Intelligent life on other planets

I personally believe in intelligent life threw out the universe even civilizations more advanced then ours. I want to here peoples thoughts on this

A perfectly reasonable, rational belief dani. The only one in fact. Why, how do you believe it? And how more advanced can they be?

I would be disappointed if the entire universe was not “fruitful for life” just as this planet has been. It seems faithful to a scriptural theme to me that God would not create only barren and sterile stuff.

So in short, I would be disappointed to discover that life is rare or (with a singular planetary exception) non-existent in our galaxy.

As to whether such life is plausibly “more advanced” than ours - this question I think is more revealing about us that we should think in those terms. We assume that advancement must be of a technological sort that would allow them to travel the stars and do the sorts of stuff that we technologically aspire to or wish to do. But what if other civilizations were more of a pastoral or generationally future conserving sort? Or maybe (likely) would not use their ambitions toward the same ends we do. I’m guessing that we wouldn’t even recognize much of life as being intelligent because we define intelligence as “being like us.” It could well be that in the cosmic scheme of things, it is the lesser civilizations that succumb to personal ambition and wantonly expend the futures of their progeny for the purpose of present “progress” that they themselves can enjoy. Perhaps such civilizations will be revealed (from a God’s eye point of view) to be disappointingly shortlived “flash-in-the-pan” emergences as compared to “steady burning lamps” that quietly fluorish, mostly content in their own corner of the cosmos for long swaths of deep cosmic time.

At least that’s another way to imagine it.

The universe is 100% certainly fruitful for life, here we are; God has not just grounded the being of barren and sterile stuff. As soon as it could rain there was life. But we’ll never discover it elsewhere. We’ll always be that disappointed.

As for more advanced, we’re average. Advancement must be of a more intentional kind. That includes technologically, which excludes interstellar travel, transport and communication. In 300,000 years Voyager 1 will pass within less than 1 light year of the 47 ly distant M3V star TYC 3135-52-1. It will not be detected even if that is inhabited. Such distant fly-bys by scrap metal happen all the time. Technologically we can reach Kardashev 0.01 at most.

I find it impossible to believe that any organism that achieves intentionality won’t bear and bare the limitations of its evolution. We have evolved culturally and are doing remarkably well for a hive monkey and are eminently capable of managing the transition to socially just sustainability. Well China is (it doesn’t suffer from the ruinous distraction of partisan politics).

I used to think life was as inevitable as rust under the necessary conditions. Now I’m much less confident of that given the difficulty in reproducing life from scratch even here where we’re pretty sure it at least happened once. If we take ourselves to be the exemplar of what counts as intelligent then I’m even more doubtful that one such as ourselves can long survive without despoiling the web of life of which it is part. Far from being the pinochle of creation we may represent a hazard to it’s flourishing. I would love to be proven wrong about that.


It is bemusing how we can’t and never will. We don’t have a two billion cubic mile lab with every physical and chemical gradient on the… face of the Earth. Nature has her secrets. Economic nuclear fusion isn’t one of them, but abiogenesis is. The alternative is that nothing either side requires divine intervention, but on every inhabited world from eternity, abiogenesis does. He’s toying with us isn’t He.

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If I am understanding you correctly you are saying that even if life exists we’ll never discover it? Is that right?

My own view is that we are functionally alone in the universe. By that I mean, intelligent life is either too far to visit and/or contact, indifferent to our existence, actively avoiding us, or has evolved and gone extinct already.

Sci-fi warms the cockles of the cultural imagination but it has always been more of a commentary on the human condition than a realistic exploration of alien life.


Aye, it’s too far. Even for radio to the 512 type G systems within 100 ly. I like that, ‘functionally alone’.


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