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[io9]Our galaxy is home to more than 50 billion planets…and 500 million habitable one - Page 9

post #81 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by aroc91 View Post
This is just my inner bio nerd coming out to nitpick , but that's nowhere near even possible. Helium can't make any bonds to other molecules at all and hydrogen can only make one, i.e., it's not possible to make large molecules with hydrogen as the base.
but thats only as far as we our knowledge goes. At one point we explained the sun rise and falling as a god in a chariot flying across the sky. And the best way to cure a sickness was to drill a hole in someone's head to let the evil spirits out. Just because we say it can't happen doesn't mean its true. The further we understand something the more possible the impossible becomes.
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post #82 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith78 View Post
but thats only as far as we our knowledge goes. At one point we explained the sun rise and falling as a god in a chariot flying across the sky. And the best way to cure a sickness was to drill a hole in someone's head to let the evil spirits out. Just because we say it can't happen doesn't mean its true. The further we understand something the more possible the impossible becomes.
There's a point in time where enough is understood about something to make educated statements about it. We know through rigorous testing, the concept of valence electrons and how that affects the possible bonding configurations of atoms. Only under extremely unstable, man-made, and rare circumstances do noble gases bond with anything. Hydrogen can only make one bond. You can't make a chain of hydrogen atoms.

There's a reason why only elements around carbon are considered as possible foundations for alien biological systems. Complex systems are not possible with atoms that only can make one bond as a foundation. The ability to make 3 or more stable bonds is a necessity for the creation of even relatively large, complex molecules.
    
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post #83 of 104
Sorry Sith78, but aroc91 is right. Only P-block elements can make the multiple bonds necessary for structures, which is why almost everything we know of in existence is made with them.

Plus D&F blocks, but I'm a Biochemist and don't know much about how metals from there work. What I do know is that metals don't make good bonds for forming stuff from though, as they make metallic bonds which are different from the covalent bonds of the P-block.
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post #84 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith78 View Post
but thats only as far as we our knowledge goes. At one point we explained the sun rise and falling as a god in a chariot flying across the sky. And the best way to cure a sickness was to drill a hole in someone's head to let the evil spirits out. Just because we say it can't happen doesn't mean its true. The further we understand something the more possible the impossible becomes.
That goes both ways.

Sometimes the more we understand, the more we understand just how impossible some things are.

Our grasp of basic physics/chemistry is sound. You are essentially arguing that it should be possible to fit a 2" cube into a 2" diameter hole, within the confines of three dimensional space.

It's just not going to happen.
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post #85 of 104
But why can't it happen? because of laws we as a species have written. Our own rules say it can't happen. We have in essence limited our selves by saying it can't happen. 500 years we said it was impossible to fly but da Vinci found a way to break the rule, and later the 2 bicycle repair men built the 1st stable flying machine. And it was said that it was impossible. Every know and then a person or persons comes along and say that rule is stupid and breaks it. This is how we get advancement in science by breaking the rules.
so my question is why can't we put a 2" cube into a 2" diameter hole, within the confines of three dimensional space. If you find the answer you would have faster than light travel.
Edited by Sith78 - 2/23/11 at 7:58am
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post #86 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith78 View Post
But why can't it happen? because of laws we as a species have written. Our own rules say it can't happen. We have in essence limited our selves by saying it can't happen. 500 years we said it was impossible to fly but da Vinci found a way to break the rule, and later the 2 bicycle repair men built the 1st stable flying machine. And it was said that it was impossible. Every know and then a person or persons comes along and say that rule is stupid and breaks it. This is how we get advancement in science by breaking the rules.
so my question is why can't we put a 2" cube into a 2" diameter hole, within the confines of three dimensional space. If you find the answer you would have faster than light travel.
In the case of chemistry, nature is the limit, not us. Hydrogen can only make one bond. There are no two ways about it. There's a difference between our mechanical limitations and nature's atomic limitations.

Edit:

I know how science works. We look for stuff we can't explain and then we figure out where we were wrong and rewrite the rules, granted the results are valid and whatnot. The basis of chemistry stems from observation. We note how things come together in nature and we form the rules based on those observations. We've seen no exception to hydrogen only making one bond, under many, many, many different conditions.
Edited by aroc91 - 2/23/11 at 8:15am
    
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post #87 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by aroc91 View Post
In the case of chemistry, nature is the limit, not us. Hydrogen can only make one bond. There are no two ways about it. There's a difference between our mechanical limitations and nature's atomic limitations.

Edit:

I know how science works. We look for stuff we can't explain and then we figure out where we were wrong and rewrite the rules, granted the results are valid and whatnot. The basis of chemistry stems from observation. We note how things come together in nature and we form the rules based on those observations. We've seen no exception to hydrogen only making one bond, under many, many, many different conditions.

Not to choose one side or the other, but I will say all our knowledge is based only on what WE know, as the term would imply, so on this planet, inside our knowledge base only one bond may be able to be made, that being said it is assuming that every element in the universe exists on our planet, which I am not convinced of. Perhaps, out in the darkness of space, other elements exist which would fundamentally shift our view of elements in general. Again, not picking sides one way or another, just saying that we cannot make arguments for absolutes when it is universally agreed that there is so much that we don't know.
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post #88 of 104
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Originally Posted by TheLastPriest View Post
Not to choose one side or the other, but I will say all our knowledge is based only on what WE know, as the term would imply, so on this planet, inside our knowledge base only one bond may be able to be made, that being said it is assuming that every element in the universe exists on our planet, which I am not convinced of. Perhaps, out in the darkness of space, other elements exist which would fundamentally shift our view of elements in general. Again, not picking sides one way or another, just saying that we cannot make arguments for absolutes when it is universally agreed that there is so much that we don't know.
I know you're trying to play devil's advocate, but even then, you're not really refuting my point about hydrogen. What we currently know is solid. We know every element up to number 111 or whatever it is. Sure, there may be different phases of matter, but we know every element and they all follow valence electron rules in predictable ways. No unknown heavy element will change the fact that hydrogen can only share one pair of electrons.
    
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post #89 of 104
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Originally Posted by Vlasov_581 View Post
despite all the crap about other beings on other planets, and all the misconception about ufos, believing that we're the only ones in this universe is damn right desperate
If you think the universe and life as we know it to be the biggest chance in the universe, take for example, how many times does it take a tornado to go through a junk yard to make a perfectly working car? How many times can it happen...Coming from the theory that everything is random and their is no *higher power*. Now im religious so i for one say that if it is all random, thats alot of tornados.
    
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post #90 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith78 View Post
But why can't it happen? because of laws we as a species have written. Our own rules say it can't happen. We have in essence limited our selves by saying it can't happen. 500 years we said it was impossible to fly but da Vinci found a way to break the rule, and later the 2 bicycle repair men built the 1st stable flying machine. And it was said that it was impossible. Every know and then a person or persons comes along and say that rule is stupid and breaks it. This is how we get advancement in science by breaking the rules.
so my question is why can't we put a 2" cube into a 2" diameter hole, within the confines of three dimensional space. If you find the answer you would have faster than light travel.
If a smart phycisist proved that we couldnt fly, then someone did it that would be awesome, now you are talking about things we have proven time and time again with endless scenarios. If they were to be broken it wouldnt be by humans but only in nature would they be broken.
    
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