When do you think ET will contact us?

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Message 580537 - Posted: 3 Jun 2007, 0:25:13 UTC - in response to Message 578349.  

Probably never.


I have to ask you. Probably never because we will "blow" ourselves up first, or because the odds are just to insurmountable.

I think Keck Komputers answered it better than I can!

- Although with current technologies, and the way the world seems to be going at the moment, it's probably a bit of both hehe. We're certainly in for a long wait, and even if we have been spotted, we can't know for sure they would even want to contact us?
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Message 580547 - Posted: 3 Jun 2007, 0:47:06 UTC - in response to Message 567398.  

when do you personally THINK that we will make official contact with ET? Any guesses? Guesses dont have to be based on facts.... just random guesses... I think, maybe between 2010 and 2040.. :)


If they were truly intelligent, then they shouldn't bother contacting us!

I'm sure it will happen one day, sometime within the next billion years as inhabited star systems wander within a detectable range.

I think the scale of our technology still needs to increase by another order or two of magnitude to be able to observe and listen to a large enough sphere of space. We probably can only detect artificial radio waves from about 0.1% of our galaxy, (and that is only 100,000,000,000,000th of galaxies out there) but I still believe there is a measurable chance of discovering ET life within our lifetimes.

Is there other life in the Universe? IMHO yes with absolute certainty, and millions of inhabited worlds. However, even that number is such a miniscule population density of one civilisation per galaxy per 100 million galaxies! and I'm not even taking into consideration then and now and the future, so almost certainly they'll blossom and die and remain undetectable forever. :-(
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Message 580554 - Posted: 3 Jun 2007, 1:04:09 UTC
Last modified: 3 Jun 2007, 1:52:15 UTC

Every two year BOINC-Seti make major algorithmic update so we've either being contacted already and we're translating something wrong or the wild guess is within few decades to few centuries.

In above many posts many people said never and sorry but that is little bit outrageous. If we guess there might be many far more advanced civilizations than us out there and the Biggest Mystery of why we were not being contacted by them officially is totally different question.

It is same metaphor as some very isolated only hunting based tribe somewhere on this planet who reflect many common human cultures and attitudes within themselves but still today any advanced civilization really much not interested in them to give them computer or penicillin or solar power generator. And this reality happens plenty of times in our case. Yet if that hypithetical 100 people member tribe has 5 people who strongly believe that there are many enlightening and enjoying stuffs out there but ignored by their tribal government and (almost) pretty much forced to do their daily jungle business then it is that what we are experiencing within Seti culture.

And another exciting finding is currently there are over 200 extrasolar planets being found and the very crucial conclusion made with this is that in this galaxy our solar system type of star-planet structure is very common reality.

Mandtugai!
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Message 596184 - Posted: 30 Jun 2007, 23:04:56 UTC - in response to Message 567475.  

If we survive, I'll put my chips on "somewhere between 500 and 1,000 years from now" for established contact to be made with an intelligent extraterrestrial.

Simple extraterrestrial life forms such as microbes? My chips lay on "15 to 20 years from now".


Hey Free, how's it going? I was just rereading this thread. I am surprised at your estimate of 500 to 1000 years.

It seems that you "believe" that they are out there. If so, we could find a signal any day, no? Why will it be so long? 500 years is a long time. I have a feeling that you don't think we are ready. They are just waiting for us "to grow up."

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. --- Enrico Fermi ---
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Message 596188 - Posted: 30 Jun 2007, 23:13:45 UTC - in response to Message 580547.  

when do you personally THINK that we will make official contact with ET? Any guesses? Guesses dont have to be based on facts.... just random guesses... I think, maybe between 2010 and 2040.. :)


If they were truly intelligent, then they shouldn't bother contacting us!

I'm sure it will happen one day, sometime within the next billion years as inhabited star systems wander within a detectable range.

I think the scale of our technology still needs to increase by another order or two of magnitude to be able to observe and listen to a large enough sphere of space. We probably can only detect artificial radio waves from about 0.1% of our galaxy, (and that is only 100,000,000,000,000th of galaxies out there) but I still believe there is a measurable chance of discovering ET life within our lifetimes.

Is there other life in the Universe? IMHO yes with absolute certainty, and millions of inhabited worlds. However, even that number is such a miniscule population density of one civilisation per galaxy per 100 million galaxies! and I'm not even taking into consideration then and now and the future, so almost certainly they'll blossom and die and remain undetectable forever. :-(


I enjoyed this post. It makes sense to me. Is that figure 100 trillionth? Why do you think that we will discover an ET in our lifetime? Mine is shorter than yours, I believe.
It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. --- Enrico Fermi ---
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Message 597211 - Posted: 2 Jul 2007, 5:19:35 UTC - in response to Message 596188.  

I enjoyed this post. It makes sense to me. Is that figure 100 trillionth? Why do you think that we will discover an ET in our lifetime? Mine is shorter than yours, I believe.


I'm 44 now and hopefully not yet half way through!

I didn't say I think we will discover ET in our lifetimes, but that I think there is a measurable chance of a discovery, with that chance increasing all the time, but 100 trillionth is probably the largest fraction of the amount of the Universe we can scan, and also the fraction that could detect us too.

However, one cannot win the lottery if one doesn't play!

SETI has already discovered many millions of potential positive signals over the years, but noone is analyzing the results. Everyone is so busy crunching that noone would notice even if ET were sitting in the Arecibo dish with a megaphone!

There has to come a time to try and correlate the results, and that may warrant another BOINC project just for this.
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Message 597230 - Posted: 2 Jul 2007, 6:24:36 UTC - in response to Message 597211.  

I enjoyed this post. It makes sense to me. Is that figure 100 trillionth? Why do you think that we will discover an ET in our lifetime? Mine is shorter than yours, I believe.


I'm 44 now and hopefully not yet half way through!

I didn't say I think we will discover ET in our lifetimes, but that I think there is a measurable chance of a discovery, with that chance increasing all the time, but 100 trillionth is probably the largest fraction of the amount of the Universe we can scan, and also the fraction that could detect us too.

However, one cannot win the lottery if one doesn't play!

SETI has already discovered many millions of potential positive signals over the years, but noone is analyzing the results. Everyone is so busy crunching that noone would notice even if ET were sitting in the Arecibo dish with a megaphone!

There has to come a time to try and correlate the results, and that may warrant another BOINC project just for this.


I have to ask. When you say, "discovered many millions of potential positive signals," do you mean that we have not taken the time to "decode?" Being new to SETI, I thought that the term, crunching, meant sifting through electromagnetic radiation to find a signal that is "nonnatural."

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. --- Enrico Fermi ---
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Message 597236 - Posted: 2 Jul 2007, 7:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 597230.  

I have to ask. When you say, "discovered many millions of potential positive signals," do you mean that we have not taken the time to "decode?" Being new to SETI, I thought that the term, crunching, meant sifting through electromagnetic radiation to find a signal that is "nonnatural."


Just finding signals that have extraterrestrial characteristics is just the beginning, and a great collection of these results have already been gathered.

In this form it doesn't actually tell anyone anything, except that a gaussian or a triplet was found at right ascension x, declination y with strength z. It sits in a database with the millions of others waiting for further examination, one day.

Finding out what they are and characterizing them is another thing. What are we looking for, and how will we know? What if ET aren't using the hydrogen line?

You might find http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI also interesting even if it does still need some editing.
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Message 598696 - Posted: 4 Jul 2007, 21:42:24 UTC - in response to Message 597236.  

I have to ask. When you say, "discovered many millions of potential positive signals," do you mean that we have not taken the time to "decode?" Being new to SETI, I thought that the term, crunching, meant sifting through electromagnetic radiation to find a signal that is "nonnatural."


Just finding signals that have extraterrestrial characteristics is just the beginning, and a great collection of these results have already been gathered.

In this form it doesn't actually tell anyone anything, except that a gaussian or a triplet was found at right ascension x, declination y with strength z. It sits in a database with the millions of others waiting for further examination, one day.

Finding out what they are and characterizing them is another thing. What are we looking for, and how will we know? What if ET aren't using the hydrogen line?

You might find http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI also interesting even if it does still need some editing.


Thanks...all I can say is: a gargantuan task!!

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. --- Enrico Fermi ---
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Message 600016 - Posted: 7 Jul 2007, 20:33:25 UTC - in response to Message 596184.  


It seems that you "believe" that they are out there. If so, we could find a signal any day, no? Why will it be so long? 500 years is a long time. I have a feeling that you don't think we are ready. They are just waiting for us "to grow up."


Hi!

Just speculation on when our technology will evolve enough to make it possible. Thats all...
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Message 600180 - Posted: 8 Jul 2007, 5:26:25 UTC - in response to Message 600016.  


It seems that you "believe" that they are out there. If so, we could find a signal any day, no? Why will it be so long? 500 years is a long time. I have a feeling that you don't think we are ready. They are just waiting for us "to grow up."


Hi!

Just speculation on when our technology will evolve enough to make it possible. Thats all...


Free, I don't think we have 500 years. I don't think we have 25. I am worried, very worried that we don't have enough cool heads to avoid a nuclear winter. We are finally beginning to unite as a species to combat global warming. Hell, how about the global fireball of nuclear fusion. I guess I can worry and still try to hold onto the hope of humans' inner need to get along. Our species does have empathy, just as our primate relatives.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. --- Enrico Fermi ---
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Message 618992 - Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 7:30:04 UTC
Last modified: 14 Aug 2007, 7:43:33 UTC

I'm not so certain that we are actually interesting enough to any ETs that have technology sufficient to span the cosmos and contact us. Using Earth as our only known reference, the most successful large animal species occupied our planet for @ only 3% of it's existence. If we reference ourselves as the longest lived fully "sentient" species, we occupy @ 1/20,000 of Earth's history. Consider also that in the @ 225K years humans have been on Earth, we've only been able to transmit our existence beyond earths atmosphere for just over 100 years.

Given the enormity of cosmological time, even on a planatary scale, it would take seemingly impossible odds just to align the existence of our species at the same time an ET would evolve within the geological lifetime of their planet. Using my previous Dino reference of 3% occupation as a "most optimistic" example and assuming ET's species could accomplish similar longevity of 3% of it's planets existance (assuming similar 4.5BY planet age) the chance of each planet's dominant species co-existing at the same time within their respective planets' geologic history, even w/ unprecedented species longivity, is still incredibly small. Remember, this assumes sentient species on both worlds are able to stay around @ 150M years. All of a sudden, humanity's last 100 years of brilliance seems like a camera flash cosmologically speaking. Question is, is anyone around in the neighborhood to watch during our "flash"? If they are, what is the chance they'd actually be at a similar evolutionary stage to where they'd even have an interest in us? What if their species was a couple of million years more technologically advanced than ours? Our meeting w/ them from their perspective may be analogous to us trying to communicate w/ Homo Erectus. Likely, most things in our current world, Homo Erectus simply would not ever be able to understand and no amount of teaching might ever make one a theoretical physicist or a neural surgeon. Therefore, how much social equality and respect would we assign to Mr. Erectus? I'd wager only marginally more than we'd give a chimp or gorilla and that would be due mostly to our recognition of their relationship in the history of our species.

Would ET be so kind or would we be nothing more than Terran-centric primitives, the galactic equivalent of "earth-swingers", having yet to advance enough technologically to walk up-right in the cosmos?

In my opinion, we're unlikley to experience the kind of contact humanity envisions. Throughout history, people and cultures assign God's appearance to reflect their own image. Does not humanity do the same w/ ET? ET will be similar to us, right? Even "grey" and "green" aliens look anthropomorphically similar to humans in UFO accounts, do they not?

Personally, I think that IF contact is ever made, it may be by a species that is extremely different than our own, and may even challenge our understanding of how life can be constructed. We may be as biologically fascinating to them as they to us due to our differences. We might also appeal to a species as "living" fossils that share a similar phase in an ET's earlier evolutionary development. Therefore, we'd be appealing from a historical or god forbid, zoological perspective. Another possibility is that Earth itself may be a cosmic "jewel" with us just the local tenants waiting to be removed by the new arrivals.

To answer the thread title, I'll say we won't be contacted until our mastery of physics allows us to communicate beyond the limitations of the speed of light. Until we can communicate accross light years in a much shorter period of time, we're limited to whoever else is close enough to talk through the other tin can & string. It is more likely that no one else is close enough to hear us right now. Therefore, I say 800-1000 years before we can project our presence at great enough distances to be exposed to a few million/billion potential worlds.

Of course, there is always the equal possibility that contact will come tomorrow from a race "just like ours" beaming w/ the wisdom of it's highly advanced civilization and wanting to be a benefactor to mankind : > )

Sorry for the ramble. I felt inspired tonight.




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Message 619014 - Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 9:07:28 UTC
Last modified: 14 Aug 2007, 9:08:16 UTC

The universe is bigger and stranger in more ways than we can imagine,

Expect the unexpected. Two hundred years ago we were riding horses and reading by candle light. Like you said, we've only been here for just so long.

Nice post, BTW.



.
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Message 619043 - Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 11:11:56 UTC

Hi. This is my first post. I'm new.

I remember reading a book called 'Hyperspace' 10 or so years back (i think the author was michio kaku), and contained within was a small chapter on this exact thread. It appears that a Russian has written a paper and formulated a mathematical equation outlining the possibility of intelligent life within our galaxy. Of course, the equation parameters rely on some degree of guess work, and it appears that by using very conservative figures, from memory, he has estimated that there is approximately 400,000 species of intelligent life within our galaxy. However, as the 2nd previous post pointed out, the chances of Humans and any intelligent life forms co-inciding is next to nothing, in the grand scale of chronology. The Russian points out that there is determining factors that can wipe out a civilisation before it is able to communicate beyond its own atmosphere. Example: Element 92 Uranium is discovered (and its destructive properties), does its technology outweigh its social cohesiveness? If so, then the civilisation will most probably perish in nuclear fire. Another point to consider (again by the Russian), is is evolutionary line. Generally speaking, most predators in nature are more intelligent than the prey. You will note that most predators have eyes in the forward direction of its head, so it can ZERO in on its prey, and um.... Horses? (not saying horses are dumb, but couldnt think of a good example) have eyes on the side of its head, to look around for danger. The Russian points out that since the intelligent life form is probably going to have eyes that zero in on its prey, then generally speaking, it will be more aggressive (sorry its been so long since i read it, so i hope im not making mistakes)..... He basically states that it would in all likelyhood, not be a good idea to make contact as they would regard us as "ants", and might even feel like stepping on some of them...

Just thought i would add this, as some of you may wish to read the book. It really is excellent reading.
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Message 619048 - Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 11:16:36 UTC - in response to Message 619043.  

Hi. This is my first post. I'm new.

I remember reading a book called 'Hyperspace' 10 or so years back (i think the author was michio kaku), and contained within was a small chapter on this exact thread. It appears that a Russian has written a paper and formulated a mathematical equation outlining the possibility of intelligent life within our galaxy. Of course, the equation parameters rely on some degree of guess work, and it appears that by using very conservative figures, from memory, he has estimated that there is approximately 400,000 species of intelligent life within our galaxy. However, as the 2nd previous post pointed out, the chances of Humans and any intelligent life forms co-inciding is next to nothing, in the grand scale of chronology. The Russian points out that there is determining factors that can wipe out a civilisation before it is able to communicate beyond its own atmosphere. Example: Element 92 Uranium is discovered (and its destructive properties), does its technology outweigh its social cohesiveness? If so, then the civilisation will most probably perish in nuclear fire. Another point to consider (again by the Russian), is is evolutionary line. Generally speaking, most predators in nature are more intelligent than the prey. You will note that most predators have eyes in the forward direction of its head, so it can ZERO in on its prey, and um.... Horses? (not saying horses are dumb, but couldnt think of a good example) have eyes on the side of its head, to look around for danger. The Russian points out that since the intelligent life form is probably going to have eyes that zero in on its prey, then generally speaking, it will be more aggressive (sorry its been so long since i read it, so i hope im not making mistakes)..... He basically states that it would in all likelyhood, not be a good idea to make contact as they would regard us as "ants", and might even feel like stepping on some of them...

Just thought i would add this, as some of you may wish to read the book. It really is excellent reading.


Oh yeah, and Gecko pretty much sums up my thoughts regarding the chances of meeting intelligent life.
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Message 619327 - Posted: 15 Aug 2007, 1:33:01 UTC - in response to Message 619048.  



Oh yeah, and Gecko pretty much sums up my thoughts regarding the chances of meeting intelligent life.


Especially here on Earth on a day to day basis.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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Message 619333 - Posted: 15 Aug 2007, 1:53:32 UTC - in response to Message 619014.  
Last modified: 15 Aug 2007, 2:46:17 UTC

The universe is bigger and stranger in more ways than we can imagine,
Expect the unexpected. Two hundred years ago we were riding horses and reading by candle light. Like you said, we've only been here for just so long.

Nice post, BTW.



Oh yeah, and Gecko pretty much sums up my thoughts regarding the chances of meeting intelligent life.


Thanks gents!

I do believe that there are sentient species elsewhere in the galaxy, universe, multiverse et al. and in numbers we consider to be large quantities (thousands, perhaps millions or even billions). I also believe multitudes have existed in the billions of years past, and will exist in the billions of years to come.

Yeah, I read Hyperspace about that many years back and it was an interesting read. It's always interesting to me to read the latest probability theories/formulas that try to predict the likelihood & quantities of earth-like planets, ET species etc. Many perspectives however fail to adequately address the added complexity and probability of simultaneous existence w/in the enormity of cosmological or geological time. To me, proving sheer #s is not the problem, "time" and "distance" are the real buggers. Billions of habitable worlds sounds like a lot until placed in the context of being spread out across a matrix spanning 15B light years. The number of likely habitable worlds are often compared to being more than the grains of sand on a beach. Cosmologically, this would unlike any beach anyone has ever seen if each grain of sand was several feet apart on the beach, as each habitable world might be on average several light years apart in the cosmos.....using the results of some projections.

Lastly, add the currently philosophical question of whether sentient species can avoid self-annhilation and prosper for millennia, or better yet, a couple thousand millennia to reach "super-sentience". Our species' fate is still undetermined and we've only had the ability to destroy our planet for a paltry 50 or so years. There's a reason Dinos survived for over 150M years... owed partly to the fact they never developed The Bomb.

Unfortunately, the "predator" instinct & superior intelligence that accelerated the rise of our species and it's complexity/development/tech advancement etc., may be the Achilles heel for a species' longevity and dramatically reduce the overall probability of co-existance of sentient species in close enough proximity to each other to communicate.

As a previous poster stated in this thread, I also agree and expect to find verification of "life" via microbes, multi-cellular orgs or even more advanced, in the outer planets & moons in the coming few years/decades...certainly in my lifetime. I'm even optimistic that perhaps within the next 50-100 years, we'll have identified multitudes of ELPs and perhaps thousands of other planets w/ the technology to really determine if there are emissions of ANY kind, unnatural in origin, that could provide conclusive evidence of ET's existence.

I also completely agree w/ BlackMamba and especially w/ Mr. Hawking's "warning" that it may be more prudent to "listen" than to actively seek and raise attention to our little back-water oasis nestled in the desert of the Milky Way's outer arm.

Just my opinion.
Cheers!




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Message 619428 - Posted: 15 Aug 2007, 5:32:22 UTC - in response to Message 618992.  

In my opinion, we're unlikley to experience the kind of contact humanity envisions. Throughout history, people and cultures assign God's appearance to reflect their own image. Does not humanity do the same w/ ET? ET will be similar to us, right? Even "grey" and "green" aliens look anthropomorphically similar to humans in UFO accounts, do they not?


There are logical theorys to explain this. To evolve intelligence/civilization a species needs to be able to manipulate it's enviroment. This implies limbs freed from being used for locomotion ie. walking upright. It also implies sensory organs placed in a way to give detailed data on the working area. So you get eyes on the front of the face. Having a "head" is also a likely configuration since that enables the species to raise it's sensory organs higher for a longer range view.

This does not exclude forms with more limbs, for example somthing based on squids or something similar to centaurs. However something that uses all of it's limbs for movement would not be likely to build a civilization.
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Message 627150 - Posted: 26 Aug 2007, 16:52:26 UTC

I'd say we already have been contacted, and it's been covered up...
"The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible"
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"Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination."
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Message 630282 - Posted: 31 Aug 2007, 17:37:33 UTC

Even if we were to detect an ET signal, it would've taken that signal how long to get here? The ET civilization could have already come and gone..
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