With tongue in cheek they are studying us right now ...


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Message boards : SETI@home Science : With tongue in cheek they are studying us right now ...

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Matt Giwer
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Message 961078 - Posted: 6 Jan 2010, 2:36:38 UTC

Imagine a universe of curious species from ten of thousands of different planetary evolutions and it has been like this for billions of years. In fact it has been going on for so long that there are no records of the first species to expand into space. Every record of every species indicates it has always known of other civilizations from regular signs in the night sky to regular visitors and even colonies. No one remembers what it was like not to know the universe was populated by intelligent species.

The pointy-headed intellectuals have debated what it might have been like to be the first for (literally) a million years. It is finally agreed to conduct an experiment so observed how a civilization develops. So they find a soon to be intelligent species and shield its solar system from all signs of intelligent activity in space including radio and optical transmissions. All landings, settlements and such are prohibited.

They discover one of the first questions is by a man named Fermi, where are they?

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IOW, the only answer to Fermi's question is deliberate intervention to hide their existence.

Keep in mind, my tongue has not left my cheek at any time while creating this post.

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Message 961338 - Posted: 6 Jan 2010, 22:27:03 UTC - in response to Message 961078.

Certainly an interesting thought Matt.

My theory and answer to Fermi's question is that with light being the universal speed limiter, the truly astronomical distances across space is the main reason why we have not detected anything yet. Simple as this, in astronomical terms, we have only really looked in a tiny part of our own part of space.

John.
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Matt Giwer
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Message 961356 - Posted: 6 Jan 2010, 23:15:11 UTC - in response to Message 961338.

Certainly an interesting thought Matt.

My theory and answer to Fermi's question is that with light being the universal speed limiter, the truly astronomical distances across space is the main reason why we have not detected anything yet. Simple as this, in astronomical terms, we have only really looked in a tiny part of our own part of space.

John.


I addressed the distances objection in another post.

Given the huge distances ...
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=58319

Effectively the "astronomical" distances are balanced out by the equally "astronomical" time available for expansion. The distances preclude direct visits from the home world on the other side of the Milky Way but we should certainly see many of descendants who have been expanding from star to star for tens or hundreds of millions of years. After all, what is a billion years among us fellow aliens?

The reason for a Prime Directive is to have an absolute to violate with serious penalty as a plot device to contrive audience empathy. Any reasonable interstellar civilization likely sets its age in the billions of years. The idea of putting off first contact to some magic moment in light of a reasonable duration for that civilization makes the difference between shaping a stone tool and landing on the moon so close in time relative to a billion years that non-specialists would like confuse the events.

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Message boards : SETI@home Science : With tongue in cheek they are studying us right now ...

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