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#376 InterStellarGuy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

I don't get why people refer to the silence. Considering the only program we have at the moment, SETI, is far from conclusive, an the parameters required for it to succeed are so narrow that we could be smack dab in the middle of a galactic conversation between hundreds of sentient, intelligent species and never detect a single one. I find it far shortsighted to refer to the silence when our technology is in its infancy at detecting ET. If an ET civilization was living on a world orbitting Alpha Centuari AB, with our exact level of technology, they would be unable to detect us, unless we sent a signal there way, on a specific frequency, and they happened to be listening to our direction, at that frequency, at that moment, to hear it.


You are missing the point.

The Universe has been around long enough that other civilizations would exhibit a broad spectrum of technology with some being more advanced, others less advanced than us.

So why are the more advanced ones so introverted?

My feeling is that we are so far behind the evolutionary curve of advanced space faring races that we are not worth contacting. It is only our hubris that makes man think he is the end all product of evolution.

Could you imagine man trying to contact the dinosaurs on a planet a million years behind us in evolution?

Man is still evolving. We have artificial hips, ears, knees etc. Someday the entire body will be replaced (TP=Total prosthesis) and will man still be man?

AI could come to dominate. Perhaps man will rapidly become a foot note?

We look for the first cell. Perhaps space faring races see the invention of the transistor back in Bell labs as their equivalent of a 'first cell' progeny.


Pesse (We got a long way to go and a short time to get there.) Mist


Well soon it wont matter. As exoplanet research and detection gets better, we will eventually reach the point where we can detect the signatures of techology in an exo-atmosphere, and from that, infer that there is an intelligent civilization living on that world, (For example, if we detect CFCs in an alien atmosphere, since CFCs do not occur naturally, we know someone made them) so I think more likely we will find them before they ever reach out to us.

#377 Pess

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:01 PM

Well soon it wont matter. As exoplanet research and detection gets better, we will eventually reach the point where we can detect the signatures of techology in an exo-atmosphere, and from that, infer that there is an intelligent civilization living on that world, (For example, if we detect CFCs in an alien atmosphere, since CFCs do not occur naturally, we know someone made them) so I think more likely we will find them before they ever reach out to us.


Agreed. 'Our' discovery of life elsewhere will happen when our technology gets to the point where we can run spectroscopic analysis of distant planets atmospheres.

Even simple plant life will sustain an oxygen atmosphere that would not otherwise exist.

Pesse (with our luck a first contact alien would have a lisp and the farmer thought he heard, "Take me to your Weeder...") Mist

#378 llanitedave

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:11 PM


This sparse distribution may even be a feature, rather than a bug, which contains any pathologically destructive aspects of life in one location from invasively affecting another. It also contains more technologically advanced civilizations from predatory intrusions on less advanced civilizations, e.g. Columbus on the Native Americans.


It almost sounds like you are suggesting this "sparseness" is a necessary evolutionary step. If so I would suggest that even this feature as you describe it would not have had enough time to evolve unless there is an intelligent design already implemented in the life process to allow for this.


Genetic isolation is a factor in nearly all evolutionary change. I don't see how isolation would have required intelligence since it's the default value in our kind of vast spacetime.

#379 llanitedave

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

I don't get why people refer to the silence. Considering the only program we have at the moment, SETI, is far from conclusive, an the parameters required for it to succeed are so narrow that we could be smack dab in the middle of a galactic conversation between hundreds of sentient, intelligent species and never detect a single one. I find it far shortsighted to refer to the silence when our technology is in its infancy at detecting ET. If an ET civilization was living on a world orbitting Alpha Centuari AB, with our exact level of technology, they would be unable to detect us, unless we sent a signal there way, on a specific frequency, and they happened to be listening to our direction, at that frequency, at that moment, to hear it.


You are missing the point.

The Universe has been around long enough that other civilizations would exhibit a broad spectrum of technology with some being more advanced, others less advanced than us.

So why are the more advanced ones so introverted?

My feeling is that we are so far behind the evolutionary curve of advanced space faring races that we are not worth contacting. It is only our hubris that makes man think he is the end all product of evolution.

Could you imagine man trying to contact the dinosaurs on a planet a million years behind us in evolution?

Man is still evolving. We have artificial hips, ears, knees etc. Someday the entire body will be replaced (TP=Total prosthesis) and will man still be man?

AI could come to dominate. Perhaps man will rapidly become a foot note?

We look for the first cell. Perhaps space faring races see the invention of the transistor back in Bell labs as their equivalent of a 'first cell' progeny.


Pesse (We got a long way to go and a short time to get there.) Mist


Well soon it wont matter. As exoplanet research and detection gets better, we will eventually reach the point where we can detect the signatures of techology in an exo-atmosphere, and from that, infer that there is an intelligent civilization living on that world, (For example, if we detect CFCs in an alien atmosphere, since CFCs do not occur naturally, we know someone made them) so I think more likely we will find them before they ever reach out to us.


Again, however, this assumes that any life we find is planet-bound. This might only be true for the more primitive phases of life, up to and including our own level of technology, but not so much for technology even slightly beyond ours.

#380 Jarad

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

Well soon it wont matter. As exoplanet research and detection gets better, we will eventually reach the point where we can detect the signatures of techology in an exo-atmosphere, and from that, infer that there is an intelligent civilization living on that world, (For example, if we detect CFCs in an alien atmosphere, since CFCs do not occur naturally, we know someone made them) so I think more likely we will find them before they ever reach out to us.



I dunno - I think it will be a while before we can detect signatures of small percentages of chemicals in the atmosphere of a planet around Alpha Centauri, and I think that the range on such detection will be limited to the nearest stars, if any. They aren't emitting photons themselves, they absorb photons, which means we will be relying on detecting absorption lines in spectra of the tiny fraction of starlight that passes through the planet's atmosphere against the background of the star's full light. That's a pretty miniscule signal to examine...

Jarad

#381 Pess

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

Well soon it wont matter. As exoplanet research and detection gets better, we will eventually reach the point where we can detect the signatures of techology in an exo-atmosphere, and from that, infer that there is an intelligent civilization living on that world, (For example, if we detect CFCs in an alien atmosphere, since CFCs do not occur naturally, we know someone made them) so I think more likely we will find them before they ever reach out to us.



I dunno - I think it will be a while before we can detect signatures of small percentages of chemicals in the atmosphere of a planet around Alpha Centauri, and I think that the range on such detection will be limited to the nearest stars, if any. They aren't emitting photons themselves, they absorb photons, which means we will be relying on detecting absorption lines in spectra of the tiny fraction of starlight that passes through the planet's atmosphere against the background of the star's full light. That's a pretty miniscule signal to examine...

Jarad



We've already done it.

http://vega.lpl.ariz...da/extrass.html

Theoretically, we only have to measure the parent stars spectral signature and then subtract that from a planet transit/star signature leaving just the planets spectral lines.

Easier said then done. But lets say you average several transits over the years and thus amplify the weak planet signature.

We do this in medicine all the time and can read electrical activity of small groups of brain neurons through the skull. By repeatedly measuring the same signal we can make the brain activity rise up out of the background noise.

Just need more sensitive measurements which are within our technological reach.

Pesse (I've already filed a homestead claim for a parcel on Gliese 581 e) Mist

#382 Jarad

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:05 AM

We detected the signature of hydrogen in a presumed gas giant made up of 98% hydrogen.

That's a lot easier than detecting a few parts per million of CFC's in the atmosphere of a small rocky planet like earth.

Jarad

#383 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

This thread is essentially an attempt to answer the Fermi Paradox.

Briefly paraphrased: The Drake Equation seems to indicate that there should be multiple intelligent species. We don't see any. So where are they?

First off, the only thing we know for certain is that all of the values in the Drake Equation are nonzero (after all, we exist). With values just a slight bit higher than zero and an arbitrarily large input value for number of stars we get an end result that's still a large number.

1) Perhaps we're thinking too much in terms of life-as-we-know-it; what about life-as-we-don't-know-it? Consider life with an extremely dilated timesense and lifespan. Would they have anything to say to us mayflies? Or the converse: Would an extremely fast thinking and short living lifeform have any interest in us?

2) What impetus do disparate organisms have to communicate with one another? Advanced lifeforms on Earth all reproduce sexually, neccesitating interaction. Perhaps this is rare or unique to us.

3) Perhaps our circumstances are more rare than we think. The oversize active core and plate tectonics producing oceans with continents may be harder to come by than imagined. Perhaps most worlds in the goldilocks zones are nearly entirely covered in shallow seas. You can get life there, even advanced intelligent life. But technology starts with fire which is damned hard to do underwater. The skies may be full of worlds teeming with intelligent octupoids just waiting for us to come talk to them.

4) The more specially evolved and adapted a species is to its niche, the poorer it is able to adapt to different environments. Perhaps the sky is full of noncommunicating species unable to relocate outside of their environment.

5) Postulate an intelligent species that "sees" by echolocation and communicates via pheromones. Would be difficult to talk to them, and these are things we can imagine. What about the things we can't imagine?

Or....we're missing something basic. That's my suspicion.

#384 Pess

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

We detected the signature of hydrogen in a presumed gas giant made up of 98% hydrogen.

That's a lot easier than detecting a few parts per million of CFC's in the atmosphere of a small rocky planet like earth.

Jarad


Yup, but my point was it HAS been done. We just need to improve our equipment and technique for finer resolution.

There is no doubt in my mind that we will eventually develop techniques that can filter out a stars light leaving us with only the planets reflected light to analyze.

Does anyone really believe we will never be able to visualize Earth size planets near us?

Heck, technological proposals for such technology already exist in the literature.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov...p?R=20120011975

Pesse (I see it in our grand-kids lifetimes) Mist

#385 Pess

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:28 AM


1) Perhaps we're thinking too much in terms of life-as-we-know-it; what about life-as-we-don't-know-it? Consider life with an extremely dilated timesense and lifespan. Would they have anything to say to us mayflies? Or the converse: Would an extremely fast thinking and short living lifeform have any interest in us?


Interesting speculation. We live life at 1 sec/sec. But what of a lifeform that lives at 10sec/sec? Or an AI that is capable of living life at 4months/sec relative to us?


3) Perhaps our circumstances are more rare than we think. The oversize active core and plate tectonics producing oceans with continents may be harder to come by than imagined. Perhaps most worlds in the goldilocks zones are nearly entirely covered in shallow seas. You can get life there, even advanced intelligent life. But technology starts with fire which is damned hard to do underwater. The skies may be full of worlds teeming with intelligent octupoids just waiting for us to come talk to them.


An intelligent species could exploit any environment. Just like humans exploit space and oceans, a water based sentiment species could exploit extra-oceanonic niches simply by building artificial islands. It might take them longer to evolve to this capability but they would get there. Heck, all they'd need is a simple suit to encase them (not the hugely complex space/ocean diving suits humans require to exploit their additional niches).

4) The more specially evolved and adapted a species is to its niche, the poorer it is able to adapt to different environments. Perhaps the sky is full of noncommunicating species unable to relocate outside of their environment.


Sentient and advanced species can adapt the niche to them, not vise-versa. Humans live in the arctic, we live atop oceans, we live in outer-space etc etc


5) Postulate an intelligent species that "sees" by echolocation and communicates via pheromones. Would be difficult to talk to them, and these are things we can imagine. What about the things we can't imagine?


Any form of communication can be translated into an electrical signal just as humans covert sound waves into electrical patterns.


Or....we're missing something basic. That's my suspicion.


Pesse (Probably. I suspect any visitors are so far advanced to us that they don't bother. ) Mist

#386 Mister T

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Like this?

http://www.ebaumswor...o/watch/988975/

#387 Qwickdraw

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

[quote name="Pess"][quote]

a water based sentiment...
[/quote]

Is this a tear?

#388 Pess

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

Like this?

http://www.ebaumswor...o/watch/988975/


Who knew the Shrew were capable of utilizing Pai Mei's Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

Pesse (Grade 3 Master of Dim Mak) Mist

#389 shawnhar

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

I always liked the term "natural philosophy" as a synonym for science. I'm not sure why it fell out of favor, but I'd bring it back if I could.

me too

as in mathematica principia philosophiae naturalis (Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; I think that was his famous book in which he described gravity mathematically)

I do know that the Latin word for knowledge (scientia) was widely used long before the word science appears in English. The way I was taught it was scientia est cognitio per causas ["knowledge" is understanding through/by the causes"] , but I just read on line it was philosophia est scientia rerum per causa prima ["philosophy is knowledge of things through [their] first causes"]


There is a reason it fell out of favor, because scientists were finally freed from religious opppression. The use of the term "Philosophy" instead of "Science" was too keep from being beheaded or burned at the stake by the church.
"This isn't real science, I'm just throwing some what-if's and musings out there, please don't kill me" It is a horrible term and makes me physically ill, it should not be regarded with cute nostalgia by anyone.

#390 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:53 PM


""
An intelligent species could exploit any environment. Just like humans exploit space and oceans, a water based sentiment species could exploit extra-oceanonic niches simply by building artificial islands. It might take them longer to evolve to this capability but they would get there. Heck, all they'd need is a simple suit to encase them (not the hugely complex space/ocean diving suits humans require to exploit their additional niches).""



Certainly they could, but what incentive would they have to do so? We're not doing much of anything in the deep ocean trenches, or the south pole, and rarely venture further than low orbit....

#391 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:04 PM



""Any form of communication can be translated into an electrical signal just as humans covert sound waves into electrical patterns.""


Agreed. Any means of communication can be translated among senses. Written language translates sound to sight. Radio and tv translate sound and sight to EM mechanical senses. In theory we could translate our visual and audio into olfactory chemical cues, yet we have not done so. Why should we assume other species would go to the trouble to put communication into a format we can detect as communication?

I don't say that these are THE answers, just that these are possible answers.

The alternative is that intelligent life arising is vanishingly rare, or that the timespan of its existance is vanishingly small - which bodes ill for us as a species; we are likely to fall into whatever destructive process befalls the rest of them...

#392 shawnhar

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Is it folly to think that the universe is teeming with life and the only reason there is silence, is because we are on the wrong side? Dark matter/energy...maybe that's where the party is, we just can't interact with them.

#393 Rick Woods

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Shawnhar,

Wow, what a thought...! :shocked:

JohnMurphyRN,

Don't take this wrong, but I can't make head nor tail of your two posts above, nor tell what's a quote and what's your reply. Could you possibly re-work those a little? Thanks. :confused:

#394 llanitedave

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

There is a reason it fell out of favor, because scientists were finally freed from religious opppression. The use of the term "Philosophy" instead of "Science" was too keep from being beheaded or burned at the stake by the church.


I really doubt this is a factual assertion. Could you give some references?

#395 shawnhar

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:33 AM

The Scientists
A History of Science Told Through the Lives of It's Greatest Inventors
-John Grinnin
Random House 2002
That's one, but I am sure you know Galileo was on house arrest for the last years of his life and the Copernican model was banned by the church. It wasn't until after Cavendesh that we started getting away from the term "Philisophical Ponderings" to avoid being persecuted by religious leaders.

#396 Pess

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:40 AM

Certainly they could, but what incentive would they have to do so? We're not doing much of anything in the deep ocean trenches, or the south pole, and rarely venture further than low orbit....


Pesse (Fire) Mist

#397 Pess

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

The alternative is that intelligent life arising is vanishingly rare, or that the timespan of its existance is vanishingly small - which bodes ill for us as a species; we are likely to fall into whatever destructive process befalls the rest of them...


It is interesting that you assume that any intelligent life would 'be like 'us'. In the sense of some variation of the biological.

We are short lived, have painfully slow programming rate and stunted communication between ourselves.

I suspect that whatever entity roves the galaxy is to us as we are to dinosaurs (and that's optimistic).

Pesse (It is just mankind's hubris that allows him to expect to meet himself out there.) Mist

#398 Rick Woods

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

JohnMurphyRN,

Thanks!

#399 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

What we're currently looking for is a carbon copy of ouselves(earthlike worlds in the liquid water range - and radio signals not so different from ours). Which makes sense, since that's what we're most likely to recognize.

I'm in at least partial agreement with you; life-as-we-don't-know-it might be so far away from our expectations that we fail to recognize it even if we see it. It could be as you suggest: far in advance of us. Or it could be just far different from us (sideways instead of in front).

In any event, it's an interesting idea to play with.

I'm willing to bet on what we won't find. We won't find anything that remotely resembles what passes for science fiction in the mass media: bipedal humanoid forms approximately our size.

#400 Pess

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I'm willing to bet on what we won't find. We won't find anything that remotely resembles what passes for science fiction in the mass media: bipedal humanoid forms approximately our size.


I love hard science fiction, especially Steve White & Dave Weber. But it always amazes me that in grand battle the technologies of first contact civilizations all have approximately equal technologies.

Just look at our own advances in technology just 50 years apart. A state of the art battleship from the end of WW2 wouldn't even see a modern warship before it was sunk!

I imagine true encounters in first contact space warfare situations would be so one sided that Scotty wouldn't even be able to mutter, "I'm giv'n 'er all she's got Captain!"

I've said before that I doubt true space faring races stuck in an Einsteinian universe would bother with gravity wells...except maybe to dip into it now and then to harvest some protein delicacies...

Pesse (To Serve Man) Mist






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