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Are We Alone In The Universe? Evidence Seems to Indicate That We Probably Are

Melvin is an avid reader and a retired scientist (chemist) after working for one major pharmaceutical company for 32 years.



There is a large population of people that harbor the idea that we are not alone in the universe. They do not believe we are the only intelligent life in this vast universe since there are evidence of more than 1,500 known extrasolar planets, planets orbiting around a normal star other than our Sun, that may carry the possibility of life living on them, even intelligent life. Of the 1,500 extrasolar planets discovered, we have confirmed the radius, mass and orbital characteristics of only 431 of them so far.

However, of the 431 planets with these known characteristics only a handful of them meet the criteria that planets must satisfy in order for intelligent life to survive such as stability, habitability and water, planetary mass and planetary composition. Also in the referenced paper, Dr. Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, applies the famous “Drake Equation” to provide estimation of the chances of intelligent life living on other planets. The results of the calculations are remarkably low despite the large number of stars and galaxies out there in the cosmos.

Our Attitudes About Extraterrestrial Life

Some of us have heard about these extrasolar planets and what the significance of these discoveries might mean to us. Last year a symposium held by the Royal Society of London appropriately entitled “The Detection of Extra-terrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society” was held and the primary observation the participants took from it as stated in the article, “Should it turn out that we are not alone in the universe, it will fundamentally affect how humanity understands itself.

Current polls suggest that most people believe we are not alone and half of this group believed we have been visited by extraterrestrial beings already. Most people hold this attitude because they believe some benevolent alien from a utopian society, a place without war, disease and etc, may save us one day by helping mankind solve its problems and then there are some in general who believe life is ubiquitous.

In other words, they believe life is present everywhere in the universe since it is so vast and because there are probably millions of earth-like planets, planets with liquid water and a suitable atmosphere, out there. Perhaps intelligent beings on these planets are also a product of life and evolution just as we are.

These are distant galaxies. Communication from one galaxy to another galaxy is virtually impossible due to the light speed limit

These are distant galaxies. Communication from one galaxy to another galaxy is virtually impossible due to the light speed limit

The Evidence That We Are Probably Alone For All Practical Purposes

For starter, we must make two clarifications here before continuing with this discussion. We are talking about intelligent extraterrestrial life capable of conscious, independent thought and has the ability to communicate between the stars otherwise we will still be alone if we discovered life that didn’t have these capabilities. Extraterrestrial life must have some form of radio technology to communicate over vast distances and by the way we have only been using this technology for about 100 years despite the fact the universe is 13.8 billion years old. This implies we must be the youngest intelligent life form in the universe if there are many more intelligent life forms out there.

Secondly, there are two other points we must mention for clarification. The first is relativity, the fastest any electromagnetic signal can travel is the finite speed of light. The other point is the expanding universe. If the universe was full of of every conceivable shape and form of life which we could communicate with it would really be irrelevant to us. The light or communication signal sent from Earth will never reach beyond the cosmic horizon since the universe appear to be infinite in size.

The cosmic horizon is the distance set by how far light can travel in the age of the universe, in this case 13.8 billion light years. The other problem with communication is the universe is expanding and the galaxies are accelerating from us. A Harvard astrophysicist, Avi Loeb, has shown that light sent from Earth today can never catch up to these receding galaxies whose light has taken about 10 billion years to get here. These galaxies are forever beyond our reach. We will never be able to communicate with the aliens out there.

Even communicating with closer stars within our own galaxy would be a problem again due to the light speed limit. As I mentioned in an earlier hub I have written about extraterrestrial life it would still take tens, hundreds or even thousands of years to send a signal and wait for a reply from these nearby stars assuming there are planets orbiting them with intelligent life.

Furthermore, if there were alien civilizations with advanced communication capabilities and they sent these signals millions of years ahead of our time for us to receive them we should be receiving them by now. Remember the universe is 13.8 billion years old. Alien life forms probably took a few billion years to develop intelligence with the criteria I mentioned early. No wonder there are no signals despite decades of looking. As stated in the article, Fermi argued they are not out there, Fermi’s observation implies that intelligent aliens are not only not living in our galaxy, but there are not many living anywhere in the universe.

So to be alone for all practical purposes means to be without any communication or even the knowledge that any signal is coming for a very long time. Just imagine being on island for a long time with no form of communication or the ability to receive communication. You will feel alone. You would think that you are alone. This is why we think we are alone in universe. We have not found or received any evidence that there is any life out there capable of communicating with us yet.

Drake’s Equation, Estimating the Chances of Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life

The famous Drake Equation is an equation used by researchers to estimate the probability of intelligent life elsewhere in universe. The equation was first introduced by Frank Drake in the 1950s. It is a basic equation with a set of multiplicative factors tracking the various natural phenomena thought be to necessary to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in the universe today.

The answer is based on the product of five terms: the number of suitable stars, the number of suitable planets orbiting a suitable star, the probability of life developing on a suitable planet, the probability that life evolves to be intelligent and the typical lifetime of a civilization compared to the lifetime of its star.

Since the discovery of nearly 1,800 extrasolar planets the second term in this equation have been impacted the most with these numbers. With this new information lets explore this equation. We will estimate the probability of intelligent life in our Sun’s own neighborhood called the Local Bubble. There are about 30 million stars in this region. This is the number for the first factor in the equation.

For the second factor in the equation we must consider the number of Earth-like planets orbiting suitable stars. So far we have confirm the physical characteristics of about 431 extrasolar planets but have not found any of them to be quite Earth-like. The “Rare Earth” hypothesis states that Earth-like planets suitable for intelligent life are few and far between. As mentioned before, an Earth-like planet must have these four characteristics: stability, habitability and water, planetary mass and planetary composition.

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Planet must orbit a stable star:

To meet the stability criteria, the star the planet is orbiting must be stable in size and have radiative output for billions of years for intelligence to evolve. Our Sun is one of these stars obviously. Over 90 percent of the stars in our galaxy is smaller than the Sun. These suns are red dwarfs

They simply do not put out enough light, thus putting their habitable zone closer to the star. When a planet is close to a star it does not rotate because one side is gravitationally locked with the star so one side will get extremely hot while the other side will be extremely cold. Life probably will not survive under these extreme conditions.

Bigger stars are probably unsuitable for life because they burn hotter and have a shorter life. Most of these stars die out in few tens of million years which is not enough time for intelligent life to evolve. There are fewer than 10 percent of the stars with acceptable mass suitable for life. In other words, if you are looking at 1 million stars in the night sky only 100,000 stars will be suitable to support life on the orbiting planets. This number will get even smaller if the planets are not suitable for life or if the star does not have any planets orbiting it. Furthermore, some of those stars we are in seeing in night sky are not there any more. We are just seeing the light from them just getting here from where they once were located.

The age of stars also matters. Young stars do not have enough time for life to evolve and the luminosity of older stars increases as the star ages thus changing the habitable zone. This will happen to our Sun and the Earth in another 3.5 billion years.

Furthermore, there are some galaxies where practically all their stars are unstable and therefore would not have any planets revolving around them if the galaxies have an under active or overactive black hole at their centers. The black hole at the center of the Milky Way happens to be at the right activity level, as determined by recent data gathered about black holes published in the August 2012 issue of Scientific American, to form stable stars with planets revolving around them.

So there are millions perhaps billions of galaxies out there that simply cannot support life at all because planets cannot form in them since the stars in them are unstable. Also, there would be no planets formed as we approach the center of the galaxies since that region of the galaxy is too violent for planets and stable stars to exist. Most planets would be in the arms of the galaxy or near the edge of galaxy where the most stable stars are formed. This why the Kepler satellite is aimed to search for exosolar planets in one of the arms of the Milky Way. There is no point in searching for habitable planets near the center of the galaxies.

Planet must be habitable and have water:

The second characteristic of an Earth-like planet for intelligent life to evolve is habitability and water. The planet must be in the habitable zone of it star or have some other way to maintain liquid water. Of the 1,800 exoplanets discovered so far only about 20 of them are in the habitable zone.

The planet must be in a relatively circular orbit otherwise it will stray out of the habitable zone. The eccentricity of orbit of planet also matters. It is a measure of the closest distant of the planet to star compared to largest distant of the planet to the star. Of the 431 extrasolar planets discovered so far, only 11 of them have orbits with eccentricity similar to Earth. The other 420 extrasolar planets do not meet this criteria for intelligent life to evolve.

Planetary mass:

The third criteria of an Earth-like planet is planetary mass. The planet must be large enough to hold an atmosphere. Life would be impossible without some form of atmosphere and if the planet is too massive there would be no plate tectonics activities to drive geological processes that might be crucial for life. Plate tectonics are important for volcanic activities to refresh the atmosphere and other processes associated with the carbon cycle. There seems to be plenty of these Earth-like planet with suitable mass based on preliminary data obtained from the Kepler satellite.

Planetary composition:

The final criteria for Earth-like planet is planetary composition. A suitable planet must contains all the necessary ingredients for complex molecules. At the same time it must contain elements that are not necessarily essential for life but they must be present in the environment to make the planet suitable for life. For example, iron is important in our case for the development of magnetic field around Earth to protect us from lethal charged particles from the Sun via solar winds.

The distribution of elements throughout the universe is not uniform so some of these planets will not have the elements to make them suitable for life and finally, there are planets that do not orbit stars because they were ejected from the system because of gravitational interactions with other bodies. These planets probably will not be suitable for life since they will be extremely cold without a source of radiated energy from a star.

Habitable Zone - Venus is too close to the Sun to support life and Mars is a little too far to support intelligent life even thought it meets some of the criteria to support life

Habitable Zone - Venus is too close to the Sun to support life and Mars is a little too far to support intelligent life even thought it meets some of the criteria to support life

  • To Seek Out New Life Forms
    We are spending so much time looking for life on other planets when there are countless lifeforms we have yet to see on our own world. Some of the photos here are incredible. You will think we are on another world after seeing these photos.
  • Water Is Needed For Life To Exist In The Universe
    From a biological and chemical perspective water is a very important ingredient for life to exist on Earth because of its unique properties. Most likely if there are life else where in the universe water is probably the main component that make its p

Intelligent Life Still May Not Be Out There

Even if a planet meet all the criteria to be a suitable place for life to develop it still may be impossible for intelligent life to evolve. For example, Mars meets some of the criteria of suitable planet to harbor life but no civilizations did not develop there.

Furthermore, if life developed as the end product of the chemical processes on all earth-like planet with water, there is no evidence that these processes occurred quickly. It took life a billion years on Earth to form and another few billion years for intelligent life to appear. If these chemical processes had proceeded at a much slower rate it probably would had been too late for us because the Sun would have swollen to the size of Earth’s orbit and destroyed all life by the time it reached the point of being intelligent.

Then there some believers who believed there may be non-carbon based alien life-forms on other worlds but no evidence of this have been found yet, but most agree that intelligence requires some complexity and if the brains of these aliens do not contain DNA it still will take a large amount of time for their complex organs to develop and mature.

The development of intelligent life appears to be random as well even if the planet meet all the criteria for life to develop. Just looking at our evolutionary path appears to indicate that the development of intelligent life was random. Let us follow the path. A collision with Earth created the Moon and tilted the Earth’s axis to its perfect position causing the seasons on Earth to make the environment suitable for life. Later, the dinosaurs appeared and was wiped out by a large asteroid, after ruling the world for 100 million years and then the mammals filled the niche left behind by the death of the dinosaurs. Life on Earth survived five major mass extinctions before humans finally appeared. A statement from the evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Gould argued that our evolution was so random that it could probably never repeat.

Finally, the biggest uncertainty in the Drake’s Equation is the longevity of intelligent civilization because if a civilization typically survives for a short time then there are not many of them around. We have been communicating with radio signals for about 100 years now. According to the equation researchers believe that out of 10 million stars there is probably one with a detectable civilization and if you look around in the our neighborhood, the Local Bubble which comprise of 30 million star, there might be two other civilizations.

If all the conditions in the Drake’s equation were greater than 20 percent it is possible that there might be another intelligent civilization in our neighborhood, but if the probability of some conditions, such as the chances for life to form, evolve or survive is much smaller and the other conditions are 100 percent certain, most likely none of stars near us have intelligent life on them.


American Scientist; JUL/AUG2011, Volume 99, Issue 4, page320-327

The Kepler Space Probe is only searching a small region of  the Milky Way for extrasolar planets, but most are unsuitable for intelligent life.

The Kepler Space Probe is only searching a small region of the Milky Way for extrasolar planets, but most are unsuitable for intelligent life.

© 2011 Melvin Porter


Jason B Truth from United States of America on September 23, 2021:

I enjoyed your article, Melvin. Yeah, the idea of intelligent life existing on other planets outside our solar system also strikes me as somewhat ludicrous. My brother-in-law and I got into a little bit of an argument over this topic not too long ago. If the James Webb Space Telescope detects artificial light on Proxima Centauri B come this December, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. Otherwise, I will continue to be skeptical. I honestly think that most of the men who go to UFO conventions are pick-up artists merely looking to hook up with women no matter how crazy they are. People who have been to those things have gotten on television and complained about there being no actual science or technology included in them. They're moneymaking gimmicks meant to reel in anyone who is stupid enough to go to them.

unknow on January 30, 2020:

Do you have a good reputation.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on May 27, 2019:

T, it is more than speculations...not only the Great Pyramids but some Mayan ruins are also aligned to the constellations.

It is just too much of a coincidence.

Don’t forget, this is long before the invention of the telescope. How the ancients were able to know about the stars and the planets? And the Mayan calendar... another mystery...

there are too many discrepancies to note here.

The Ancient Aliens theory, though imperfect, does offer some explanations of possible scenarios.

Alternatively, God designed all of these just to fool us and trick us into believing in the theory of evolution...

The Logician from then to now on on May 27, 2019:

When you see the proof that Ancient Aliens theorists actually purposely lie and deceive you into believing their BS why on earth would you jump to any conclusion that the alignment with the Orion belt is evidence of alien life firms having visited earth? I thought you had a scientific mind, that is far from scientific, it is pure unscientific speculation. If we tiday on earth can see that they are aligned with orion’s belt then the first and foremost hypothesis shouldn’t be that aliens, of which there is no proof they even (or ever) existed are responsible for it, that’s just silly!

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on May 27, 2019:

T, the movie makes some good points but does not address many other facts presented by the Ancient Alien theorists. For example, the alignment of many pyramids with the Orion belt...

The Logician from then to now on on May 27, 2019:

Jack, ancient aliens? Really? You need to watch this.

And Satan is the father of all these “religions” or don’t you believe there is a Satan?

Belief in alien life forms somewhere in the universe when there is absolutely no evidence that is even possible let alone they could visit earth is ridiculous! The odds of this makes winning the Powerball look like a sure thing.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on May 26, 2019:

Have you considered the Ancient Aliens theory? How would you explain these mega structures that were made thousands of years ago before modern tools? How do you explain religious believes, not just the Christians, but most other religion around the globe have some references to some deity from the heavens and star systems?

Reyn on August 08, 2016:

Interesting, but mostly nonsense I think. I actually feel enormous pity for those who pretend they are being objective by declaring that there is probably (they used to say absolutely) no alien life that is intelligent. I understand the need to feel important, the desire to be at least the best or only at something as we circle a 3rd rate star in the outer spiral arm of a minor galaxy.

The arrogance and self-importance would be nauseating if it wasn't so utterly amusing and obviously contrived. The Drake equation still holds true - and I must say, I see NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that it has been disproved at all. At best, AT BEST SETI has demonstrated that in a tiny portion of systems, little more than a drop of water in an ocean, no intelligent species stands at roughly the same level of development that we do. So?

The new protocol, where they intend to look for evidence of life using the search for "pollution" is equally limited in scope. In 200 years will our pollution be evident any longer? Probably not. In 100 years will we still be putting out radio waves or the type of electromagnetic waves that SETI searches for? Probably not. We are not just looking at a tiny portion of the galaxy, we are looking for species within a tiny, tiny, tiny spread of time - a few hundred years. IF indeed we are the "youngest" as you suggest we should be, then of course we aren't detecting anything - anything we would detect is no longer being produced.

But, by all means, beat your chest and stand on that hill, declaring to all and the sundry "We are alone, we are the best, we are at the top of the pyramid" - it works for religion, why would it not work for extreme skeptics? If it makes you happy, do it. I reserve the right to continue to view it as pathetic.



Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on July 19, 2015:

UFO are unidentified flying objects, that doesn't mean they come from another planet. Besides, many of these images are hoaxes and there still is no definitive proof of life on a another world with the capacity to fly from their world to earth.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on July 17, 2015:

Very interesting and I tend to agree with your conclusion. However, how do you account for the numerous UFO sightings...?

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on November 11, 2013:

Bill, thanks for stopping by to read my hub. There may be thousands, even millions of planets our there with life on it but most likely they are non-complex, microbes living in extreme conditions as you mentioned, but we have yet to find any evidence of complex, intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy that is capable of interstellar communication with us in one form or another. In essence, we are probably alone in the universe until we find or receive some evidence that we are not alone.

Bill Sego from Logan, Ohio on November 05, 2013:

And then there's this story to consider that just came out yesterday. 8.8 billion planets in our galaxy alone that are in the habitable zone of their solar system and could support life. We have seen some of the extreme locations that life can flourish on this planet so we are left with applying the following saying to life itself. Where there is a will there will most certainly be a way...

rcorcutt on November 03, 2013:

Amazing article. There were so many facts presented that I really had no idea.

Bill Sego from Logan, Ohio on May 19, 2013:

I think the only way around that would be if some type of science exists to get around the "cosmic speed limit." I realize that, even if it is possible, it's something that would be so far ahead of us that we can only speculate. But that does not mean it's not possible, as many theoretical physics suggest. As far as the age of any advanced culture, one of my hubs point out that some cosmologists worked out the math to determine that the oldest potential civilization, if I remember correctly, could have an 8-9 billion year head start on us. That's based on the oldest potential life-supporting systems in an older galaxy. Even in our own galaxy, some potential life-supporting star systems could have a billion year head start on us. Our Sun is an average star and not the oldest found in our galaxy. Even just a million years worth of additional technology would appear as "magic" to us. We cannot possibly know or even contemplate those possibilities, merely speculate for or against, but only from our insignificant viewpoint in such a vast arena. Some people are optimists and some are pessimists, but to each their own. Until they land on our doorstep, all one can do is look at ALL the available evidence before coming up with our own personal interpretations. It's still good to look at both sides though, especially on a topic we are still infants (perhaps even amoeba) in--space travel. Thanks again for sharing.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on May 19, 2013:

Bill, thanks for your well written comment. I thank you are right about Drake's Equation that it is applicable only to our galaxy and not the entire universe. Life beyond our galaxy will be totally irrelevant to us if they are out there because the closest galaxy to us, Andromeda, is approximately 2.5 million light years from us. We will probably never see or hear from them for another 2.5 million years even if they are traveling at the speed of light. Also, they wouldn't probably be no more advance technologically than we are since we only began communicating beyond the atmosphere of earth for less than 100 years after taking about 4 billions years out of the 13.8 billion years it took the galaxies, stars and planets to form for us to develop this level of communication. Intelligent life elsewhere in universe is probably at or near this same level of communication as we are since they are basically in the same time constraints as we are, therefore, they cannot be that much further along technologically than we are currently. I think this is one of many reasons why we have not seen or received any evidence of life capable of communicating with us since the start of SETI.

Bill Sego from Logan, Ohio on May 18, 2013:

I believe the Drake equation only applies to star systems in our galaxy rather than the entire Universe. Not sure what calculations Dr. Smith added to the equation, but original estimates were a conservative 10,000 (up to 1 million) in our galaxy alone.

Also, I think most intelligent "believers" in the ETH are basing it on the 1%-10% of sightings that provide no other scientific explanation. Crackpots can ruin it for everyone, but that takes nothing away from the credible evidence that indeed exists. Most scientists conveniently ignore it because of the "giggle factor" and signal to noise ratio. After all, it can have a negative impact on their reputation so who could blame them. (I have a hub devoted to this topic, but cannot indicate its title so that I don't get in trouble for spamming.) For example, when Geoff Marcy started searching for extrasolar planets in the 1990s, astronomers would look down at their feet in embarrassment for him. This is one of the pitfalls of extreme skepticism and right now he's having the last laugh. So when a scientist intentionally ignores a potentially valid phenomenon, even though there is credible evidence to support it, they are making an even bigger mistake than those who initially ignored Marcy.

Even SETI astronomers admit they're searching for a needle in the biggest haystack imaginable. They argue that radio communication may be extremely brief in the history of any advanced civilization. So the fact that we have yet to find a signal really has nothing to do with the Fermi question. It is already negligible because there are about a hundred valid reasons why we haven't witnessed any evidence of E.T., even if they are prevalent in our galaxy. Very well written article though.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on April 06, 2013:

VeronicaSullivan, thanks for your comment. Yes, it sad that we may be the only life form in the universe as we know it, but at the same time we are probably lucky that we have not found any other life form out there because they might be hostile. Right now all we can do is wait and see what happen as mankind become more technological advance to be able to develop faster than light speed vehicles that will give us the capabilities to travel to distant stars one day.

Veronica B. Sullivan from Toronto on April 03, 2013:

What an interesting yet depressing read. I too believe we are probably the only intelligent lifeforms we will ever encounter, but there is a part of me that is hopeful one day we can escape from ourselves. Is it a simple human fantasy to want to feel unlimited? I hate the idea of the universal speed limit, and even though my hopes are constantly crushed by science I'm always waiting for some tiny shred of hope that FTL speed can be achieved, and we can one day explore the cosmos fully. The fact that we are trapped and limited in travel and communication is extremely disheartening to a dreamer like me. I guess it's human nature to want to conquer everything, and hearing that there is places unreachable to us is very sad indeed.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on March 18, 2013:

Jainismus, thanks for comment and for stopping by to read my hub.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on March 18, 2013:

Torrilynn, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on March 18, 2013:

Ib Radmasters. thanks for your comment. You are right aboutyour five scenarios presented of what could possibly happen if we encounter intelligent life from other parts of the galaxy. You left out one very criteria one. All humans or the aliens could simply die from just breathing the same air after coming in contact with each other because there might be microbes that we or they are not immune to.

Brad Masters from Southern California on March 16, 2013:


Interest hub.

My opinion is that it doesn't really matter whether there are or are not other intelligent beings in the universe.

There are only several scenarios that could develop with other intelligent beings.

1. They become our masters.

2. They become out slaves.

3. They kill us, or we kill them

4. We communicate with each other but no physical presence.

5. We try to merge with them

Based on our lack of success of getting along with our fellow humans, the outcome for adding alien intelligent beings wouldn't have any better results.

So for humans, our solar system is our universe.

torrilynn on March 15, 2013:


interesting take that you have on other life forms

not being able to exist, I was intrigued by your overall

perspective and the information that you have put together

here in your hub.

Voted up

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on March 15, 2013:

You are right. And even if there is a life on other places in the universe, it is not possible for them or us to contact.

Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery on March 07, 2013:

Your blog background is very alluring and all. But a lot of your info isn't very comprehensive. I’d appericate to know more but your outline is not helpful. Do you maybe fix that?

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on November 27, 2012:

Eugbug, the most popular theory on the fate of the universe is that it will continue to expand and eventually all the stars would die out slowly over time and the universe will become complete dark. All life in the universe will cease to exist once this happens. I am not sure what time span they are talking about here but I am pretty sure it is in the billions of years. The other theory is referred to as the "Big crunch" where the universe will stop expanding and begin collapsing back to what it once was a singularity. Again you are talking billions of years for this to happen.

Eugene Brennan from Ireland on November 26, 2012:

Very interesting. Hopefully in the future as our knowledge increases we may be able to put more accurate figures on the factors in the Drake equation. What are the theories about what will happen to the Universe in the distant future? Will everything cool down or will there be continuous "recycling" of stars? Possibly life will eventually evolve given enough time once there isn't a "Big Crunch" or other events such as gamma ray bursts which could sterilize everything.


There is authenticity in your blog, please read my blog why aliens did not contact us so far and give your opinion!

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on November 01, 2012:

PSbatt, thanks for your comment. You are right there may be life out there in this vast universe but even in our own galaxies most of life if there is any would most likely be in the arms of the galaxies. The massive amount of energy being ejected out of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and other galaxies would make life impossible to live as we approach the center of the galaxy. Some galaxies are simply too hostile for life to exist in them despite their size because the black hole at their center are too active, however, our's fortunately is considered a quieter black hole compare to black holes in other galaxies. Otherwise we would not be here either. So there is the possibility that there are many galaxies out there with no life in them. Also, keep in mind the nearest galaxy to us is Andromeda, 2.5 million light years away. If there is life there we will not see it any time soon even if they are intelligent life form.


Hi, the article has some facts. However

1. There is a preponderance of red dwarf stars in our galaxy which is as old as universe itself. The no of habitable planets around such stars could be high. It is also impeded by fact that these stars could be hurling high energy particles and gamma ray bursts if in advanced stages of old age. That could be the reason though you may have many earthlike planets, you may not find life.

But does this rule out life in relatively young galaxies?

2. Only 4% of our galaxy has been scouted for earthlike planets by Kepler mission which revealed as many as 1500+ planets. We can not presume that there is no life in other areas.

3. FEMI equation got bigger. Milky way is littered with exoplanets and there are billions of galaxies out there.

4. We may be able to communicate with those aliens which are in consonance with our level of development but not in a different league altogether. Primitive ones may not either be able while advanced ones will not.

We definitely require opinions of the extremes and this opinion of yours is the other extreme. Between two extremities lies the argument, the exploration and the result. Nice article. Kudos.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on August 04, 2012:

Lone77Star, thanks for your comment. I do agree with some of your statements in your comment but bear in mind that most, if all our scientific knowledge, is based on assumptions before those assumptions can be proven or disproven. Some galaxies are moving away from us at incredible speed that is why there is a shift to the red portion of the visible light spectrum. That can only occur at speeds near the speed of light. It is very clear that there is probably no life as we know it as we approach the center of most galaxies because of the immense amount of gamma rays and x-rays exiting the black hole at the center of all these galaxies.

Some of the galaxies have black holes that are simply too active for life as we know it to exist in the galaxy at all despite the large number of stars in them. If there are life in other parts of our galaxy or other galaxies they most likely would be in the less active regions of the galaxies near the edges. The interior of the galaxy is to violent for life to exist. The black hole at the center of our galaxy fortunately happens to be at the right activity level for our to exist.

Everything we see in the universe as a whole is because of electromagnetism. The stars, planets and everything else out there are detected by us through electrogmagnetic detection methods; light, gamma rays, x-rays, infrared, etc. There is a high probability that communication by electromagnetic means is the most feasible and fastest way for intelligent life to communicate over vast interstellar distances. Communicating between galaxies to me is highly unlikely considering the fact that the nearest galaxy to us is 2.5 million light years away.

Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on August 03, 2012:

A thought-provoking article, but there are some logical and factual issues.

Where do you get the idea that the universe is infinite in size? Most I've read says that the universe is finite and unbounded, which means that space is curved -- the universe is to 3D space as the surface of a planet is to 2D space. The universe couldn't be larger than your so-called "cosmic horizon," otherwise you would be implying that the universe expanded faster the the velocity of light. I don't know of any scientist who would go along with that idea.

You also make a dangerous assumption that communication could only be through radio signals. You're assuming that there will never be technology for faster-than-light communication -- that electromagnetic radiation is the only possible medium. That assumption may prove correct in the long run, but it's a dangerous assumption to base your premise on. You don't know the entire future of possibilities.

Your bold type concerning Avi Loeb contains troubled logic. There are millions of galaxies far closer than the 10 billion light years you quote. No galaxy out there is traveling at the velocity of light; in fact, most are traveling at far less than "c." So yes, light or radio signals from Earth would catch up with every galaxy. Those galaxies are effectly beyond our reach because of the time it takes like to traverse that distance, not that electromagnetic radiation will never get there. The point is that we would be long dead before the signal got halfway there. So, your facts are wrong and your emphasis is on the wrong subject.

And who's to say that life out there could form from other conditions than those we enjoy on Earth?

You say, "hundreds of thousands of years to send a signal and wait for a reply from these nearby stars?" Ouch! How wrong! If a habitable planet, inhabited by a technological civilization, orbits Alpha Centauri A or B, we would only wait 8.7 years for a reply, not hundreds of thousands.

You also say, "We have not found or received any evidence that there is any life out there capable of communicating with us yet." And yet we have evidence in the form of close encounters ("UFOs"). Some of the evidence seems quite credible and compelling. You are merely ignoring this, or perhaps you were unaware of the more credible examples. Assumptions do not make good science.

The overall thrust of your article is logically fallacious, because it is an argument to ignorance type of logical fallacy. The lack of evidence never, ever disproves anything. It could still be false. You could be entirely correct that there is no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but the lack of evidence never proves this contention.

Those scientists who fall into this trap of fallacious assumptions have to eat crow when evidence is eventually found. Examples:

* The discovery of Troy by an amateur

* The discovery of Mycenaean Greece

* The discovery of Minoan Crete

* The discovery of Amazon warriors buried in the kurgans of Southern Russia

* The discovery of what may well be the real Island of Ithaca, home of Ulysses.

* The discovery of pre-Clovis cultures, thoroughly debunking the "Clovis First" dogma held so long in North American anthropology.

And we also have scientists who participated in the hoax of the 9/11 Commission Report, telling lies and ignoring lots of evidence that contradicted with their analysis.

Are we alone? Perhaps. But your article does not present its case well. You can do better than this.

Georgia on July 10, 2012:

cool stuff i want to know if you have any more photos. soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooocool

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on June 25, 2012:

The Futurist, thanks for your comment. Maybe there is life on the dark side somewhere in the universe. May the force be with you.

TheFuturist from United States on June 24, 2012:

Well said and well thought out hub; however you did not persuade me to the dark side of isolation :]

eternalsandwyrm from Maine on April 05, 2012:

yes we are

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on April 05, 2012:

Eternalsandwyrm, thanks for your comment. You right scientists have been saying for quite some time that we are here by chance. The habitable zone that a planet must be in to support life in general is the main criteria for life to evolve. Evolve is the critical component for intelligent life to develop. For example, if a planet is too close to the star that it is orbiting there will not be any liquid on the surface especially water to start the process of evolution for life to form. The planet would simply be too dry, life would be expose to dangerous radiation from the star, the planet would be subjected to plate tectonic of the worst kind (numerous earthquakes), and violent weather. The environment there would not be conducive to life as we know it. Also bear in mind, it took us approximately 4 billion years to get to where we are right now and the universe is about 14 billion years old. I would believe most of these evolution processes came to a dead end due to many reasons; planet too close to star, planet's orbit too elongated, star died before evolution was completed, etc. The 4 to 5 billion years is how long it would probably take life to develop elsewhere in the universe and it is probably still developing at various stages in the evolution process in various places in the universe. Life could not have started that much earlier anywhere else in the universe because it was still in a state of rapid changes a little more than 5 billion years ago. So if there is intelligent life out there we still have not seen or received any evidence of it yet. Therefore, for all practical reasons we are alone in the universe.

eternalsandwyrm from Maine on April 04, 2012:

i think ppl are wishful thinkers when it comes to other intelligent life. because the sun and water and habitable zone aren't the only factors in the creation of us on this planet. during the creation of out solar system two proto planets of a very perfect mixture of elements crashed into each other creating earth and the remains of the proto planet theia became the moon and with out the moon creating the tides and seasons, earth wouldn't nearly have been as calm weather patterns would be erratic not in a pattern. and not to mention that we have two gas giants getting slammed with moon sized objects taking the brunt of our solar systems most destructive forces. humanity is a fluke , a million freak accidents of nature leading to us and it couldn't have happened anywhere else.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on March 27, 2012:

Kmkellum, I agree we may not be the only life form in the universe due to it vastness. But intelligent life may be another story. It took 4 billion years for intelligent life to develop here, so most likely it will probably take about the same amount of time for it to develop somewhere else in the universe assuming the conditions are right for that to happen; such as age of the star, distance star is from planet, water as liquid exist, a planet with tectonic activity, etc. Thanks for reading my hub.

kmkellum on March 26, 2012:

My take on all this, is that it seems to me that the chances of us being the only life in the universe is highly unlikely, since almost all other chemical and geological forms have been duplicated. Great and interesting hub.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 21, 2012:

Glocatore, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub.

Jim Dorsch from Alexandria, VA on February 20, 2012:

Thanks for some interesting thoughts. I don't think anyone can say there must be life out there, but I think it's reasonable to think it's possible. As a practical matter at this time, it's safe to say nothing is likely to cross our radar. Someday that may change. Nice hub, voting up and SHARING.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 20, 2012:

Quality Content, thanks for your comment. Yes, there may be other life forms out there somewhere in the universe but for all practical purposes we are alone since we have yet to find any evidence of life somewhere out there in the universe. Also, if there is life out there beyond our galaxy it will be 2.5 million years before we receive any evidence of it if the evidence was sent to us as an electromagnetic signal right now from there since the nearest galaxy is 2.5 million light years away from us. Everything else is just too far from us.

QualityContent on February 20, 2012:

Very good hub but we are not alone, it's completely impossible. Life exists in some form whether it is intelligent or not. We know nothing about the universe it's all based upon theory. Until we go out and explore for ourselves we cannot and will not know what does or does not exist.

Christopher Phoenix on February 11, 2012:

Thanks, Melpor!! I don't know where people get this stuff either, so I did a read-up on Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia, the lunar conspiracy claims actually began in 1974- just two years after the Apollo moon flights had ended- when Bill Kaysing published "We Never Went to the Moon: America's Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle". The Flat Earth Society was one of the first societies to accuse NASA of faking the landings, arguing that they were staged by Hollywood with Walt Disney sponsorship, based on a script by Arthur C. Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The 1978 film "Capricorn One", which depicts a hoaxed flight to Mars, may have contributed to popularizing the idea.

People were panicked by the U.S.S.R.'s early space successes, but we invariably matched their feats in a short time- sometimes in only a few weeks. Some "hoaxers" argue we couldn't have beaten the Soviets to the Moon since we were "so far behind them", but this isn't true.

I often wonder what we might achieve today if the space program had more support. Much of the problem is societal, not monetary. Young people today won't pay attention to math and science classes, forcing textbooks to try to keep their attention rather than learn something. Adults don't think that space affects their daily lives or will affect the lives of our children- a very dangerous and misguided assumption. As I have said before, it is the failure of political will, not technology, that has held back achievement in space.

Historically, it isn't that unusual to see great achievements in exploration that aren't followed up on- or exceeded- for decades or even centuries. Could we be the Lief Erikson of space? Do we even have decades to centuries to wait before the window of opportunity we have on developing space resources?

@Sally In response to your question, space does have a very real bearing on your life and the lives of our descendants. We don't live in a cosmic bubble. Solar flares, asteroids, or rogue comets could throw civilization on Earth back hundreds of years or even wipe out humanity. If we dodge all that, the eventual death of our own sun will make Earth uninhabitable. The only way to truly ensure that the human species can survive for millions of years is to explore, utilize, and settle the greater realms of space. We may be facing a very narrow window of opportunity during which humans can form a so called Type-1 Civilization and spread into space, or simply fall back and die out slowly.

Doom and gloom aside, space research offers a glorious future, inspires inquiring young minds, and yields exotic technologies that often find uses far closer to home. Those "brilliant minds", as you put them, have put plenty of effort into improving life on Earth as well as space research. It isn't an either/or situation!! We can invest in both near term and long term prospects- both in improving life on Earth and reaching the stars. Carl Sagan explains this in this video:

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 11, 2012:

James A. Watkins, thanks for your comment. You brought out good point here. You can view the vastness and infinite size of the universe from a religious point of view. The Bible also doesn't give it believers any evidence of intelligent life or just life in general anywhere in the universe besides those on Earth. But it raises the obvious questions: Why did this supernatural entity put life only on Earth and nowhere else in the universe and if he did put life somewhere else why make it a challenge for us to find it?

James A Watkins from Chicago on February 11, 2012:

Thank you for this remarkable article. You were diligent with your research and brought the facts to the table.

It seems to me that God made our world to where we will never find the end of it, big or little, through a telescope or a microscope. This is one way of Him showing us His magnitude-His infinity.

I do not believe there is life anywhere else in this immense universe because God wants us to know that earth and human beings are the center of the universe. What better way to teach us this lesson than to put us in a universe so big we cannot really even comprehend it and have it be a vast expanse of nothing, and all utterly hostile to life except for this one blue ball that not only has life but is teeming with life abundant. This shows us that God is the Author and Sustainer of Life. Thank you.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 11, 2012:

Christopher, I agree with your comments on these absurd lunar landing conspiracy stories. I do not know where people find this stuff. In most cases conspiracies are just that conspiracies. Most people do not realized that the Soviet Union was so far ahead of the United States in space race that we literally panic. They were the first to place a probe on the lunar surface in 1966 named Luna 9. Furthermore, as you said in your comment it take politics to fund the space program not NASA that is why NASA is not busy at the moment.

Christopher Phoenix on February 10, 2012:

"I will try to answer your other inquiries as time allows, but I would just like to state before heading out, that NASA cannot know everything about space and the effects it has on humans."

Obviously you think Moon landing conspiracy websites are the only reliable resources on space travel.

NASA has spent decades researching the effects of space travel on the human body. If you spent any time researching actual space travel instead of moon conspiracy bullshit you would know this. They didn't just up and go to the Moon with no prior research. It took years of research programs to develop the Saturn V and the Apollo capsule. These people were a heck of a lot smarter than you are, and they actually paid attention in math and science.

The story that NASA was worried that astronauts would sink in lunar dust is a complete fabrication. As early as 1965, scientists were confident, based on optical properties of the lunar surface, that dust was not extensive. Surveyor I confirmed this by landing on the Moon on June 2, 1966. Before you retort that the NASA probe was obviously hoaxed as well, remember that the U.S.S.R launched their own probes. On February 3, 1966, Luna 9 successfully landed on the Moon and transmitted data back to Earth.

The high number for dust accumulation (14 million tons per Earth year) came from the high end of a single preliminary measurement that has long been obsolete. Even higher estimates come from more obsolete sources, although they are sometimes incorrectly sited as being more recent. The actual influx is about 22,000 to 44,000 tons per year on earth and around 840 tons per year on the moon. So you can just drop the "The astronauts would have sunk in deadly lunar dust!!" argument.

As for fuzzy video footage- there were no digital cameras or high resolution TV sets back then. Do you think plasma TV's were just around forever? Powerful launch rockets, space capsules, life support, and navigation are required to reach the Moon, not high definition TV. You are implying a direct link between video camera technology and rocketry. This is the silliest argument I have ever heard.

The gist of your argument now is, "I have lots of cool electronic toys. TIVO is clearly more advanced than NASA had in the 1960s and 1970s, so why don't we go back to the Moon?"

Developing technology require funding, development programs, and political will. The U.S. Navy built nuclear submarines because they wanted to patrol the oceans without having to resurface. Nuclear bombs were built to arm the submarines. Rockets were built to loft the bombs at the U.S.S.R. NASA had the political will and money behind it required to build a powerful rocket and go to the Moon. Now, they don't. There is plenty of interest in consumer electronics nowadays- but that does not help NASA any. Plasma TV sets don't fly, do they?

It would have been technically feasible for NASA to have made a trip to Mars, if they had been allowed to pursue the necessary technology. Nuclear rocket engines were tested in the 1960s. Massive chemical rocket boosters (like NOVA) were planned. It was the failure of political will, not technology, that held these plans back.

So far, all you have done regurgitate conspiracist arguments at me. Once I shoot them down, you don't respond to my response, you just move on to the next, even more pathetic conspiracist argument. You don't actually argue, you just repeat snippets of conspiracy theories you have heard. What makes you so certain Moon landing conspiracy theorists- who have no credentials, no knowledge of physics, not even a unified conspiracy story- know anything?

The "hoaxers" story is ridiculous. They claim that NASA filmed the landing in a Hollywood set, and that the Apollo spacecraft only went around the Earth in circles. If so, third party radar tracking and optical observers would have tracked it- including those in Russia!! You aren't going to claim that NASA "death squads" operated in the U.S.S.R, are you?

"Hoaxers" claim that the astronauts would have been fried by the Van Allen belts. These people don't seem to quite understand that radiation does not equal instant death, and nor do they comprehend that this radiation is attenuated by low-atomic mass materials- like the a spacecraft's hull. They don't know that the trajectory of the Apollo flights missed most of the Van Allen belt and passed through what little it did pass through in twenty to thirty minutes.

The temperature differential argument is ridiculous- spacewalking astronauts in orbit experience the exact same temperature variations as the Apollo astronauts did. The idea that keeping 400,000 people quiet is "easy" is absurd. It would have been more expensive to hoax the Apollo mission than to just go to the Moon.

The rest if your anecdotal stories and claims don't have any names associated with them, no links, no references, no nothing. You claim that the U.S.S.R said things that they didn't say, that they did things they didn't do. The Soviet Lunar program was released when Glasnost was implemented- another third party reference NASA has nothing to do with. In short, your story is ridiculous, the

"hoaxers" science is atrocious, and there is nothing here to convince me that the whole moon landing hoax story is true.

It is interesting to explore the psychological motivations behind the Moon landing hoax conspiracy claims. People like to think they are smart and "in the know", so when the "inconsistencies" in Apollo photos are pointed out to them, they think they know more than other people. In the U.S., many people dislike authority and distrust scientists, so they like to believe the Moon landing- one of the greatest achievements of science and technology- was a fabrication. In other countries, like Cuba, the government doesn't like America, so school teachers teach that NASA is lying and great American heroes-like the Apollo astronauts- are liars and cowards. Much like how Iranian leaders claim the Holocaust never happened to annoy Israel.

Sparkster- what conspiracy theories? Can we please have some references to which conspiracy theories turned out to be true? No one believes someone who makes a claim without so much as a reference to back them up. I don't dismiss conspiracy theories out of hand, I dismiss them because they are contrived, convoluted, paranoid, and offer no concrete evidence than dark warnings about the evil nasties that are out to gets/lie to us/drink our blood/take over our planet/eat us/etc.

I can cite many historical examples when conspiracy theories turned out to be not true- and were inspired by fear, racism, and other psychological factors. When the Black Death hit Europe, many people blamed Jews, claiming that the Jews had placed something in the water. This was inspired by anti-semtism and fear- the real source of the plague was Asia. After the Great Fire of London in 1666, some people blamed the English Catholics or the French. A simple-minded French watchmaker named Robert Hubert was hanged on accusation of lighting the fire, and even though it was later revealed that Robert had only arrived in London two days after the great fire, claims of "Popish plots" and anti-Catholic propaganda continued to circulate. Those are two good examples of conspiracy theories that were not true. These conspiracy theories warned of "evil" factions of society that were "out to get" the good people, much like some conspiracy theories today.

The Moon landing hoax conspiracy theory is a bit different, since the targets are mainly scientists, engineers, and astronauts, but like all conspiracy theories, it is inspired by psychological desires. People who dislike scientists and think everything in nature should have an obvious intuitive explanation grabbed onto this loony idea, which is why we still hear about it today.

sally on February 10, 2012:

I do have a science background, but just one question: With all the brilliant minds out there trying to find out things that have no real bearing on our lives, why don' scientists focus on things that could improve our lives on THIS planet? There are countless areas to explore in that vein.

learnlovelive from U.S. on February 10, 2012:

Why are you people arguing about this? It's simple. We are alone in our solar system as far as we know - outside of this there is a limitless expanse of spatial matter and enumerable other systems beyond our wildest comprehension. Even the Kepler can't see to the end of the universe - we just get pixels back... To assume that we are the only intelligent life form in all of cosmic space is absolutely rude. Sending out the Voyager was the scariest thing we could have ever done. Giving directions back to Earth, telling the infinite cosmos all about our youthful arrogance as a species. Pretending that you're the only race in the cosmos seems like a favoritism of Humanity...either that or trying to claim the the Universe isn't real...get a grip and smell the vacuum...when you've gone up to L.E.O. and breach the atmosphere, let me know just how small you feel then. You'll probably come back and say we're alone still...I dunno. Theoretical astrophysics? Really... We have the technologies to blast off this rock and we have prospects for potential other rocks. There is no reason that we are still playing the socioeconomicregligious paradigm game anymore. But whatever. I guess we can just theorize all day until an Asteroid comes and kills OUR species too. Or maybe solar radiation from the oncoming polar shifts...or maybe something else. Or do you think Humans are invincible too?

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 10, 2012:

Rahul0324, thanks for your comment and welcome to hubpages.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 10, 2012:

Learnlovelive, thanks for your comment. Yes, there may be other life forms out there on other planets in other star systems but most of those planets are unsuitable for life to develop into intelligent life forms. Just looking at our own system of eight planets Earth is the only planet with life and intelligent life. We almost did not make it to where were are now if it were not for an asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago that finally gave small mammals the foothold they needed to evolve to the primates we are today.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on February 10, 2012:

very interesting article!! voted up!! shared

learnlovelive from U.S. on February 09, 2012:

As pretentious a notion as this might be. It could be possible. Stargate SG-1. That's all I have to say. Watch the whole series...I've seen it countless times. Great content - mythology, science, drama, character's very intimate. We might be the great diaspora. Who knows. I wouldn't ascribe myself to any particular notion...ever. I don't do that anymore...I just explore.

In the event that we are alone in the Universe...that's heavy. Do we just self-destruct? Or do we decide to separate and go our separate ways unto the great cosmos?

Who knows; not I. I know nothing, I am nothing, I am here.

You are the ground you are walking on. There is no past, no future; now is a mirror of what? What are you reflecting...?

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 09, 2012:

Stergeonl, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub.

Sturgeonl on February 09, 2012:

In interesting topic that has so many theories around it. I appreciate the scientific information you provided. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this subject.

Lone Ranger on February 08, 2012:

Christopher Phoenix:

You asked, "What is this nonsense about NASA claiming to have "debunked" the existence of space radiation?"


I was being sarcastic, Chris. But, it strikes me as ironic that even though many scientists and nations were deeply concerned about the grave effects of deep space radiation, the U.S. allegedly sent up a small group of guys in a "tin can" and 1960s "jump suits", and they suffered no ill-effects whatsoever, as if it were a non-issue.

I will try to answer your other inquiries as time allows, but I would just like to state before heading out, that NASA cannot know everything about space and the effects it has on humans.

To send up men on the first attempt and achieve perfection on the first try is hard to believe for something so monumental.

And, please keep in mind these same NASA scientists said that space dust accumulates at the rate of 3/4" (inch) every 1,000 years, so they anticipated an enormous amount of space dust on the Moon, but the first words that came out of Neil's mouth were "It's solid".

In fact, the fuzzy videos show virtually no space dust at all. Funny how they claim to have had the technology to send a man to the Moon and back, but could not muster better video footage. Hmmm?

My point is: If these scientists got the space dust theory wrong, and when I say wrong, I mean terribly wrong, what confidence do we have that they got the deep space radiation theory right? More luck than sense? Better to be lucky than to be good?

Must run for now, but I'll check back soon - L.R.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on February 08, 2012:

Whilst people are quick enough to dismiss the notions of conspiracy theorists it should be pointed out that many conspiracy theories of the past have turned out to be true.

Christopher Phoenix on February 07, 2012:

@Lone Ranger

If the Russians were so scared of nasty evil "space radiation", why did they make public announcements about landing a man on the Moon and establishing a lunar base as early as 1961? Why did they form their own detailed plans for a lunar flight and build the huge N1 rocket to launch their own lunar craft?

You have confused heat with temperature. Heat is the measure of thermal energy of an object, the energy stored in that object as the kinetic energy of vibrating atoms. Just because temperature is high in direct sunlight does not mean that astronauts will instantly boil, which is what conspiracists want you to believe.

Spacesuits are designed with insulation and cooling systems to prevent astronauts from overheating. Ever wondered why spacesuits are white? Spacesuits are designed to reflect most of the radiation that hits them, preventing the astronaut from absorbing that energy.

Astronauts spacewalking in orbit experience the exact same temperature variations as astronauts on the Moon, and the Apollo astronauts needed no more protection that the spacewalking astronauts who repaired the Hubble did. I suppose you are going to tell me next that the space shuttle, all spacewalks, Hubble space telescope, and satellites are all hoaxes. Give me a break.

As for your "mysterious space radiation", it really isn't that mysterious. Most astronauts will experience around 10millirads per day. Passage through the Van Allen belts gives you 10-20rads per hour, but most flights avoid the radiation belts. Passages through them last around twenty to thirty minutes. Spacewalking astronauts occasionally see a bright flash caused by a cosmic ray tracing a laser-like path through their eyeball- this is one of the ways that charged particle radiation effects the human body.

What is this nonsense about NASA claiming to have "debunked" the existence of space radiation? They have said no such thing. How about you provide sources instead of just saying things? I suppose all sources other than Moon conspiracy websites have been corrupted by the NASA death squads.

When did the U.S.S.R say that the U.S. has Hollywood instead of a real space program? Again, no sources. Maybe it is buried in some barely coherent, paranoid rant on some conspiracy website somewhere.

Did you know that you can see satellites with the naked eye? I once saw the I.S.S make a stately passage through the evening sky after a friend pointed it out to me, so I have first hand experience in this matter. If the Apollo craft had just spent eight days in orbit, everyone from civilian skywatchers to leading Soviet rocket engineers could have seen it, not to mention third party radar installations. If the U.S.S.R knew that NASA had faked the moon landings, they would have come forth and accused us.

As for why the manned space program has not made any great strides lately, if you reduce NASA's budget from 5% of the national budget to 0.7%, that tends to happen. Politicians saw no convincing reason to continue the effort of funding the Moon flights or planned flights to Mars. I suppose you think NASA death squads are a more convincing explanation than the perceived lack of need of a costly space program that cost an estimated 20 billion dollars. That is why NASA has not gone back to the Moon yet.

There are plenty of historical precedences for grand voyages of exploration that were not followed up on until a long time later. Take Lief Erikson's exploration of Vinland, or Richard Burton's discovery of one of the starting points of the Nile.

Keeping 400,000 people quite is not easy. How do you keep the workers at all the various aerospace firms that built the Apollo hardware from mentioning that they actually didn't build anything that worked? What about disgruntled employees? Please don't trot out the "NASA death squads". The cost of faking the Moon landings would have been just as much, if not more, than actually doing it. If it had been faked, third party observations from reputable sources would have revealed massive holes in NASA's story.

As for the Moon rocks.... the Apollo missions gathered 328 kg. (840lb.) of moon rocks. These rocks are anhydrous- they do not contain water- and they match the Soviet samples from the Luna probes.

It would have taken 300-200 robot probe missions to have gathered that much. The first lunar meteorite was recovered in 1979, and its lunar origin was not recognized until 1982. To date, only 30kg of moon meteorites have been found on Earth, despite private collectors and government agencies worldwide searching for more than twenty years- so lunar meteorites can't account for NASA's moon rocks.

Who is this "poor fellow"? If you don't provide names, it is hard to do any research on your claims. Obviously, the penalty for claiming that the Moon landings are a hoax is much reduced nowadays- no you just get your teeth smashed in by Buzz Aldrin!! To be fair, the man who Aldrin punched was standing very close to him and accosting him verbally, which is actually a very stressful experience.

I have a question, though- if you didn't believe that humans are not "supposed to" explore or settle beyond Earth, for whatever reasons you do, would you be so quick to accept a massive conspiracy as the most "reasonable" explanation for the Apollo mission? That is an honest question, and I would like you to respond with whatever answers you have.

Best wishes.

Lone Ranger on February 07, 2012:

Christopher Phoenix:

You said:

"Now for the final nail in the coffin. If the moon landings were indeed hoaxed, why didn't the Soviet Union accuse the United States of hoaxing Apollo when their moon attempts failed and ours succeeded?"


Well, truth be known, the Russians were 20 years ahead of our space program in the 1960s. They were not able to go to the Moon then and still cannot go now. They stated that the effects of deep space radiation was a real turn-off to them and they feared its effects.

Funny how godless-communist Russians feared for the safety of their men in the space program, whereas Christian-capitalist Americans allegedly sent their boys up in a hull that was 1/4" thick and all our astronauts had to wear were flimsy 1960's-style space suits once they left the protection of the tin can they arrived in.

The Moon is 250 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 250 degrees below zero by night, but you want me to believe those space suits were perfectly engineered the first time around to withstand the mysterious effects of deep space radiation and extreme temperature variations on the very first attempt? Give me a break!

I am so glad deep space radiation was a hoax that was debunked by NASA in 1969. All that worrying for nothing! Buzz and Company came back without suffering any ill effects and not even sporting a tan!

By the way, the Russians had this to say about our miraculous flight to the Moon and back: "Russia has Sputnik...America has Hollywood."

By the way, I have heard all the propaganda meant to prove the Moon landing, but I am still unmoved.

Forty years later and we struggle to keep a space shuttle in orbit, yet in '69 NASA was successful on their first attempt to land on the Moon? Give me a break!

Please tell me why NASA spent all that money on the Moon landing and then never went back.

Please tell me why the only Moon rock known to exist, was shown to be a fake in 2010. And, please tell me why NASA went to Antarctica in 1968. To collect rare meteoric rocks to pawn-off as Moon rocks perhaps?

Keeping the 400,000 people quiet is simple. The overwhelming majority (90%) of those involved with the space program on one level or another were not even in the same state and are only loosely associated with the highly compartmentalized space program.

This is to say that only a few dozen people at the highest levels knew what was going on and they weren't going to talk any time soon taking into consideration all those mysterious, "accidental" deaths of outspoken astronauts along with an investigator that posed a threat to the Moon mission.

This poor fellow was only doing his job but mysteriously got killed the very week he told Congress that the space program was a joke and his 500 page report on NASA just happened to disappear at the time of his death and just in time for NASA's fraudulent launch of Buzz and Company into orbit around the Earth for 8 days, while NASA patched in scenes that had been previously filmed at Area 51.

That's were I stand on this issue for the time being. If you have anything more to add, I'm open-minded and willing to hear it. Who knows, perhaps I'll change my tune? But, until then the above scenario seems more reasonable to me.

Best wishes and be well - L.R.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on February 07, 2012:

Listen carefully to what this judge says about Lazar:

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on February 07, 2012:

Christopher Pheonix,

I have already debunked Friedman's debunking of Lazar. There is evidence that shows he genuinely worked at S4 - though that doesn't mean he's not lying.

What do you think of Boyd Bushman's (senior research scientist at Lockheed Skunkworks) claims that Lazar is the real deal? He also provided documents relating to a nuclear powered flying saucer the government are alleged to have made in 1969.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 07, 2012:

Sparkster, I read this website a few months ago about element 115 and Bob Lazar. Element 115 is a highly unstable element with a very short half-life. Only a few atoms of this element have been produced so far. There cannot possibly be a high quantity of this element as Bob Lazar claimed because of its instability. Also, I have not heard anything relative new about this element or about Bob lately. I do not believe his story one bit.

Christopher Phoenix on February 07, 2012:

Sparkster, I already thoroughly debunked Bob Lazar's claims. Element 115 is real- but it is a highly unstable transuranic element that is created a few atoms at a time in particle accelerators. Bob Lazar's "reactor" is a ridiculous perpetual motion machine that violates most of the basic laws of physics.

Before you tell me that the men in black covered up the "hidden physics" or that "modern physics is wrong compared to what the ALIENS must know!!", consider that the basic theories of physics have been overwhelmingly confirmed by observation and experiment. All our technologies are based on our understanding of the laws of motion, electromagnetism, relativity, quantum theory, and nuclear physics.

Compare that with Bob Lazar's bizarre claims, which are confused, poorly explained, and violate many basic natural laws. The phrase "gravity wave amplification" sounds impressive but has no real meaning (a bit like the terms "rapid nadion effect" or "phase transition coil", both of which come from Star Trek). We have no evidence for the existence of flying saucers powered by Element 115, none other than Bob Lazar's word. Any attempt to check the veracity of his claims turns up no evidence to back Bob Lazar. He then claims that aliens ate all the evidence.

Even the leading UFOologist Stanton Friedman has debunked Bob Lazar's claims.

Given the preponderance of evidence against Bob Lazar, I must conclude that he is an attention seeking crank or a conspiracy theorist with delusions of grandeur. Such people are altogether too common in the "junk science" field.

I do not reject the possibility of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrials or spacecraft visiting the Earth, and nor do I accept any claims I hear without evidence. I have a great interest in advanced space propulsion- especially of the "antigravity" variety- but I want efforts to get real results, not conspiracy theories. Science is based on reproducible observations and experiments, not belief or wishful thinking. True scientists are open-minded skeptics- willing to explore any notion, no matter how crazy, but requiring a burden of proof before that notion is accepted as a valid explanation of events. Don't forget that.

Check out some of the links I gave at the end of my writeup on Bob Lazar for real efforts toward interstellar travel.

Christopher Phoenix on February 07, 2012:

@Lone Ranger

Humans did walk on the moon. The preponderance of evidence is in full support of the Moon landings, and the "evidence" that Moon conspiracy theorists produce to support their ridiculous notions show their basic lack of education in physics.

Some common retorts made by moon conspiracists include these.

"Why can't we see stars in the images taken on the Moon? The lack of stars proves that we never landed on the Moon!!"- Conspiracist

Stars cannot be seen in photos taken from the daytime side of the moon because the sunlight washes out the light of the relatively faint stars. Try taking a photo of the night sky from a brightly lit parking lot on an otherwise dark night. Will your camera pick up the stars? No. Its exposure time is adjusted to the bright light, and all stars are washed out on the film or CCD chip.

"The astronauts couldn't have passed through the Van Allen belts!! They would have been fried without massive amounts of shielding. It would require six feet of lead to shield from the Van Allen radiation belts, and the Apollo capsule had no shielding!! Since crossing the Van Allen belts is impossible, the moon landings must have been hoaxed!! "- Conspiracist

The Van Allen belts are primarily composed of high-energy protons and electrons, which are rather easily shielded against by low atomic mass materials. Spacecraft hulls attenuate such radiation, and what does get through will not cause instant death. Not to mention that the Apollo flight's trajectories were planned out to miss most of the Van Allen belts, minimizing the astronaut's exposure. The astronaut's exposure was estimated to be much less than the 5 rems set by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) for people who work with radioactivity.

Again, the conspiracists show their ignorance. Radiation does not cause instant death. We are exposed to low levels of radioactivity in our surroundings and radiation from space all the time. Astronauts must deal with somewhat greater levels of chronic radiation exposure, which might be a concern for long-duration interplanetary or interstellar travel. However, the Van Allen belts aren't going to "fry" spacecraft like the "great galactic barrier" from a Star Trek 5, The Final Frontier!!

The conspiracists also fail to distinguish between different varieties of radiation. The high energy particles in the Van Allen belts are a different matter from the high energy electromagnetic radiation- gamma rays- produced by nuclear weapons and reactors. The neutron flux produced by a nuclear reactor is another matter as well. The conspiracists expect us to assume that because radiation from a nuclear reactor is potentially deadly, an altogether different scenario involving a different kind of radiation at a different intensity will be deadly as well just because it involves the word "radiation". This is yet another tactic they use to make us drop all common sense and accept their absurd claims.

Nor are several feet of lead required to shield against the Van Allen belt. In fact, metal plates generally make the problem worse due to the Bremsstrahlung, braking radiation, that is produced when high-energy protons slam into the thick metal plates. Granted, six feet of land would be enough to keep a nuclear explosion at bay, so even the Bremsstrahlung might be stopped. Metal plates can be used as shielding, but they aren't ideal for stopping charged particles. The best materials to stop high energy charged particles are low atomic mass materials, especially those that contain hydrogen. Polyethylene works quite well, as did the fibrous insulation on the interior of the Apollo capsule. These materials are much lighter than thick sheets of lead.

"Why isn't there a massive impact crater under the lunar lander? The rocket should have blown a huge hole in the dirt!"- Conspiracist

The pressure of the exhaust of the Eagle's rocket was far to low to do much more than shift some dust around. The moon has 1/6 of Earth's gravity, the Eagle's mass was much lower than the launch rocket on Earth, and yet you expect its rocket to do more damage than the Saturn V's exhaust could do? Damage tantamount to a chunk of space rock hurtling toward the Moon's surface at many kilometers per second, even though a diffuse rocket exhaust and a high-speed impactor are totally different phenomena? Even a science-fictional gas-core atomic rocket couldn't do more than make a vitrified spot on the ground beneath its landing site.

Those are a few examples of the conspiracists' "evidence" the U.S. couldn't have landed on the Moon. They never explain exactly how NASA kept all of the scientists, engineers, astronauts, and workers who worked on Apollo- all 400,000 of them- from coming out with the truth. The truth is that the Moon landing hoax is pure hogwash, which explains why none of the engineers who worked on Apollo have come forth to reveal the "truth".

The conspiracists spend much of their time examining the photographs from Apollo for inconsistencies, and then claiming that any imperfections they find "prove" their claims. They fail to acknowledge that these imperfections are exactly what is expected from a real moon landing, not a fake one. So called "inconsistencies" in the angle of shadows are caused by the use of wide-angle lenses and light reflected off of the lunar module and the astronauts. Several of the imperfections are only present in poor quality scans. Others are caused by people editing photos or adjusting the contrast to make them more dramatic. Go look at higher-quality scans and original transparencies instead of poor-quality scans and photos that were edited for dramatic impact.

Now for the final nail in the coffin. If the moon landings were indeed hoaxed, why didn't the Soviet Union accuse the United States of hoaxing Apollo when their moon attempts failed and ours succeeded? Why haven't any of the other space agencies who have gathered extensive data on both the Van Allen belts and the Moon accused NASA of faking Apollo? There are plenty of other space agencies who don't have anything to do with NASA, and as such can't be part of the grand conspiracy. If all the data NASA provides is false, why haven't the space agencies of other nations complained? The answer is simple. The historic moon landings were not faked.

"I believe Earth is a prison planet and we are not meant to leave its friendly confines."

Thanks for proving that you believe that the Apollo moon landing was hoaxed because astronauts successfully landing on the Moon doesn't fit in your private belief system, not because there is any logic or evidence to support these claims. They say faith, if it is firm, cannot be shaken by any evidence not matter how convincing, so I doubt you will change your belief that the Moon landing was hoaxed. I must confess myself a bit curious who is the cosmic jailer in your belief system.

I won't dignify your belief in demons faking flying saucers with a comment.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on February 07, 2012:


I'd like your opinion on this following write-up when you have time:

Lone Ranger on February 07, 2012:

Well written Hub, Melpor, thank you!

Stephen Hawkings stated that the chances of extra-terrestrial intelligent life forms being benevolent is remote. He said that SETI and any other attempts at communicating with intelligent life forms in deep space is like ringing a cosmic dinner bell.

By the way, I believe the odds of finding a truly habitable planet (meeting all 20+ requirements) as being 1 in 20 trillion.

I also liked what you said, Melpor, that the distances between possible targets are so remote, that we will never know of any response.

For the sake of argument, let's say that I was abandoned on a remote island. Let us also say that I wrote a letter along with my coordinates and placed it in a sealed bottle and sent it adrift at sea. What good would it do me if it took 100 or even 1,000 years for someone to find the bottle? Then again, what if a life form did see it, but lacked the intelligence to process the information, like a dolphin, starfish, or crab?

Finding a truly habitable planet will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Even if we did find one, the odds of finding even the most primitive and basic forms of life on said planet would be most remarkable. The odds of finding intelligent life equal or greater to our own would be improbable.

On a personal note, I do not believe that man ever walked on the Moon. I believe man walked on a sound-stage in Area 51 that looked like the Moon, but our astronauts never left orbit. I believe earth is a prison planet and we were not meant to leave its friendly confines.

I do believe, however, that there are intelligent beings that parade around in the heavenlies and stir up all sorts of confusion, conspiracy theories, and mischief. I do not believe they are extra-terrestrial in the classic sense, but I do believe they are malevolent and demonic in origin.

Be well - L.R.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 07, 2012:

Christopher, I agree with your well written article 100%. We have not found any evidence of intelligent, extraterrestrial life from another planet or even on the hundreds of exosolar planets we have discovered so far.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on February 07, 2012:

Sparkster, I have heard all of these bizarre stories about UFOs but I yet to come across any definitive evidence for the existences of extraterrestrial UFOs. Thanks for the comment.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on February 07, 2012:

Ecuador's government have confirmed that UFO's are extraterrestrial in origin and all future government files relating to the subject are to be unclassified.

Christopher Phoenix on February 06, 2012:

Hey, Melpor-

I've read about Bob Lazar and his claims before. His Element-115 powered flying saucer is nothing more than an absurd conspiracy theory. He isn't even a real scientist.

First off- Element 115, or ununpentium, is highly unstable. Element 115 has been created in particle accelerators, but in minute amounts- a few atoms at a time. To date, about 50 atoms of ununpentium have been synthesized, and the longest lived isotope has a half-life measured to be 200ms. Bob Lazar's claim that the government has hundreds of pounds of Element 115 in their possession is quite absurd.

It gets better. Bob Lazar claims that the alien's flying saucer is powered by an antimatter reactor that creates energy by bombarding Element-115 with protons to create positrons. These positrons are than said to annihilate and create huge amounts of energy, which is gathered in a 100% efficient thermoelectric generator. All while creating no measurable radiation or heat.

Where does the energy required to create the antimatter come from? Even if it is possible to create antimatter by bombarding superheavy elements with protons (given everything else on this website, I consider this notion guilty by association), you can't create antimatter to use as a power source without first putting energy in to create that antimatter!! This energy would have to come from the protons. Where do they get their kinetic energy from? Bob tells us to assume that his reactor magically creates antimatter. Thus, this is a perpetual motion machine. For this "reactor" to produce energy, it would have to violate the 1st. Law of Thermodynamics.

Antimatter can't be created with an equal number of matter particles being created as well. This is due to the conservation of electrical charge. If a single antiproton or positron popped into existence, then this fundamental conservation law would be violated.

Then there is the matter of the 100% efficient thermoelectric generator. The 2nd. Law of Thermodynamics can be stated in a number of ways, all of which are equivalent to each other. I could say that heat never spontaneously flows from a cooler to a hotter object, or that entropy always increases or stays the same. In this case, the statement "You cannot create an engine that does nothing but convert heat into useful work" will do.

Thermoelectric generators- I assume Bob meant something like a thermocouple- produce energy by harnessing a "heat gradient". It is a bit like water flowing through a hydroelectric power plant. The power plant runs generators by harnessing the a water gradient- the flow of water from a high spot to a low spot. The water still has gravitational potential energy when it flows out of the turbine, but the generators can't use this energy. It is lost into the downstream reservoir. In the same way, a steam engine can't use all the heat energy released by the burning coal in the boiler- much of that energy is lost into the environment and in resetting the cycle of the piston. Once again, Bob produces a perpetual motion machine.

Bob claims that the reactor produces no radiation. That is absurd- any antimatter reactor would require large amounts of shielding. The energy produced by the annihilating antimatter would need to be converted to heat before the perpetual motion machines could run, but Bob doesn't tell us how this is done either.

Bob does mention that his reactor "appears to violate the known laws of thermodynamics". Bob Lazar, master of the understatement? He then goes on to say that we can't "trust our eyes" since the reactor could prevent radiation from leaving it in a similar manner to a black hole. Which somehow makes it okay for the reactor to violate the laws of physics. Except that real black holes obey the laws of thermodynamics. All the matter and energy black holes consume came from somewhere. Black holes are theorized to radiate energy known as "Hawking radiation" and evaporate- energy that eventually spreads out in the unfillable heat sink of space, just as the 2nd. Law predicts.

This is the worst sort of perpetual motion machine I have ever seen- even if it did work, it could produce no energy. Bob fails to explain exactly how any of this manipulates gravity, despite numerous appeals to "liberating the strong nuclear force". Ironically, the same exact term is used in the Star Trek TNG technical manual to explain how hand phasers work!!! I think we can all agree that paying attention to Bob Lazar is a waste of time.

If you want to read about actual, serious minded research into breakthrough propulsion for interstellar travel, check out these web sites.

Oh, and since I know that playing around with exotic propulsion, flying saucers, and laser rifles is a lot of fun, I'll give you a far more scientifically accurate source- an exploration of how the Jupiter 2 from "Lost in Space" could work!! Of course, there is some speculative physics and handwaving, but overall the Jupiter 2 design makes a whole lot more sense than Bob Lazar's drivel.

Live long and prosper!!

Malco on December 17, 2011:

Fact: at present we ARE alone. There is no evidence that we are not. That may change in the future.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on October 06, 2011:

Cyoung, I agree with you that there maybe life on other planets in the universe but I do think there are many places for intelligent life to exist out there. Furthermore, if there are intelligent life out there we still have not found any evidence of it yet.

Chad Young from Corona, CA on October 05, 2011:

My theory is that we haven't been visited by extra-terrestrial life but visited by our own intelligent life from the future. With new evidence of Photons being able to go faster than the speed of light, if true, it makes the theory of time travel possible. Who is to say that we haven't figured out how to travel back in time in the distant future? Maybe we are alone but the odds show that there may be life on other planets but it may not be intelligent. What are your thoughts on this?

newday98033 on September 24, 2011:

You are welcome melpor. Good luck to you!

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 24, 2011:

Newday98033, thanks for your comment and for stopping by to read my hub.

newday98033 on September 24, 2011:

A possibility is that we live in a God infested universe. So God is everywhere. The only limitation on life therefore, is the comprehensive ability (and willingness) of form to be alive. The other importance is to be recognized as life. Which is to say, to have a viewpoint of space that another may communicate with.

American Indians and other "primitives" would communicate with animals, trees and their version of God. The Secret Life of Plants is interesting in this line.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 23, 2011:

Sparkster, thanks for the link to the article on Element 115. I read it and it was very interesting. I will continue to do further reading about this element. As a chemist, I know elements from this part of the periodic table are highly unstable especially when the atomic number get higher than the atomic number (the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom) of Uranium (Element 92) and the higher that number the more unstable the element becomes.

If what Bob is saying is true then it possible that these highly unstable elements can be made into a stable form if the technology exist to make them more stable and useful for other purposes such as propulsion.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on September 23, 2011:

melpor, I found a great write-up on element 115 here:

Another new super-Earth found recently too, HDD95512b.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 15, 2011:

Cromper, I agee with your comments but there are still many variables to consider as I mentioned in my hub. A planet being in the habitable zone provides the highest probability of finding intelligent, complex life on aother world. However, if it is not in that zone life there are probably just microbes similar to the ones we found in the really extreme conditions here.

I also agree with you that there may be life on many other planets out there living in extreme environments but it is highly unlikely that these are complex life forms similar to many of the animals on Earth. We have some complex animals living in extreme conditions at the poles and in the deserts but they are a relatively few animals that are capable of living in these conditions.

Furthermore, as I stated in my hub, for all practical purposes we are alone in the universe until we receive some form of communication from another intelligent life form that is capable of interstellar communication just as we are capable of doing for the last 100 years.

Finally, out of the seven remaining planets we have explored in our own solar system with our instruments only Earth has life. Some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn may harvest life but we still have not found any evidence of any yet. Remember Mars has the next greater chance of life on it but so far we have not found any and what we found so far shows some indications life may have been there once but died off. This same Mars like scenario could have played out on a lot of other planets out there. This is why finding complex life elsewhere in the Universe is still a realatively low possibilty when you consider all the variables out there and ones I mentioned in my hub. Also keep in mind, even though the Universe is large a lot of what we are seeing on a clear night are just stars without planets.

Cromper on September 15, 2011:

Interesting hub melpor.

I think some of what you are writing about is outdated. The 'habitable zone' of a star system is not restricted to a planet's distance from its star. Other factors can bring about life, such as volcanic activity. It is possible there is life on Europa that orbits Jupiter due to thermal heating from volcanic activity under its surface.

Drake's Equation is also outdated. We are now of the opinion that the original estimates are way out because we now realise that life itself is possibly much more common than we used to think. It was previously thought that life cannot exist on any other planet than earth in our solar system, but it has been found that life can exist in much more extreme conditions than was previously known. This in itself is enough to re-assess, using Drake's Equation, the possibilty of intelligent life out there. The new figures increase the chances of intelligent life hugely!

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 14, 2011:

AlabamaGirl86, thanks for the comment and for stopping by to read my article. Also welcome to Hubpages.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 14, 2011:

Sparkster, thanks for the additional information. I am going to read more articles about Gravity A and Gravity B to get a better understanding of this new perspective on gravity and the strong nuclear forces in the atoms. Thanks.

AlabamaGirl86 on September 14, 2011:

I loved reading this article, great information thanks for sharing.

Sparkster on September 14, 2011:

Yes, you are absolutely correct in what you're saying and Lazar actually talks about this in some of his videos. He is definitely genuine though after revealing information he got into trouble. He wishes he had never spoke out and he IS working for government again. He also runs United Nuclear, a global supplier of chemicals and drives a car that runs on hydrogen. He also features in several scientific documentaries demonstrating antigravity. Gravity A and gravity B is a fairly recent discovery that they are working on now. Boyd Bushman explains how it relates to Einstein and Newton's theories.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 14, 2011:

Sparkster, I agree with your statement about government technology and research being ahead of other research but Lazar should be still working with the government if this such credible information. What throws his story in doubt is that all the superheavy element in the periodic table are too unstable to do anything with them. You cannot just hold a triangular shape of superheavy, unstable material in your hand and place it in a container for propulsion.

Sparkster on September 14, 2011:

Lazar has been proven to be genuine time and time again, government scientific knowledge is years ahead of what the public know. Even senior research scientist Boyd Busham at Lock\heed Skunkworks confirms everything he says.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 13, 2011:

Sparkster, I watched the video and it was a very interesting story presented by Bob but there are a lot holes in the story. Firstly, element 115 or Ununpentium was not synthesized until 2003 using a particle accelerator. Also the most stable form of the element only has a half-life of 220 ms. This element is very unstable and will vanish in seconds.

Secondly, where did the government get about 500 pounds of this highly unstable element to conduct research. Even if the element is naturally occurring here on Earth or somewhere on a distance planet it will still be unstable. The elements are universal that is they are same all over the universe. Hydrogen here is the same as hydrogen on a star hundreds of light years away. All elements we discovered so far have their origin in the stars.

Thirdly, I noticed in the video Bob was standing next to a chemical periodic table with element number 108 as the highest number on it. Where did he get element 115 from back in 1989. Did he just arbitrarily pick this number? We only had knowledge of 108 elements around 1989.

Finally, I have never heard of the terms "gravity A" and "gravity B" used to describe the nuclear forces in the atoms and the gravity force in the universe, respectively. I am not some renowned physicist but I have done a lot of reading in these areas since I am a chemist.

In conclusion, I am still a skeptic of visitors from another world. There is simply no evidence of it and besides Bob would be a multi-millionaire with this kind of information in his hands, This propulsion method would be in the developmental stages by now especially since we discovered element 115 recently. But the element is highly unstable to work with to develop such a propulsion system as he described it in the video.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on September 12, 2011:

For an explanation by a government scientist of what I've been commenting about watch this video:

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 03, 2011:

Christopher, thanks for your long comment and supporting me on this one. This is what I been trying to present here in my article that all my information presented here is backed by scientific evidence scientists have gather over the years. There is no wishful thinking here. As I had said before we would have received some form of evidence by now that we are not the only intelligent life in universe and so far that have not happened.

Yes, the universe is large but that does not necessarily means there is intelligent life scattered everywhere in the universe capable of interstellar communication. We can clearly see it here. We are the only intelligent life on this planet capable of space exploration and limited communication beyond our solar system. Also, there are life forms on this world that have been around a lot longer than us and they still cannot communicate beyond Earth. Remember life on Earth have been in existence for approximately 4 billon years and basically 3 of those 4 billion years life existed as micro-organisms and intelligent life only have been around about 6 million years. Statistically speaking intelligent life is probably rare in the universe when you define it as an organism capable of independent thought with the capacity to send interstellar communication. Otherwise, an intelligent being on another world will not detect any intelligent life on this planet if they did not pick up our communication signals which is electromagnetic in nature and most like they will probably be using electromagnetic means of communicating since electromagnetism (light and radio waves) is one of the key properties in the universe that can transverse these vast distances in the universe at a very high speed, that is, the speed of light.

Christopher Phoenix on September 03, 2011:

Hi, Melpor- thanks for sharing your thoughts on intelligent life on other planets. I suspect intelligent life is rare in the universe. However, I am a little unsure about the Earth Bias in the "Rare Earth" argument. It could turn out to be very incorrect to assume that the conditions on another planet must be exactly the same for life to evolve. Life is extremely adaptable, and scientists keep finding it in places where they though it couldn't survive. Certain bacteria, extremophiles, can live in boiling hot pools, acid baths, or deep underground. Some organisms have even survived being exposed to deadly radiation or the vacuum of outer space!!

Nematodes survived the shuttle Columbia's break-up on re-entry. It is possible that bacteria can hitch a ride on comets or asteroids, surviving long enough to reach other planets and seed them with life. This concept is known as "panspermia". If this really occurs, life might not have to start on the planet it colonizes, giving it a chance to adapt to many strange environments.

Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, may have a liquid ocean capable of supporting life under its thick ice crust. Tidal heating from the gravitational tugs of Jupiter and the other moons heats Europa's interior, allowing liquid water to exist outside of the habitable zone.

This, however, is primitive life. The universe might be full of bacteria, warm-blooded plants, fish, sea monsters, and dinosaurs, but no intelligence like ours. The sea monsters and dinosaurs would need a habitable planet to live on- but perhaps the sea monsters could do with Europa like worlds- so they'd be less common than bacteria.

I suspect, in the long term, that strange forms of life will be found in places scientists never expected them. However, the prospects for intelligent aliens looks bleak. Life has flourished for millions of years on Earth, but only recently have humans arisen. We didn't start using radios until the 20th century. Perhaps we will have a glorious future of spacecraft and colonies on other planets, if we continue to develop space technology. The chances of intelligent, radio-using aliens arising on a nearby planet seems pretty small.

On the other hand, primitive multicellular forms of life might thrive in harsh environments, just as strange fish can live deep beneath the sea on Earth. Imagine a planet with a highly eccentric orbit. The planet swings between a hot summer when the oceans boil and a freezing winter, when the planet becomes one big ice field. In between, a brief period of spring and autumn has pleasant, balmy conditions. During spring, the ice fields break up and melt into oceans. During summer, the oceans evaporate and huge storms arise. During autumn, a huge rainstorm drops all the water back into the oceans. In winter, the oceans freeze.

How might life live on such a world? Perhaps organisms hibernate in the winter beneath the ice sheets, waiting for summer. Perhaps volcanoes and black smokers keep them warm. When summer comes, these primitive aliens come out to breed in the short period of spring. They might then burrow deep beneath the ground and hibernate during the hot summer, when the oceans boil. When autumn comes, the evaporated water rains back down into the oceans. Then the organisms come back out for a short time and then retreat beneath the oceans as the ice sheets freeze up again. Some people might consider this scenario unlikely, but scientists have often been surprised by unusual life forms. Of course, these aliens are not intelligent- they are primitive organisms, and intelligent life will probably never form on this planet. Perhaps someday astrobiologists will come to study them.

A universe flourishing with life doesn't necessarily mean a universe where intelligence is common- primitive forms of life might adapt to places where civilizations will never form, and places where a civilization could have formed are more likely to be the home of dinosaurs than radio-using garrulous civilizations.

VENZKHVAM, what do you mean when you say all the things we know will be proven wrong? You sound like those people who, when science says what they want can't happen, attack the science. Speculation on the nature and distribution of alien life is based on hard evidence gathered by centuries of work by scientists. We would not have this modern age of technology and space exploration if we were not doing something right. Science is based on reproducible experiments and observations, not belief or wishful thinking. Science does not really "know" anything, if you define knowing as proving something absolutely true. Scientific theories are descriptions of the universe that cover a broad number of phenomenon and are supported by observational and experimental evidence. When an observation does not agree with a theory, that theory must be revised or replaced. Whenever a new theory supersedes an old one, the old one is more of than not included in the new one as a special case, as with Newtonian mechanics and relativity. A new theory has to agree with all the observational and experimental evidence that came before it.

A blanket statement that "everything we know will be proven wrong" doesn't make sense. We will hopefully have new descriptions of the universe that cover even broader ranges of phenomenon and have even more observational and experimental evidence to back them up in the future, but Professor So-and-So is not going to produce the "take that, Einstien!!" theory 50 years down the line. Neither is Professor So-and-So going the produce the "intelligent life is common, take that melpor!!" paper. If the conditions for habitable life is rare, than Professor So-and-So has about much chance as "proving" that statement wrong as he does of finding a technologically advanced, radio-using civilization in a tide pool. Its like arguing for the existence of Martian cities- Mars is barren. No amount of wishful thinking will make it otherwise.

In short, all of your statements are horribly wrong and uninformed. The centuries of work done by scientists has paid off in an advanced and ever growing understanding of the cosmos. A lot has been achieved by our work in space exploration- and much more remains to be done. We can conclude that intelligent life is likely to be rare. Our theories are well backed up by observational and experimental evidence, and we can make predictions that are subsequently proven to be true. In short, we are doing something right.

Anyway- relativity is really cool. Planet of the Apes style journeys into the future are possible. I could set out in a light-year rocket on voyage of many decades but return aged no more than 6 months. Perhaps I could dive through a wormhole and reach far distant planets- but we still don't know if stable wormholes can be created. There are plenty of interesting things for a new generation of scientists to study.

Thanks again melpor- I like your articles.

Sparkster on September 03, 2011:

So we don't really exist then? That could prove the holographic universe theory to be correct. I've actually just been reading up on scientific articles, studies and research regarding binary star systems, they say different.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 03, 2011:

Sparkster, binary stars are too unstable and besides there are no planets around binary stars because the gravitational forces of both stars will either pull the planets toward them or they will be shot out into space as a rogue planet. Life cannot exist on such as planet because it is no longer around a star. The planet will be extremely cold in this case. Our Sun was once a binary star and later lost it companion. The planets did form around the Sun until after it lost it companion.

Element 115 is a short-lived radioactive element. It only exist for small fraction of a second after collisions of other sub-atomic particles. Most scientists did not believe it exist because the experiment was probably too difficult to repeat to get the same results.

VENZKHVAM from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers on September 03, 2011:


I REALLY BUY YOUR ARGUMENT. We cannot conclude any thing with the little information what we had achieved by spending trillion and trillions of dollars into space explorations.That is negligible considering the vast universe what we are in.

As SPARSKTER rightly said all the thing we know will be proved wrong. man has gone to moon in 1969 but it took another 40 years for a chandrayan top go and find that it has also history of water in moon.

When we have much faster movement in space may be we will be able to find out startling discovering beyond our imagination.

One thing is sure we are not alone.I firmly believe.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on September 03, 2011:

I've tried to find evidence that the discovery of bacteria living off arsenic was inconclusive but can find nothing, the scientific articles and research shows otherwise.

Zeta Reticuli was given it's name by scientists because the words actually mean 'capable of being but not yet known to be in existence' Once again by claiming that binary systems cannot support life you are using scientific assumptions based on science as you know it, which has been and will continue to be proven wrong time and time again. And if a binary star system cannot support life then how is it that we live in a binary star system?

Just take a look at Element 115 (Unumpentium) that was added to the periodic table in 2003. Bob Lazar spoke of this as early as 1989 and everyone called him a liar yet now it's an absolute reality. Also 2 of the building blocks for DNA were found on asteroids from space indiciating that life on Earth may have actually originated in space or from somewhere else. I disagree that planets have to be Earth-like to harbour life, just look at all the invisible forces around us that we are not tuned into.

Life doesn't necessarily have to be anything like it is on Earth or as we know it, if there's microbial life out there in the vastness of space then it's just as likely that there is also life more advanced than us out there too (why would we be here if the opposite were the case?). In fact some people believe that galaxies are a life-form and indeed they may very well be.

There are thousands of people claiming that we have been in communication with extraterrestrials for a long time, it's just that this information has been kept above top secret. And with 140 trillion times more water being found in space than there is on Earth indicates to me that life is abundant throughout the galaxy, especially after the advent of the Hubble telescope which really opened up our eyes to the fact that there are well over 100,000 galaxies out there. Hubble also discovered 500 planets similar to Earth (Gliese 581c) that could be just as capable of harbouring life as Earth does.

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on September 03, 2011:

sparkster, The recent discovery of bacteria with Arsenic is inconclusive. Further investigation on this have come up with evidence that this discovery may be wrong. Life cannot exist on binary stars simply because of the strong gravitational interaction between the two stars. Binary stars are too unstable for life to exist on them and they definitely are not earth-like in natural to support any form of life. I do believe there are other life forms out there but they most likely exist as microbes. Until we receive some form of communication from another world I will continue to believe for all practical purposes that we are alone in the universe.

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on September 02, 2011:

I have to bring this up because I write about it so much. In response I agree with Venzkhvam. Life was recently discovered on Earth that was actually feeding off and living on arsenic. Up until the discovery it was thought that arsenic was fatal to ANY form of life. This discovery proves that our scientific assumptions of what's needed for life to be possible are wrong.

If we were (or have been) visited it wouldn't necessarily have to be from within our own solar system or galaxy or necessarily through interstellar travel. Although teleportation seems far fetched it actually occurs naturally on Earth in molecules and scientists have already managed to successfully teleport information inside particles. Therefore someone who has been around longer than us and is more advanced may have the capability to teleport through space.

This theory works well with the clais of government and military officials that claim we have been visited by beings from the Zeta Reticuli binary star system located 39 lightyears away. This star system is estimated to be 3 billion years older than our sun so if indeed life has evolved there as they claim then they would be much more advanced than us both spiritually and technologically.

Over 450 military and government officials testified at the NPC (National Press Club) in 2001 to the existence of advanced extraterrestrials and their technology to provide documented evidence that the governments had been covering it up as part of Dr Steven Greer's Disclosure Project.

Ten years later there are now literally thousands of these people that have come forward to say it's the truth. France have all releaed all their documents and are open to the idea that UFOs could be extraterrestrial vehicles with propulsion systems way more advanced than ours.

Check out Paul Hellyer, Philip Corso, Ben Rich, Boyd Bushman, Gary McKinnon, Clifford Stone, Philip Schneider, Alex Collier, Robert Lazar, Jesse Marcel, Betty Hill, Edgar Mitchell, Buzz Aldrin and William Pawelec. That's just to name a minuscule few. How can they all be lying after passing polygraphs over and over again and all their claims coinciding with each other?

Melvin Porter (author) from New Jersey, USA on August 24, 2011:

Venzkhvam, it probably would not happen in our lifetime or a few thousand y