Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Speciality Forums >> Science! Astronomy & Space Exploration, and Others

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | >> (show all)
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
The silence is deafening....
      #5424631 - 09/16/12 11:42 PM

Supposedly at his trial the future canonized saint, Thomas More, justifying his silence in the matter of his opinion on King Henry's divorce said "qui tacit consentire videtur"...translated fairly well in the movie A Man For All Seasons, "silence betokens consent". To this, his accuser, Oliver Cromwell, said in rebuttal that silence indicates many things, including treason, and that, very strongly.

Silence speaks loudly....

Concerning intelligent (sentient) life in the universe, if the Drake equation is anywhere near correct, there should be millions, if not billions of sentient civilizations throughout space. On average, these should be about two and a half billion years advanced of us technologically, with the same amount of time to have disseminated their communications throughout the universe and traveled throughout the universe.

But, we have no verifiable evidence of their presence or existence. We don't even have visual or radio or sensory evidence of their having used/mis-used/played-with awesome energies of which their advanced technologies should have given signs (e.g. stars obliterating, stars blinking out, star like flashes or glares, etc.).

In my gut (meaning, I haven't thought this through with either rigourous logic or serious intellectual research) I feel this silence betokens either there is no intelligent/sentient life elsewhere, or that the geometries of scale in the universe are so large and the limitations of physics so severe even they can't overcome them.

Your thoughts, please.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5424957 - 09/17/12 08:00 AM

The Drake equation does not say how many civilizations there should be, or how old they should be. It sets up a bunch of variables that should affect the final number. Depending on what you plug in for those variables, the number can vary from billions to none.

As for things like stars obliterating, we see lots of those. We call them supernovas, gamma ray bursts, etc. We just don't think they are due to a civilization. But if you postulate a civilization wanting to use tremendous amounts of energy on the order of a GRB, it would look the same to us at this distance.

I am on the side of the scale being the issue. I think there is probably something out there, but it may be so far away that we will never meet.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5425120 - 09/17/12 10:07 AM

Quote:

I am on the side of the scale being the issue...




Me too.
That scale is in both space and time.
Just because we have done some extremely rudementary space "travel", we assume I think too easily that some "more advanced" life forms must be doing alot of stuff.

Speaking about life "similar to our own":

Given our own experience, and what the Hubble ,inter alia, has revealed of the violent nature of the cosmos, I would not be at all surprised if few sentient forms make it off the birth planet, much less even establish a successful, large, breeding population in their own solar system.

The only reason we went to the moon when we did was pseudospeciation (cold war). I doubt very much (at least right now) that we will spread out through our own system. Any form similar to our own would be battling against a bunch of biologically predispositioned behaviors to do so.

Edited by moynihan (09/17/12 12:58 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5425134 - 09/17/12 10:23 AM

I am not sure about the 2.5 billion years old civilizations.
There must be a requirement for a high metallicity star, like or sun, to promote life, and that means probably a 2nd or third generation star. Also this star must be in the outer galaxy zone because the center is too 'irradiated'.
The requirement for high metallicity and fissile isotopes will help the planet to evade the initial 'faint sun' phase by internal warming. Were stars like our sun available in the outer galaxy zone 7 or 8 billion years ago? if not, then there is no such 2.5 billion old civilization possible, but given the rate of technical advancement, a civilization just ahead of 100 years might do the job as well.
Also, the idea of random search for life is dead IMO, we are not blind at all, we can't touch, but we can see. I opened a topic on interferomtry a while ago at

this link.

If this civilization is just ahead 100 years of us technically, they also figured how to detect exoplanets and therefore 'they' know where we are and that Earth has water oxygen and greenish patches. Even at 200 light years from us, they could possibly see some lights in the dark hemisphere. From there, what would they do, or what would we do?

Edited by llanitedave (09/17/12 07:33 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5425138 - 09/17/12 10:24 AM

Jarad,

Appreciate your clarity and directness as always.

I'm pretty sure the Drake equation (Walter Drake, educated at Cornell, NRO, 1961 came up with the equation) does estimate the number of technologically advanced civilizations.

Am I incorrect on this? or does my statement need to be qualified in some way?


As to how technologically advanced they are, that came from somewhere else which I forget. It might have been my own crude math, or it may have come from my teacher, Myron Effing o.s.c. who studied under Sagan. I forget the numbers on which is based the 2.5 billion superiority of 99%, but I remember it has something to do with the fact the core is made up of generation 1 and the arms of generation 2 and our solar system is at the young end of the technological growth spurt.

I would really appreciate someone telling me/the rest of us what the estimates are on the average age of superiority and percent of technological systems in advance of us.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425257 - 09/17/12 11:39 AM

The equation is:
N = R * fp * ne * *fl * * fc * L
where
R = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space

We have rough estimates for R and fp. We don't have any idea about the others. Depending on what you plug in, you can get whatever result you want. To play with the possibilities, there is an online calculator here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5425277 - 09/17/12 11:55 AM

I think, Jarad, you and I agree again but we are having a problem because you are using language as a trained statistician would and I use as a trained philosopher would.

By estimate, I understand that a "correct" answer is not being given in the sense that 4 is the correct answer for "what is 2 plus 2?" I almost equate the word "estimate" with "educated guess". In philosophy we call this a conclusion based on a set of premises, a whole bunch of assumptions having been made and agreed to for the sake of argument any one of which might be wrong, thus calling into question any "estimate" given. That's how I understand it.

I think Drake thought he was giving an "estimate" in this sense, and I think Drake thought his estimate was valuable in terms of adding to a philosophical dialogue intent on guiding scientific investigation.

Or is it, perhaps, you are saying "yes, Drake understood himself to be generating an "estimate" in this sense, but he was incorrect as to what the "estimate" would generate?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425303 - 09/17/12 12:10 PM

The Drake equation is an attempt to put a scientific veneer on what is
really a SWAG (silly wild-a$$ed guess).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5425335 - 09/17/12 12:23 PM

I kind of think so too.

Any thoughts anyone on the degree of technological advancement possessed by what percentage of whatever the number of technological advanced species there might be?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5425347 - 09/17/12 12:29 PM

Drake's Equation was his response to Fermi's paradox. Drake called the equation "an attempt to organize our ignorance". Folks may find this page interesting.
A list of responses to fermi's paradox.

Edited by moynihan (09/17/12 12:30 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kobayashi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/10/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5425369 - 09/17/12 12:47 PM

Quote:

The Drake equation is an attempt to put a scientific veneer on what is
really a SWAG (silly wild-a$$ed guess).




It's just a way to break down a huge WAG into separate questions which we can think about independently.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
InterStellarGuy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: Overland Park, KS
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425371 - 09/17/12 12:47 PM

What silence?

Maybe on the frequencies and technologies we are utilizing to listen.

Furthermore SETI is set up in such a manner that we could be living in a galactic metropolis and SETI would never even pick it up.

I find it odd when people talk of "the silence" as if our current level of detection capability is the defacto top of the line.

For example, for seti to detect a signal it has to be a signal directly aimed for Earth, in a given frequency.

We can't pick up just normal radio traffic. For example, if an intelligent civilization orbitting a planet around Alpha Centauri AB had television stations that functions like ours do, current SETI would not detect the signals.

We have no technology as of yet that can detect interstellar radio leakage.



Edited by InterStellarGuy (09/17/12 12:53 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: InterStellarGuy]
      #5425379 - 09/17/12 12:50 PM

Silence can be thought of in two senses:

- the choice to be silent as in the case of Thomas More

- the objective fact of silence, as in the case that you may be talking, but because I am deaf I hear nothing...i.e. there is silence

In this context, I mean silence as an objective fact that we aren't hearing anything, and in the sense of Cromwell, that this silence may be very significant.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rudra
super member


Reged: 07/02/10

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5425381 - 09/17/12 12:51 PM

I think there is only one advanced civilization on every one in a hundred galaxies, evolving so wide apart that any chance of the two communicating and visiting each other is beyond the realms of what could be possibly allowed by technology and the laws of science. It always sparks our imagination when we hear from a certain Michio Kaku and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who speak wonderful things about time travel, faster than speed of light, aliens turning off/on a star etc. There has been no evidence of aliens and UFOs, so lets just treat this subject as scientific fantasy than a scientific reality.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
InterStellarGuy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: Overland Park, KS
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425385 - 09/17/12 12:55 PM

Silence means nothing when you dont have the capability to listen. We don't yet have the technology beyond SETI to try and find ET.

SETI again, can only detect signals intentionally beamed at Earth in a given frequency, and only if the SETI people are listening to that area of the sky at the time.

We can not detect ET's TV shows or radio emissions etc.

Trying to say, at our current level of technology, "Well, I dont hear anything. So we are alone" is sheer nonsense.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: InterStellarGuy]
      #5425396 - 09/17/12 01:03 PM

We agree we aren't hearing (do not currently possess) information/signals/whatever indicating the presence of extra-terrestrial sentient life?

What are our best guesses about why this is the case?

1. We aren't listening correctly (i.e. at an inferior technological level or level of inferior political willingness)

2. The geometries of scale and limits of physical reality are making any contact there might be difficult.

3. We're alone.

Please share others.

Please say which you feel is the most likely explanation.

Edited by Otto Piechowski (09/17/12 01:07 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
InterStellarGuy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: Overland Park, KS
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425408 - 09/17/12 01:07 PM

#1, of course. With our current technology the type of signals we are capable of detecting is very few. It has to be a narrow beam signal aimed directly at the planet, and we have to be listening to it during it's duration.

Our technology hasn't advanced far enough yet to do much more.

Aliens on a planet around Alpha Centauri AB could be using TV/Radio just like we are and with our current level of technology we are unable to detect such leakage. We'd only know they were there if they deliberately beamed a signal at Earth in a certain frequency range and only if we are listening at the time.

Our ability to parse stars for signs of ET is at an INFANCY.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: InterStellarGuy]
      #5425416 - 09/17/12 01:12 PM

Marco,

What would it take?

What would it take in terms of political will (i.e. the willingness to direct a portion of the nation's/world's wealth)?

What would it take in terms of what type of financial investment?

And finally, what would it take in terms of redirecting scientist preparation, and research funding approvals?

I believe not long ago, most funding for SETI was cancelled. Therefore, practically speaking, I think this is a very relevant question.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kobayashi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/10/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425431 - 09/17/12 01:19 PM

Quote:

We agree we aren't hearing (do not currently possess) information/signals/whatever indicating the presence of extra-terrestrial sentient life?




It would be more accurate to say that we have not identified anything as transmissions from extra-terrestrial sentient life. (That is, it's possible that we already received signals but didn't recognize them as such.)

Quote:

1. We aren't listening correctly (i.e. at an inferior technological level or level of inferior political willingness)

2. The geometries of scale and limits of physical reality are making any contact there might be difficult.

3. We're alone.




There is no evidence to support or eliminate any of the possibilities. And we never will. (Unless we actually receive such a signal and thus invalidate the question.)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425432 - 09/17/12 01:20 PM

My answers / speculations to this question (Fermi's Paradox):

The enorminity aspects of spacetime, etc.

Advanced intelligence is rare.

Of the species of advanced intelligence that discovered the use of the radio spectrum for communication purposes, they do not use it permanently, moving on to other things.

Species of advanced intelligence who develop technological solutions to problems often exhaust the resources of their home planet before becoming spacefaring, then simplify to a pre-tech level.

Species of advanced intelligence who develop technological solutions to problems often destroy themselves.

One i have wondered about. If we did not have an "easy" first target (the moon) circling us, how fast would be have done the little space stuff we have done to date? The moon has taught us alot in the last couple thousand years.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Kobayashi]
      #5425468 - 09/17/12 01:37 PM

I am OK with your revision of my opening statement, Ken, and I agree with you, because of the n=1 thing we can't know which of the three is correct.

Would you be willing to share with us which of three you feel is most likely?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5425482 - 09/17/12 01:46 PM

Jay,

You wrote, "One i have wondered about. If we did not have an "easy" first target (the moon) circling us, how fast would be have done the little space stuff we have done to date? The moon has taught us alot in the last couple thousand years. "

I think your point is very well made. I have two comments about it.

I think it was in a discussion I had over lunch with the astronaut Story Musgrave. The statement was made that going into space, surviving in space, working in space is proving much more difficult than we first imagined.

It may be prohibitively more difficult.

The second thought. Somewhere, I heard that the primary feature on the unseen side of the moon is some huge multi-ring crater that looks like an eyeball. It has been suggested, if this had been the side presenting itself facing in our direction of view, this would have had tremendous ramifications for everything from our religions to mythology to inhibitions or inducements to scientific investigation.

Back to the original question; as I said to Marco, he is correct we can't know which explanation is correct, but at a gut level, would you be willing to say which of the explanations you feel is most correct in explaining the silence?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425496 - 09/17/12 01:52 PM

Quote:

I heard that the primary feature on the unseen side of the moon is some huge multi-ring crater that looks like an eyeball. It has been suggested, if this had been the side presenting itself facing in our direction of view, this would have had tremendous ramifications for everything from our religions to mythology to inhibitions or inducements to scientific investigation.




Yes. I have also wondered about that.

Quote:

..at a gut level, would you be willing to say which of the explanations you feel is most correct in explaining the silence?




My gut says all i listed, taken together.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425499 - 09/17/12 01:54 PM

Silence may mean only that some other bodies in the solar system and beyond harbor lifeforms which can't communicate beyond their immediate surroundings. For sure, anyone listening from a point 126 LY or more away from Earth would still be waiting to detect the first feeble wireless signals our species (one of millions on our planet) was able to propagate.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5425513 - 09/17/12 02:01 PM

Hi: Hank?

Yes, what do they call that boundary...the radio-pause?

But, what are your thoughts about why we aren't hearing anything generated by them, as part of their radio culture, and not in terms of a response to what they hear from us.

Same question...at a gut level...though all the answers are possible....which feels the most likely to you as the explanation for why we aren't hearing anything?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
InterStellarGuy
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: Overland Park, KS
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425600 - 09/17/12 02:47 PM

Quote:

Marco,

What would it take?

What would it take in terms of political will (i.e. the willingness to direct a portion of the nation's/world's wealth)?

What would it take in terms of what type of financial investment?

And finally, what would it take in terms of redirecting scientist preparation, and research funding approvals?

I believe not long ago, most funding for SETI was cancelled. Therefore, practically speaking, I think this is a very relevant question.

Otto





The problem is currently the technology to detect radio leakage is beyond us. The problem is , is that radio transmissions of the type that constitute interstellar leakage are not narrow band. They spread out as distance goes on, making the amount of useful data detectable at interstellar distances very small.

Instead of going the SETI route, I think SETI effort should be refocused on optical SETI. With all the exo-planet discoveries, what we need is a space telescope that can block star liught and gather light from the subject planets to analyze their atmospheres looking for definitive signs of intelligence.

For example, if an alien civilization analyzed our atmosphere using such a method, they would detect CFCs and other synthetics: Ie: someone made them -> the planet has some form of intelligence.

As time goes on, bigger and better space telescopes could be built, using inferometry, so maybe one day we could directly view these planets with great detail.

Eitherway, trying to make definitive statements on what we know now makes no sense, especially since we are in our infancy as a civilization attempting to detect other civilizations.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5425617 - 09/17/12 02:56 PM

I'm no expert, but understand that SETI has sampled only a very small segment of sky and only a small number of frequencies thus far. It's also entirely possible that, given the time and distances involved, we may never intercept a signal, or that the signal we're seeking drifted past our little corner of the universe before the solar system formed, or sometime during the Ordovician Period or the late Cretaceous or during the last glacial or whenever. It's a human conceit to believe that everything is destined to happen during our short lifetimes or even during the history of our species. And it's perhaps human failing that we have such a hard time grasping the immensity of time and of the universe. It's much easier to say "light year" or "billion" or "trillion" than it is to comprehend what a vast distance and large numbers (relative to ordinary human experience) those terms represent.

Edited by ColoHank (09/17/12 03:00 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5425719 - 09/17/12 03:48 PM

You wrote, Hank, "It's a human conceit to believe that everything is destined to happen during our short lifetimes or even during the history of our species. And it's perhaps human failing that we have such a hard time grasping the immensity of time and of the universe. It's much easier to say "light year" or "billion" or "trillion" than it is to comprehend what a vast distance and large numbers (relative to ordinary human experience) those terms represent."

There was this display at the museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian which had a huge rock, and somehow they had etched on it the respective times when events had happened in the history of the earth. I don't remember how they did it, but I do remember the feeling I had that somehow it had captured the insanely large (meaning, thinking about it reduces one to insanity) passages of time before anything we were involved in happened.

The image I love to use with my students, which does capture their imagination more often than not, is to tell them the age of the earth is 4 billion years. Then I ask them to represent that age with a stack of printer paper from the floor to the ceiling of the room in which we are sittiing. At 500 sheets per inch, that's about 60,000 sheets. Then I invite them to figure out with their own pencils and paper or calculator, now many years of that 4 billion the thickness of each sheet of paper represents and it works out to about 67,000 years. I then point out that slightly less than the thickness of just the top sheet of paper represents the entire history of thinking thinking man (homo sapiens sapiens) compared to the history of the planet upon which we walk.

The difficulty many of us are having in teaching today is that the incessant inundation of media images to which children are exposing themselves has seriously lessened their ability to use their imagination.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CollinofAlabama
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5426546 - 09/18/12 12:17 AM

Otto,

Did you read Joseph Lazio's article "How Alien Astronomers Could Find Earth" in the January 2012 S&T? His arguments, more than anything, point out the validity of Marco's statements. We do not possess the technology to even attempt, very well, to contact another civilization. Lazio describes in detail what we'd need, and I'm afraid ColoHank is wrong, here, and Marco is right. We're not talking about the last 127 years of human radio 'non-silence', we're talking about the technology to be able to detect, even our own radio 'non-silence' from a distance no farther than Alpha Centauri. Heck, if theyd have loved Gilligans Island and wanted to buy the rights they couldn't, cause they wouldn't get the transmissions. Lucy! Lucy! Lucy! It's more complicated than you're making it, from our present understanding of Physics.

Will we 'get there' in the next few millennia without destroying ourselves or our planet? We can certainly hope so, but when I was young, people talked about 3.5 billion people on the planet. Today it's 7 billion. A trip to the polluted filth of any large south Asian city should give one pause. Will we make it the next 500 years? BTW, I believe China has done an incredible job of managing things given its enormity, but I'm glad I don't live there. Given our violent, racist, superstitious selves, hoping Superman in the sky shows up may be of little practical value.

Also, what if in the next 100 years we advance enough to easily detect earth-like planets with earth-like atmospheric signatures that imply life. What if, after directing enormous radiation beams (laser sounds the best given today's rather primitive state of things), we eventually get a reply (directly related to the distance we are from them in light years). If we don't possess the technology to reach them in, say, 300 years for this first ET conversation to happen and neither do they, would it have much practical application? If we can't transmit and trade significant technological advancements, how much better off are we? And if they turn out to be invaders fleeing a loathsome, misbehaving star, we could be in for much worse than ignorance, tho perhaps we might be able to direct them to some earth-like planet closer to them that we haven't rec'd any response from (in maybe a Neolithic, or Cenozoic state).

All this is great for novels, but the proof will be in the results. In the meantime, the northern polar ice cap is melting and huge glaciers are calving off Greenland and Antartica at a worrisome rate for anyone relatively near the ocean.

I'm not a pessimist. I'm glad we went to the moon, even if some of the reasons were rather lame (scientific wonder blended with nationalism and weapons advancement). My hope is the free, democratic nations of the world will be able to make it to Mars. And perhaps we'll do nothing more than begin to exploit the moon, using it as a nice space station, observatory, gold, copper, silver, rare-earth mine, with government and industrial beneficiaries. Even this, though less dramatic, may be the first logical step of doing the same thing to Mars and, who knows, if the technology gets good enough, terraforming Venus. We could just keep on exploiting out, tho, to Jupiter, Saturn, and perhaps Uranus and Neptune's moons.

But 7 billion hominids live on planet earth now, and half of them drive cars. Did I mention the polar ice cap?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5426738 - 09/18/12 05:52 AM

what polar ice cap???

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5427126 - 09/18/12 11:07 AM

Hi Collin,

Why is it CollinOfAlabama since you live in Lubbock? Move?

I enjoyed your post.

I simply do not know enough science or politics to verify if (1) 7 billion is sustainable, (2) the trend rates for the 7 billion is going in what direction and predicted to end at what point, (3) what the melting of the polar cap indicates in terms of natural cycles, human influence, and most important, future climate trends.

Having qualified all those, I also do not know the science and math (i.e. radioactive dating techniques) to determine for myself if evolution is correct. Nonetheless, I have no problem accepting evolution and feel that it is the best explanation for the fossil record we seem to be unearthing.

I, too, have been impressed by China; both positively and negatively. I have no way to assess the quality and value of their political solutions. There are things I see that are impressive. There are things I read that are disturbing.

I do know I have read about in distant history and even seen in relatively recent history, some of these story-lines before.

I find it problematic the way news is presented today via the internet and the broadcast media. It is presented as entertainment, which means a great deal of time has to be filled. Quite often it is filled by persons who seem to have new ideas each hour. I doubt broadcast journalists, anchors, talk show hosts can generate that many good ideas so quickly. In general, I choose far more often than not to avoid news services where a guru articulates a steady stream of 'breaking news'. I tend to avoid any talk show where people cut each other off as this is almost a sure sign the sharing of information is rhetorical and not dialogical. Finally, I try to avoid any source of news in which news is presented as entertainment. Taking that stuff in confuses me intellectually and spiritually gets me to a place I'd rather not be.

I am a religious person and I work at being a spiritual person. I believe a loving God is in charge and I believe his will for me/us includes giving all and each of us our daily bread should I/we be attendant to His will; attendant in the sense that I/we do not need to follow his will to "deserve" that daily bread, but have to follow that will to have a good chance of being where the "daily bread" is.

The only reason I say this is because, though I really believe man made, man conditioned, man-ignored catastrophes are very possible and real, I believe all things work out for good for those who believe in God.

Once, I'm centered in that emotional and spiritual space, then I attempt to take in the information very informed people like many of those who write here are kind enough to share with me.

All the best to you and yours...and ours.

Otto

I enjoyed your post.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5427205 - 09/18/12 11:45 AM

Quote:


I simply do not know enough science or politics to verify if (1) 7 billion is sustainable, (2) the trend rates for the 7 billion is going in what direction and predicted to end at what point, (3) what the melting of the polar cap indicates in terms of natural cycles, human influence, and most important, future climate trends.





Otto,
There are a lot of scientifically sound accessible resources re the above available. Re the some of the things, sustainability or climate change, you may (in your spare time explore the links in the right frame at one of my blogs Adaptation Factory

I ran into a weird but useful way to get a gestalt of human impact on the planet about 20 years ago. I cannot find my reference, but anyway.
Some scientist figured out the following. If humans did not have advanced intelligence, being omnivores, what would the planetary carrying capacity be for us? Turns out the closest analogy for figuring that out is the North American Black Bear (sans hibernation of course, and as a primate). Using the stand methodology of the zoological and wildlife related sciences, the result is interesting. It was roughly the human population of the state of Illinois at the time the study was completed, That was about 10-11 million.

Edited by moynihan (09/18/12 12:13 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rudra
super member


Reged: 07/02/10

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5427294 - 09/18/12 12:29 PM

So some people are of the opinion that the reason we have not been able to detect any artificial signal of Alien origin, is because our technology is too primitive and the signals are beyond the reach of the instrument. It could be that galaxy and solar system is already "radio noisy" with Alien signals but our instruments cannot detect them. When we say our instruments cannot detect signals of Alien origin, do we mean that signals would be so weak or so high in frequency that they fall way off detecting field of our instruments? Perhaps Aliens should figure out the "right" frequency to send the signals across if they want to have higher "hit" rate.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5427371 - 09/18/12 01:07 PM

Quote:

what polar ice cap???




the thing you gonna regret next summer....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Rudra]
      #5427387 - 09/18/12 01:12 PM

The fact that we are relying on radio to receive the signals of a possible alien race shows how slow we are to change with changing technology. There are numerous problems with radio communications that can effectively prevent contact. Some are: signal spread, absorption by dust, being lost in the background noise and the other end having the correct receiving equipment to pick up the signal. We have been using radio since the late 1870’s and we should move on to something that clearly shows an advanced civilization lives on this planet.
Laser! We have cataloged several hundred planets so far with spaced based satellites. The satellite looks for a dip in the light of a star when a planet passes in front of it. I propose that we place satellites with very sensitive laser receivers into deep orbit to pick up any laser signal that normally would be blocked by our atmosphere. A laser has the advantage of being a very tight beam, not naturally occurring and can transmit a lot of data. It would not take much to build a high power laser to signal all of the planets in our database with a simple code, something another civilization would pick up as being artificial. Selecting a universal laser frequency and a time period to send out the signal would all that needs to be done. The satellite would have receivers that could work on several laser frequencies. It could sample more stars than the star crossing planet hunt.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5427398 - 09/18/12 01:16 PM

"the thing you're going to regret next summer"

perhaps, this winter!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5427513 - 09/18/12 02:12 PM

how long ago did the first "real" thinking and reasoning humans appear; I mean humans that had a basic verbal language (beyond the grunts) to speak to one another?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5427565 - 09/18/12 02:38 PM

Quote:

how long ago did the first "real" thinking and reasoning humans appear; I mean humans that had a basic verbal language (beyond the grunts) to speak to one another?




A very good question, which is a subject of hot debate in science. Stone tools with fine sculpting may pre-date Homo Sapiens.But for Homo Sapiens, bead work, decoration of corpses, and decoration on stone tools I think appear during a period, about 50-60,000 before now.
Those definitely infer complex symbolic thought.

No one has figured the language thing yet. Paleo-genetics is hard at work on that one. Very difficult. There are a couple chimp tribes in W. Africa that have a little syntax. So some type of "language" may be very old, and spread across extinct Homininae.

Edited by moynihan (09/18/12 02:43 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5427594 - 09/18/12 03:00 PM

That's the timeline I've always heard and read about, 50-60,000 years. Now it just baffles me that it has taken humans that long to say, put a man on the Moon.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5427645 - 09/18/12 03:32 PM

Quote:

That's the timeline I've always heard and read about, 50-60,000 years. Now it just baffles me that it has taken humans that long to say, put a man on the Moon.




Oh, i don't know about that. Considering the big picture, pretty cool to get even that far. I just read online that the "Earth" entry in the Hitchhiker's Guide states that Earthlings are so primitive, they think smartphones are cool.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5428221 - 09/18/12 08:40 PM

An answer to this question is sheer speculation. Perhaps fun speculation; perhaps informative speculation, as it can teach us to look at things in different ways, but speculation nonetheless. Whenever anyone asks me if I believe in life elsewhere I always answer, It depends on what the last book was that I read.

/Ira
P.S. This was the last book I read on the subject, so now I am a disbeliever in life elsewhere (and not just intelligent life, either.)
http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Universe-Why-Planet-Unique/dp/1118147979/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348018793&sr=8-1&keywords=we+are+alone


Edited by Ira (09/18/12 09:41 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Ira]
      #5428268 - 09/18/12 09:05 PM

"How to Serve Mankind"

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5428784 - 09/19/12 06:53 AM

Quote:

"How to Serve Mankind"






Good one


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5430486 - 09/20/12 08:33 AM

They are not answering because that would cause mass hysteria and we taste better if we are not over-stressed.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5430766 - 09/20/12 11:44 AM

For the pleasure of younger folk following this thread, the original episode from The Twilight Zone, "To Serve Man", 1962.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5430797 - 09/20/12 12:02 PM

Current humanity, which focuses most of its SETI search on the radio spectrum even though more advanced civilizations may well have gone for beyond that technology for communication, are a lot like our Homo habilis ancestors squatting around a waterhole in Ouldavi gorge chipping away at flint nodules and wondering if anyone else lives over the next ridgeline, and if so how might they be contacted? The SETI questions will likely not be answered for 100, 1,000 or more years. It is simply too early to make any suppositions one way or another.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5431266 - 09/20/12 04:23 PM

yep..and after 50,000 years humans just realized about 500-600 years ago that the planet was not flat...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5431292 - 09/20/12 04:39 PM

Quote:

yep..and after 50,000 years humans just realized about 500-600 years ago that the planet was not flat...




Ancient greeks and egyptians figure that out actually,

But doing that is counter-intuitive, and quite an achievement.

To this day there are a number of important things that are counter-intuitive and counter - instinctual that we still have trouble accepting. Doing that ain't easy.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5431327 - 09/20/12 05:02 PM

There is written record dating as far back as 600-700BC of people accepting the Earth being a sphere, and Eratosthenes made a pretty accurate measurement of its size around 250-240BC. During Columbus' day many, maybe most, accepted the Earth was a sphere, they just thought the ocean was too vast to cross from W Europe to the Indies successfully. The whole "flat-earth" nonsense that's so frequently thrown around these days to claim we were ignorant until 500 yrs ago is no good.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kobayashi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/10/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5431900 - 09/20/12 11:23 PM

Quote:

During Columbus' day many, maybe most, accepted the Earth was a sphere, they just thought the ocean was too vast to cross from W Europe to the Indies successfully.




And they were right; Columbus was wrong when he thought he could travel to India directly by sailing west from Spain.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Kobayashi]
      #5431981 - 09/21/12 12:10 AM

knowing and speculating are different...just think of all the scientific speculating we had about the planet Venus before George Adamski went there...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kobayashi
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/10/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5432003 - 09/21/12 12:40 AM

As simpleisbetter said, the ancient Greeks not only knew the earth was a sphere, but also measured its size. Columbus' contemporaries knew this, and correctly criticized Columbus' proposal to sail west to India. More information here.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5432290 - 09/21/12 08:55 AM

Quote:

The SETI questions will likely not be answered for 100, 1,000 or more years. It is simply too early to make any suppositions one way or another.




I can realistically see somebody 1,000 years from now posting a similar comment on whatever form of social information networking is used at the time.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5432406 - 09/21/12 10:13 AM

It is absolutely NOT too early.
We now perfectly know the appropriate conditions, chemical and physical, for Life to occur and many chemical reactions that were still mysterious in the 70's have been identified. No steps are particularly improbable. In short, a computer program fed with these priors could simulate the event for an exoplanet.
To go back to the example I used before, it's like we now know that if we take an acid in acqueous solution, therefore in water liquid, and mix it with a base in the same conditions, then a reaction MUST occur. Then do it, If nothing happen then reconsider the theory of acid/base.
Similarly, the biggest and best known requisite for life is WATER, liquid. That's not the only one but it's the most stringent filter in the 'simulation' mentioned above.
So, IF and When an exoplanet with liquid water is discovered, and no signs of life are detected, you'd better prepare the arguments to save the current theory of life.
One failure might be OK, but the theory won't survive two.

The problem, as someone mentioned earlyer, is that there is no rush to study the best candidate exoplanets known so far (which is not Kepler 22, according to this site:
http://phl.upr.edu/projects/habitable-exoplanets-catalog )
But maybe it's because none of these exoplanets are really THE best possible case scenarios, and nobody wants to invest an entire observation campaign in something with less than 100% of success.
Can you publish "Spectral study of Gliese 581g doesn't reveal any markers compatible with biological activity" ?
Some observatory seems to be capable, but maybe they want the glory without the risks?

"...The main facility at Paranal is the VLT, which consists of four near-identical 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes (UTs), each hosting two or three instruments. These large telescopes can also work together, in groups of two or three, to form a giant 'interferometer', the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer or VLTI, allowing astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than those seen with the individual telescopes. The light beams are combined in the VLTI using a complex system of mirrors located in underground tunnels where the light paths must be kept equal to distances less than 1/1000 mm over a hundred metres. With this kind of precision, the VLTI can achieve an angular resolution of milliarcseconds,..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESO


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5432434 - 09/21/12 10:31 AM

Quote:

In short, a computer program fed with these priors could simulate the event for an exoplanet.





No, it couldn't. We can't even properly simulate the folding of a single protein molecule using only the 20 amino acids found in life on earth.

Just finding water is nowhere near enough to prove that a planet could support life. It is certainly one of the requirements for life like us, but definitely not sufficient. Salts and organic molecules are certainly required, as well as a reasonable pH range (I doubt we will find life in extreme acid or base, although it can certainly tolerate some departure from pH 7), but we don't have good criteria yet for exactly what ranges of salt, pH, etc. can produce life.

There is also the aspect of time. The earth did not start out with life - it took a billion years or so. How do we know that a water-bearing planet just isn't "ripe" yet? Some people have postulated that the moon started out much closer to the earth, causing mega-tides which eroded rock and resulted in the oceans becoming salty, which may have been a critical step for life. What if the planet doesn't have a suitably large and close moon for that process?

And most importantly, as several people have pointed out, we couldn't detect life on earth from the distance of Alpha Centauri right now. So until we get sufficient technology to detect a lot more detail about exoplanets than we can now, we can't say that there isn't life there.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5432489 - 09/21/12 11:03 AM

Quote:


We now perfectly know the appropriate conditions, chemical and physical, for Life to occur and many chemical reactions that were still mysterious in the 70's have been identified. No steps are particularly improbable.




Not quite true. We know the conditions necessary for life to sustain itself. And that's a very broad range of conditions. What we don't know is all the conditions, steps, sequences, and events required for life to develop spontaneously from abiotic organic chemicals. And there's no indication that those steps allow for a broad range.

Water is certainly a necessary condition, but by no means sufficient. Protein chirality alone is a huge problem, and even though there are hints of progress on that one, it and many other issues are not yet resolved.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5432508 - 09/21/12 11:15 AM

" We can't even properly simulate the folding of a single protein molecule using only the 20 amino acids found in life on earth.."

Jarad, not with a 100% certainty or accuracy, but models exist that can get you pretty close. Like for any simulation, total accuracy is impossible and some simplifications must be made, otherwise the model could take as long as the real thing to occur. Conditions that depends on the orbital parameters can be estimated by observation, again with more or less accuracy. The age of planetary system/dust rings have been mentioned too, i donno how they do it though.
But yes, the presence of the Moon seemed, if not critical, at least a very important event in Life's history. IMO, the big tides it created acted more like a catalyser which means that in abscence of a (big) moon, prebiotic chemistry would occuur but on a much longer time scale.

I am puzzled by your statement that we could not detect 'life' at about 4-5 light years. I think that several years observing a putative Earth orbiting a Sun at that distance with big mirrors in interferometry mode (milliseconds arc resolution as mentioned above), could yield some 'compatible markers', like Oxygen, some greenish hint in the spectra, maybe some specular reflection from the oceans directed to us.
That would not be definitve proof but that would encourage to build the only tool that can bring the final verdict:
Space Interferometer with very long base, nulling and all the hoopla.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5432543 - 09/21/12 11:39 AM

Ilanitedave, yes, we don't know all the details. I could evade the problem like evolutionarist do: 'with enough time...'.
How can we reproduce in laboratory reactions that, when combined, start to look like prebiotic chemistry only after a million years?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5432573 - 09/21/12 11:59 AM

No you can't evade it with time. We aren't talking about biological evolution, we're talking about the origin of life. They are two different sets of processes, with two different dynamics. That's one of the biggest reasons people mislead themselves on this topic, by conflating the two.

There's no known necessary requirement for long time periods for the origin of life. It might be required, it might not. We don't know. As for the combining of laboratory reactions, that's the other problem. We don't know what laboratory reactions to apply, regardless of the amount of time involved. We know some of the basic steps, but the details of those steps we do know, and other entire steps that are just as basic, are still not settled.

And that is coming from an optimist.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5432653 - 09/21/12 12:49 PM

The idea you just articulated, Dave...it is as if it has been in my head for ages, but your clear articulation just made the issue...the n=1 issue so very clear to me. Though we understand some of the conditions under which evolution occurs, we cannot say we know the conditions under which the origin of life occurs.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5432779 - 09/21/12 02:00 PM

Quote:

Like for any simulation, total accuracy is impossible and some simplifications must be made, otherwise the model could take as long as the real thing to occur.




The real thing in terms of protein folding occurs in fractions of a second.

Quote:

Conditions that depends on the orbital parameters can be estimated by observation, again with more or less accuracy.



Observation of what? If we had a set of planets with life and a set without, we could observe the orbital parameters and see if there are consistent differences. But with an N of 1, we can't.

Quote:

I think that several years observing a putative Earth orbiting a Sun at that distance with big mirrors in interferometry mode (milliseconds arc resolution as mentioned above), could yield some 'compatible markers', like Oxygen, some greenish hint in the spectra, maybe some specular reflection from the oceans directed to us.





We don't have any scopes that could resolve any of those things right now.

And just seeing green won't mean anything - there are plenty of inorganic chemicals that can look green, and alien life won't necessarily use a green protein in their photosynthesis - they could evolve around a molecule that captures a different wavelength. Neither will seeing reflections - things other than water can be reflective.

More importantly, not seeing those things doesn't mean that life does not exist there. We can't even rule out life under the ice sheets of Europa, which is much closer. How could we rule out life on an exoplanet based on not seeing green from many lightyears away? What if their chlorophyll equivalent molecule is more efficient, and looks black (absorbing all visible wavelengths)?

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5432803 - 09/21/12 02:06 PM

There is a gap in our understanding of the origin of life.

We can simulate in the lab early conditions with simple compounds, hit them with static discharges, and see the production of complex organic molecules that could be the precursors for life.

Once we have a self-replicating cell, we can drop it in that soup and watch it replicate and evolve.

But between the two there are at least 2 big steps that are not yet well understood: the generation of simple self-replicating molecules, and the leap to an enclosed system with a membrane to keep all the required parts together for self-replication.

There are lots of hypotheses about how these steps occurred (surface chemistry on clays, etc.), but these are all speculative. We don't know exactly how it happens or how long it "typically" takes.

As for declaring out current "theory of life" dead if we find 2 exoplanets without life, I would say that is false for 2 reasons:
1 - one or two examples isn't enough to disprove such a theory.
2 - we don't really have a developed theory to disprove.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5432870 - 09/21/12 02:41 PM

Quote:


2 - we don't really have a developed theory to disprove.






And that's a biggie.

It may well be that there are a number of processes that can lead to life from nonlife. There may be only one. If we do succeed in doing it the lab, my first guess will be that we've stumbled on one of several.

This is one of those situations where it seems to me that theory is not primary to observation, probably something that Popper would have disputed. We're creating the theory as we do our experiments, one local hypothesis at a time.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5433038 - 09/21/12 04:04 PM

Oooooo! I can finally add something scientific.....

You two wrote, "I think that several years observing a putative Earth orbiting a Sun at that distance with big mirrors in interferometry mode (milliseconds arc resolution as mentioned above), could yield some 'compatible markers', like Oxygen, some greenish hint....We don't have any scopes that could resolve any of those things right now. And just seeing green won't mean anything - there are plenty of inorganic chemicals that can look green..."


A half century ago...possibly before you two were born...necessity required me at age 15 to make my own telescope...the whole thing...grind/polish/cut/mount/cast iron weights...two years later, I ended up with an 8 inch F8 Newtonian with 1/2 wavefront error...maybe even a whole wave error...it was so bad when I got it back from Clausing who coated it for me, they put in a note disclaiming responsibility for all the sleeks. Seems one is suppose to clean the former grinding slurry away before going to the next finest grade. (would be a quarter century later when I stopped it down to an F11 6 inch that I discovered I could see the Cassini division)....

anyway, I digress....I turned this behemoth at Mars one summer, and I saw GREEN. I saw a definitie gray-greens. I can only think of three reasonable explanations:
1. a contrast effect of the darker areas against the reddish area
2. there's green cholorophyll on Mars
3. there were so many sleeks on the mirror, it was prismatic

Compared to me....you are mere theoreticians. I did real science!

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (09/21/12 05:11 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5433052 - 09/21/12 04:13 PM

There is not one theory, you are right, but many, BUT the thing is that they all converge toward a necessary autocatalytic molecular entity. Once this tipping point is reached, with autocatalytic molecular replicators trapped into oily vesicles, the transition from prebiotic to biotic is, i would say, not completely crazy.

Just following wikipedia links, you' ll see the hypothesis of a pre-RNA world: the PAH-World, (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, believed to be abundant on early earth, and even in the martian meteorit ALH, if i recall) that would promote the pre-RNA world through the steps explained in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAH_world_hypothesis
A transient pre-RNA world would probably be short-lived, as it cannot compete well with the first really autocatalytic RNA forms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis
So now the RNA/TNA/GNA-replicators World trapped with amino-acids inside lipid vesicle is considered as the critical step, and I guess we can call this assembly THE 'protocell'. The emphasis is not anymore how do we get to this protocell but how do we get to the TNA/GNA/RNA replicator. In addition to the PAH, a pre-rna Lipid World has also been proposed.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5433122 - 09/21/12 04:56 PM

Perhaps the ESA will some day revive the Darwin Array project. Using multiple satellites (to create a long baseline, essentially one big instrument in multiple parts) the ideas is to do spectographic analysis of "goldilocks zone" candidates around other stars. It would look for dynamic atmospheres with oxygen and water and trace elements that hypothetically require input from a biosphere to exist (ala Lovelock/Margulis etc).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5433203 - 09/21/12 06:03 PM

" 2 - we don't really have a developed theory to disprove."

Hmm, yes, let's say we have a range of possibilities, instead. If the Moon is that much critical, for example, well, we might never find an earth-like exoplanet couple in our galaxy, so in this case I agree than NOT finding life in an exoplanet otherwise well situated in the goldilock zone would prove nothing.
But it's the WE, almost 6PM, clear skies, time to setup the scope. Clear sky guys.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5433306 - 09/21/12 07:21 PM

Three hours, and no response by you mere theoreticians to my sage comments about doing actual science with exquisite astronomical equipment?

Just for that….I will now add a word of philosophy. (“A word” of philosophy, Otto? That’ll be the day!)

The ancient Greek language was more flexible than English. For example, its common verbs each had between two hundred and three hundred forms whereas in English our verbs have between fifty and a hundred forms. This flexibility allowed the speakers of Greek to articulate issues with fine and helpful degrees of nuance, conducive to displaying truth.

This degree of nuance can be seen in how the Greek language handled two topics we are addressing here, life and theory (life, as in "extra-terrestrial life" and theory, as in "you mere theoreticians"). In fact, the Greek language connects the two concepts of life and theory in an interesting way.

Greek has two words for life, bios (pronounced “bee-ohss”) and zoa (pronounced “zoh-ay”). Zoa was used to refer to the word life in the sense we have been discussing it here; i.e. living things. Bios was often used to refer to the type of life a person lived. The difference, then, between these uses of zoa and bios was similar to the distinction we have in English between “life” and “a life” as in the trite phrase, “get a life”. Bios was often attached to other words such as politikos as in bios politikos (the active/public life) and, relevant to our second topic, theoretikos as in bios theoretikos (the thinking/contemplative life).


But…I digress……


...we, you and I, stargazers and scopists all, we who consider looking through a telescope for hours on end getting bitten by mosquitoes, getting frost bite on our toes, and/or going without sleep, to be having just a fine time...the rest of the non stargazing world is pretty sure we, you and I, do not have, bioi (pronounced bee-oy; the plural of bios).

Edited by Otto Piechowski (09/21/12 07:45 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5433467 - 09/21/12 09:11 PM

Quote:

Oooooo! I can finally add something scientific.....

You two wrote, "I think that several years observing a putative Earth orbiting a Sun at that distance with big mirrors in interferometry mode (milliseconds arc resolution as mentioned above), could yield some 'compatible markers', like Oxygen, some greenish hint....We don't have any scopes that could resolve any of those things right now. And just seeing green won't mean anything - there are plenty of inorganic chemicals that can look green..."


A half century ago...possibly before you two were born...necessity required me at age 15 to make my own telescope...the whole thing...grind/polish/cut/mount/cast iron weights...two years later, I ended up with an 8 inch F8 Newtonian with 1/2 wavefront error...maybe even a whole wave error...it was so bad when I got it back from Clausing who coated it for me, they put in a note disclaiming responsibility for all the sleeks. Seems one is suppose to clean the former grinding slurry away before going to the next finest grade. (would be a quarter century later when I stopped it down to an F11 6 inch that I discovered I could see the Cassini division)....

anyway, I digress....I turned this behemoth at Mars one summer, and I saw GREEN. I saw a definitie gray-greens. I can only think of three reasonable explanations:
1. a contrast effect of the darker areas against the reddish area
2. there's green cholorophyll on Mars
3. there were so many sleeks on the mirror, it was prismatic

Compared to me....you are mere theoreticians. I did real science!

Otto




Dudley Leroy Clausing! Ah memories! Yes, clean up between grades of abrasive! Sam Brown!

-drl


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5433485 - 09/21/12 09:23 PM

Yes, yes....Sam Brown...and what was that nearly unreadable red 3 volume mirror grinding set called?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5433590 - 09/21/12 10:50 PM

Quote:

There is not one theory, you are right, but many, BUT the thing is that they all converge toward a necessary autocatalytic molecular entity. Once this tipping point is reached, with autocatalytic molecular replicators trapped into oily vesicles, the transition from prebiotic to biotic is, i would say, not completely crazy.




No, not crazy at all. Just not fully understood, so we don't know all of the requirements. Therefore we can't say that because we don't see it on one or two planets that it's wrong - those planets may just be missing one or more of the unknown requirements.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5433605 - 09/21/12 11:00 PM

Quote:

There is not one theory, you are right, but many, BUT the thing is that they all converge toward a necessary autocatalytic molecular entity. Once this tipping point is reached, with autocatalytic molecular replicators trapped into oily vesicles, the transition from prebiotic to biotic is, i would say, not completely crazy.

Just following wikipedia links, you' ll see the hypothesis of a pre-RNA world: the PAH-World, (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, believed to be abundant on early earth, and even in the martian meteorit ALH, if i recall) that would promote the pre-RNA world through the steps explained in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAH_world_hypothesis
A transient pre-RNA world would probably be short-lived, as it cannot compete well with the first really autocatalytic RNA forms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis
So now the RNA/TNA/GNA-replicators World trapped with amino-acids inside lipid vesicle is considered as the critical step, and I guess we can call this assembly THE 'protocell'. The emphasis is not anymore how do we get to this protocell but how do we get to the TNA/GNA/RNA replicator. In addition to the PAH, a pre-rna Lipid World has also been proposed.




I agree 100%. Protocells, or at least the vesicles that house them, are easy, you can make them in your kitchen. Turning them into self-sustaining replicators, well that hasn't been done by humans as far as I know. It's that "critical step" that is probably a combination of many steps, steps that may require clay, or calcite, or ice, or evaporation, or acids, or bases, or some combination of several. It may require that the products of a clay reaction interact with products of an ice + evaporation reaction, or some other intricate chains of circumstance to assemble just the right molecules in just the right sequences.

We simply don't know at this point. Of course it's not crazy, it happened at least once. The question is, and will be for the forseeable future, in what set of natural environments can it happen again? And how broad or narrow are the circumstances that allow it?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5433607 - 09/21/12 11:01 PM

Doesn't the actual ocean and atmospheric chemistry itself depend on a complex chain of events, just as unlikely as life? That is, there's iron and nickel in the water, but there are microbes that use nickel and emit methane, which however declines because a type of iron oxide scrubs the water of nickel and the microbes die, so now oxygen can accumulate in the atmosphere etc. etc. etc. - it's extremely complicated and specific. Can these events happen in a different order leading to the same result?

-drl


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5433631 - 09/21/12 11:15 PM

Quote:

Three hours, and no response by you mere theoreticians to my sage comments about doing actual science with exquisite astronomical equipment?

Just for that….I will now add a word of philosophy. (“A word” of philosophy, Otto? That’ll be the day!)

The ancient Greek language was more flexible than English. For example, its common verbs each had between two hundred and three hundred forms whereas in English our verbs have between fifty and a hundred forms. This flexibility allowed the speakers of Greek to articulate issues with fine and helpful degrees of nuance, conducive to displaying truth.

This degree of nuance can be seen in how the Greek language handled two topics we are addressing here, life and theory (life, as in "extra-terrestrial life" and theory, as in "you mere theoreticians"). In fact, the Greek language connects the two concepts of life and theory in an interesting way.

Greek has two words for life, bios (pronounced “bee-ohss”) and zoa (pronounced “zoh-ay”). Zoa was used to refer to the word life in the sense we have been discussing it here; i.e. living things. Bios was often used to refer to the type of life a person lived. The difference, then, between these uses of zoa and bios was similar to the distinction we have in English between “life” and “a life” as in the trite phrase, “get a life”. Bios was often attached to other words such as politikos as in bios politikos (the active/public life) and, relevant to our second topic, theoretikos as in bios theoretikos (the thinking/contemplative life).




That's interesting, actually, although knowing the history of our current word meanings doesn't do anything to change those current meanings. And yes, it does appear at first glance as if modern English doesn't support the nuances of meaning and categorizing that ancient Greek did. It might also be the case, however, that some of those old categories were artificial and superfluous? Or that the terms that are passed down to us via scholarly works of the ancients were perhaps their own versions of specialized jargon, and not used in the same way by lay contemporaries? Or more likely, that English is just as expressive, but simply using different lexical and grammatical methods?

I tend to think that all human languages are capable of rich expressions of narrative, poetry, and even technical description if skillfully and flexibly used.

Quote:


But…I digress……




Hey, that's your second confessed digression in the same thread. I'll have to check to see if there's some sort of rule against that. (Or it may be a requirement, who knows?)

Quote:


...we, you and I, stargazers and scopists all, we who consider looking through a telescope for hours on end getting bitten by mosquitoes, getting frost bite on our toes, and/or going without sleep, to be having just a fine time...the rest of the non stargazing world is pretty sure we, you and I, do not have, bioi (pronounced bee-oy; the plural of bios). \





Just goes to show you that simply because one may have the vocabulary doesn't mean they have the understanding. This zooid wouldn't trade his bios with any of 'em.

Edited by llanitedave (09/22/12 01:19 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5433651 - 09/21/12 11:30 PM

Quote:

Doesn't the actual ocean and atmospheric chemistry itself depend on a complex chain of events, just as unlikely as life? That is, there's iron and nickel in the water, but there are microbes that use nickel and emit methane, which however declines because a type of iron oxide scrubs the water of nickel and the microbes die, so now oxygen can accumulate in the atmosphere etc. etc. etc. - it's extremely complicated and specific. Can these events happen in a different order leading to the same result?

-drl




The thing about that interaction is that it's mediated by life. So it's unlikely only in the sense that it could never happen in the absence of biological influence, and it may well be historical happenstance that the particular set of relationships came about at all. Now that they exist, though, they're sustained by feedback mechanisms. Whether them happening in a different order would have led to the same result, or a different but still self-sustaining result, is a worthy question for exploration.

It's an interesting thing that there are several possible forms that photosynthesis can take, which do not result in free oxygen as a byproduct. Had some non-oxygen-producing photosynthesizer become dominant early on, it's quite possible that an ecosystem similar to the one we know might never have become possible.

Almost everything about life can be thought of as contingent, accidental, and extremely unlikely taken on its own. But what's even more mindblowing to me is that the range of possibilities is so high that even if none of the unlikely events that led to us occurred, there would have been other, equally unimaginably improbable events that happened in the alternative, that would have led to far different communities than the ones we know, but nevertheless just as diverse and rich as our own. And they might consider themselves the most natural and inevitable result of life's development.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5433662 - 09/21/12 11:38 PM

That was very good, Dave! Ouch! Touche! Oh my!

About us thinking freezing our asses off is a hot time...I've had a bunch of psychological tests done on me over the years of all sorts...I would enjoy getting a whole bunch of stargazers and scopists together....maybe the entire crowd at a starparty like NEAF or stellafane...and do a good old fashioned MMPI on all of them and see if there are common neuroses. I think that would be interesting.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5433664 - 09/21/12 11:40 PM

Dave...everyone....my memory is vague so help me/us with this....wasn't there a big to-do a few years back about somebody doing something very life like with.....what the hell was it....something like creating a totally artificial cell but transplanting a real nucleus into it.... or some such thing?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5433673 - 09/21/12 11:42 PM

I have test anxiety. I was tested for it.

-drl


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5433701 - 09/22/12 12:09 AM

That was cute, drl.....I was giggling....and then, recalling how the soft-science people can be in trying to be hard-science-like....I don't doubt somebody actually might have done that....test for test taking anxiety. I seem to recall, drl, and others we were talking on another thread a couple weeks ago in which you remarked that soft-sciences try to ape the hard sciences so much, and I shared how this idea was found in Kuhn's book back in the 60s.

I don't know a whole lot more about psych than I do about science (the same old hand full of undergrad and grad courses and a stint as a therapist and pastoral minister type stuff)...but it seems to me that what these tests do is totally swallow the inductive method thing.

I can imagine, for example, someone saying, wouldn't it be good to be able to diagnose somebody as (I'm gong to make something up here) Larson-Infrarred-Inversion-Disorder (LIID) so that they we can label it as LIID according to the DSM4r so it can be filed for insurance payment. So let's devise a test, it can be answering 600 questions like the MMPI or draw a house/tree/person or an ink-blot session....it could be anything, give a person chinaware for a meal and see which utensil they pick up first...and then, gather 100 persons who you know to be LIID and give them the chinaware/utensil test, record which utensils they pick up in what order; develop a statistical model for prevalence-of-utensil-pickerupage. Let's say that 31% of the time we discover people with LIID pick up the fork, then the fork again, then the spoon and then the fork.

Next, someone comes into psychologist Jones' office with some unidentified disorder and he has the chinaware/utensil pickerupage test administered; he picks up a fork, then a fork, then a spoon, then a fork. Voila! He has LIID! It is recorded as LIID according to the description in the DSM4r, it is submitted to the insurance company and therapist Jones receives $175 from insurance with a $25 copay form the person identified as having LIID, and everybody is happy. Well, maybe not the insurance people. But probably they get a cut from the people who prepare, print, and evaluate the chinaware/utensil-pickerupper test.

I think I'm being facetious. Or full of scit. The neat thing about ancient languages is that sometimes a word in that langauge, which has its own meaning, has a pronuncation like a modern word in another language which means something totally different. So, for example, scit, which in Latin means "he/she/it knows", has a church Latin pronunciation identical to an unofficial English word for fecal matter.

So, is my facetious little diatribe on testing full of scit, or do you think I've hit a tack on the head with a 16 pound sledge hammer (i.e. overkill)?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5433788 - 09/22/12 02:13 AM

Now folks, this remains a family site, so while we're talking about latin, let's be careful with the french.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5434010 - 09/22/12 08:36 AM

Quote:

Doesn't the actual ocean and atmospheric chemistry itself depend on a complex chain of events, just as unlikely as life? That is, there's iron and nickel in the water, but there are microbes that use nickel and emit methane, which however declines because a type of iron oxide scrubs the water of nickel and the microbes die, so now oxygen can accumulate in the atmosphere etc. etc. etc. - it's extremely complicated and specific. Can these events happen in a different order leading to the same result?

-drl




That's just it - we don't know. If each of those steps is truly a requirement, then the odds of them happening in just the right order elsewhere are very low, and life will be very rare.

But if they are only one of many ways it could happen, then the odds of life are much higher.

So finding lots of planets with water but no life (which is hard to tell from a distance) would just tilt our hypotheses towards more specific requirements, while finding ones with life would tilt us toward looser requirements or many alternate paths.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5434450 - 09/22/12 01:22 PM

Like most, I have heard of the WOW signal. What do you know about it, Jarad?, Dave? drl? others? Specifically, what about the signal made somebody write wow.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5434735 - 09/22/12 04:32 PM

It was a signal detected by the Big Ear radiotelescope once. More detail here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow!_signal

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435056 - 09/22/12 08:34 PM

Thank you, Jarad.

If others of us could look at this wiki page Jarad provided and study the information, I'd be interested in hearing what you see as the strengths of the information given, and the weak logical links as well.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5435084 - 09/22/12 08:50 PM

There's not really much logic to it. They detected one unexplained signal above the background noise for a few moments. They have looked in the same spots many times for many years since and not found it again. There was no information content in the signal. Not really much to conclude from that except that we don't know what the source was.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435088 - 09/22/12 08:54 PM

Civilizations have been built on less.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5435293 - 09/23/12 12:02 AM

And mankind flourished because of it. Hate to see a civilization waking up and praising WOW!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435477 - 09/23/12 03:59 AM

Quote:

TThey detected one unexplained signal above the background noise for a few moments. ... There was no information content in the signal. ...

Jarad



No encoded plans for time machine or starship?

No episodes of "I Love Frmilixjhg(Lucy)"

No Chuck Berry!?

Not even "the Monkees"



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5435784 - 09/23/12 10:04 AM

Not even a prime number!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike Casey

*****

Reged: 11/11/04

Loc: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora l...
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5436315 - 09/23/12 02:58 PM

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." ~ Dr. Carl Sagan

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5436996 - 09/23/12 09:13 PM

Let us imagine the WOW was a signal from an extra-terrestrial source of/by intelligent beings capable of that level of radio transmission.

Let us further imagine that there is some another civilization three thousand years technologically advanced of the radio-transmission-sophistication of this WOW-civilization. Let us further imagine that this 3000-civilization are not only benign, but kindly. They have taken it upon themselves to watch for WOW civilization transmissions/communications being overheard by slightly inferior EARTH-type-civilizations. Let us further suppose the 3000s have observed over the centuries a number of terrible misfortunes occur to earth-type-civilizations when slightly more advanced WOW-civilizations began to communicate; say something like the WOWs took over, or the earth-type-civilizations simply destroyed themselves with the WOW technology they appropriated...some such deleterious event.

With the technology we possess here, today, on the earth, and with technologies here on earth we think just might realistically occur in the next couple centuries...let's limit oursevles to what we consider realistically possible, technologically speaking...with just this level of technology, how would a 3000-civilization go about keeping earth-type-civilizations from obtaining further radio-transmissions indicating the existence of WOW-type-civilizations? More specifically, how would the 3000s interfere with the WOW transmissions in such a manner that EARTH-types whenever it looked again at the supposed source direction of the WOW signals, would just get normal background type noise?

I'd appreciate it if you would not just brush through this question. I know it is wordy, how I did it, but I was wordy for the purpose of trying to be as clear as I could possibly be.

Thank you,

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5437336 - 09/24/12 01:36 AM

so are you saying that the interfering "advanced" civilization is akin to the SPCA?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5437839 - 09/24/12 10:55 AM

Quote:

More specifically, how would the 3000s interfere with the WOW transmissions in such a manner that EARTH-types whenever it looked again at the supposed source direction of the WOW signals, would just get normal background type noise?




Well, either they would have to use their super-advanced technology to perform "magic" that we can't even understand with our level of technology, or they would have to block the signal physically somewhere between us and them. And to make the block take effect before the next observation, it would have to be fairly close to us.

But these sort of conjectures are inherently un-scientific, because we are postulating near-omniscient beings who know what we are looking at and with magical powers to affect our ability to observe reality. We can never prove or disprove the existence of such things, since you can reply to any measurement "that's what they want us to see"...

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5437964 - 09/24/12 12:01 PM

It's like a galactic TOS. They simply pm the offending civilization asking them to desist, and if there's no cooperation -- BAN 'EM!

Any openings for galactic moderators?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5437991 - 09/24/12 12:17 PM

Quote:

...Protocells, or at least the vesicles that self-sustaining replicators, well that hasn't been done by humans as far as I know. It's that "critical step" that is probably a combination of many steps, steps that may require clay, or calcite, or ice, or evaporation, or acids, or bases, or some combination of several. It may require that the products of a clay reaction interact with products of an ice + evaporation reaction, or some other intricate chains of circumstance to assemble just the right molecules in just the right sequences.
...The question is, and will be for the forseeable future, in what set of natural environments can it happen again? And how broad or narrow are the circumstances that allow it?




Absolutely agree, You may also mention a rare combination of minerals acting as catalysers, or an exotic chemistry based on unstable organics from comets which might have been important to jump start these protocells and the strong radio-activity of early Earth...

But somehow i expect these conditions to be local occurances, but occurances nonetheless, on any rocky exoplanet of ~0.8-1.5g gravity orbiting at ~1 UA of a sun-like star (actually a T-tauri star) 4 billions years ago. Only the impact that created the Moon is certainly a rare event and as a huge agitator-shaker of chemical reactives, it was surely a huge boost for the cinetic of Life on Earth.
Maybe the protocells would have 'died' out of fuel without the tides resplenishing the pools with the organics from the comets. Isn't the symbolism of a small 'Theia' (the impactor) hitting the bigger 'Gaia' and fertilizing it, somehow puzzling? only the flagellum is missing (unless Theia was a huge comet?)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5438358 - 09/24/12 03:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...Protocells, or at least the vesicles that self-sustaining replicators, well that hasn't been done by humans as far as I know. It's that "critical step" that is probably a combination of many steps, steps that may require clay, or calcite, or ice, or evaporation, or acids, or bases, or some combination of several. It may require that the products of a clay reaction interact with products of an ice + evaporation reaction, or some other intricate chains of circumstance to assemble just the right molecules in just the right sequences.
...The question is, and will be for the forseeable future, in what set of natural environments can it happen again? And how broad or narrow are the circumstances that allow it?




Absolutely agree, You may also mention a rare combination of minerals acting as catalysers, or an exotic chemistry based on unstable organics from comets which might have been important to jump start these protocells and the strong radio-activity of early Earth...

But somehow i expect these conditions to be local occurances, but occurances nonetheless, on any rocky exoplanet of ~0.8-1.5g gravity orbiting at ~1 UA of a sun-like star (actually a T-tauri star) 4 billions years ago.




And that's the real question, isn't it. How typical is the Earth? There's a huge variety of planetary systems out there, which in one sense makes the Earth rare just by comparison with the other possible formation circumstances. And if all these local conditions need to occur in a certain sequence or at certain intensities, it may be pure chance as to whether it all comes together in the right way on any given planet.

I'm not making that as an argument, because I don't pretend to know. I'm not going to be laying bets either way.

Quote:


Only the impact that created the Moon is certainly a rare event and as a huge agitator-shaker of chemical reactives, it was surely a huge boost for the cinetic of Life on Earth.
Maybe the protocells would have 'died' out of fuel without the tides resplenishing the pools with the organics from the comets. Isn't the symbolism of a small 'Theia' (the impactor) hitting the bigger 'Gaia' and fertilizing it, somehow puzzling? only the flagellum is missing (unless Theia was a huge comet?)




Actually, I'm not sure a Theia-class impact is really all that rare during the accretion process. Maybe a Moon-sized result is.

Right now it just seems like the formation of planetary systems is so chaotic and so diverse, that just about any scenario is possible -- which makes any specific scenario pretty rare.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5438591 - 09/24/12 06:25 PM

Though I can think of a number of hypothetical scenarios, an interstellar SPCA is as good a metaphorical description as any.

Perhaps, thinking in terms of a hyper advanced signal interceptor and dissimulator is not helpful. Perhaps I need to limit the variables a bit.

So, lets try this; there is some governmental agency that is very uneasy about the social and political impact a verified signal from an interstellar source might have on the social and political fabric of humanity. So let's imagine GOVERNMENT wants to prevent further WOW signals from the single identified source the original signal came from, being received by the various independent radio astronomers around the world. Could it be done? How could it be done?

The silence is deafening.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5438610 - 09/24/12 06:44 PM

The government doesn't have the technology to block the signal. The closest they could come would be to jam it by broadcasting a powerful local signal at the same wavelength, but this would not be subtle - everyone would know it was being jammed.

I think it is a lot more likely that it was just a spurious signal than that there is some consipracy by some powerful agency to keep us in the dark about it.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5438887 - 09/24/12 10:30 PM

We have no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life. The options for this silence/absence include:
A. There are no other such civilizations.
B. They are very few in number.
C. Our radio technology is inadequate to the task of making contact.
D. Someone is interfering with/covering up/dissimulating the possible evidence of presence.

I believe that covers the major options.

For the four options listed A through D, please list them in the order you feel they should be listed indicating a more likely to least likely explanation for the silence/absence we are experiencing.

Here is mine: B, A, D, C


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5438924 - 09/24/12 10:56 PM

E. They aren't transmitting for reasons that have nothing to do with us.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rudra
super member


Reged: 07/02/10

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5439103 - 09/25/12 01:58 AM

F. The aliens are as much in dark about us as we are about them.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5439209 - 09/25/12 06:31 AM

C
B
E thru ZZZ
A
AAAA Thru ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
D

You mis-categorized A and D as major options

A is a sweeping conclusion based on an infinitesimally small sample size.

D is, for lack of a better term, rampant speculation.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5439328 - 09/25/12 08:57 AM

Quote:

We have no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life. The options for this silence/absence include:
A. There are no other such civilizations.
B. They are very few in number.
C. Our radio technology is inadequate to the task of making contact.
D. Someone is interfering with/covering up/dissimulating the possible evidence of presence.





I would say C, B, then A. I would group Dave's comment that they aren't transmitting under C (if they aren't transmitting, then radio tech is insufficient to detect them).

I would also rank C and B fairly close together, with A a distant third. I wouldn't even list D as a serious option.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5439394 - 09/25/12 09:40 AM

Quote:

C
B
E thru ZZZ
A
AAAA Thru ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
D

You mis-categorized A and D as major options

A is a sweeping conclusion based on an infinitesimally small sample size.

D is, for lack of a better term, rampant speculation.




You still can't discredit A as a major option any more than you can discredit any of the others based on scientific testing. In fact, at present we can't scientifically prove or disprove any. So one can't rule one out just because they hope that's not the case.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5439405 - 09/25/12 09:48 AM

A can be disproven - if we find one alien civilization, that will disprove it. So it is testable.

It is not provable, since not finding one doesn't mean that there isn't one beyond the range we can detect them.

I would rank it as lower probability due to the sheer size of the universe. Even if the odds of life on any one planet are almost negligible, there are so many out there that I think it unlikely we are truly alone. But I consider it likely that the other life may be so far away that we may never meet. But you are correct that it won't be totally discredited unless we detect life somewhere else.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5439433 - 09/25/12 10:01 AM

Well that's fine, IF a civilization is found. Then A is wrong, but it's a bit preliminary and presumptuous to state now that it's a lesser possibility than the others when we can't prove or disprove anything. I was speaking in present tense, not possible future tense.

I agree with you it's not provable, it's also not disprovable at present, so it can't be casually discarded. As you and Dave have described very well, we still don't know all the physical factors and variables of what caused life to develop and flourish. Tomorrow or next year, we might learn of a new piece that adds to the puzzle, and that might or might not change our view. But today we still just don't know so nothing can be ruled out or ignored.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5439463 - 09/25/12 10:18 AM

I don't think we can state any probabilities at all. It's a bit frustrating, but it's also an open field for research. This is why I don't really begrudge SETI. Even though I suspect they're barking up the wrong tree, at the very least they're going to collect a lot of data about the tree.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5439491 - 09/25/12 10:35 AM

My complaint about the idea of SETI is I feel the frequency band they monitor was an arbitrary decision on what was thought to be where intelligent communications might be found, and that they're limiting themselves by that decision. People working in SETI somehow need to broaden the scope of their monitoring and open to more possibilities, if that were possible with their funds.

Edit - I might be wrong, but I feel the SETI program is still stuck in Sagan's mindset of what he perceived, and they need to let go and move beyond that mold.

Edited by simpleisbetter (09/25/12 11:11 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5439548 - 09/25/12 11:18 AM

Steve, and others, going on what you (Steve) just said, would you please articulate as clearly and simply as you can what you think the basic assumptions of the SETI/Sagan/Drake group is/was.

Second, similarly, as clearly and simply as possible, would you state what might be an equally good set of assumptions under which we could conduct searches.

Thank you.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5439561 - 09/25/12 11:24 AM

Won't help SETI any, but just wait until Curiosity finds that fossil on Mars! Boy would that ever change the dialog!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5439584 - 09/25/12 11:31 AM

Here's a link to one of the more recent discussions I remember reading and why my views are where they are on it now. - here

As to your second question, and my statement about where to go...no idea personally. But when one sees someone looking at the night sky through a very narrow slit in a wall instead of walking outside, one can clearly see that their view is limited and too narrow. I'll leave the ideas of what to do next to those working in the field. To make the case that we assume life will develop elsewhere following the same patterns and technology as it has here is a bit narrow-minded, so those doing the work shouldn't limit themselves to that criteria.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Skip]
      #5439589 - 09/25/12 11:32 AM

Quote:

Won't help SETI any, but just wait until Curiosity finds that fossil on Mars! Boy would that ever change the dialog!




Okay, let's wait, where is it going to find them? Sorry Skip couldn't resist, it just sounded like an awful positive presumption.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Skip]
      #5439669 - 09/25/12 12:14 PM

Yes, it would change the conversation totally.

However, so far
- no fossils found on Mars, Venus, Titan, Mercury, Comet 67P, 433 Eros, 9P Tempel, 25143 Itokawa, the Moon,
- no incontrovertible extra-terrestial texts, fossils, parts of spacecraft, beings found on earth
- no radio or optical signals from outside the earth (other than WOW)

The silence is deafening. It is a silence which speaks volumes, i.e. qui tacit consentire videtur.

But...what do the volumes tell us?

Specifically, why don't we have evidence of "their" existence if they are (A) so many of them, and/or (B) they are so advanced, and/or (C) we are listening/searching in so many ways for about 50 years now.

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (09/25/12 12:46 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5439768 - 09/25/12 12:58 PM

So when I gave my opinion on which I thought was most likely, it was just that - my opinion. I am not claiming to have any proof of which is correct.

Quote:

Specifically, why don't we have evidence of "their" existence if they are (A) so many of them, and/or (B) they are so advanced, and/or (C) we are listening/searching in so many ways for about 50 years now.



To (A) - we don't know how many there are. And the key factor is less how many in total there are, than how close the nearest one is.

To (B) - we have no idea how advanced they are. Also, "advanced" doesn't mean you get to rewrite the laws of nature. If C is a true hard limit, then advanced civilizations will still be limited by it. And "advanced" and "noisy and obvious" are not the same thing - just because they are advanced doesn't mean they want to spend a supernova's worth of energy signalling for anyone else to see. After all, we aren't spending megawatts on trying to communicate with them, either.

For (C), 50 years isn't much time on a cosmic scale, and we have only been checking on a few wavelengths, and only with enough sensitivity to detect someone who is either very nearby or spending huge amounts of energy sending out signals. So I don't think that our search has been anything close to exhaustive.

This is just one of those questions that is probably not going to be answered in our lifetimes. Even if they are out there at high enough frequency for there to be several technlogical civilizations in our galaxy at one time, that's still a big enough neighborhood that it may be many thousands of years before we manage to notice each other.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5439879 - 09/25/12 01:35 PM

A...I agree. You are the one who confirmed for me the significance of n=1, and taught me the math behind that significance.

B...Yes...but, consider, 200 years ago many of us thought we had a very good understanding on the laws of nature from the Newtonian perspective. But we had no or very little idea of radio communication. Can we not, therefore, surmise, that ahead of us...not say 200 years, but say 2000 years, or 20,000 years...that there are laws of nature which will help us utilize currently unimaginable means of communication and interaction.

(C) I agree, 50 years is not much time to find something one is looking for. It took a long time to make some of the current discoveries in science; especially medicine, even after the correct problems to be solved were identified.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5440002 - 09/25/12 02:29 PM

B...like who would have thought you could get an image of something around the corner by just shooting light at the door of the room...even ten years ago....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5440092 - 09/25/12 03:24 PM

Quote:

B...Yes...but, consider, 200 years ago many of us thought we had a very good understanding on the laws of nature from the Newtonian perspective. But we had no or very little idea of radio communication. Can we not, therefore, surmise, that ahead of us...not say 200 years, but say 2000 years, or 20,000 years...that there are laws of nature which will help us utilize currently unimaginable means of communication and interaction.





Sure, But radio only works of both of you have one tuned to the same station. Let's say that aliens have discovered the Star Trek "subspace" communications that are faster than light, and they are having some wonderful philosophical discussions about how long it will take the newbies on earth to notice. We would be completely unaware of this, not due to their silence but to our deafness.

So the fact that we haven't heard communication by these fantastic new technologies is not evidence that they aren't there, it's just evidence that we don't know how to listen for them.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5440101 - 09/25/12 03:28 PM

Quote:


However, so far
- no fossils found on Mars, Venus, Titan, Mercury, Comet 67P, 433 Eros, 9P Tempel, 25143 Itokawa, the Moon,




Eh? That's about as informative as not finding fossils on a granite slab at a mile away.

If there are to be fossils anywhere in the solar system other than Earth, my bet would be Europa.

If fossils of any kind do exist on Mars, they're likely to be bacteria-sized. We'd need a completely different method of looking for them than what we have now.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5440485 - 09/25/12 07:30 PM

Alone?

Geeze, mankind is so darn self-centered.

What makes you think an advanced alien culture would even use radio frequencies to communicate?

To use an analogy, it may be that we are trying to detect a cell phone conversation by looking for smoke signals just on the horizon.

Not only that, but suppose alien cultures are zipping by us all the time but view us as evolutionary young'ns

I mean, would we bother to stop and introduce ourselves to nematodes on a planet we are passing by?

And, as far as technology goes...radio first squeaked out a signal around 1900'. By 2002' our planet became really quiet again as omnidirectional broadcasts were replaced with optic fiber, cable and point to point microwave transmissions. Our loudest radiations into space are now military radars. And we continue to grow quieter. So if other civilizations follow our pattern they would only radiate 'leakage' for about 100 years or so.

Naw, they are out there. They are right under our nose. And I fear contact with any civilization way in advance of our own.

Pesse (...for nobody bothers to blaze a trail on a paved road.) Mist


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5441144 - 09/26/12 07:35 AM

EGGGG--ZACTLY!!

We are basically totally ignorant of 99.9999999999999....9999999999% of the observable universe.

and we barely have begun to understand our own little 0.0000000...000001% of it.

and we expect aliens to find us and make a play date??!!

or we think it is being hidden from us??!!

Once one starts to grasp the sheer un-fathomable magnitude of the colossal odds we are dealing with, our current state of knowledge of this VAST universe seems like a pretty amazing accomplishment.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5441465 - 09/26/12 11:23 AM

Thank you Douglas and Anthony for your comments. Of course, the terran self centeredness of the question being discussed is apparent. You are correct in this regard. If you get a chance to read this entire thread, you will see that this reference to terran self centeredness has been mentionned.

But, here is the question. Let's take Sagan as something of an authority. He asserted, if I remember correctly, that it was reasonable to assume there are a million technologically advanced civilizations out there.

Further, it was a Myron Effing who studied under Sagan at Cornell who taught me the difference between generation 1 and generation 2 (population 2 and population 1) stars in a spiral galaxy such as the Milky Way. Without going into the math, simply said, over 99% of the civilizations would be advanced technologically of us, spanning a range of just a little bit better than us to around 2 and a half billion years advanced of us.

In that "spectrum" of numbers and range of development it would seem some are using our types of communication (radio and optical) and that they have been using it long enough (tens of thousands of years) for signals to have reached....signals of a type they might not even use anymore.

That is, the detritus of their earlier radio garbage should be washing over us.

Why don't we sense any of this.

Options of course include:
1. There are no where near a million advanced civilizations.\
2. The physics of radio and light propagation for some reason we have not figured out, don't keep their coherence over such distances (e.g. 10s of thousands of light years).
3. Some really advanced civilizations are interfering with our ability, or anyone's ability to communicate. As one person put it, an intra-galactic SPCA.

Thus my statement "The Silence is Deafening"

I'd appreciate your responses.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jason H.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Central Florida
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5441586 - 09/26/12 12:43 PM

"...But, here is the question. Let's take Sagan as something of an authority. He asserted, if I remember correctly, that it was reasonable to assume there are a million technologically advanced civilizations out there."

He also posited that "...there may be few others, maybe nobody else at all for us to talk to." at 7:06 in this video

http://youtu.be/MlikCebQSlY

Carl Sagan was always concerned with humankind eliminating itself, and it was quite reasonable to him that the longevity of technological civilizations could be very limited. Also, since Carl was a Scientist, observation was the key to knowledge; faith-based philosophy of the number of civilizations in the Universe was not his thing, so he wouldn't state authoritatively the number of civilizations, especially knowing (as a professional Astronomer) the numerous possible limiting factors.

Jason W. Higley


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5441656 - 09/26/12 01:19 PM

Quote:




In that "spectrum" of numbers and range of development it would seem some are using our types of communication (radio and optical) and that they have been using it long enough (tens of thousands of years) for signals to have reached....signals of a type they might not even use anymore.






This premise is wrong. Earth is going radio quiet now after ONLY 100 years. Everything is fiber optic, cable, point-to-point. We are orders of magnitude less bright in the radio spectrum than we were just a few short years ago...and we are getting dimmer.

So most advanced civilizations are probably radio silent for the most part.

The other thing is, even those close whose 'leakage' is washing over us now...well, the fact is we do not posses the receiver sensitive enough to distinguish it from the background.

If one lives inside a closet there might be a party going on right in the next room. But if one hears muffled noise through the closet door it might just be dismissed as wind & storm sound.

On another note, there might be life arising all over the place. At some point in our future evolution we may (and probably will) become beings no longer linked to this universe or dependent on corporeal bodies for existence...thus these advanced beings effectively 'leave' this Universe and are no longer around to contact us.

If this point in evolution is chronologically close to us, say several million or so years, you wouldn't expect anyone to be around. They matured and flew the coop so-to-speak.

Pesse (Bet I can take a non corporeal alien in a fight..they are all phantomweights.) Mist

Edited by Pess (09/26/12 01:23 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5441711 - 09/26/12 01:51 PM

Jason, Doug,

Would I be correct in summarizing your arguments in this way?

Our technological communication techniques are artifacts of a brief time in a civilization's history.

We may well not be alone, but for all practical purposes we are, until we reach some more advanced state of being.

Do I understand you correctly?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5441806 - 09/26/12 02:34 PM

Our position, the position to which we keep seeming to return to here is

We think they exist, or we hope they exist, yet
we have no evidence they do exist, which
we can explain by either holding they don't exist or exist within conditions and parameters we are not as yet able to experience or enter or engage.

Interesting...these positions seem to apply equally well to the issue of the existence of intelligent/sentient extra-terrestrial creatures, and to the issue of beings with immortal souls.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5441892 - 09/26/12 03:28 PM

Quote:

Options of course include:
1. There are no where near a million advanced civilizations.\
2. The physics of radio and light propagation for some reason we have not figured out, don't keep their coherence over such distances (e.g. 10s of thousands of light years).
3. Some really advanced civilizations are interfering with our ability, or anyone's ability to communicate. As one person put it, an intra-galactic SPCA.




1 - a million civilizations in what area? The entire universe? That would be an average of less than one per galaxy. In our galaxy? That would require some assumptions that life is very common, and that a high percentage of planets with life develop intelligent life, and that a high percentage of those develop advanced technology. So not seeing lots of technological civilizations nearby just means that those assumptions are probably wrong.

2 - We have figured out the reason - non-directional transmission get weaker by the square of the distance. Given the distances involved, we couldn't detect ourselves even at the nearest star. There could be plenty of radio-using civlizations out there, but unless they are either very close and very loud, or aim a laser at us, we are unlikely to detect them.

3 - There is nothing to suggest this. And you skipped the possibility that they are communicating by means that we have not yet discovered.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5441971 - 09/26/12 04:17 PM

You're correct. Forgot to mention that one.

1. There are few or no other intelligent/sentient civilizations.

2. The technology we use to transmit radio and optical data and the technology we are currently limited to to receive optical and radio information, being subject to the inverse square law, and impacted by any number of phenomena that might mess up the signals makes contact difficult.

3. They may well be using technologies of communication and transportation with which we are so unfamiliar we would not recognize them if we were receiving them (if they were brushing past us).

4. (I'm going to stick to this as a possibility only because censorship is such a real fact of our institutions and because parents/guardians protect children from information all the time.) Actually a version of #2, someone(s), somehow are keeping us from receiving signals we can understand.


Parse away!

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5442292 - 09/26/12 07:58 PM

Advanced civilizations may have moved beyond the electromagnetic spectrum in just a few hundred years. So, if they were near, say within 1000 LYrs we would never know they were around.

Also such advanced beings may already be aware of us and choose not to contact us because most of the human population is still living in a conditon that is relatively primative. Such a contact would cause such a social upheaval that would make the news events of recent weeks look tame by comparison.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5442315 - 09/26/12 08:10 PM

Imagine two guys lounging in floating inner tubes, one of them in the Atlantic Ocean, and the other in the Pacific. Let them paddle around to their hearts' content, going wherever they choose at paddling speed and shouting as loudly as they'd like for as long as they're able. Let's assume a life-span of eighty years. What are the chances they'd ever make contact?

What if their life-spans overlapped by only five years. What are the chances they'd ever make contact then?

And what if their life-spans didn't coincide at all. What are the chances one would ever hear the lingering echoes of the other's voice?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5442346 - 09/26/12 08:23 PM

Items 1 and 2 on your list alone are more than sufficient to explain why we haven't found any other life yet. They will continue to be sufficient for our lifetimes and probably the lifetimes of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Until we manage to reach and explore a few hundred solar systems, we really won't have made much of a dent in the search for life on other planets. As for receiving radio signals, we would need a receiver larger than the diameter of the earth's orbit to pick up signals on the power order of what we send out from more than a few tens of light-years away (a tiny fraction of our galaxy alone). So to ask why we haven't found anything when we can only "hear" extremely loud signals from nearby is sort of silly. It's not deafening, the surprise would be if had found them that quickly. It would only be possible with our current technology if the odds of technological life around a given star approached 1 so that there would be life very nearby.

Hank's analogy is a good one.

Jarad

Edited by Jarad (09/26/12 08:24 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5442658 - 09/26/12 11:13 PM

The speculation is fun, but the danger is that we'll convince ourselves that we can actually conclude anything meaningful with this exercise.

If we reach a conclusion at all, it's because we've jumped to it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5443004 - 09/27/12 07:09 AM

Good analogy Colonel !

we could make it a little closer to scale if they were Parameciums trying to detect the ripples of each others cilia



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5443267 - 09/27/12 10:43 AM

Quote:



If we reach a conclusion at all, it's because we've jumped to it.




For the win....

Pesse (Just because WE never won the Super lotto doesn't mean that somebody out there is not taking home $350 million...) Mist


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5444210 - 09/27/12 08:57 PM

Quote:

we could make it a little closer to scale if they were Parameciums trying to detect the ripples of each others cilia




I think you're right.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CollinofAlabama
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5446215 - 09/29/12 03:21 AM

Otto,

Jarad is absolutely right regarding radio transmissions. Please read Lazio's January 2012 S&T article. Assume a civilization that parallels ours, on the exact same timescale as ours, exists at Alpha Centauri. It is HIGHLY unlikely we would get ANY detectable signals from them, even though they, like us, would have gone through "I Love Lucy" broadcasts in the 50's and 60's, etc. Radio waves as issued forth by humanity on earth, simply don't carry over the light years expanse of space. They dissipate to nothingness rather quickly. And Alpha Centauri, though ONLY 4.5 light years away, is a rather poor candidate for an earth-like planet. Assume the nearest earth-like planet is 50 light years away. There is simply NO way we'd get any of their radio transmissions (or they'd have rec'd any of ours) given the nature of radio wave transmissions at the paltry radiation levels we've emitted in the past 127 years.

Consequently, the silence isn't deafening at all. It's what would be expected. As Lazio points out, laser transmissions would be our best SETI communication method that we know of today, excluding Jarad's valid point about a Star Trek-ian 'faster-than-the-speed-of-light' sub-space tranmission technology a more highly Physics-advanced civilization might possess. But the types of laser transmissions, and the gigawatt style technologies we'd need to employ and tie resources to, are simply not something we're inclined to do. Of course, someone on the other end would have to be able to 'listen' to our gigawatt laser blast, and be precisely enough in the somewhat narrow path of transmission to be able to respond. And the whole process, given a 100-light year distance, would take at least 200 years to come to fruition.

But the stream deposits Curiosity just discovered on Mars is very interesting. Of course, the bottom line is, where is the Methane coming from? Sadly, even if the answer is "life just under the surface", it's still possible that life in our Solar System actually began on Mars and was transplanted to Earth (and possibly Europa and elsewhere) via meteor impacts and ejection. But this might be 'determinable'. That is, we might be able to see that any future microbial life on Mars and life on Earth came from the same source biologically, genetically. If that were true, it would only mean life began in the Solar System at the best place it could at the time (which could have been Mars 3.5+ billion years ago) and migrated out.

OTOH, if one found Martian life (and Europan life, etc.) utterly unrelated and 'unrelatable' to earth life, well then one would have to say life can spontaneously exist in even semi-reasonable locations and arises relatively easily in the universe.

But all this means we find the Methane of Mars isn't from some process we presently don't understand, but is geologic and non-organic in nature. But we don't know this yet, one way or the other. We know Mars shouldn't have so much Methane in its atmosphere from what we can determine. The surface appears biologically dead, and there doesn't appear enough geologic activity to warrant the quantity of methane we see. Life is one explanation, but undetermined geochemical forces can't be ruled out. Curiosity has a big job on its hands, and we may indeed need several more Martian explorers before we can say what's up on Mars, methane wise.

The methane signature of Mars is not deafening at all. It's loud and clear. But as usual, it's message is not a given, and science must push on to determine why, exactly.

One interesting idea to consider is how long we might be able to detect a faint laser beam transmission from, say 100 light years away? Could we? Would an observatory see anything? This is an interesting question, and one we'd have to consider as we contemplate building a huge, space-aloft super laser that would blast out signals to star systems many 10's and perhaps 100's of light years away. Like the pointless (for SETI work) radio transmissions of the last 127 years, there's no point in bothering if we can't really pull it off (i.e., use a super powerful burst that we ourselves might be able to detect and receive from a comparable distance).

But again, we've got this global warming thing to deal with, and building huge, expensive space-based lasers to 'talk' to aliens we can't say confidently can (or will) respond is a hard sell to the tired and hungry masses of this planet. And if you don't believe we can end up like baterium in a Petri dish destroying our own environment to the point of exinction, I invite you to visit a huge South Asian city and attempt to breath the air.

Otto, I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, but left there at 18 to go to off to college. After one academic year away from home, I returned and did one full year (including summer) at UAB. I moved away in 1983 and haven't lived in Alabama since (Austin, Ames and since 1992 Lubbock being my homes since 1983). I have returned many times to visit relations there, but doubt I'll live there again, given the economic, cultural and familial realities of my life. I don't hate Alabama, but them's the cold, hard facts. Besides, Lubbock, Texas is in the geographic west of the North American continent. Not exactly sure where it begins in Texas, somewhere between Fort Worth and Abilene (sorry, Will Rogers was wrong, the West does not begin at Fort Worth, still hot and humid, but some point west of there). But Lubbock is definitely part of it. I loathe eastern summers now, and, of course, prefer the dark skies of the west.

But Otto, the silence is not deafening. The lack of laser beam transmissions might be, but the radio silence really isn't.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: CollinofAlabama]
      #5446409 - 09/29/12 08:49 AM

One thing that is missing in this discussion is the idea that the "silence" may not be due to the vast distances between civilization but possibly an overestimate of the probability of other intelligent life existing in the universe at all. Despite the extraordinary criteria for a planet to not only be a candidate for abiogenesis but to also continue to support life there is the matter of the possibility that intelligent life is far more rare than originally thought. New research points to the possibility that intelligence may have come about by a sequence of genetic mutations.

“Human and chimpanzee genomes are 99 percent the same, but clearly, that 1 percent difference is hugely significant. Exactly why our mental and linguistic capabilities are so far ahead of our chimp cousins now looks closer to being explained, thanks to a new study in the journal Human Mutation. It shows that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans. Importantly, it seems that it originated less than 5 million years ago and scientists believe they now know the mechanism behind its production.”

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20070407221059data_trunc_sys.shtml


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5446623 - 09/29/12 11:17 AM

When does Congress get their dose of this miracle protein?

-drl


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5446658 - 09/29/12 11:46 AM



Quickdraw - I agree that the frequency of intelligent life is part of the issue, but we did mention it a bunch of times (it's part of Otto's item #1).

On the silence part, I was just playing with the numbers for signal strength. Let's say that we decide to transmit a signal in every direction with a strength of 1.21 gigawatts (to represent "a lot of power").

Let's assume that there is a civilization at Alpha Centauri, 4.5 light years from here, running a SETI program and looking at us. That's about 2.65*10^13 miles away.

So the signal strength there would be 1.21*10^9 / (2.65*10^13)^2 watts per square mile. That comes to 1.73*10^-18 watts per square mile. So if their radio telescope has an area of one square mile (a lot bigger than any of ours do), they will receive 1.73*10^-18 watts of signal. I think that will be below their limit of detection.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CollinofAlabama
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Lubbock, Texas, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5446694 - 09/29/12 12:10 PM

VERY good point, Quickdraw. Let's face it, even a well directed laser beam from a mere 50 light years away would have been lost on the Woolly Mammoths, to say nothing of T-Rex and especially the trilobites. And even if we find abundant life on Mars and Europa, the likelihood of intelligent life is almost a foregone conclusion.

As Jarad pointed out, if Sagan, et Alia predicted one million occurrences of intelligent life for the universe, that averages out to much less than one per galaxy! Hardly comforting, especially when one considers high beam gigawatt or, for galactic communication, terawatt lasers (at the mere speed of light) as our communication mode. That would give us and the theoretical single intelligent civilization in Andromeda over 4 million years for a 1st contact communication. Talk about time delayed transmissions! Hmm, guess we humans are gonna have to figure out global warming and sustainable human populations in some kind of logical fashion right here, using only our own creativity and resourcefulness. Golly!

Oh yeah, we have to figure out terawatt lasers, too. Jarad, you are only pointing out the folly of radio signals as a foolish communication mode. It is, as Lazio pointed out in his article. As for brains in Congress, well, they are only a reflection of us. If we elect morons who oppose birth control and don't "believe in" evolution (as tho rejecting the world is a sphere could somehow make it flat), well, that's what you get. Actually, when you consider for decades we had Congresses that condoned and fortified the Institution of Slavery, I think they're a pretty good lot. I especially prefer them to the Soviet Duma or Hitler's Reichstag, or even Putin's Duma. We can always decide to remove the idiots, but if Americans continue to elect them, I still prefer them, as Churchill famously said, to "all the others".

Edited by CollinofAlabama (09/29/12 12:28 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5446698 - 09/29/12 12:12 PM

Jarad, are those figures including the affect of the Heliosphere, or do we not know how exactly that boundary affects signals?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5446758 - 09/29/12 12:56 PM

I just realized I do not know what Curiosity has been designed to detect in terms of direct evidence of life? If you know, please share!

E.g. indisputable organic chemistry? photos of microbial fossils? ?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5446774 - 09/29/12 01:08 PM

Long before the movie Contact was made, I read what I think was Sagan's book on which Contact was made. If you read it you may recall that the "tangible" evidence of contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence was not the 18 hour blank tape, but sand in the traveler's pocket.

Anyway, I don't recall if the book had the 1 million figure or not. But that statement did show up in the movie. In the movie Jodie Foster says, " "There are 400 billion stars out there, just in our galaxy alone. If just one out of a million of those had planets, and just one in a million of those had life, and just one out of a million of those had intelligent life, there would be literally millions of civilizations out there."

Besides myself, did you catch the oddness of the math in that statement. A million of a million of a million of 400 billion is......4X10^11 divided by 10^6 is 4X10^5, 4X10^5 divided by 10^6 is .4. .4 divided by 10^6 is 4X 10^-7.

If we allow Jodie was saying, out of all galaxies, then we have 4X10^11 times 1X10^11 galaxies which equals 4X10^22 stars. 4X10^22 divided by 10^6, divided by 10^6, divided by 10^6 is 22-6-6-6 or 4X10^22-18 which works out to, what? 40,000 throughout the universe.

So (and please, correct my math) either the movie (Sagan?) is saying we come up with 40,000 intelligent civilizations throughout the universe or that there is a .00004% chance of one intelligent civilization in the Milky way (.0000004 X 100X).

Edited by Otto Piechowski (09/29/12 01:09 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5447025 - 09/29/12 03:54 PM

Quote:

Jarad, are those figures including the affect of the Heliosphere, or do we not know how exactly that boundary affects signals?



I assumed perfect transmission through vacuum (no blocking by anything). But I did forget to include the constant of 4*pi in the denominator, so it should actually be closer to 1x10^-19 watts per square mile...

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5447032 - 09/29/12 03:58 PM

Quote:

Anyway, I don't recall if the book had the 1 million figure or not. But that statement did show up in the movie. In the movie Jodie Foster says, " "There are 400 billion stars out there, just in our galaxy alone. If just one out of a million of those had planets, and just one in a million of those had life, and just one out of a million of those had intelligent life, there would be literally millions of civilizations out there."




Yes, with those numbers we would only expect 0.4 planets with life per galaxy, and only 1 intelligent life per 250,000 galaxies.

But like I said earlier, we really don't know what the odds are. And we haven't looked closely enough at any other planets to spot anything other than someone nearby shining a mega-terawatt laser right at us. And there really isn't much reason to think they would be doing that, since we haven't sent out anything powerful enough for them to notice.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5447173 - 09/29/12 05:41 PM

Quote:

I assumed perfect transmission through vacuum (no blocking by anything). But I did forget to include the constant of 4*pi in the denominator, so it should actually be closer to 1x10^-19 watts per square mile...

Jarad




Thanks, so basically it's just not going to happen using SETI's current search methods, so we're wasting a lot of time and money on it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5447219 - 09/29/12 06:17 PM

Quote:

I just realized I do not know what Curiosity has been designed to detect in terms of direct evidence of life? If you know, please share!

E.g. indisputable organic chemistry? photos of microbial fossils? ?

Otto




Otto,

As far as I know the only instrument on board curiosity which has been designed to detect direct evidence of life are the cameras. So if we can photograph a bloom of algae or liken or an orange furry creepy crawler well, that would most likely be real evidence of life but don’t count on it.
Mars is far and away the closest model of Earth ever discovered and so far has been proven to be void of life.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5447229 - 09/29/12 06:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I assumed perfect transmission through vacuum (no blocking by anything). But I did forget to include the constant of 4*pi in the denominator, so it should actually be closer to 1x10^-19 watts per square mile...

Jarad




Thanks, so basically it's just not going to happen using SETI's current search methods, so we're wasting a lot of time and money on it.




Exactly !


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5447248 - 09/29/12 06:32 PM

Would you know if there is a microscope on Curiosity? and if so, what if magnifies and in what light?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5447559 - 09/29/12 09:29 PM

Quote:

Thanks, so basically it's just not going to happen using SETI's current search methods, so we're wasting a lot of time and money on it.




We're not going to detect someone of our technology level and energy output. We could potentially detect someone who is much more advanced than us, if they are spending more energy than we can manage on trying to be noticed.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5447577 - 09/29/12 09:47 PM

And that's where I see a flaw with the approach. Let's suppose someone were out there and just by chance decided our system looked favorable to send a hi-power directed (focused) beam message to. Based on your figures, and overcoming external EM influences, how much power would be needed to generate a burst signal to the magnitude necessary for us to detect, receive, and still be able to interpret it?

Edit - without knowing the figures, I did a bit of contemplating. Would it be safe to say the power required to generate such a directed beam signal that we might be able to detect would be greater than the power stored in a CME? I know we can't detect a CME on distant stars at present so it must be greater than that. Which means far greater than all the power stored in all the worlds nuclear weapons? That would seem a safe assumption of how much power would be needed to send a detectable, momentary, interplanetary signal, in one direction.

Edited by simpleisbetter (09/29/12 10:36 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
stephen63
sage
*****

Reged: 05/19/10

Loc: Central Pa
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5447904 - 09/30/12 03:03 AM

I googled "Minimum Discernible Signal for SETI receivers" and found an interesting paper. Curiously, table 2 uses signal levels at 10 LY. Link:
http://www.coseti.org/paper_01.htm


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: stephen63]
      #5448049 - 09/30/12 08:31 AM

That table assumes tightly focused laser transmission, which of course would require much less power than a non-directional signal.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jason H.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Central Florida
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5448955 - 09/30/12 06:33 PM

It's A LOT MORE difficult than most understand. I think this article might clarify things for some

http://www.setileague.org/articles/range.htm

You can run the numbers yourself with this SETI Range Calculator by pressing "Click to calculate results" and see the default values play out

http://www.satsig.net/seticalc.htm

There a 50 meter wide antenna (i.e. narrow beam-width of large scope concentrates power) transmitting at 60,000 watts at the same frequency as satellite TV only goes 22.9 light years to a receiving dish of the same size (i.e. a humongous dish.) If one changes the receive dish size to the size of one dish on the Allen Telescope Array (not built as designed BTW because of the lack of funds that some seem so concerned about) then the distance is less than 4 light years that it's detectable at that power!

Jason W. Higley


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5448981 - 09/30/12 06:47 PM

I am curious how this might be compared to the signals we receive from the Voyager probes?

How much power do they transmit with and how "wide" of a beam do they use?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jason H.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Central Florida
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5449157 - 09/30/12 08:46 PM

Quote:

I am curious how this might be compared to the signals we receive from the Voyager probes?

How much power do they transmit with and how "wide" of a beam do they use?




Although I'm just a fan (and not pretending to be a SETI or radio scientist) a while back I had written (as there were several SETI @ home top candidates that caused me to) that Voyager II had a ~3.66 Meter High Gain Antenna (which I imagine one could make rudimentary beam-width estimates with, not knowing the actual beam form/shape and how the side lobes are.)

Back then I had come up with (but I don't remember how I did it) a beamwidth that was ~2.2 degrees at S Band and ~0.6 degrees at X Band.

I've heard several times over the years that Voyager's transmit power is only ~20 watts and at the Earth-based antennas the power received was compared to being 20 billion times smaller than the power of a watch battery or less than the energy released by a snowflake hitting the ground (although I couldn't personally back that up; it's obviously a tiny amount of energy, and my primative/ignorant calculations show that it may only be detectable to less than 1 light day away? But since Voyager 1 is only ~16 light hours away, and Voyager 2's almost 14 light hours away, I guess we'll be good-to-go for awhile with current technology.)

This may also be of interest

http://www.space.com/6014-seti-signal-detectors-allen-telescope-array-light-faint-fiducials.html

and this one I found tonight that had a lot of info that was radio telecom specific for Voyager

http://descanso.jpl.nasa.gov/DPSummary/Descanso4--Voyager_new.pdf


Jason W. Higley

Edited by Jason H. (09/30/12 10:23 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jason H.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Central Florida
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5449360 - 09/30/12 10:56 PM

Just adding, I saw this one

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=6924

where the guy says of the Voyager's that the "Signal strength for both is down to around -160dbm through the Network's big 70-metre antennas."

I believe that's in the femtowatt range? (or the quadrillionth [ten-to-the-minus-fifteen] of a watt range?)

Jason W. Higley


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jason H.]
      #5449943 - 10/01/12 10:39 AM

I believe I am correct in asserting the position taken here on the issue of intended and unintended communications with extra-terrestrial intelligence is:

1. It has not happened.
2. It makes sense it has not happened for "this" reason, or for "that" reason.
3. Such communication may happen sooner rather than later, man happen later rather than sooner, or may never happen.

Might I suggest we put aside the issue of communication, intended or otherwise, and now turn our thoughts and words to the issue of transportation.

a. Do we agree there is no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence having visited us human persons?

b. How could such transportation occur? Within the possiblities of the technologies we think are real and likely? Within imaginary but possible technologies of the future?

c. How likely is it that such beings will come to us?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5450140 - 10/01/12 01:20 PM

Quote:

a. Do we agree there is no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence having visited us human persons?




I agree with this. Some people obviously disagree (watch any UFO show or movie), and it may come down to what you think qualifies as "evidence", but I don't think there has been any physical evidence sufficiently strong to stand up to peer review thus far.

Quote:

b. How could such transportation occur? Within the possiblities of the technologies we think are real and likely? Within imaginary but possible technologies of the future?




Within currently understood technology, something along the lines of the book "Footfall" is possible. In that book aliens came to earth using a multi-generational ship along the lines of a Bussard ramjet at sublight speeds. Their primary weapon against us was basically dropping rocks from orbit (simple, yet effective).

With imaginary technologies, pick your SF book or movie of choice, or create your own. Hard to narrow that one down...

Quote:

c. How likely is it that such beings will come to us?




Well, working from our N of 0 on this one, we have no real way to guess. The most I will say is "unlikely".

If you want me to narrow it down further, I would say "less likely than us finding other life", since we at least know for sure that we exist, and us discovering other life would include non-intelligent and non-technological ones like bacteria under the ice of Europa, which should be mor ecommon than technologically advanced intelligent life. But them finding us requires that other intelligent life exists, is nearby enough to detect us, has developed tech well in advance of our own such that they can travel here, and is interested enough in coming here to spend the effort to do so.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5450188 - 10/01/12 01:51 PM

Jarad,

Is it possible there is more likely a chance of being visited by extra-terrestrial intelligent civilizations then being communicated with by them. I know...intuitively...it sounds like a silly question. But, let's run with it, if we can at all.

Let's us assume in both cases there are the same number of intelligent civiilzations spread throughout the galaxy.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5450189 - 10/01/12 01:51 PM

Spending the effort is the real hurdle. It's not that the technology needs to be exotic -- we're really not that far from having the requisite technology ourselves. The problem is that implementing it is horrendously expensive, both energetically and in physical resources.

They'd have to really, really want to come here, and frankly the surface of the Earth doesn't offer any physical materials that couldn't be had much more cheaply and conveniently by mining the comets.

The cost/benefit equation just doesn't add up, and that's a completely different thing than the Drake equation.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5450199 - 10/01/12 01:58 PM

Quote:

Is it possible there is more likely a chance of being visited by extra-terrestrial intelligent civilizations then being communicated with by them. I know...intuitively...it sounds like a silly question. But, let's run with it, if we can at all.




Is it possible? Sure. Just assume that there are aliens and that they want us to use for food. You don't talk to food, you just go harvest it.

Is it likely? I doubt it, for the reasons that Dave said, and for the intuitive ones you have given, and based on the assumption that it will be easier to communicate with us than to visit us.

Even with my friends, I usually follow the rule of "Call first." With strangers who may or may not be friendly, that goes double...

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5450203 - 10/01/12 02:01 PM

I talk to my food, but it rarely initiates the conversation.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5450460 - 10/01/12 04:40 PM

Talk all you want after it's cooked. Just not while it's still moving around.

"Be vewwy quiet.... I'm hunting Wabbits!"

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Andy Taylor
Twisted, but in a Good Way
*****

Reged: 09/24/08

Loc: Epsom - UK
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5450487 - 10/01/12 05:06 PM

Quote:

Thanks, so basically it's just not going to happen using SETI's current search methods, so we're wasting a lot of time and money on it.




Otto et al...

I've been following this thread very closely and the waters have become very muddied...

I have no head for the math - just a leap of "faith" - or more likely a "gut" feeling.

I see the Hubble deep fields images and to me the number of walls and strings of galaxies shown in just this small area numbs me.

The number of stars in the whole sphere would be just beyond conception.

These odds tell me that there MUST be life elswhere - intelligent or not.

But we'll never know - that is the tragedy.

Restrict the search to G zero type stars in the local vicinity - 2nd generation at least. These stars are stable enough to allow life enough time to develop.

If nothing then forget it. We are bottled up like Larry Nivens Moties.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Andy Taylor]
      #5450752 - 10/01/12 08:03 PM

G through at least the first half of K are all probably reasonable choices.

I don't think our ignorance here is a tragedy -- even if it's destined to be very long-term. The tragedy would be if we stopped wondering, stopped exploring, and stopped dreaming.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Andy Taylor]
      #5450775 - 10/01/12 08:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks, so basically it's just not going to happen using SETI's current search methods, so we're wasting a lot of time and money on it.




Otto et al...

I've been following this thread very closely and the waters have become very muddied...

I have no head for the math - just a leap of "faith" - or more likely a "gut" feeling.

I see the Hubble deep fields images and to me the number of walls and strings of galaxies shown in just this small area numbs me.

The number of stars in the whole sphere would be just beyond conception.

These odds tell me that there MUST be life elswhere - intelligent or not.

But we'll never know - that is the tragedy.

Restrict the search to G zero type stars in the local vicinity - 2nd generation at least. These stars are stable enough to allow life enough time to develop.

If nothing then forget it. We are bottled up like Larry Nivens Moties.




it seems unfair that the universe is so big and mostly empty. But that's the price we pay for a benign, long lasting environment.

-drl


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5451365 - 10/02/12 05:51 AM

Quote:

I believe I am correct in asserting the position taken here on the issue of intended and unintended communications with extra-terrestrial intelligence is:

1. It has not happened.
2. It makes sense it has not happened for "this" reason, or for "that" reason.
3. Such communication may happen sooner rather than later, man happen later rather than sooner, or may never happen.

Might I suggest we put aside the issue of communication, intended or otherwise, and now turn our thoughts and words to the issue of transportation.

a. Do we agree there is no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence having visited us human persons?

b. How could such transportation occur? Within the possiblities of the technologies we think are real and likely? Within imaginary but possible technologies of the future?

c. How likely is it that such beings will come to us?




Otto,

If we focus on possible >light speed travel than we must also consider the possibility that intelligent alien life forms are within our possible perception range to intercept an EM signal. You cannot dismiss one and not the other.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5451369 - 10/02/12 06:05 AM

Quote:

G through at least the first half of K are all probably reasonable choices.

I don't think our ignorance here is a tragedy -- even if it's destined to be very long-term. The tragedy would be if we stopped wondering, stopped exploring, and stopped dreaming.




My way of thinking is that an Earth like planet is much rarer than we estimate. Of course, out of the hundreds of exoplanets discovered none have been found to be Earth like. Sure there have been some bingo moments only to be refined later to something much less then. One factor that I find limiting is that estimates are ~1/3 of all stars are in a binary system. It seems intuitive to me that most planets in a binary system are going to be either ejected from the solar system or possess such an erratic orbit that life would be impossible. Then we have the fact that maybe another 1/4-1/3 of planets are very close or in the galactic core which again intuitively seems to me like it would be a very hostile place for life to form and thrive.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5451451 - 10/02/12 08:01 AM

In phenomenology, a branch of philosophy, we call this investigatory technique "bracketing". I am speaking in reference to the choice to lay aside what seems to be and very well may be an insurmountable objection to ruling out what seems to be an intuitively clear consideration.

Specifically, let us assume, for whatever reason that communication is more difficult than transportation. This is, in all likelihood an incorrect assumption that transporation is easier than communication. (However, I believe it was Asimov who composed a science fiction narrative in which two intelligent species never connected because they relied on the assumption of communication which, because of their different biologies was simply not possible; and, because of their different biologies, was never even recognized as impossible; i.e. one species transmits its information in recordings of sound and sight whereas the receiving species has neiter of these two sensory capabilities).

We bracket the obvious to see to what unimagined conclusions can be reached should we direct our full attention to what has not been fully considered; understanding, of course, that once we have drained the counter-intuitive assumption of all its wealth, we can and must return to the issue we bracketed and involve a consideration of it in any real and final conclusions we might draw.

Science itself often brackets, with very beneficial effecs; for example, all of its assumptions and axioms are brackets. However, because science does not play well with philosophy, though it makes philosphical assumptions all the time, it rarely gets back to the stage of reconsidering its assumptions; largely because to do so, the scientist would then need to step out of the realm in which she/he feels most comfortable (i.e. science) and investigate philosophically.

Thus, my question is simply to invite us scientists to consider an issue from one focused scientific perspective, to see to what it will lead us, knowing later we still need to include in any substantive consideration the issue(s) we bracketed.

Thus, let us assume the hyper-intelligent ones have chosen to go the travel-route rather than the communication route...perhaps they have learned the first is easier than the second...perhaps their sensory constellation has made them immune to the concept of distance and the hesitancies that assumption creates...perhaps it never crossed their minds to think contact was more difficult than communication....whatever....so

Within the technologies we know are possible, is contact by travel/transporation more likely over time compared to contact by communication?

Within the hypothetical technologies we think might be possible but of which we have no use as yet, is contact by travel/transporation more likely over time compared to contact by communication?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5451469 - 10/02/12 08:25 AM

Quote:

However, because science does not play well with philosophy, though it makes philosphical assumptions all the time, it rarely gets back to the stage of reconsidering its assumptions; largely because to do so, the scientist would then need to step out of the realm in which she/he feels most comfortable (i.e. science) and investigate philosophically.




I don't think this is true. Scientists are usually very aware of the assumptions made, and test them as often as possible. There are a few untestable assumptions that we do accept, like the one that what we measure is real and not an illusion, but otherwise we do look very carefully at the assumptions and consider whether they may not be correct.

And the issue about stepping out of science is less an issue of discomfort than an issue of practicality. No, we can't prove that everything we sense isn't an illusion. So we can either sit here and worry about that issue, or make the assumption that everything isn't an illusion and move forward. If someone ever comes up with a way to conclusively test that assumption, we'll be happy to test it, but in the meantime lets not let it stop progress. If it turns out that it's all an illusion, at least we kept ourselves entertained.

Quote:

Thus, let us assume the hyper-intelligent ones have chosen to go the travel-route rather than the communication route...perhaps they have learned the first is easier than the second...perhaps their sensory constellation has made them immune to the concept of distance and the hesitancies that assumption creates...perhaps it never crossed their minds to think contact was more difficult than communication....whatever....so

Within the technologies we know are possible, is contact by travel/transporation more likely over time compared to contact by communication?



Well, this is sort of circular. If we assume the hyper-intelligent species have mastered interstellar travel but not interstellar communication, then of course it would be more likely that we would make contact by transportation than by communication. It's built into your assumption.

The real question is what are the odds of there being a hyper-intelligent species that has mastered interstellar transport but not communication. Again, based on our N of 0, we can't really say. Intuitively I would guess the odds of that are pretty low, but that's just my personal gut feeling. We have no data to base such odds on.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5451654 - 10/02/12 10:37 AM

Yes, I was talking about the explicitly philosophical assumptions upon which science relies, such as objectivism.


Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/02/12 11:39 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5451860 - 10/02/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

Yes, I was talking about the explicitly philosophical assumptions upon which science relies, such as objectivism.





Okay. But again, it's not an issue of discomfort nor that we are unaware of the assumption. It's that not making the assumption leaves us unable to make progress. So we make it, we acknowledge it as a basic assumption, and we move on.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5451878 - 10/02/12 12:37 PM

I am not reading this thread and the silence is quite pleasant.

/Ira


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Ira]
      #5451906 - 10/02/12 12:55 PM

it seems to me that philosophy is the the "science" of coming up with assumptions and analyzing all of them as hypothetical possibilities.

But true science uses logical processes to rule out unrealistic assumptions and spends it's time and effort on following provable (or falsifiable) assumptions to make a foundation for further assumptions and research.

I hope that made sense


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5452847 - 10/02/12 11:08 PM

More falsifiable than provable. I always wince at the phrase "scientific proof".

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rick Woods
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5452991 - 10/03/12 01:25 AM

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
If a man utters the words "chrono-synclastic infundibulum" in the woods and there's nobody there to hear him, was it still a silly thing to say?
Why is there air?
Am I just babbling here?

We may never know the answers to these questions. But True Facts backed by Scientific Proof are definitely one of many things that may or may not have anything to do with whatever it was I was talking about in the first place.

Can we at least agree on that?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5453014 - 10/03/12 02:08 AM

You made me wince again.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5453110 - 10/03/12 06:39 AM

okay

my bad

how about 'testable'


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5453236 - 10/03/12 09:07 AM

And then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there's what one of my geology profs contemptuously termed "research into the obvious."

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5453401 - 10/03/12 11:18 AM

Beside radio signals and lasers, Earth (i.e particles accelerators) must emit some weird stuff. We don't have a Higgs boson telescope, but if anybody outside us had one such telescope, we would shine like the only source of Higgs in a pitch black Universe.
Probably that the Higgs is not a good example, but some neutrinos produced by our accelerators or nuclear explosions are making us a very bright source in the Universe.

Edited by dickbill (10/03/12 11:19 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5453408 - 10/03/12 11:22 AM

The word, bracketing, is used in phenomenology (a branch of philosophy) to refer to decision to not consider significant aspects of some consideration when considering the overall/broader issue to which those signification aspects belong.

When one brackets it is fully understood that at some point one must bring those bracketed-significant-aspects back into the broader conversation before any final conclusions can be drawn.

One might ask, "Why bracket?" One answer is that sometimes bracketing makes more easily apparent self-contradictions within the overall conversation which were covered over and not apparent when the bracketed-significant-aspects were still included in the over all conversation. One can then choose to reject the entire train of the conversation and move onto other forum topics.

The second advantage of bracketed-significant-aspects is that significant issues become apparent which were overlooked in the haze created in considering the issue being discussed with the bracketed-significant-aspects included.


I invite us to bracket the assumption under which we have been operating that communication would be the more preferred manner of first making contact with another extra-terrestrial-intelligence; i.e. that contact-by-communication would be preferred prior to making contact-by-means-of-transportation.

Let us make two assumptions, the first of which because of n=1 we have no idea if it is possible or not, and the second seeming to be a bit more certain: the first, let us imagine in our galaxy; coming-to-intelligence/sentience is common; the second, that evolutionary biology is the common tool of species development.

We are, therefore, imagining a Milky Way Galaxy in which there are lots of civilizations, and we are assuming the vast majority (c. 99%)are vastly advanced of us (c. 2.5 billion years of development)[hereafter, refered to as the 99-2.5s]...both of these due to the generation 1/2 reality.

Now, let us suppose we are really smart, you and I here on CN and that we have actually began to realize a commandment of the universe to which these 99%-2.5billion adhere without question, that communication is a real pain; in fact, worthless to attempt. Might these 99-2.5s say something like, "we have two choices, neither are really great but one is possible and the other is not. The impossible one is trying to communicate. The possible one is to use the transporation means at our disposal, which will take tens or hundreds of thousands of years to get anywhere interesting. We will invest those "craft" with the means to store and develop DNA/robotics/nano-technological cyber beings whenever they might arrive. We will send out thousands, hundreds of thousands of these."

Now let us give intelligence the credit it is due and assume that they have come up with many effective-but-slow-methods-of-transportation-and-contact.

The assumptions above having been made and accepted, it seems to me if there is 99-2.5s, and if they have gone this seeding route for the reasons given above, we should have evidence of the same. A lot of evidence.

We have none.

Under the assumptions given and accepted, does this indicate we are alone?



Just run with it. As I said, we are bracketing...we will get back to accepting the n=1 issue of we can't know squat about numbers of advanced civilization and....we will get back to the assumption that communication is no more difficult than transporation.

But, in case we are prone to be being argumentative and contrary, perhaps we can give the assumed hypothetical transporation-rather-than-communication scenario a boost by means of asking and responding to a question:

The question: "Both being theortetically possible; both meaning communication and actual contact by transportation, why would intelligent species not first, and preferentially prefer attempting communication since it is seemingly easier?

Response: Three analogies:

(1) Humans are able to talk about sex (communicate) and experience sex (transportation)[e.g. "Hum...would I rather talk with her/him over the phone or by text-message, or would I rather drive my car an hour to be with him/her? Hum....]. All things being equal, most people prefer to actually have physical contact rather than just talk about it.

(2) Nursing homes are filled with people who are in many types of significant physical pain. Yet, the elderly and chronically ill, by far, desire more then they do, a drug or therapy to reduce pain, desire/want/crave/demand to have someone to be present/to sit near them /to touch them/to be touched by them.

(3) Evolution applies as much to ecclesiology as it does to biology. It does not matter what religion one is considering, there is a common evolutionary trait which occurs in all instititutions of belief...that evolutionary trait is the transition from satisfaction with words to the need for touch. Whether the "religion" (from a Latin word religare meaning that which binds a people together) is the scientific establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, AA, Islam, the-religion-of-those-who-have-drunk-the-Apple-Coolaid, an evangelical faith...given enough time, every last one adds experiences of touch (i.e. sacraments) to the communication of words.

Drawing on the three analogies given to highlight the possibility that hyper-intelligent-beings might naturally devote their energies more to contact-by-transportation rather than to communication-at-a-distance, I now offer these conclusions:

Conclusion #1: The moment civilizations begin to realize attempted communication-at-a-distance is a waste of time....they will jump all over the transporation option no matter how slow it might be.

Conclusion #2: We don't see any evidence of any physical presence or contact whatsoever. We are alone in the Milky Way.


(Just run with this hypothetical argument and see where it leads us. Ideally it will lead to an internal self-contradition in which we can then reject it outright. Or, ideally as well, it will lead to an insight about communication/transportation we have not yet considered.

Later....later....we can return to our bracketed assumptions...i.e. that n=1 tells us we can't determine the prevalence of advanced civilizations...and the degree of their advancement...and their preference of communication or transporation.)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5453462 - 10/03/12 12:00 PM


Anthony, you (he) wrote, "it seems to me that philosophy is the the "science" of coming up with assumptions and analyzing all of them as hypothetical possibilities. But true science uses logical processes to rule out unrealistic assumptions and spends it's time and effort on following provable (or falsifiable) assumptions to make a foundation for further assumptions and research. I hope that made sense"


Your words were fully understandable.

Permit me to expand upon your/his statement.

Science rests upon a philosophical assumption referred to as objectivism. It accepts objectivism without question. It understands objectivism cannot be proved. It accepts objectivism...on faith.

Wasting no further time on justifying or even considering this assumption, science then gets about the business it feels, and is in fact, very comfortable performing; considering the essence of matter (and its variations such as energy) and motion.

In performing this activity, science contents itself with two lines of inquiry; they are (1) logical coherence between the premises obtained through induction and the conclusions drawn deductively from those premises, and (2) does the conclusion result in practical / productive / pragmatic (i.e. technological) applications; i.e. does-it-work.

The scientists I have known and under whom I have studied tend to avoid the use of the word "fact" because it, too, is loaded with philosophical assumptions. Colloquially, when the word "fact" is used in scientific discussions, it is usually used as a synonym for (1) and (2) above.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453472 - 10/03/12 12:10 PM

Quote:

The word, bracketing, is used in phenomenology (a branch of philosophy)...<snip>...




Is there a Cliff's Notes version of that post? Just looking at it makes my
eyes explode.

Is the point of philosophy to use the most words to say nothing? Because I
have no freaking idea what you are trying to say or even what the point is
anymore.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Shadowalker
Apocaloptimist
*****

Reged: 11/23/04

Loc: Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, ...
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453491 - 10/03/12 12:33 PM

Quote:

Is the point of philosophy to use the most words to say nothing? Because I have no freaking idea what you are trying to say or even what the point is anymore.




That has been my experience.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453518 - 10/03/12 01:03 PM

EJN/you wrote, "Is there a Cliff's Notes version of that post? Just looking at it makes my eyes explode. Is the point of philosophy to use the most words to say nothing? Because I have no freaking idea what you are trying to say or even what the point is."


Thank you for your response to my attempt to speak as clearly as possible, and yet as simply as possible. Your comments were, I believe, candid, clear, and communicated a great deal of meaning.

The beauty (to some) and the frustration (to others) of philosophy is that any statement, if it is meant to communicate a meaning, can then become a basis for further discussion.


EJN, to your question, "Is there a Cliff's Notes version of that post?"...probably not. If you are interested, here is why.

Way back in this same thread (I think it was this thread) I made reference to the fact that for any given verb, whereas English has about fifty forms, ancient philosophical Greek (as one example among others) has around 250. This allows a great deal of nuance in attempting to explain things clearly. An analogy I have used in exegetical instruction is to consider providing someone with a colorful painting by the impressionist Monet and a Crayola 8 Pack of crayons, and then ask that person to attempt to create a photo rendition of the Monet painting. The original Monet is the expression in Greek. The attempt to replicate it with the 8 pack crayola is using English to explain the same concept.

Thus, the answer is, yes, there are those who prefer cliff and spark notes of philosophical ideas, but they are of limited value. I recall, once saying to a theologian who was frustrating me with what seemed to be his philosophical-babble, "What are you saying? In a nutshell, please!" To which he responded, "I can give you a nutshell response, but all you will have is a nutshell."

Philosophy, theology, and to a somewhat lesser degree, the so-called soft sciences attempt to discover and display the essence of realities which are much more difficult to understand than the relatively easy things with which the so-called hard sciences and math deal. Philosophy, theology, and the "soft sciences" deal with things such as life, love, God, beauty, and hundreds of others; whereas the "hard sciences" wisely limit themselves to the consideration of only matter (and the variations of matter such as energy) and motion.

Because the sciences and math deal with comparatively easy things involving matter (and its variations) and motion, the language of science and math can be reduced to symbols (usually, but not always) mathematical symbols. Thus, a few scientific/mathematical symbols can replace hundreds of words, or more.

The beauty of scientific/mathematical symbology is that one can speak precisely about the matters of one's limited area of concern. Also, and this one is dangerous, it provides the scientist with a feeling of control.

Control does feel good. Many of us crave it. All of us desire it. And one can choose to live in the limited area of such control. But that choice removes one from living in the human world; the world of human affairs.

The ultimate personal danger for living in a world of control is that one becomes a homo mechanicus; machine-like. The possible result of such a preference is to live in a world which truly is composed of Turing Machines.

............................

EJN, please permit me as I now use some of your comments to revisit an issue I discussed with others earlier.

I made the assertion earlier that science sometimes does not play well with philosophy. If this statement of mine is true, it may be because of what I said above; science deals with a very clear and direct symbology, whereas philosophy is limited to the use of words to express much more difficult realities than those with which science deals.

Assuming you/we agree with the statement just made, the real question arises, should we, without further consideration stop making, and if need be, stop allowing the making of philosophical references in our CN discussions?

This is a legitimate philosophical question!

Should we decide to censor philosohical comments, I think we should be clear on what we are deciding.

First, we are deciding to keep our discussion comparatively simple and clear, limited to matter and motion.

Second, we are deciding to avoid the fact that CN is a political entity; i.e. in engages in political activity; i.e. censorship. Censorship can be good or bad. But is the decision to not talk about this community's political actions, good or bad?

Third, we are deciding to not discuss the philosophical assumptions upon which science depends; i.e. objectivism and others besides. Is this decision not to discuss science's own philosophical assumptions good or bad?


In closing, permit me to quote the words of the linguistic philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

This statment which closes his logical work entitled Tractatus logico-philosopohicus has been translated many ways into English. [Like Greek, German simply contains expressions which cannot be easily translated into one definite English form.] One good and useable translation is "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Another is, "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."

The "nutshell" translation I heard in graduate school was, "Those who have nothing to say should remain silent."

Having been trained in dialogue and phenomenology, I am of the opinion that all persons are philosophers...they have no choice. The only choice they have is to do philosophy well or poorly.

I disagree with Wittgenstein in the following sense, only. For people to learn to be fully human (i.e. Terrence's famous "humani nil a me alienum puto" ["nothing human is alien to me"]) they must engage in dialogue about the most important of human issues. Through dialogue they become more fully human. Thus, in the real world, I don't think a person should ever decide to remain silent; at least not as a modus operandi. However, I do agree with Wittgenstein that if one is limiting oneself to a specific discussion about a very limited matter such as matter or motion or mathematics or logic...then those who know little should speak less, listen more, and ask questions.

Do you agree with my statement? Do you agree with your understanding of Wittgenstein's statement? That is, would you prefer in the CN forum, Socrates [philosophy] remain silent or, if he [it] refuses, he [it] be silenced?

or, can science play well with philosophy?



Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/03/12 01:27 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453531 - 10/03/12 01:18 PM

"If it can't be expressed in mathematics, it's only opinion"

-- paraphrase of Robert A. Heinlein


And how come in so many philosophical discussions, the author feels the need
to throw in phrases in Latin, Greek, or German; Carthago delenda est when
the reader might not know the translation shamma lamma ding dong?
Is this an attempt to impress or obfuscate?

Because it is best to avoid obfuscation with persistently persnickety perspicacity.




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brentwood
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/04/05

Loc: BC Canada
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453544 - 10/03/12 01:33 PM

English is just as capable as Ancient Greek as getting any message across. Over the years, English has evolved and has replaced many of its verb forms with conjunctions & prepositions. It does not make it an inferior language.
As for Philosophy, I think I'll decline thank you. I had enough of talking in circles when I was in the Corporate World. Why use a single word when a paragraph says the same thing!
I did pick up a book on Philosophy once, as I thought it would help in my surge to the top of the Corporate ladder. I quickly gave up when on a quick flip through revealed that page three said exactly the same as page three ninety two!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453557 - 10/03/12 01:41 PM

Thank you, EJN for your comments, "how come in so many philosophical discussions, the author feels the need to throw in phrases in Latin, Greek, or German; Carthago delenda est when the reader might not know the translation shamma lamma ding dong? Is this an attempt to impress or obfuscate? Because it is best to avoid obfuscation with persistently persnickety perspicacity."

The easy, face saving response would be for me to say I am providing the original quotes because the reader deserves (1) to know the person's exact words, and (2) the reader may not know the original words and may require a translation.

A more true response would be to say I enjoy using languages.

A possibly-as-true and slightly embarrassing response would be to say that I like the feeling of control and sometimes I get this feeling when I use foreign words or scientific/mathematical symbols with which others are not as familiar.

Another possible reason is that using these foreign languages is a manifestation of my own arrogance.


Of all these, I think the desire to be helpful and the pleasure I feel using these languages is a possible explanation. But, more likely, the more basic reason is the desire for control and arrogance.


Which assertion, then allows another philosophical consideration....


Can a statement be arrogant and correct?

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/03/12 01:46 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453561 - 10/03/12 01:43 PM

I am delighted to talk about philosophy (theology, science, morality, politics, too). If you wish to do so, please continue with me.

Or, we can return, if you wish, to my original question/pondering:



I invite us to bracket the assumption under which we have been operating that communication would be the more preferred manner of first making contact with another extra-terrestrial-intelligence; i.e. that contact-by-communication would be preferred prior to making contact-by-means-of-transportation.

Let us make two assumptions, the first of which because of n=1 we have no idea if it is possible or not, and the second seeming to be a bit more certain: the first, let us imagine in our galaxy; coming-to-intelligence/sentience is common; the second, that evolutionary biology is the common tool of species development.

We are, therefore, imagining a Milky Way Galaxy in which there are lots of civilizations, and we are assuming the vast majority (c. 99%)are vastly advanced of us (c. 2.5 billion years of development)[hereafter, refered to as the 99-2.5s]...both of these due to the generation 1/2 reality.

Now, let us suppose we are really smart, you and I here on CN and that we have actually began to realize a commandment of the universe to which these 99%-2.5billion adhere without question, that communication is a real pain; in fact, worthless to attempt. Might these 99-2.5s say something like, "we have two choices, neither are really great but one is possible and the other is not. The impossible one is trying to communicate. The possible one is to use the transporation means at our disposal, which will take tens or hundreds of thousands of years to get anywhere interesting. We will invest those "craft" with the means to store and develop DNA/robotics/nano-technological cyber beings whenever they might arrive. We will send out thousands, hundreds of thousands of these."

Now let us give intelligence the credit it is due and assume that they have come up with many effective-but-slow-methods-of-transportation-and-contact.

The assumptions above having been made and accepted, it seems to me if there is 99-2.5s, and if they have gone this seeding route for the reasons given above, we should have evidence of the same. A lot of evidence.

We have none.

Under the assumptions given and accepted, does this indicate we are alone?



Just run with it. As I said, we are bracketing...we will get back to accepting the n=1 issue of we can't know squat about numbers of advanced civilization and....we will get back to the assumption that communication is no more difficult than transporation.

But, in case we are prone to be being argumentative and contrary, perhaps we can give the assumed hypothetical transporation-rather-than-communication scenario a boost by means of asking and responding to a question:

The question: "Both being theortetically possible; both meaning communication and actual contact by transportation, why would intelligent species not first, and preferentially prefer attempting communication since it is seemingly easier?

Response: Three analogies:

(1) Humans are able to talk about sex (communicate) and experience sex (transportation)[e.g. "Hum...would I rather talk with her/him over the phone or by text-message, or would I rather drive my car an hour to be with him/her? Hum....]. All things being equal, most people prefer to actually have physical contact rather than just talk about it.

(2) Nursing homes are filled with people who are in many types of significant physical pain. Yet, the elderly and chronically ill, by far, desire more then they do, a drug or therapy to reduce pain, desire/want/crave/demand to have someone to be present/to sit near them /to touch them/to be touched by them.

(3) Evolution applies as much to ecclesiology as it does to biology. It does not matter what religion one is considering, there is a common evolutionary trait which occurs in all instititutions of belief...that evolutionary trait is the transition from satisfaction with words to the need for touch. Whether the "religion" (from a Latin word religare meaning that which binds a people together) is the scientific establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, AA, Islam, the-religion-of-those-who-have-drunk-the-Apple-Coolaid, an evangelical faith...given enough time, every last one adds experiences of touch (i.e. sacraments) to the communication of words.

Drawing on the three analogies given to highlight the possibility that hyper-intelligent-beings might naturally devote their energies more to contact-by-transportation rather than to communication-at-a-distance, I now offer these conclusions:

Conclusion #1: The moment civilizations begin to realize attempted communication-at-a-distance is a waste of time....they will jump all over the transporation option no matter how slow it might be.

Conclusion #2: We don't see any evidence of any physical presence or contact whatsoever. We are alone in the Milky Way.


(Just run with this hypothetical argument and see where it leads us. Ideally it will lead to an internal self-contradition in which we can then reject it outright. Or, ideally as well, it will lead to an insight about communication/transportation we have not yet considered.

Later....later....we can return to our bracketed assumptions...i.e. that n=1 tells us we can't determine the prevalence of advanced civilizations...and the degree of their advancement...and their preference of communication or transporation.)

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/03/12 01:44 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453597 - 10/03/12 02:03 PM

Quote:

A more true response would be to say I enjoy using languages.




My favorite is Elvish:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-díriel,
le nallon sí di'-nguruthos!
A tíro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!











Legal stuff for moderators:

Quote:

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

You are free:

* to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work

en.wikipedia.org




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: brentwood]
      #5453603 - 10/03/12 02:07 PM

You wrote, Brentwood, "English is just as capable as Ancient Greek as getting any message across. Over the years, English has evolved and has replaced many of its verb forms with conjunctions & prepositions. It does not make it an inferior language."

I agree with your statement that English is not "an inferior languauge."

However, English, in addition to its strengths, does have limitations. Permit me to share with you three examples.

Just this morning, not five hours ago, I was reading about Saint Therese Lisieux. For those who don't know Catholic stuff, she died at age 24. As a young nun, sensing something special about her, she was required to write out her spiritual reflections which later became known as "the little way". Her "little way" was written in French. Anyway, the comentator made the following statement about Therese's "little way": "Every line is marked by the artless simplicity of a literary genius, so that even when translated from its musical euphonious French into mechanical clanking English, it still read with the rhythm of a prose poem."

Second, I have noticed people are touchy in these CN forums whenever they sense someone is making a reference to him or her directly, or to his or her comments, directly. It is as if the word "you" ignites over-sensitivity. Well, German (and other languages I'm sure you know) has a neat little way to avoid igniting this over-sensitivity; that neat little way is to use the word du when responding to a specific person and to use the word sie when addressing a global group without pinpointing one person. In English, we only have the word "you" which means both.

A third problem when dealing with the transition from any human language to any other human language; every act of translation is necessarily (always) an act of interpretation. That is, every time we translate a word from one language into another language, the translator is imposing one interpretation out of many possible interpretations upon the reader who is unfamiliar with the original language word or phrase. For example, suppose I wanted to translate the idea "I know" into French. I could use the verb comprendre, connaitre, or savoir. Each of these words has a slightly different connotation of meaning.

Oh, just thought of a fourth example. I used it earlier in this thread (I think it was this thread). In English we have the word "life". This English word is the correct translation of the greek words zoh-ay and bee-os. And, in fact, when I read translations of Greek, I noticed the word life being used of both these words. Yet, in Greek, whereas zoh-ay does mean life as we tend to mean the word life in English, bee-os also tends to mean what in English is stated as "a life"; as in "get a life." To make to an English speaking audience a clear distinction between when I am speaking of "life" or "a life", I then need to use more words than Greek would have used.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453606 - 10/03/12 02:10 PM

EJN

Elvish looks pretty! Does it sound, I don't know how to ask it other than...does it sound pretty?

I have often wondered...perhaps you can educate me on this issue...is the Elvish you quoted (is it from Lord of the Rings stuff?) an actual ancient language like say, French or Russian....or is it a manufactured language like Klingon?

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/03/12 02:18 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453637 - 10/03/12 02:26 PM

Quote:

EJN

Elvish looks pretty! Does it sound, I don't know how to ask it other than...does it sound pretty?

I have often wondered...perhaps you can educate me on this issue...is the Elvish you quoted (is it from Lord of the Rings stuff?) an actual ancient language like say, French or Russian....or is it a manufactured language like Klingon?

Otto




It is an invented language. J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist by profession.
It is influenced by Finnish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvish_languages_%28Middle-earth%29


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453641 - 10/03/12 02:28 PM

I like invented languages....I learned how to use pig-Latin really well when I was young...for all sorts of reasons, good and not so much.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Andy Taylor
Twisted, but in a Good Way
*****

Reged: 09/24/08

Loc: Epsom - UK
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453668 - 10/03/12 02:48 PM

I fold.

I've lost the thread completely...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Andy Taylor]
      #5453691 - 10/03/12 03:03 PM

My apology....


the current iteration is this:

I invite us to bracket the assumption under which we have been operating that communication would be the more preferred manner of first making contact with another extra-terrestrial-intelligence; i.e. that contact-by-communication would be preferred prior to making contact-by-means-of-transportation.

Let us make two assumptions, the first of which because of n=1 we have no idea if it is possible or not, and the second seeming to be a bit more certain: the first, let us imagine in our galaxy; coming-to-intelligence/sentience is common; the second, that evolutionary biology is the common tool of species development.

We are, therefore, imagining a Milky Way Galaxy in which there are lots of civilizations, and we are assuming the vast majority (c. 99%)are vastly advanced of us (c. 2.5 billion years of development)[hereafter, refered to as the 99-2.5s]...both of these due to the generation 1/2 reality.

Now, let us suppose we are really smart, you and I here on CN and that we have actually began to realize a commandment of the universe to which these 99%-2.5billion adhere without question, that communication is a real pain; in fact, worthless to attempt. Might these 99-2.5s say something like, "we have two choices, neither are really great but one is possible and the other is not. The impossible one is trying to communicate. The possible one is to use the transporation means at our disposal, which will take tens or hundreds of thousands of years to get anywhere interesting. We will invest those "craft" with the means to store and develop DNA/robotics/nano-technological cyber beings whenever they might arrive. We will send out thousands, hundreds of thousands of these."

Now let us give intelligence the credit it is due and assume that they have come up with many effective-but-slow-methods-of-transportation-and-contact.

The assumptions above having been made and accepted, it seems to me if there is 99-2.5s, and if they have gone this seeding route for the reasons given above, we should have evidence of the same. A lot of evidence.

We have none.

Under the assumptions given and accepted, does this indicate we are alone?



Just run with it. As I said, we are bracketing...we will get back to accepting the n=1 issue of we can't know squat about numbers of advanced civilization and....we will get back to the assumption that communication is no more difficult than transporation.

But, in case we are prone to be being argumentative and contrary, perhaps we can give the assumed hypothetical transporation-rather-than-communication scenario a boost by means of asking and responding to a question:

The question: "Both being theortetically possible; both meaning communication and actual contact by transportation, why would intelligent species not first, and preferentially prefer attempting communication since it is seemingly easier?

Response: Three analogies:

(1) Humans are able to talk about sex (communicate) and experience sex (transportation)[e.g. "Hum...would I rather talk with her/him over the phone or by text-message, or would I rather drive my car an hour to be with him/her? Hum....]. All things being equal, most people prefer to actually have physical contact rather than just talk about it.

(2) Nursing homes are filled with people who are in many types of significant physical pain. Yet, the elderly and chronically ill, by far, desire more then they do, a drug or therapy to reduce pain, desire/want/crave/demand to have someone to be present/to sit near them /to touch them/to be touched by them.

(3) Evolution applies as much to ecclesiology as it does to biology. It does not matter what religion one is considering, there is a common evolutionary trait which occurs in all instititutions of belief...that evolutionary trait is the transition from satisfaction with words to the need for touch. Whether the "religion" (from a Latin word religare meaning that which binds a people together) is the scientific establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, AA, Islam, the-religion-of-those-who-have-drunk-the-Apple-Coolaid, an evangelical faith...given enough time, every last one adds experiences of touch (i.e. sacraments) to the communication of words.

Drawing on the three analogies given to highlight the possibility that hyper-intelligent-beings might naturally devote their energies more to contact-by-transportation rather than to communication-at-a-distance, I now offer these conclusions:

Conclusion #1: The moment civilizations begin to realize attempted communication-at-a-distance is a waste of time....they will jump all over the transporation option no matter how slow it might be.

Conclusion #2: We don't see any evidence of any physical presence or contact whatsoever. We are alone in the Milky Way.


(Just run with this hypothetical argument and see where it leads us. Ideally it will lead to an internal self-contradition in which we can then reject it outright. Or, ideally as well, it will lead to an insight about communication/transportation we have not yet considered.

Later....later....we can return to our bracketed assumptions...i.e. that n=1 tells us we can't determine the prevalence of advanced civilizations...and the degree of their advancement...and their preference of communication or transporation.)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brentwood
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/04/05

Loc: BC Canada
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453800 - 10/03/12 04:11 PM

Well that clears it up, and Otto, we can all try & use 'Thou' and 'Ye' if that would help.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453817 - 10/03/12 04:27 PM

Quote:

Let us make two assumptions...



To briefly summarize, the assumptions are that life is common, interstellar communication is hard, but that intelligent life has figured out interstellar travel at sublight speeds.

You therefore conclude that we should have evidence of alien visitors or their movements.

We do not.

By reductio ad absurdum, that means we can conclude that these assumptions are not all correct.

Quote:

Under the assumptions given and accepted, does this indicate we are alone?




No. It means that it is not the case that life is common, insterstellar communication is impossible, and interstellar travel is easy.

It could still be the case that life is common, interstellar communication is hard, and interstallar travel is impossible (or just very hard). Or various other combinations that result in us not meeting or hearing the other life.

Quote:

(1) Humans are able to talk about sex (communicate) and experience sex (transportation)[e.g. "Hum...would I rather talk with her/him over the phone or by text-message, or would I rather drive my car an hour to be with him/her? Hum....]. All things being equal, most people prefer to actually have physical contact rather than just talk about it.




This only applies to other humans of the appropriate gender (and perhaps other requirements as well, depending on your personal preferences... [subliminal] hot blonde [/subliminal] ).

Or, at least I hope it does... If not, I don't want to know about it.

I wouldn't apply it to other species, even ones found on earth. If the other species has adapted to life in a hostile environment by our standard, the idea of contact gets even less inviting.

I am quite content to have most of my interaction with poisonous snakes via seeing them on television rather than anything more intimate...

Quote:

(2) Nursing homes are filled with people who are in many types of significant physical pain. Yet, the elderly and chronically ill, by far, desire more then they do, a drug or therapy to reduce pain, desire/want/crave/demand to have someone to be present/to sit near them /to touch them/to be touched by them.




Many of them would like the company of a person, preferably a family member. Many do not want to be touched or visited by strangers, much less by snakes, rats, insects, or other less closely related species. And we happen to be a social species - plenty of species just here on earth do not enjoy social relationships. Bears for example, are solitary except for mating and mothers raising cubs to adolescence.

Quote:

(3) Evolution applies as much to ecclesiology as it does to biology. It does not matter what religion one is considering, there is a common evolutionary trait which occurs in all instititutions of belief...that evolutionary trait is the transition from satisfaction with words to the need for touch. Whether the "religion" (from a Latin word religare meaning that which binds a people together) is the scientific establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, AA, Islam, the-religion-of-those-who-have-drunk-the-Apple-Coolaid, an evangelical faith...given enough time, every last one adds experiences of touch (i.e. sacraments) to the communication of words.




I don't think this is true. There is no touching at a Jewish service, aside from the normal greetings that friends and family give each other. And again, just because we enjoy touching does not mean that even other species here on earth like it, much less alien ones.

Quote:

Conclusion #1: The moment civilizations begin to realize attempted communication-at-a-distance is a waste of time....they will jump all over the transporation option no matter how slow it might be.




I don't think you can conclude this. You can speculate it, but I don't think the examples given even make it a valid conclusion for all humans, much less alien species.

Quote:

Conclusion #2: We don't see any evidence of any physical presence or contact whatsoever. We are alone in the Milky Way.




This does not follow, either. The Milky Way is large enough to have several thousand intelligent species at our level of technology without us bumping into each other or seeing each other. Depending on how difficult interstellar travel is, and how advanced societies decide on their destinations, we could even have thousands of interstellar societies in the galaxy that haven't reached us yet (especially if they focus on harvesting resources from Oort clouds, as Dave has proposed).

Jarad

Edited by Jarad (10/03/12 04:32 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453820 - 10/03/12 04:29 PM

Quote:

Well, German (and other languages I'm sure you know) has a neat little way to avoid igniting this over-sensitivity; that neat little way is to use the word du when responding to a specific person and to use the word sie when addressing a global group without pinpointing one person. In English, we only have the word "you" which means both.



That's why we down here in the south invented the word "Y'all".

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5453832 - 10/03/12 04:42 PM

Thank you Jarad, for taking this bracketed conversation on.

Though there are little things I desire to quibble with, the one I want to draw our attention to, is an idea of yours I had never really let sink in. Specifically, you wrote,

"This applies to other humans of the appropriate gender (and perhaps other requirements as well, depending on your personal preferences... [subliminal] hot blonde [/subliminal] ). I wouldn't apply it to other species, even ones found on earth. If the other species has adapted to life in a hostile environment by our standard, the idea of contact gets even less inviting."

Let me summarize your thought this way, the bracketed n=1 idea of we have no idea of the frequency of extra-terrestrial-intelligent beings other than that the odds are greater than 0.....that idea, the n=1, also applies to the idea of them prefering contact (though difficult) having decided communication is near to impossible. Your reasoning is, we can't just assume what appears to be the way of things on earth applies elsewhere; specifically, the-urge-to make actual contact by way of transportation.


This now constitutes the fourth hard nugget I feel I have been able to "take away" from conversations with you, drl, and Dave; those being
1. It's not just the act of human perception which causes a quantum level event to occur, it is any act/event in which the pre-quantum-quasi-determined is perceived; by an amoeba, a person, an instrument, whatever.
2. n=1 necessarily means we can draw no conclusion about the odds of there being extra-terrestrial-intelligence other than the odds are greater than 0 [an aside, the neat thing for me about this insight you gave me, is you also led me through the math. It made me feel I had a bit more command of the guts of the argument.
3. Dave's explanation of the limited number of phenomena which could explain rounded off rocks on Mars.
4. Again, your applying n=1 to the issue of the urge-to-merge


But now, Jarad, et alii, I have a follow up question. If it were the case extra-terrestrial-intelligent 99-2.5s tend not to have an urge-to-merge, would it not follow they also would not have an urge to communicate?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5453852 - 10/03/12 04:51 PM

Up here in Kentucky, where we are a bit more confused about which side of the Mason-Dixon line on which we reside....the phrase Y'all is also often used. As are "sweetheart", "darling", "honey".

Coming from Minnesota, we never used those words. Just not appropriate among the culture of Norweijan Bachelor Farmers and the Lutheran Frozen Chosen....but...after fifteen years here, I use these words, honest to God, without even thinking about it.

Thus, being employed by Xerox as an Apple Product Phone Consultant, my trainers/coaches/supervisors were absolutely stunned to hear me saying to one caller from New York City, another caller from Reno, Nevada; another caller from somewhere in Oregon...something like "Now, sweetheart, the way you get your MacBook to do such an so is to do an SMC reset. [Person asks a question, to which I respond]..."Yes, darling, that is how you do it. Now, be a honey and pull the cord from the wall."

I wouldn't say the supervisors went ballistic....but they did tell all of us to refrain from such southernisms.

Damn Yankees.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453898 - 10/03/12 05:25 PM

Quote:

Let me summarize your thought this way, the bracketed n=1 idea of we have no idea of the frequency of extra-terrestrial-intelligent beings other than that the odds are greater than 0.....that idea, the n=1, also applies to the idea of them prefering contact (though difficult) having decided communication is near to impossible. Your reasoning is, we can't just assume what appears to be the way of things on earth applies elsewhere; specifically, the-urge-to make actual contact by way of transportation.




Well, I am saying that even here on earth, we have N>>1 for species, and not all species are social, and not even all social species like physical contact. Fish school together, but do not actually touch except to mate or fight. There are many other examples. So if desiring physical contact isn't universal across species here on earth, we can't assume it will be universal in alien species. In fact, we can be pretty certain it won't be universal based on our earth-bound sample.

Quote:

1. It's not just the act of human perception which causes a quantum level event to occur, it is any act/event in which the pre-quantum-quasi-determined is perceived; by an amoeba, a person, an instrument, whatever.




In the contect of quantum mechanics, I think the meaning of "observed" means "interacts with another particle". I am not sure that it matters whether a living being is involved. When a photon gets absorbed by an electron, at that point it has been "observed", not when I look at the computer screen to see the image from my CCD camera.

Quote:

But now, Jarad, et alii, I have a follow up question. If it were the case extra-terrestrial-intelligent 99-2.5s tend not to have an urge-to-merge, would it not follow they also would not have an urge to communicate?




I am not saying they don't have an urge to meet other life, only that we can't assume that they all do. If we assume that there are multiple intelligent species out there, I would expect we will see a range of "sociability". Some might be like an insect colony - very social within the colony, but hostile to anything out of it. Some might be like whales or birds, gathering in groups and in almost constant communication, but with minimal physical contact. I am sure there many other possibilities that I can't come up with.

I wouldn't say it automatically follows that they do not have an urge to communicate - they may or they may not. But depending on how difficult it is to do, they may not have the means to communicate with us, or maybe they have the means but it is so expensive in terms of energy that they choose to spend that energy on something else. We certainly aren't spending anything near our maximum capability on sending signals out, so we would fall into this category. Does that mean we have no desire to communicate?

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5453912 - 10/03/12 05:40 PM

The thing being overlooked is the simple immense size of our own galaxy.

The Milky Way contains ~10^11 stars (~100 billion) not counting halo stars.

Lets assume there are 1000 intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. That would
mean 1 out of 100 million stars would host an intelligent civilization. The average
separation, assuming a random distribution, would be ~4000 LY. Now point a telescope
at a random patch of the Milky Way. What is the chance that one of the stars in the
field hosted an intelligent civilization? Very close to zero.

Let's say one of these civilizations wanted to try and contact another. Lets say
they ruled out stellar types unlikely to have had time for an intelligent civilization
to evolve, like red giants. You would still be left with billions of candidates.

Now you send a 1-minute message to each candidate star using, say, a huge radio
telescope with enormous transmitting power and a very tight beam. How long would this
take to send 1 billion messages at the rate of 1 per minute? About 1900 years.
To shorten that time to 1 year, you would need to build 1900 transmitters. To
listen for a reply, you would have to monitor the candidate stars for as long
as tens of thousands of years.

The point being (yes I do have one) that for an intelligent civilation in our galaxy
to locate and initiate contact with another makes finding the proverbial needle
in a haystack easy in comparison.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5453967 - 10/03/12 06:31 PM

Yes, EJN, let's use your assumptions as a starting point; 100 billion plus stars with only a thousand intelligent civilizations spread among them.

But, and I think this is a significant but...because of the generation 1/2 thing to which we referred earlier, on average, those one thousand are 2 and a half billion years advanced of us (i.e. on average, on planets around stars averaging 7.5 billion years age).

The point then....is they have had a billion or so years to send out fast craft, slow craft. Craft tend to leave remnants whereas messages flow by. Lets say they get the urge to send craft out once every 10 thousand years on average. Ten thousand divided into 2.5 billion is, what...250 thousand...which equates to 250 million civilization-transportation-contact events.

Yes, if 1000 only looked outward once, the odds are very poor. But if we are talking about 250 million civilization-transporation-contact-events, the odds are much improved of contact.

But we have no evidence of such contact.

Are they not there?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454009 - 10/03/12 07:03 PM

Quote:

The point then....is they have had a billion or so years to send out fast craft, slow craft. Craft tend to leave remnants whereas messages flow by. Lets say they get the urge to send craft out once every 10 thousand years on average. Ten thousand divided into 2.5 billion is, what...250 thousand...which equates to 250 million civilization-transportation-contact events.




The volume of the Milky Way is ~39 trillion cubic light-years, or ~10^51 cubic
kilometers. That's a lot of ground to cover. If they specifically wanted to visit
us, they would first have to know we are here. Interstellar travel would have enormous
energy requirements, it isn't like hopping on a plane, or even going to the moon.
If you were to go somewhere at interstellar distances, you would want to know in advance
that it was somewhere worthwhile to go to. And I do not think faster-than-light travel is
possible; besides the time paradoxes it would pose - unless everything we know about
physics is wrong - the speed of light is a fundamental aspect of spacetime
geometry
of the universe, and not just an arbitrary "speed limit." There was a
recent thread here about the so-called "warp drive" which is based on a solution of
GR which is unphysical.

Also, you assume old civilizations underwent more or less continuous advancement
in technological development. It is possible they could collapse. Completely. Repeatedly.



Quote:

But we have no evidence of such contact.
Are they not there?



Men in Black. Doing their jobs.

Or...using the argument "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" (see,
I can do it too),
1) The energy requirements of near-lightspeed interstellar travel are insurmountable, &
2) FTL interstellar travel is impossible (there is no "hyperspace" or "wormholes"),
so intelligent civilizations are trapped in their own solar systems, or at best could
travel only to the very nearest stars.

Or - if they took the "slow-boat" approach, say they have long life spans or have
perfected suspended animation, there has probably not been enough time to find us.
Or maybe they were here before we existed, and took back some pet dinosaurs.

Typing this gave me a migraine, I'm done here for now.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454113 - 10/03/12 08:11 PM

"I'm done with this thread. Typing this gave me a migraine."

I understand. Though writing never gave me headaches, it did create tremendous pain in my hands from writing...thousands of pages by hand...AND THEN...the word processor was developed! A dozen books/booklets and hundreds of various articles later, I have never stopped enjoying the attempt to use speech to articulate ideas clearly, to attempt to communicate meaning, and to attempt to do these in such a way that invited the reader to want to read what I wrote-to feel comfortably affirmed in the reading even when the content took issue with ideas stated and unstated.

Nothing sharpens the thinking and clarifies expression as well as articulating one's thoughts in dialogue and in writing in the court of one's peers.

......................

Volume is not the issue.

The issue is number of intended destinations, the average arrival times based on current assessments of what speeds are possible, and a statistical analysis of the average distance of intended targets.

The only assumption I am operating under, does in fact take your volume issue into account; these civilizations have found that the volume of the galaxy makes communication and transportation such an unmitigated pain in the *BLEEP* that they have come to peace with making attempted contacts by means of proxies of themselves: some form of cybernetic construct, or DNA seed, or DNA replication instructions or some such thing.

An average of once every 10,000 year-reach-out is a good average. Certainly, some civilizations will never reach out or will give up or become unable to reach out. But, if there are a thousand and they reach out many times over a 2.5 billion year span, some of these attempts will make contact with other advanced civilizations and some of these will find they actually like the civilizations with which they make contact, and this realization will lead to an enhanced desire to reach out even more and even more often; a kind of critical mass thing.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454120 - 10/03/12 08:16 PM

Quote:

Is there a Cliff's Notes version of that post?




17 posts and 50,000 words later....

No.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454137 - 10/03/12 08:25 PM

Quote:

some of these attempts will make contact with other advanced civilizations and some of these will find they actually like the civilizations with which they make contact



One final comment - I used to read tons of science fiction. Suppose they did make
contact, didn't like each other, interstellar war broke out, and they
were all wiped out. I could continue with all sorts of speculative scenarios
like this but I won't.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454346 - 10/03/12 11:32 PM

I'm reminded of Blaise Pascal's quip:
"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

Unfortunately, Otto, although you may be saving yourself much time by letting your exposition flow freely and presenting it all at once, you are demanding much valuable time from the reader. It makes for a poor dialogue.

I would respectfully request, that out of respect for the readers, that all of us attempt to be as succinct as possible -- even if we have to spend much time editing our thoughts before posting them.

If we need to elaborate, that will come out naturally in the ensuing discussion, as needed. Walls of text do not lead to ensuing discussion.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454361 - 10/03/12 11:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

A more true response would be to say I enjoy using languages.




My favorite is Elvish:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-díriel,
le nallon sí di'-nguruthos!
A tíro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!











Legal stuff for moderators:

Quote:

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

You are free:

* to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work

en.wikipedia.org







Not just Elvish -- but which Elvish?

There were Quenya and Sindarin. For the thread, who can identify which language and which script this is in?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5454409 - 10/04/12 12:16 AM

In 1958 the University of Chicago published Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition.

Quickly, this book became highly esteemed. For example, it was in the late 1950s, the University of Chicago and Encyclopedia Britannica came out with that series called The Great Books of the Western World. It consisted of 54 volumes and several hundred works by a hundred or so authors in all areas of human learning; literature, science, philosophy, theology, poetry, etc., written before the A.D. 20th Century.

One of the two managing editors of that series, Mortimer Adler, in 1977 spearheaded a group which came up with a list of books written in the A.D. 20th century they hoped to include in a continuation of the Great Books. The continuation again consisted of a hundred or more books by about 60 authors. One of the authors was Hannah Arendt, her The Human Condition being one hers included.

In undergraduate and graduate studies at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., we were required to read it twice and discuss it in dedicated classes. It was at this time I heard someone, perhaps a professor, refer to Arendt as the premier American philosopher of the first half of the A.D. 20th century.

In the Prologue, on page 2, Arendt wrote of science fiction: "...science fiction...[is a genre] (to which, unfortunately, nobody yet has paid the attention it deserves as a vehicle of mass sentiments and mass desires.")

She wrote that prescient statement in 1957; a time when the movies, TV programs, books, comic books, games, containing science fiction themes were a tiny fraction of what they are today.

Her point; one of the significant values of science fiction is and will be what it says (reveals) about the human spirit and the soul of the human community.

Using the words EJN (you) wrote, and perhaps even an idea implied in his (EJN's) use of these words, Arendt did not speak of prophetic or insightful "speculative scenarios" as the essence of what science fiction was, is,or would be. Rather, she saw science fiction as a way of looking into the human spirit, the soul of the human community and seeing what drives it.

When I began this thread and on one or two occasions throughout it, an issue I have raised is the question, "what will the impact be on human beings and the human community should it/they come to deeply internalize the idea we are alone? that there is no one else out there? or, for all practical purposes there is no one else out there."

I cannot divine her thought in this regard....but I feel comfortable suggesting a significant reason science fiction programming and literature and gaming is so prevalent today, is that it, science fiction, is revealing we, human persons, are beginning to grapple with and come to terms with the fact that for all practical purposes, if not in fact, that we are alone with each other and each other is all we have. These "speculative scenarios", are not so much means of distracting ourselves from this growing realization, as they are the articulations of the revelation around which we are trying to get our minds and hearts that the only resource we have to care for and depend on is other human persons.

This is a difficult thing for us to choose to get our hearts and minds around because we know of lots of examples of humans and human cultures not playing well with each other, and we are beginning to internalize the idea that not only must we play with each other in the same room...for all practical purposes we can never leave that room. For a time (depending on who one reads, since the development of the telescope, or since the beginning of space travel) we played with the idea we were not essentially, or were no longer, children-of-the-earth. But now, we have discovered how difficult it is to do anything in outer space, and how dark, cold, and empty the universe is. We have discovered, we can't leave the womb; that the next frontier will for all practical purposes not be out-there, that children-of-the-earth is what we are and shall always be.

Perhaps this is what science fiction is revealing.

The Walking Dead perfectly fits this description. So does Terranova. So does The Day the World Stood Still. And so many others. They are not about zombies, or a new world, or aliens doing the Noah's ark thing. They are, each and everyone of them, about human persons and human community's struggling to hold on to their humanity in the face of the realization that human persons and the human community is all we have.

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/04/12 12:19 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5454680 - 10/04/12 08:29 AM

Quote:

When I began this thread and on one or two occasions throughout it, an issue I have raised is the question, "what will the impact be on human beings and the human community should it/they come to deeply internalize the idea we are alone? that there is no one else out there? or, for all practical purposes there is no one else out there."
...

we are beginning to grapple with and come to terms with the fact that for all practical purposes that we are alone with each other and each other is all we have.




I think this is something that most people grapple with at some point in their lives, but I don't think it is new. The same theme pops up in most "coming of age" movies. It's just moving into another context (humanity and the universe, as opposed to your tribe, town, island, etc.). The only difference is scale.

I don't think it will have a fundamental difference on our society - we have enough of each other to keep us company.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5455561 - 10/04/12 07:01 PM

This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5455728 - 10/04/12 09:05 PM

You wrote, "This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher." Your comment, Hank, is an interesting comment. It stirs up the juices of thought. Thank you my friend.


If it is determined that we have made contact with an extra-terrestrial-intelligence that assessment can only be a philosophical assessment; it can only be made by a philosopher. Quite probably it will be a scientist-acting/thinking-as-a-philosopher, but not as a scientist-acting/thinking-as-a scientist.

Consider with me the scenario. Something strange is observed or experienced. That something does not fit into anything we know scientifically. Such an event/thing is called an anomaly.

At some later point, let us imagine, that anomaly is defined as as extra-terrestrial-intelligence. That act of definition is a philosophical act, not a scientific act.

Why? The subject matter of science is matter (and its variations such as energy) and motion. An anomaly is some observation of some combination of matter and motion. The description of that matter and motion...the description...is a scientific act. But the defintion of that anomaly, and of that description of the anomaly as a something-else; in this case, an extra-terrestrial-intelligence...that is a philosophical act.

It is quite possible the individual which makes this definition will be a scientist. But, at the moment she/he makes that defintion, she/he will be a person-who-happens-to-be-a-scientist thinking/acting as a philosopher.

If she/he is a good philosoher, the defintion will occur more quickly and be articulated more clearly.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5455749 - 10/04/12 09:17 PM

I don't see how this follows. Lets say that we detect a transmission. The person who detects it will identify some aspect of it that rules it out as a natural phenomenon (for example, it is counting out prime numbers). There may be other information content that gets decoded as well. How is that not scientific?

I think you are drawing an arbitrary dividing line between philosophy and science in this case - there is no reason science can't identify something as natural vs. artificial, which is how we would determine if a signal is from extraterrestrial intelligence.

Deciding whether that the transmission is good news or bad news is where the philosophers come in.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5455889 - 10/04/12 10:55 PM

You use the phrase "natural phenomena", Jarad.

Would you be comfortable saying the word nature is a synonym for all matter and motion?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5455893 - 10/04/12 10:56 PM

Exactly. The definition of life can be asserted many ways, but "something strange" is not one of them.

If life is detected and confirmed, it will be because it's been compared with what are recognized as criteria for life, and these are established scientifically, not philosophically.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5456153 - 10/05/12 07:31 AM

Quote:

Would you be comfortable saying the word nature is a synonym for all matter and motion?




In this context, it means due to causes other than intelligent life. As opposed to artificial, which means purposefully caused by the action of intelligent life.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Napersky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/27/10

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5456174 - 10/05/12 07:56 AM

Dan Joyce I believe gave a short talk during ALCON 2012 titled, "The Drake Equation in Reverse" about the vast distances such civilizations would have to travel just to communicate and why we probably will NEVER hear from another intelligent species.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Shadowalker
Apocaloptimist
*****

Reged: 11/23/04

Loc: Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, ...
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5456175 - 10/05/12 07:57 AM

Quote:

This much for sure: if the existence of extraterrestrial life is eventually confirmed, it won't be by a philosopher.




Maybe, but we might learn how many aliens can dance on the head of a pin.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Shadowalker]
      #5456245 - 10/05/12 09:03 AM

Yeah, but then we'd get into a discussion about the definitions of "pin" and "head" and "aliens," and about how large the pinhead is and what it's made of, if it's flat or nearly flat or gently domed, how large aliens might be, and whether all aliens are the same size, etc. The discussion would be endless.

Which inevitably raises the question: what are the definitions of "endless" and of "discussion?"

And so it goes...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5456309 - 10/05/12 10:18 AM

We define those by example, e.g., this thread.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Napersky]
      #5456398 - 10/05/12 11:33 AM

Jarad's comment is useful, "there is no reason science can't identify something as natural vs. artificial, which is how we would determine if a signal is from extraterrestrial intelligence."

What follows is a summary of the historical development of the modern and prior understandings of the word "nature". Should you decide you do not want or need this information, just jump to "conclusions" at the end.


1. Scientists understand, as do all thoughtful persons today, that the word "nature" means "all things which are not human made" i.e. non-artificial. For later purposes let's refer to this modern notion of nature as "nature-4".

2. This definition of nature (i.e. nature-4) only came into existence when the concept of artifice entered human awarenes; i.e. when man became aware of what he was doing, making things that last.

3. Prior to the modern understanding of a distinction between natural (i.e. nature-4) and artificial, the understanding man had of his world was that there was a difference between things-which-last and things-which-don't-last. Those-things-which-don't-last was what the word "nature" meant prior to modernity. Let's refer to this understanding of nature as "nature-3".

4. Before the human awareness of the concept of nature-3, there was no understanding or even use of the word nature. At this pre-philosophical period there was simply a plurality of "ways". All ways were equal in reality. It was the way of dogs to wage their tails, it was the way of women to menstruate, it was the way of Jews to not eat pork, etc. Man was not aware of, nor used, a generic concept of nature at this pre-philosophic time.

5. By hindsight, when humans become aware of a concept of nature (i.e. nature-3), by hindsight the pre-philosophical understanding of "ways" as all-that-there-is comes to be know as nature. For our purposes we will refer to this awareness-of-nature-by-hindsight, this awareness of the collection-of-all-things-having-individual-ways as "nature-2".

6. Within the Hebrew culture and parts of Greek philosophy, this understanding of nature (i.e. nature-2) will also go by the name of creation.

7. Once man becomes aware of the existence of an understanding of nature (i.e. nature-2) as creation of all that is, man begins to consider the possibility that before creation (nature-2) all that existence meant was God-alone; i.e. when all the being meant was God before God gratuitiously decides to do that he did not need to do; i.e. create. By a derivative hindsight, then, this notion of nature as God-alone "before creation" arises. Let's call this notion nature-1.


Conclusions:

A. The current understanding of nature is the latest in a series of ways human kind understood and understands the word nature.

B. All these understandings of nature are philosophical concepts.

C. In distinguishing between artificial and natural, modern science appropriates a philosophical concept it (i.e. modern science) did not discover.

D. Modern science's search for, discovery of, awareness of, and definition of extra-terrestrial-intelligence, will in part be dependent on this philosophical distinction of natural and artificial.

E. The person doing this search, making this discovery, having this awareness and making this definition, will likely be a scientist. But when she/he does these things, at that moment she/he will not be a scientist-qua-scientist but a scientist-qua-philosopher.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5456459 - 10/05/12 12:14 PM

No, you are conflating two different concepts that use the same word in English.

Natural vs. artificial is not the same concept as "the way of Jews is not to eat pork". In fact, that is a conscious decision, so would fall under artificial in this context.

Science and philosophy are not mutually exclusive. There are areas of overlap between them. Both rely on logic, and both require precise definitions of concepts. Saying that we can't scientifically identify something without defining what we are identifying first doesn't take it out of science into philosophy. Both are in the definition business.

The difference is that science focuses only on those things that can be observed or measured, while philosophy tends to focus more on the unobservable and unmeasureable.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5456468 - 10/05/12 12:20 PM

Quote:

When I began this thread and on one or two occasions throughout it, an issue I have raised is the question, "what will the impact be on human beings and the human community should it/they come to deeply internalize the idea we are alone? that there is no one else out there? or, for all practical purposes there is no one else out there."




This is a question that cannot be fully understood without including faith and religion in the discussion. On the issue of genuine physical isolation, no person is truly alone who lives and participates in a community. Each of us has the freedom to choose, shall I live in isolation or as part of a larger community? Choosing the former, it matters not that a person shares a planet with thousands of millions of fellow human beings. If a person chooses isolation, isolation can be found. However and regardless of the true nature of humanity's status as singular or as one among many intelligent species in the universe, if a person chooses to engage with and be active in a community of other humans, that person is not alone.

On the question of humankind's isolation in the universe, we will never be truly alone as long as we continue, as a species, to embrace the idea of a compassionate, merciful God. To be sure, faith in a divine creator is not a universal quality of all humans. Nor is it the case that all people of faith share the same beliefs. These are obvious truths which I shall not delve further into in this forum. However, faith beliefs and organized religions have been and continue to be prevalent to such an extent as to significantly impact humanity's social and communal structures. So long as faith and religion play a significant role in shaping human society, we will never be alone in the universe. Aloneness is as much a state of mind as it is a state of being. A person of faith is never truly alone.

That said, the question of the existence of intelligent life beyond Earth is a fascinating one. It is, however, largely an intellectual exercise. The vast majority of humans will feel just as loved & connected or just as isolated & alone, whether or not intelligent life exists beyond Earth. Should intelligence be found elsewhere in the universe, I suspect the greatest impact would be on humanity's view of itself. The existence of extraterrestrial life would provide a context within which we would see people in other countries and of other cultures more as fellow human beings than as adversaries. The human community would come closer, the common bond of humanity would become stronger. At least, that is my hope for the impact such a discovery would have.

Bill in Flag


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5456581 - 10/05/12 01:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Should intelligence be found elsewhere in the universe, I suspect the greatest impact would be on humanity's view of itself. The existence of extraterrestrial life would provide a context within which we would see people in other countries and of other cultures more as fellow human beings than as adversaries. The human community would come closer, the common bond of humanity would become stronger. At least, that is my hope for the impact such a discovery would have.

Bill in Flag




This is debatable of course as most people already consider it a foregone conclusion that extraterrestrial life exists and we know the state of the planet is currently far from what you describe. On the other hand if we were found to be the only life in the universe by whatever process would that not be a wake up call that we better all get along and start treating each other like our brothers and sisters instead of dog eat dog?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5457124 - 10/05/12 09:19 PM

I delight, Jarad, in your efforts to invite/require me to articulate clearly, and simply. Thank you!

Now, let's go to your comments:


When you wrote, Jarad, "No, you are conflating two different concepts that use the same word in English...Natural vs. artificial is not the same concept as "the way of Jews is not to eat pork". In fact, that is a conscious decision, so would fall under artificial in this context."

I did not say they were the same concept. Perhaps you did not read closely enough what I wrote. Perhaps my wording was clumsy. Regardless; the concept of individual "ways", of which "Jews not eating pork" is an example, was a pre-philosophical understanding of nature before the concept of nature was known and used. This specific piece I quoted from Leo Strauss' Natural Right and History (pages 82 and 83).

.............................

The second point you made, I agree with. You wrote, "Science and philosophy are not mutually exclusive."

This point I have been emphasizing from the very beginning of this thread, scientists doing science appropriate on faith a wide range of philosophical assumptions. In fact, science as science cannot be done without the appropriation of a large number of philosophical assumptions.

Further, many if not most of the posts we find in this particular thread of this forum are philosophical observations and comments. [I am going to return to this point in my next post.]

...................................

You wrote, "There are areas of overlap between them. Both rely on logic, and both require precise definitions of concepts. Saying that we can't scientifically identify something without defining what we are identifying first doesn't take it out of science into philosophy. Both are in the definition business."

The piece here with which I quibble is that the concept and practice of defining (i.e. categorization by means of predication) and logic in their origins were the progeny of philosophy which only later were appropriated by modern science. The best first piece of evidence I can give is that when the librarians at Alexandria in Egypt collected the then known works of Aristotle, they grouped his writings into two groups; the first group of six books, dealing with logic, was called the Organon; the first "volume" of which was entitled kata-go-gay (category) and begins by dealing with predication.

The second best piece of evidence I can give is the principles of logic found in Aristotle's organon are identical to principles found in Aristotle's metaphysics. To drive this point home, the rules of logic which modern science uses find their origin in metaphysics.

.......................

Finally, you wrote, "The difference is that science focuses only on those things that can be observed or measured, while philosophy tends to focus more on the unobservable and unmeasureable."

I agree with this, but with one important change having been made; to replace the article "the" with "a".

This change is needed because philosophy does deal with many things/events/occurences/happenings; some are visible and measurable; others are not.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5457130 - 10/05/12 09:25 PM

I read quickly (not skimmed) through your post, Bill. I really liked it and think I agree with much of it. Perhaps we can find an appropriate acceptable away to continue a discussion of theological issues relevant to the existence of extra-terrestrial-intelligence.

But, whether or not we pursue this topic here, I/we am/are honored to make the acquaintance of a Lowell Observatory asteroid/comet discover, author, and, a producer of a PBS artcile on the deficit and ethics. Forgive me if I have missed more recent accomplishments.


Ah!! I just thought of a piece of grist into which we can sink our molars. Let's assume there is a modicum of truth to the statement that the 99-2.5s referred to in this thread, are on average way way advanced of us technologically.

If that is true, our faiths/religions/theologies, philosophies, histories, politics, and arts will be much more interesting to them then our knowledge of science and math.

I think what I just said is a reasonable statement. But, I'm more interested in putting the preceding paragraph as a question and ask others' their reactions to this idea.

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/05/12 09:45 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5457878 - 10/06/12 12:24 PM

OK...the silence is deafening...so I will play devil's advocate and argue against my own assertion....


PLEASEEEEEEE, Otto. Extra-terrestrial's a billion years advanced of us will have less interest in our religion, philosophy, and politics than most of us have interest in Greek mythology, whether or not otherness and thing-ness are transcendental properties of Being, and who Louis XVI's political advisor was. In short, they wouldn't and couldn't possibly care less about our philosophy, theology, and politics.

But, they would pore over our science and math just in case there was some little nugget (or big nugget) we latched on to which missed their attention.

ottO

Edited by Otto Piechowski (10/06/12 12:29 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5457914 - 10/06/12 12:53 PM

maybe there is an advanced society on a nearby planet that is right now debating whether to contact us or not, but the philosophers have been dragging the discussion out for millennia with no end in sight...

The scientists did the math and the engineers designed and built the system.

but it is buried in the red tape.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5457920 - 10/06/12 12:59 PM

"maybe there is an advanced society on a nearby planet that is right now debating whether to contact us or not, but the philosophers have been dragging the discussion out for millennia with no end in sight...The scientists did the math and the engineers designed and built the system. but it is buried in the red tape."

That was funny!

Wait! Why would they even have/allow philosophy?

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5458059 - 10/06/12 02:50 PM

they're called "lawyers"; appealing every scientific breakthrough and stalling it for centuries...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jarad
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5458062 - 10/06/12 02:52 PM

Quote:

This point I have been emphasizing from the very beginning of this thread, scientists doing science appropriate on faith a wide range of philosophical assumptions. In fact, science as science cannot be done without the appropriation of a large number of philosophical assumptions.

Further, many if not most of the posts we find in this particular thread of this forum are philosophical observations and comments.




Well, if we define philosophy broadly as the study of any issue using rational argument, then science is basically a subset of philosophy, confined to things that can be observed and subject to the scientific method of making falsifiable predictions.

By those two definitions, what we have been doing here, discussing the "what if's" of possible alien intelligent life in the absence of any observations, is philosophy.

When and if we actually observe a signal from an alien intelligence, then it will become science.

Jarad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5458176 - 10/06/12 04:51 PM

1) The terms "science" and "scientist" did not come into use until the early 19th century,
before that science was called "natural philosophy."


2) According to Monty Python, to be a philosopher meant drinking heavily.

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya'
'Bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates, himself, was permanently pi$$ed...
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away;
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am"
Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pi$$ed!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5458564 - 10/06/12 10:34 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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5458628 - 10/06/12 11:32 PM

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"]


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5458836 - 10/07/12 06:22 AM

Quote:

"maybe there is an advanced society on a nearby planet that is right now debating whether to contact us or not, but the philosophers have been dragging the discussion out for millennia with no end in sight...The scientists did the math and the engineers designed and built the system. but it is buried in the red tape."

That was funny!

Wait! Why would they even have/allow philosophy?

Otto




You are right, Aristotle served absolutely no purpose in history (sarcasm intended)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5458844 - 10/07/12 06:34 AM

Quote:

1) The terms "science" and "scientist" did not come into use until the early 19th century,
before that science was called "natural philosophy."






And to add to that a scientist with several disciplines could have been referred to as a polymath.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Man in a Tub
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/28/08

Loc: Fogpatch, CA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5458862 - 10/07/12 06:58 AM

Quote:

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.




Just don't get metaphysical about it!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Man in a Tub]
      #5458905 - 10/07/12 07:57 AM

now I am confused:

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-10-07/


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5459372 - 10/07/12 02:27 PM

What is meant by a "ploymath"? as in your statement "And to add to that a scientist with several disciplines could have been referred to as a polymath".

This is the first time I recall having heard that word and I am curious.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5459384 - 10/07/12 02:33 PM

That was a good cartoon!

The cartoon reminds me of Nietzsche's rhetoric. Not the darkness of his writing, but the quantum-like nature of his writing in terms of truthfulness and meaning. Sometime he wrote things that seem self-evidently true. Othertimes he wrote things that seemed to have deeply sublime meaning and insight. But you could never get both out of his writing at the same time; it was as if the closer his words came to saying something truthful, the less meaning they had...or vice-versa.

Otto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5459784 - 10/07/12 08:02 PM

I'm sorry...I was being dense....when you wrote, "You are right, Aristotle served absolutely no purpose in history (sarcasm intended" you meant to poke fun at any who feel/believe/think Aristotle had little/no importance in his