Are we intelligent enought to even acknowledge an ET call?


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : SETI@home Science : Are we intelligent enought to even acknowledge an ET call?

1 · 2 · 3 · Next
Author Message
juan BFBProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 16 Mar 07
Posts: 5197
Credit: 282,610,788
RAC: 450,341
Brazil
Message 1474583 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 11:33:55 UTC
Last modified: 9 Feb 2014, 12:10:43 UTC

That´s question comes from another thread, anyone could try to answer?

There is a brief copy about the topic:

Now imagine if we finaly receive an ET call, how we will do to understand it?

If they (ET) are enough intelligent, their message does not contain any idioms. ;-) If so, the decoding is possible.

Agree, but the problem in this case is: are we humans intelligent enought to understand them?

Just imagine, if i´m not wrong, 200 years ago we don´t even have electric power, now imagine they (ET´s) could be millions of years ahead of us, so even try to decode the message (if we even could receive it - maybe they use taquions instead of waves to comunicate so we will never know we allready receive the message because we don´t have the technology to receive it, who knows?) will be a realy incredible task to do.

Did you ever try to make an ant understand what you say? In this case we are the ants or even worst (a simple bacteria)... :)

Sorry mods, i know it´s totaly out of the thread topics, switched to a better arena. SETI@home Science


My initial point was: If i can´t understad a thread writen in Russian with the google translator for example, then imagine if we where able even to receive the ET call, decode it will be sure and incredible "race" and maybe we will need a enigma like project just to try to decode and even with all earth supercomputers linked that could be an impossible task.
____________

Profile Mr. KevvyProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 690
Credit: 72,211,421
RAC: 78,324
Canada
Message 1474640 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 14:54:28 UTC
Last modified: 9 Feb 2014, 14:56:55 UTC

Well, let's hope if anyone is out there trying to communicate with us, that if they are intelligent and advanced enough to use tachyons or entangled pairs or some other exotic form of communication we don't know of, that they are also intelligent enough to know how to "talk down" to us by broadcasting their hello in the first form of wireless electronic communication we discovered: amplitude-modulated narrowband radio, and they start off their communication with the most basic mathematical idea: the prime number... basically exactly what we have done and are looking for now.

Even if we never decoded the rest, at least we would know they were there.
____________
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
--- Margaret Mead


Send message
Joined: 3 Apr 99
Posts: 2082
Credit: 38,525,048
RAC: 29,501
Message 1474649 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 15:07:54 UTC - in response to Message 1474640.
Last modified: 22 Mar 2014, 0:05:36 UTC

--

Profile Mr. KevvyProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 690
Credit: 72,211,421
RAC: 78,324
Canada
Message 1474657 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 15:25:10 UTC - in response to Message 1474649.
Last modified: 9 Feb 2014, 15:25:19 UTC

Actually, you mean on/off keying of what is now known as a blank (or silent A.M.) carrier.


That was the start but I don't think it's an over-assumption to be limited to spark-gap transmitters. ;^)
____________
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
--- Margaret Mead

Michael Watson
Send message
Joined: 7 Feb 08
Posts: 545
Credit: 211,343
RAC: 119
Message 1474667 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 15:48:18 UTC

There is presumably a continuum of civilizations in the galaxy. Some less technically advanced than we are, some at about our level, some slightly advanced over us, some moderately advanced, and so on, up to those millions or even billions of years our senior.
It seems likely that those at about our level or moderately more advanced would be the most interested in communicating with us. They would have more in common with us than much more advanced species. It need not be comparable to humans trying to communicate with ants.
In an instance of two not-too-dissimilar species, mutual understanding should be possible. It could challenge our intelligence to understand a somewhat more advanced species, but the mental effort would be good for us.

Profile Michel448a
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 27 Oct 00
Posts: 1201
Credit: 2,891,635
RAC: 0
Canada
Message 1474781 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 18:30:29 UTC

we are maybe the only ones in the universe who 'invented' these radio-waves transmitters and 'invented' these decimal "prime numbers'

maybe there are no aliens with only 10 fingers :P
____________

Profile Mr. KevvyProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 690
Credit: 72,211,421
RAC: 78,324
Canada
Message 1474800 - Posted: 9 Feb 2014, 19:18:18 UTC - in response to Message 1474781.
Last modified: 9 Feb 2014, 19:18:29 UTC

we are maybe the only ones in the universe who 'invented' these radio-waves transmitters and 'invented' these decimal "prime numbers'

maybe there are no aliens with only 10 fingers :P


Er... primes are primes in any base, and I didn't mention base-10. That would be ridiculous.
____________
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
--- Margaret Mead

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31376
Credit: 12,036,560
RAC: 29,321
United Kingdom
Message 1475688 - Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 13:05:39 UTC
Last modified: 11 Feb 2014, 13:07:15 UTC

Go anywhere you like in the galaxy or the universe. Stick a pole in the ground, tie a piece of string to it, and a stick on the other end. Walk round in a circle making a line on the ground. The relationship between the length of what you have just walked, and the length of the string will be 2 x PI x the length of the string i.e. 2 Pi R or Pi D. That will hold true on earth and a billion light years away.

Therefore life of whatever kind has a common factor in the value of Pi. "they" may choose to give it a different name, and call it whatever they wish, it is still a universal constant, and a starting point for discussion.

Profile Mr. KevvyProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 690
Credit: 72,211,421
RAC: 78,324
Canada
Message 1475702 - Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 13:41:15 UTC - in response to Message 1475688.

Therefore life of whatever kind has a common factor in the value of Pi. "they" may choose to give it a different name, and call it whatever they wish, it is still a universal constant, and a starting point for discussion.


I like the idea that was used in Contact of searching for intelligent signals at "hydrogen times Pi" (about 4.46 GHz) the most important astronomical frequency multiplied by the most important constant, a great place for an intelligence to make itself known. As far as I know it's a pretty quiet area of the spectrum too. I wonder if any SETI projects are listening there.
____________
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
--- Margaret Mead

Profile Bob DeWoody
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 May 10
Posts: 1477
Credit: 551,573
RAC: 235
United States
Message 1475994 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 6:42:28 UTC

I saw on one episode of Morgan Freeman's "Through the Wormhole" where one of the Seti researchers has a method of determining whether a set of sounds is jibberish or intelligent communication. It doesn't solve what the message is but does determine an intelligent pattern. His example was dolphin communication which he is now studying.

If we can't figure out what dolphins are saying it doesn't bode well for us understanding aliens.
____________
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required.

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31376
Credit: 12,036,560
RAC: 29,321
United Kingdom
Message 1476056 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 9:16:35 UTC

The problem is that we are assuming that ET is like us. We know what we would send to catch their attention, we have no idea what they would send us ....

All cryptologists and code breakers look for repeating patterns, and we know that the letter E is the most common letter in the alphabet. Armed with that knowledge we have a starting point. If the message was sent using Chinese characters it makes it a bit more difficult.

Profile JulieProject donor
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 28 Oct 09
Posts: 19619
Credit: 3,561,132
RAC: 6,470
Belgium
Message 1476078 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 11:06:41 UTC

They probably have a whole different alphabet or maybe the alphabet doesn't exist for them. We invented the alphabet and letters. Math language otoh is universal and more likely to be used by other civilizations in their search for extraterrestrial contact.
____________


rOZZ

rob smithProject donor
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 7 Mar 03
Posts: 8291
Credit: 54,846,888
RAC: 74,487
United Kingdom
Message 1476083 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18:06 UTC

There are two main forms of written language:
"alphabetic" - those which use "letters" arranged as "words" to convey meaning;
and
"pictographic" - those which use pictograms to express both "words" and more complex concepts.

On Earth we have both, English and Arabic being examples of the former, and the various Chinese dialects are predominantly the latter.

Now, how do decode an alphabetic language when your linguistic scope is a pictographic one (or visa-versa) when you haven't got a key to point you in the correct direction?
____________
Bob Smith
Member of Seti PIPPS (Pluto is a Planet Protest Society)
Somewhere in the (un)known Universe?

Profile tullioProject donor
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 04
Posts: 3650
Credit: 368,797
RAC: 261
Italy
Message 1476152 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 16:45:52 UTC - in response to Message 1476083.

We had the Morse alphabet, but it is no longer used. It was used in telegraph and radio communications and helped save many human lives.
Tullio
____________

Profile JulieProject donor
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 28 Oct 09
Posts: 19619
Credit: 3,561,132
RAC: 6,470
Belgium
Message 1476218 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 19:03:32 UTC - in response to Message 1476152.

We had the Morse alphabet, but it is no longer used. It was used in telegraph and radio communications and helped save many human lives.
Tullio



Shame it isn't used anymore, just like the signaling of smoke with fire...
____________


rOZZ

Profile William Rothamel
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Oct 06
Posts: 2508
Credit: 1,175,272
RAC: 118
United States
Message 1476225 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 19:18:13 UTC - in response to Message 1476218.

If "They" existed they could teach us their numbering system by sending Pascal's triangle with their numerical characters in place.

Profile JulieProject donor
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 28 Oct 09
Posts: 19619
Credit: 3,561,132
RAC: 6,470
Belgium
Message 1476228 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 19:25:28 UTC

Shouldn't look at it as "they" though, sounds so detached, I mean if we ever find them, we should welcome them as friends:) If you can say 'them' of course, how do we define alien life?
____________


rOZZ

Profile tullioProject donor
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 04
Posts: 3650
Credit: 368,797
RAC: 261
Italy
Message 1476461 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014, 10:17:13 UTC - in response to Message 1476225.

If "They" existed they could teach us their numbering system by sending Pascal's triangle with their numerical characters in place.

Maybe They could give us a formula for finding prime numbers, which we haven't discovered yet.
Tullio
____________


Send message
Joined: 3 Apr 99
Posts: 2082
Credit: 38,525,048
RAC: 29,501
Message 1476524 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014, 14:11:35 UTC
Last modified: 22 Mar 2014, 0:12:48 UTC

--

Profile Mr. KevvyProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 690
Credit: 72,211,421
RAC: 78,324
Canada
Message 1476541 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014, 15:10:00 UTC - in response to Message 1476524.
Last modified: 13 Feb 2014, 15:25:18 UTC

prime numbers (assumes our counting system)


It would be pointless trying to structure radio communications with a society that didn't have a the concept of number (how would they tune their radios without the understanding of frequency?) but you can communicate primeness to them and they may already understand primeness this way... geometrically:

Imagine a society with no sense of counting numbers... all they know is "one" and "more than one".

Here is a line of dots:

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Try to split that line into more than one line so that:
- Every line is the same length
- Every line contains more than one dot
- No dot is a member of more than one line (ie no sneaky intersections.)
- Dots can't be split or merged

This of course can't be done, so we call this line's length "prime". Other lines of different length can be split this way so we call their lengths "composite".

(Incidentally the ancient Greeks started out like this because they lacked a useful algebraic notation; their algebraic proofs and concepts were expressed geometrically.)
____________
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
--- Margaret Mead

1 · 2 · 3 · Next

Message boards : SETI@home Science : Are we intelligent enought to even acknowledge an ET call?

Copyright © 2014 University of California