficult topic to argue in the pro. First, I am trying to prove a negative. I chose this unorthodox approach as I thought that it might encourage more lively discourse. I think that it did. Second, I am feeling like a reluctant devil's advocate. Most of my life I have hoped that aliens and their attendant paraphernalia were real. I still love science fiction too. But unfortunately, as SETI searches become increasingly sophisticated and efficient; more planet bearing stars are discovered (just last month astronomers announced that almost all stars -multiples included- probably have at least one earth like planet); and our technology and accumulated knowledge grow exponentially fast, I can no longer ignore the numbers. We are probably alone.

I really hope I am wrong, but if not...

Realize as you ponder this monumentally anthropocentric thought, that, as its sole sapient citizens, we may be the universe's only means of self actualization. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that we put aside our differences before we destroy ourselves.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for an extremely interesting debate.

From my contention it is clear I am not speaking of humans so I need not respond to my opponent’s rebuttal.

My opponent has falsely interpreted my rebuttal. When I say there are “millions of possibilities why” I mean that there are millions of possibilities why alien life forms haven’t altered their galaxy! Perhaps they aren’t that advanced, perhaps they don’t have the resources, perhaps they don’t want to, perhaps some form of religion has prevented them, there are possibly millions of possibilities!

Planets capable of harbouring our form of life have existed for ca. 10 billion years.

Earth has been capable of harbouring sentient TECHNOLOGICAL life for 10 billion years. Yet we have only existed for 3000. We have been possible for 10 billion, yet why haven’t we been around for 10 billion?

First, the underlined quote is a simple restatement of my opponents earlier comments about cost and therefore not a rebuttal.

Umm, yes it is. It isn’t at all a restatement; it is evidence showing that Space research has been shut down because of cost.

Second, my point was to show that expensive technologies have become cheaper, simpler and better with time.

How can space exploration become better and cheaper and simpler if NASA is shut down permanently?

All of my opponents rebuttals to the solar sail example are answered in the above document.

I’m sorry, but I get a 404 error when opening the site. VOTERS, PLEASE TRY TO OPEN THE SITE. However, I do not understand why my opponent wouldn’t merely post the rebuttal. As the question has not been answered as the link cannot be opened, my refutation stands.

As you can see in the above documents

Which I cannot open. I have provided sources (that can be opened) showing that solar sails can barely reach 1/10000th of light speed. Clearly, it is impossible to achieve light speed before we all die.

I asked you a question.

Which I had already answered. There are millions of reasons why, some I have listed above. You have placed words in my mouth. I have never said that there are millions of other species out there.

I am happy to see you have scaled back your argument to one species per 100 billion solar systems.

My opponent CONTINUES TO PLACE WORDS IN MY MOUTH. I never said one per 100 billion, I said one per galaxy. My opponent assumes I have said something I have not said, then twists what I have said.

There are 100 billion visible galaxies

Visible now. The closest magnetic cloud is 25 000 light years away. What we see now happened 25 000 years ago. So if someone out there is manipulating their galaxy, we will not know for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. I have shown this above, it has not been refuted.

I don’t claim this. I apologize if I implied it

You have implied this, saying that life has been possible for 10 billion years, that means there have been 10 billion years for something to reorganize their galaxy.

It is possible that other species may exist but have chosen not to manipulate their galaxies.

Thank you for conceding the point which I have mentioned many a time before.

But exploration and tampering are human nature.

Other species out there aren’t necessarily human.

Specious.

This isn’t adequate refutation as no evidence has been supplied

There are only 2 of the many unlikely events that would have to occur to produce humans.

Yet this is happening in front of our eyes on Mars (e.g. the bacteria found there!!)

I agree...just not sentient, technological life.

Give them time and they’ll evolve, just like us.

I once again thank my opponent for a great debate. I urge voters to vote CON as I have refuted my opponent’s arguments and have successfully defended my own. It was a great debate grouch3K, but VOTE CON.




Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by grouch3k 4 years ago
grouch3k
I apologize for the links not working. It appears that 6 extraneous characters were added to the end of each of the URL's. Here are corrected versions you can copy into your browsers.

http://www.niac.usra.edu...
http://www.nasa.gov...
Posted by michael1010 4 years ago
michael1010
Pro you did a great job with making your points. I also was unable to locate links you placed in your document. Con you made some valid points but seemed to get stuck on one fact that if we could not come up with techs no other race could. This I feel pro really pushed and overall one the debate with. Pro I hope you are wrong and believe that you are but clearly you won this debate I apologize unable to vote since am new to website but thank you both for this interesting read.
Posted by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
CON, you didn't understand the argument at all... I feel sorry for PRO for having to try to explain it to you... I'm confident that at no point did you actually use rationale thought, and merely were regurgitating what you've always taken for granted. PRO was much more polite and understanding of his opponent's shortcomings, unlike CON who attacked his opponent unfoundedly then claimed VOTE CON when he didn't actually prove anything... not a great job PRO, but CON... that was just bad.. and lastly, while CON did you sources, PRO didn't have to as much because he was being speculative... but CON said it's a 10 year round trip to Mars, and that's just wrong (and assumes that a round trip is neccassary, it's 9 months one way), so for that I give the sources point to PRO, because CON had a clear mistake
Posted by grouch3k 4 years ago
grouch3k
The negative to the argument is in itself one huge assumption,
Posted by ne3o 4 years ago
ne3o
Those are a lot of What Ifs, and assumptions...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by One_Winged_Rook 4 years ago
One_Winged_Rook
grouch3kishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Explained in comments