36% of Americans believe in UFOs, that is, though most Unidentified Aerial Phenomena are actually explained as such mundane things as misidentified meteorological phenomena, astronomical phenomena, aircraft, and so on, there's ~ 5% that are as yet unexplained and that these unexplained UFOs are machines from somewhere other than Earth.

Have you ever observed a UFO that has never been sufficiently explained? Do you believe that some unexplained UFOs are machines from somewhere other than Earth? If so, why (what are your reasons or arguments for believing so)? What evidence is there to support your belief?

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I see. Well, WE are not tardigrades. Maybe we should send tardigrades on our behalf.

Heather:

Thank you for looking this up. I was aware of the tardigrade desication survival. There is atleast one more organism, if memory serves a species of rotifer, some having survived decades in dry storage.

I wonder if some enterprising, and well funded folks could design a human being with genes from some of these organisms. Sort of the worst kind of outcast, but one with the ability for long term space travel. A little like the pilots of 'Dune'? 

Well I was just linking creatures with Gamma Radiation survival capabilities.  I'm a bit surprised that everyone stopped at the Tardigrade. :D

We can dream (and should), but realistically speaking, we are trapped in this solar system. We're not going anywhere beyond it, ever.

Look at it this way.

We (anatomically modern) humans appeared about 200,000 years ago. Back then our most advanced technology was the stone-tipped spear and the most advanced 'vehicle' was a log to grab hold of while floating down a river.

For 190,000 years we lived as hunter-gatherers, until someone discovered agriculture, and we started living in permanent settlements about 10,000 years ago. This allowed larger and more complex societies, which led to the development of writing systems, animal domestication, and technologies such as metallurgy and engineering.

Then came the industrial revolution, which started roughly 200 years ago. Back then the most advanced technology (arguably) was the telegraph and the most advanced vehicle was the steamship or perhaps the locomotive.

After barely the wink of an eye, the most advanced technology is a global telecommunications network (the Internet), and the most advanced vehicle is a spaceship that deposited a robot SUV on Mars.

Not only is technology progressing, it's happening at exponentially greater speed. What will be humanity's most advanced vehicle in another 200 years? Or in another 200,000 years? I don't know, but if we can get from steamboats to interplanetary spacecraft in 200 years, I wouldn't bet against humanity to meet the challenges of interstellar travel for ever.

The species Homosapien won't be around in 200,000 years.

If there's anything living on this planet it may be some kind of microbe, but not much else.

We'll either kill ourselves off by upsetting the global ecology or a big asteroid will strike the planet and we'll go the way of the dinosaurs.

I'm pulling for the asteroid myself.

What was the old George Carlin line?

"I waiting for the Comet to come and set things right."

Interstellar travel is not impossible (photons do it all the time) just impractical on a very large scale.

I think perhaps developments have slowed down or have become less dramatic. My paternal grandmother who died in the early 1970's grew up with horse-drawn vehicles, gas lighting, and outhouses. By the time she died, most families owned automobiles, there were nationwide electrical networks, and an American had walked on the moon.

I was born in 1946, and I don't think I've seen any changes nearly THAT dramatic in MY lifetime. If I've missed something, fill me in. The Internet came along, cars have become more efficient, and nobody's been on the moon in a long, long time.

Take one thing many people would cite as a huge advance: computers. They were going to make bank transactions faster and were going to save paper. Actually, it takes, if anything, LONGER to get anything done at the bank while we wait for the computer system to respond to the teller. And, jeez, all the computer has become is a way to waste even more paper. Talk about not living up to the supposed promise. On the other hand, I now have access to unlimited quantities of free porn, which is the one thing most of us (about 90% of males and about 66% of females) would miss the most. 

One problem is that there have been so many changes in the last 50 years that we don't even pay attention to most of them.  We overlook mechanical hearts that are continually being improved.  Few people realize that we now have computer controlled insulin pumps that can virtually replace a pancreas - although costs are still to high for most people who need them.

We've gone from prosthetic limbs being crude, static lumps of hard material to dynamic composite devices that can compete at the Olympic level.  Last week I read about the clinical trials of the first bionic eye.  Did I mention artificial cochlea implants?

Our cybernetic technologies are moving us toward immortality in measurable steps.  That's dramatic progress.

None of that blows me away as much as going from horse and buggy transportation to landing on and walking on the Moon all in one lifetime.

If a footless man being able to compete in world class foots races doesn't amaze you then it really doesn't matter what sort of technology we develop - you'll never get over the moon.

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