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« How to end your Career with a BangGaza war - OVER! Yeah right! »

Are we really alone?

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Saturday, January 17, 2009 9:45:30 PM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (5064) times

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    Every day, Muslims around the globe face Mecca, and utter the following words. "Thank you God, the Lord of the Worlds". Muslims have been saying that verse for 1400 years. Exactly unchanged. Uttered in language that has it's very powerful and accurate subtleties. So every letter or even intonation serves a purpose and a meaning.

    There's a very famous equation, called "Drake equation", here explained by the one and only the late Carl Sagan (one of my personal heroes)

    At the time of this recording of his amazing series "Cosmos" back in the early 80's he didn't know Pluto would be downgraded from its planetary status and we'll be left with 8 planets instead of -- did he say 10--? I guess they were more hopeful at the time. Or he had a different interpretation for the word "Planet" that the IAU.

    Also at the time of the recording, advances in finding extra-solar planets were still at their infancy and as of today more than 300 hundred such extra-solar planets were found and the number is rising rapidly.

    What I love about Carl Sagan, is unlike many he litters his sentences with probabilistic words. Like, "May", "Could", "Conceivable", "Probably", "At least one", "Chance" ..etc and takes nothing as a given fact. A trait common among real prominent scientists. Especially when talking about theories.

    Now Carl Sagan turned out to be wrong, and the formula he explains (A theory that was taken as a given for a while) turned also to be wrong. Based on how rare earth-like planets appear to be..

    The Drake equation appears to be very optimistic, claiming Millions of civilizations are out there for us to discover. Where we have billions of habitable planets. Just imagine...

    But if that was true, then there's something off! If there are millions of civilizations, how come we didn't "officially" meet anyone yet? A million year old civilization should be conceivably advanced to the point that they have mastered space travel or at least communications, and would be here on Earth by now. (Given that we've been making so much RF noise for the better part of a century, our bubble must have reached somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 light years.

    So either no one is out there, or:(1) they don't care, (2) they don't have the means to get to us or communicate with us, or(3) they're on their way but it will take a lot of time for them (or their communications) to get here. And even if it did, we might have a hard time deciphering it.

    A newer theory by Ward and Brownlee appears to more accurately theorize about this, taking into account a number of "special" circumstances our Earth appears to be "blessed" with. These "Blessings" so far, can't be found elsewhere in our galaxy (or anywhere else for that matter), but in all truth, we don't know. We just don't have the capabilities yet, to make that decision.

    The newer theory takes (not so new by the way, but newer than Drake's) takes into accounts things like, Plate tectonics (who some view as the driving force behind all evolution), Large Moon, Jovian Planets, Habitably belt in the galaxy and many other factors. Reaching to a much less optimistic equation and the very gloomy possibility that we -might really- be alone. Or we might be the first to emerge and it will be our responsibility to start exploring the vast Galaxy as the first space-faring, galaxy-crossing race.

    By the way, NASA is launching a new mission this year called Kepler (After Johannes Kepler). The mission is launching a huge telescope with one single 3 year objective. Find extra solar planets. They even have a more ambitious project using space interferometry to do exactly the same thing, it's called: Terrestrial Planet Finder. Pretty exciting. (Kepler launches this year)

    We might never know, in our lifetime (or ever) if we were alone in this universe or not. In the meantime, Muslims continue to face Mecca, five times a day and pray, "Thank god, the lord of the Worlds". Do Muslims know something the scientests don't? We shall wait and see

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    • #1
    • Ammar
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/17/2009 11:20:30 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.5]
    Great post Q, but I believe that one of the "simpler" explinations for the word "Worlds" is the common Islamic belief in the existance of Two worlds, The world of the Ins "Humans", and Jin, and I'm not going to dwell on the explination of the latter as it's not the point here.

    Now, one of the greatest flaws in each and every theory about the search for intelligent life in space is the assumption that our own prerequisites for the existance of life in our form is the existance of water, habitable atmosphere..etc, when infact they might be made from a completely different matter than we are, and their prerequisites for existance are completely different from our own, and Jin are an example. What I mean is that what might cause our own species to go extinct might be the perfect setting for another life form to exist, who knows, it might be one of the greatest secrets of creation!
    • #2
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/17/2009 11:23:49 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.7]
    That is true Ammar, but we're really unsure of what worlds mean. Some have intrepreted it as Ins and Jin (Humans and Jin) but wouldn't the verse have used "Al3alimAn" as in the two worlds? Since Arabic does have provisions for two
    True, we might never know
    • #3
    • Ammar
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/17/2009 11:36:07 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.02]
    Mazboot, but one might argue that if the sun and moon and planets praise God as everything in creation does then they're included in the term 3alameen as in Universe, but it's in our human habit to assume that 3alam "world" is an intelligent species, so 3alameen "worlds" should mean multiple intelligent species.
    • #4
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 12:21:35 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.07]
    I find it funny that a scientist of such a high level uses words to describe huge numbers instead of exponentiations :D

    I am sure that I will loose a lot points if I follow the same way of solving mathematical equations today in my physics or a mathes exam :P

    Now to the main point of this post, these are just approximations not more nor less, and any change in one of the factors will result in a change of the Final value N, and what makes this a vague and a very rough estimation is that today we can see only 4 % of the matter and 30% of all energy in the universe.
    • #5
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 12:33:55 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.09]
    Buddhists also believe in different worlds, that makes their religion the true one too because they must have also some sort of connectivity and communication with a higher consciousness to make such a guess!
    • #6
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 12:56:46 AM
    • SpamScore=[-38.32]
    Yes these are approximations, just like other theories that you believe in including the Bigbang etc... They are approximate models that may eventually be proven or not

    Let's not get into the "true religion", I haven't made any claims in that directions. I'm just pointing out something that is all too obvious. Doesn't mean anything

    Funny, you only see 4% of something and think you understand everything about it! Brings to mind what the Quran says about "You haven't got, but a tiny fraction of knowledge"
    • #7
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 1:11:11 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.17]
    Qwaider: drop it man :D
    the big bang is a fact, it has been proven to be true in many different ways, background radiation, thermal measurements, expansion of space among many other theories have all reached to the same very exact detailed conclusion.

    By denying that you are just proving how little you know about cosmology.

    I well take another example from something that you are more familiar with:

    This verse is taken from the Holy Quran:
    ''و الشمس و ضحاها, و القمر إذا تلاها, و النهار إذا جلاها, و الليل إذ يغشاها''

    It clearly says that the day light is what shows the sun, and the night is what covers the sun.

    How can this not contradict with modern day science, didn't people know back then that the sun is what causes the daylight and the absence of the sunlight causes the night?
    • #8
    • عفاش
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 3:05:25 AM
    • SpamScore=[1.5]
    و الشمس و ضحاها:
    أَقْسَمَ اللَّه بِالشَّمْسِ وَنَهَارهَا لِأَنَّ ضَوْء الشَّمْس الظَّاهِرَة هُوَ النَّهَار
    والنهار من ايات الاعجاز الالهي وسببه وجود غلاف جوي للارض. فالقمر مثلاً لا ضحى له
    و القمر إذا تلاها
    هناك تفاسير متعددة لهذا المعنى
    و النهار إذا جلاها
    والنهار إذا جلى أي أنار البسيطة
    و الليل إذ يغشاها
    والليل إذا يغشى (البسيطة أيضاً)
    لكن. حتى لو كان الليل يغشى الشمس. فإن هذه أية على عظمة الخلق فبلفعل الظلام يغشى غالبية الكون وليس الشمس لوحدها
    • #9
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 5:03:31 AM
    • SpamScore=[-47.73]
    What are you talking about, I'm a big supporter of the big bang THEORY.. However ... The big bang is a THEORY. A model, and not considered by scientists a "Fact" unless there is empirical evidence. Something that we still can't provide.
    You will not find a respectable scientist who would say things like "Fact". Quaks like Dawkins and parrots on the other hand view these as undisputed facts, and become by the very nature of the argument believers of atheism.

    Another thing is that Quran -really- supports the theory of big bang (as much as I hate using such methods mainly because it puts us at an awkward position if the THEORY turned out to be wrong) What we know from the Quran is that heaven and the earth (ie, everything in the universe) were one lump of matter and then it was blown up (كانتا رتقا ففتقناهما)

    Anyway, in my view, I have no issues between science and religion. I view them coexisting perfectly
    • #10
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 6:45:17 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.19]
    yep, you are avoiding my questions again.

    If you still want to believe that the big bang is more of a theory than a fact it is up to you, but you can not claim that science and religion do not contradict each other, because they literally do.

    That is a very vague interpretation of the verse that is done in order to make it match the events of the big bang, sky and the earth? what doesn't god know know that the earth is part of sky(space), it is just like if I bring a large statue and break it down into millions of billions of pieces, and then pick one and claim piece of it and say 'this piece and the rest has once been one'.

    And this is the nature of Quran, it is written in a very poetic language, which makes it easily interpreted to anything a man can think of.

    try to answer my question:
    This verse is taken from the Holy Quran:
    ''و الشمس و ضحاها, و القمر إذا تلاها, و النهار إذا جلاها, و الليل إذ يغشاها''

    It clearly says that the day light is what shows the sun, and the night is what covers the sun.

    How can this not contradict with modern day science, didn't people know back then that the sun is what causes the daylight and the absence of the sunlight causes the night?
    • #11
    • KJ
    • Windows Chrome  Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 9:15:20 AM
    • SpamScore=[0.49]
    Of course there are other civilizations out there! Perhaps not as ours (hopefully not anyway!)

    It would be pretty depressing to think that all this universal expansion is a waste and just one grain of sand in this sandstorm holds the entire universe's living things!
    • #12
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 7:11:48 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.75]
    I'm not avoiding your questions Nizar, I didn't realize that you are really asking what appears to be very obvious

    As I mentioned repeatedly, I'm a huge supporter of the big bang, I think it's the model that "best describes" the events of the creation of our known universe. Now pay attention to what I said, I chose my words carefully.
    What that means is that this is a theory that is plausible and has my -personal- support. However, I CAN'T for the life of me say that it's 100% true, because not even the people who came up with the theory can claim that. (You on the other hand went one step further and declared it a given fact).. It's up to you, but scientists don't think like that.

    Holy books are not scientific textbooks. They were revealed on people centuries ago, going in the quantum mechanics of universe creation would have been a major turn off in my opinion and completely defeats the purpose of relaying the moral message.

    Now regarding those 4 verses. I think 3aaffash answered you with the interpretation. And no, you're wrong in the way you understood the meaning as the "Nahar" didn't make "sun" clearer. It's the Nahar made the world (as in the day light making the land). But someone who is completely ignorant of the science of interpretation of the Quran (and it's a major science by the way) would take what ever words and interpret them the way he likes.
    And the meaning behind the verse is "Look at how the sun and daylight were created, The moon as it has followed, The daylight as it illuminates your land and the night as it covers everything", it's a call for people to engage in science to understand what is going on. Just to show people how intricate the design is.

    So No, it doesn't clearly says that the daylight has shown the sun. And it doesn't contradict with what we know right now in anyway. But "for a skeptic, anything can sounds like a caveat" - Qwaiderization
    (PS, I happen to be a skeptic my self :))
    • #13
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 9:25:49 PM
    • SpamScore=[-1.21]
    So you do not find that the verse contradicts with what we know through science today?

    So if my 14 years old younger brother uses that description to answer an exam on the day/night solar system, will he pass or fail?

    He will definitely fail, simply because it is a false scientific answer which means that the verse does contradict with science.

    If you think that the verse is not to be literally, then do you mean that the Quran should not be taken literally? We should choose the parts we want, interpret them to the way we like or ignore the once that contradict with reality?

    And why do I need people of a high social status to interpret to me what god means in his message that was sent to me? shouldn't the goal of the message be that anyone should be able to read it and learn from it?
    • #14
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 9:35:14 PM
    • SpamScore=[-1.23]
    ''Holy books are not scientific textbooks. They were revealed on people centuries ago, going in the quantum mechanics of universe creation would have been a major turn off in my opinion and completely defeats the purpose of relaying the moral message.''

    Somehow it is very hard for god to inform people properly how their universe and they came to exist, but let me tell you something, he has done a good job convincing people about spirits, devils, angels and himself without relating to any existing evidence, so I don't see why that would be any harder.
    • #15
    • afaf
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 11:00:41 PM
    • SpamScore=[-3.44]
    that is the guy, hubby is hooked on his programs and strongly believes that we r NOT alone...and now he got my kid hooked up on it too...
    what is with boys and space....
    • #16
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/18/2009 11:38:49 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.77]
    Nizar,
    Now you're just arguing and miserable failing just for the sake of argument

    Can you explain to me, what is the stuff you're talking about has to do with Us being alone or this post?

    Second, as I said, but apparently you were not reading, nor understanding. There is no contradiction here.
    Third, it doesn't need someone with higher social status to interpret anything. Where did you get that stupidity from? It needs people with more "Understanding" or "Education" just like any other science! It's THAT simple

    As for the textbook part
    Because even the language to describe the science behind it wasn't even invented yet.
    Look, I challenge you to go study how the interactions of subatomic quarks, then go and explain your findings to a simple farmer who didn't graduate 5 grade.
    The same thing applies here. But what the Lord can do is point out areas of extreme amazement and just ask people to go and try to understand them to marvel at the his amazing creation

    And please, stop being a parrot of Dawkins, he's full of crap


    Afaf
    Space is the final frontier... :) There's adventure there. And men LOVE adventure
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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