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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.

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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.


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Jarad
Postmaster
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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


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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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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.


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Jarad
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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


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simpleisbetter
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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.


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llanitedave
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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.

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simpleisbetter
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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)


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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


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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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!

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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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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.


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simpleisbetter
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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.


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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)


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Jarad
Postmaster
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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


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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.


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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....

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Jarad
Postmaster
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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


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llanitedave
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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.


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... [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


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... [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.


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