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The silence is deafening....

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#626 jca345

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

Couldn't it be that we are in fact the very "first" sentient, intelligent beings to inhabit the universe? The Drake equation is logical and sensible, however, somebody should be the first... Perhaps we are "it"--or not. It is a possibility. Time-Space is at least incomprehensibly large, perhaps infinite. Either situation would allow for a high degree of probability of life forming and becoming sentient--we just don't know whether we are the first ones in a very long line or not.

Who knows? :question:

#627 Pess

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:26 PM

Couldn't it be that we are in fact the very "first" sentient, intelligent beings to inhabit the universe? The Drake equation is logical and sensible, however, somebody should be the first... Perhaps we are "it"--or not. It is a possibility. Time-Space is at least incomprehensibly large, perhaps infinite. Either situation would allow for a high degree of probability of life forming and becoming sentient--we just don't know whether we are the first ones in a very long line or not.

Who knows? :question:


Anything is possible. But life arose on Earth almost immediately after it cooled to the point where life could exist.

That's pretty solid evidence that life comes along as soon as it can.

Pesse (Just say'n) Mist

#628 GregLee1

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:11 PM

That's pretty solid evidence that life comes along as soon as it can.

You mean because of the principle that anything which happens once must always happen? There are no singular events -- all is universal. Yes, I think I see that, if I squint my eyes.

#629 Pess

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

That's pretty solid evidence that life comes along as soon as it can.

You mean because of the principle that anything which happens once must always happen? There are no singular events -- all is universal. Yes, I think I see that, if I squint my eyes.


The fact is that we can trace life back to within 700 million years of when the Earth cooled...and life probably goes back much further than that. The fact that the Earth didn't sit around sterile very long is strong, not incontrovertible, but strong evidence that life comes along almost immediately if given a stable niche.

Sure Earth could have won a lotto with such early appearance of organisms, but with reference to Occam's razor, the simplest explanation is probably the right one.

What's probably going on is that some advanced civilization out there is busy running around the Universe stamping out all developing technological societies for fear they will compete with them if allowed to develop past a certain stage. Maybe they will just hit the Oort cloud and fling enough boulders our way to set us back a bit. They did it with the Dino's which were a Super-intelligent species....

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#630 Mxplx2

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:41 PM

Perhaps there is a reason the silence is deafening. If we were being observed since the dawn of human civilization by aliens, they would have seen a violent and murderous people as per link.

http://en.wikipedia....s_by_death_toll

Would you want to drop in and say hello?

#631 maugi88

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

What's probably going on is that some advanced civilization out there is busy running around the Universe stamping out all developing technological societies for fear they will compete with them if allowed to develop past a certain stage. Maybe they will just hit the Oort cloud and fling enough boulders our way to set us back a bit. They did it with the Dino's which were a Super-intelligent species....


Crossed my mind.

Just thinking, no conspiracies here. Just not impossible.

Not saying the evil overlord really exists, or does he. :grin:

#632 Pess

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

If we were being observed since the dawn of human civilization by aliens, they would have seen a violent and murderous people. Would you want to drop in and say hello?


Pesse (Sure, if I was a Marine recruiter for Alpha Centori..) Mist

#633 dickbill

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:01 PM

Impressive!!
Gemini Planet Imager First Light
http://www.gemini.edu/node/12113

As an amateur, I'd like to know the resolution achieved and the exposure time, but anyways the result is here.
Quote:
“Seeing a planet close to a star after just one minute, was a thrill, and we saw this on only the first week after the instrument was put on the telescope!” says Fredrik Rantakyro a Gemini staff scientist working on the instrument. “Imagine what it will be able to do once we tweak and completely tune its performance.”

Indeed. It comforts my opinion that a significant sample of terrestrial planets in the liquid water zone will be studied in the near future (less than a hundred years) and therefore, IMO the question asked by Otto will be answered in that timeframe with a very high confidence.

#634 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 12:51 PM

Well, another year has gone by.  Another year of "deafening silence".  On the one hand, in comparison to the age of the universe, a year is nothing.  On the other hand, a year is a year.

 

Thoughts?

 

Otto



#635 llanitedave

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 01:06 PM

Hi, Otto.  So, since initiating this discussion, has the presentation of the topic on this thread and the sharing of opinions, affected yours at all?



#636 maugi88

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 01:22 PM

Hey Otto.



#637 GJJim

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 01:40 PM

Well, another year has gone by.  Another year of "deafening silence".  On the one hand, in comparison to the age of the universe, a year is nothing.  On the other hand, a year is a year.

 

Thoughts?

 

Otto

Yes, another trip around Sol, more visits by familiar friends in the sky (hi Orion). The majesty of it all contrasts with our petty efforts, moving bits of dust to and fro on this tiny rock. As I get older the majesty interests me more than the bits of dust.



#638 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 10:33 PM

Hi Dave, Maugi88, and nice to make your acquaintance, Jim.  Forgive me, if we have spoken earlier, Jim,  I forget things.

 

Very interesting question Dave.

 

It seems I have heard a lot more talk in the past year from many different sources which are providing reasons to doubt the existence of as many places with sentient life as was assumed by many even a few years ago.  Along this line, I think it is safe to say that the same topic as this thread, has arisen here a number of times just this past year.

 

We have some really good brains and some well trained persons (scientific) who participate here, so I look forward to any new comments they have on this issue of the silence being loud.  What I do miss, truly, from four or five years ago, was the presence on this particular site of scintillatingly brilliant minds who often took me, this topic, other similar topics to task and could do so with razor sharp retorts and a wealth of facts and interpretive sense.

 

So what do you all think?  About the topic of the silence of extra-terrestrials in terms of evidence?  And what do you think about the changing tone I mentioned up above in the third paragraph?

 

Otto


Edited by Otto Piechowski, 25 January 2015 - 10:34 PM.


#639 GJJim

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 10:59 PM

A science-based discussion of extraterrestrial life is not possible because there is no evidence of any life form, even a microbe, on another world. Myriad hopes, beliefs, and theories, but no evidence from any measurement device or controlled experiment. Until evidence of ET life is discovered, we may as well argue the merits of sci-fi novels or TV shows.



#640 Herr Ointment

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 12:40 AM

My brain hurts.



#641 mathman

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 01:39 AM

Has anyone considered that there might be more advanced civilizations who might not have been using any form of communication we are familiar with today? I apologize as I'm far from an expert in the field of telecommunications, but a quick Google search will show that even our most advanced forms of communication today rest upon only about a century's work. I'm willing to bet my great-great-great-great grandchildren won't know what a cell phone is or ever use one much in the same way I don't have messengers running cross-country the way they did to get messages across the Roman Empire two millenniums ago. If there are civilizations out there, might we assume that if they are older than ours, there exists the possibility that they might be more technologically advanced than ours. And if they are more technologically advanced than ours, would it be safe to assume that they may have grown past biological problems such as cancer, specific diseases (or, possibly all of them for that matter) that threaten life. Or, would it be smarter to say that they had surpassed economic situations in which problems cannot be solved. And if they are to understand their own anatomy and the causes of harm to their anatomy, might we suppose they have found another method for communications and long range detection than light? Cancer rates have skyrocketed over the past few decades. Partially with the discovery of new cancers but also due to the increased use of communications and detection equipment that utilizes EM radiation. Perhaps instead we could use other forms allotted by the laws of Physics like Quantum Entanglement or even gravity waves as a method of communication. Yes, I understand the latter has not yet been detected directly but it's likely they will be in the years ahead. So it seems likely to me that we should not be searching for alien communications or environmental episodes as a result of their existence, but instead suppose what has not been supposed and look in another direction. The Universe is a very, very big place. Life must be up there somewhere.

 

Clear skies,



#642 Mister T

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:41 AM

While the science astronomical observation has allowed us to have discovered many potentially habitable planets, the science that governs the myriad reasons why we have not made contact with alien life remains unchanged.



#643 mathman

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 12:57 PM

While the science astronomical observation has allowed us to have discovered many potentially habitable planets, the science that governs the myriad reasons why we have not made contact with alien life remains unchanged.

 

A very difficult thing to prove and disprove. Doesn't really mean anything in my opinion.

 

Clear skies,



#644 maugi88

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 03:14 PM

 

 

We have some really good brains and some well trained persons (scientific) who participate here, so I look forward to any new comments they have on this issue of the silence being loud.  What I do miss, truly, from four or five years ago, was the presence on this particular site of scintillatingly brilliant minds who often took me, this topic, other similar topics to task and could do so with razor sharp retorts and a wealth of facts and interpretive sense.

 

 

Otto

I see that you're really only interested in the scientific minds among us, but I am going to give my two cents regardless. I don't know about four or five years ago but there are some really brilliant minds contributing to this forum today.

 

Several points:

 

As has been said, if there is intelligent life out there, which I am sure there is, they may not even be using the same methods of communication as we do. Even if they are, how long have we really been listening? So even if our neighborhood is quite baron, it really suggests simply that inhabitable planets are less numerous than those that aren't. Which was already apparent from our own solar system. There have been radio signals coming from space that have not been identified. (the wow signal has never been repeated but the source is still unknown)

 

Other, older civilizations may have learned a very hard lesson. If you want to survive in a hostile universe you do not go yelling out your location for the bad guys to find you. You sit quietly and watch carefully. Lets face it, the human race has a propensity for violence and cruelty. Would you want to interact with us if you have been watching from afar?

 

Just plain numbers, it's becoming very clear that most of the planets we have found are not very habitable to a life form in the way we know it to be. Does not mean there could not be life there, just makes it unlikely. Even so, we have found planets that could have environments that are conducive to life. Only in the last several years. But even if intelligent life or any life is exceedingly rare, there are so many stars and planetary systems in our galaxy alone I just can't see how it has not proliferated on other worlds as well. Surely there have been many who have come and gone in the billions of years this universe has been in existence. There will be many more.

 

So I guess my opinion remains unchanged. I agree with astronaut Story Mustgrave who said something to the effect, "it is not a question of if there is life elsewhere in the universe, it's a certainty" We are not alone in the universe, silence doesn't proof anything. Of course there is no proof the other way either, so as also has been said, this is all just hypothetical conjecture anyway.


Edited by maugi88, 26 January 2015 - 07:19 PM.

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#645 Mister T

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 03:53 PM

A little math:

 

the milky way has a volume of ~ 8 trillion cubic light years

 

a generous sphere, that would include a source of communication we would be able to receive/recognize is pi x 100 ly squared. = 31415 cubic light years

 

so we could be in contact with 1/254,655,419th of the milky way.

 

if there are 250 million intelligent civilizations out there, one will be in range 

 

do you know what channel they are on?? 



#646 maugi88

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

42


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#647 gribley

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:34 PM

a generous sphere, that would include a source of communication we would be able to receive/recognize is pi x 100 ly squared. = 31415 cubic light years

 

 

I assume you say 100 ly since we've been using radio for ~100 years.  But that's a grave underestimate!  

 

If a source 100 ly away broadcast 100 years ago, we'd hear it now.  If it broadcast 200 years ago, and loudly enough, we might have heard it 10 years ago.  

 

A sufficiently strong source out in the Scutum arm, 60,000 ly away, broadcasting 60,000 years ago, could be detected today.  If it broadcasted loudly enough 60,100 years ago, we might have heard it last century.   

 

Our radio-communication zone is not a sphere 100 ly in radius, but an expanding wave, ~100 ly thick, traveling back in time across the galaxy.  

 

Depending on the lifespan of a distant civilization, then, we could expect to pick up anyone in the galaxy -- assuming they're broadcasting at the right time and signal strength.  



#648 maugi88

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:17 PM

Older civilizations could live farther away and their signals reach us in the modern era.

 

Don't radio signals degrade? Is the signal strength the same from it's point of origin to, for example, a receiver 100ly distant? I suppose it depends on what type of interference it may encounter along the way.



#649 Mr. Bill

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:09 PM

I think that if "they" are really intelligent, they may not want others to know they are there....

 

I thought the launching of the probe with the record showing where we are as a huge bit of unchallenged hubris....

 

kinda like taking bets before the first atomic explosion that the earth would be destroyed by a chain reaction.

 

Don't remember a referendum on either...



#650 llanitedave

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:13 PM

Considering we don't use infinite bandwidth or power for our own communications, and that the principle of parsimony suggests that other radio-using creatures aren't going to use significantly more power than they need to complete their intended communications loop, the idea of us receiving signals from other star systems more than a few tens of light years away is pretty implausible.  They would have to be deliberately transmitting in our direction at a fairly high power level, and at frequencies that won't be absorbed by atmospheres or interstellar gas or dust.  Especially considering that modern applications, other than commercial broadcast, generally uses directional beaming rather than omni-directional.  The Earth, detected at a distance, may already be more radio-quiet than it was 40 years ago.  And we'll be getting still quieter in the future.

 

More advanced technologies may indeed have more energy available to them to use, but they will almost certainly use it far more efficiently than we do -- that's part of being "advanced".  It's not going to leak out in unintended directions to the extent that ours historically has.

 

The best way, I think, for us to find extraterrestrial life is via focused studies on finding individual exoplanets, and examining them closely to look for the tell-tale signs of life in their individual spectra:  oxygenated atmospheres, abundant water, methane, maybe chlorophyll, or as our own biological science improves, maybe other types of possible comparable photosynthetic molecules.  Then, if we like, we can focus radio-frequency studies on those narrow fields to determine if we pick up signals.  But even finding life on a planet still leaves it very, very unlikely that it will be intelligent, or at least technological life.  There are many, many routes evolution can take that don't result in the appearance of technology.

 

I'd be more than excited enough to find bacteria-equivalent organisms on other worlds.  I don't need to search under every lump of moss looking for Klingons, Vulcans, or Ferengi.  If we stumble across them, fine.  But we have plenty to keep us busy in the meantime.


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