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Sunday, Apr. 23, 2017

The Known Universe

Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008, at 5:28 PM

On a clear night, depending on your location and ability to scan freely from horizon to horizon in all directions, the average person is able to view approximately 3,000 stars with the naked eye.

On July 26, 2002, CNN News reported that several witnesses in the Washington DC area saw bright orange and blue lights in the sky. Two F-16s were scrambled out of nearby Andrews Air Force, but the unidentified objects disappeared before the planes could intercept them and mysteriously vanished from radar.

Then the announcer added, with a smirk on his face, that there were no sightings of little green men.

On July 22, 2003, CNN News reported that astronomers announced there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe. A sextillion is a 1 followed by 21 zeroes.

That's 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe. That's more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the entire Earth.

This is not the total number of stars in the universe -- it's the number within the range of present day telescopes. The true number could be a zillion times higher.

There are nearly 7 billion people on this planet; that's 10 trillion known stars for every human being on Earth.

For every single person, there are 10,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe.

Each star could have multiple planets within their system, just as we have multiple planets in our own solar system. Numerous planets have already been discovered in the closer regions of space.

Plus, many theoretical physicists believe there are other (parallel) universes and multiple unperceivable (parallel) dimensions as well, all of which could possibly contain intelligent entities.

If only one out of every million known stars (solar systems) has just one planet with intelligent life, there would be approximately 70,000,000,000,000,000 planets with intelligent life in our known universe.

To assume human beings on Planet Earth are the only intelligent life-forms in the universe is preposterous.

In fact, to assume human beings are an intelligent life-form is also preposterous.

He who smirks at the unknown is a fool.


Quote for the Day -- "Two things are infinite -- the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein


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My only problem with the claim that it is preposterous to assume we are the only intelligent life-form in the universe has to deal with the fact that we do not know the actual probability of life arising on any given planet. Unless there is a way to determine the rarity of life arising, who is to say that the chance that life arrised on earth (all the molecules arranging perfectly in time and space) was not less that 1 in 100 sextillion. For example, if everybody in the world played the 6-number lottery, I would bet that more than one person would win. However, if the lottery was to pick 100 numbers correctly, even with 6 billion people it would be rare to find a winner.

-- Posted by alerner302 on Sun, Jul 20, 2008, at 10:23 PM

There is a way, and there is a mathematical equasion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equat... and it's entirely pompous and arrogant to think we're the only 'intelligent' life in the universe, and not all of us are that intelligent, they're running around blowing each other up because god told them it was a good idea. (RIP George Carlin 1937-2008)

-- Posted by phillydrifter on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 2:05 AM

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Boldly Going Nowhere
Bret Burquest
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.
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