Scientific American: If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?

Message boards : SETI@home Science : Scientific American: If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?
Message board moderation

To post messages, you must log in.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 . . . 5 · Next

AuthorMessage
Profile mr.mac52Project Donor
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 18 Mar 03
Posts: 52
Credit: 195,339,680
RAC: 105,929
United States
Message 1754662 - Posted: 7 Jan 2016, 19:52:34 UTC

January issue of Scientific American has a good article titled: If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?

The authors start out with the Fermi paradox and go from there. SETI is mentioned but not any specific reference to SETI@home.

John
ID: 1754662 · Report as offensive
Profile Bob DeWoody
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 9 May 10
Posts: 2848
Credit: 1,215,344
RAC: 206
United States
Message 1754791 - Posted: 8 Jan 2016, 6:35:42 UTC

It's my belief that ET is out there but has chosen not to make contact with us due to our aggressive shoot first and ask questions later nature. Just because we haven't detected them doesn't mean they aren't there.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
ID: 1754791 · Report as offensive
Profile tullioProject Donor
Volunteer moderator
Volunteer tester

Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 04
Posts: 6296
Credit: 1,678,268
RAC: 1,442
Italy
Message 1754831 - Posted: 8 Jan 2016, 10:27:25 UTC

Men in black.
Tullio
ID: 1754831 · Report as offensive
Profile Chris SCrowdfunding Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 40039
Credit: 34,791,457
RAC: 63,833
United Kingdom
Message 1754837 - Posted: 8 Jan 2016, 11:28:41 UTC - in response to Message 1754791.  

It's my belief that ET is out there but has chosen not to make contact with us due to our aggressive shoot first and ask questions later nature. Just because we haven't detected them doesn't mean they aren't there.

In the case of the USA Bob that is probably true. But that doesn't mean that they haven't already contacted more peaceable nations like the UK does it?

That is the price that your country will pay for it's current world attitude, you'll be the last to know.

Live long & prosper.
ID: 1754837 · Report as offensive
Profile William Rothamel
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 25 Oct 06
Posts: 3335
Credit: 1,322,163
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1754997 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 2:22:27 UTC - in response to Message 1754791.  

chosen not to make contact with us


If we don't know where they are then they don't know where we are.
ID: 1754997 · Report as offensive
Profile Gary CharpentierCrowdfunding Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 21100
Credit: 30,569,383
RAC: 21,880
United States
Message 1755014 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 4:19:09 UTC - in response to Message 1754997.  

chosen not to make contact with us


If we don't know where they are then they don't know where we are.

Most likely true, because they will be looking for beings at about their own level of advancement.
ID: 1755014 · Report as offensive
Profile Chris SCrowdfunding Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 40039
Credit: 34,791,457
RAC: 63,833
United Kingdom
Message 1755067 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 11:58:53 UTC

If we don't know where they are then they don't know where we are.

That is not true. Take the case of a large lorry that has signs on the rear saying "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you".
ID: 1755067 · Report as offensive
Profile William Rothamel
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 25 Oct 06
Posts: 3335
Credit: 1,322,163
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1755079 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 15:02:31 UTC - in response to Message 1755067.  
Last modified: 9 Jan 2016, 15:04:57 UTC

If you can't see his mirrors then you can't see his face nor can he see yours.

The only way that the original statement can be true is that THEY are more than 100 light years away and have the means to monitor TV signals that haven't been created yet and won't be for sometime in the future. I presume that :

We would have found THEM within this distance.
They would judge our demeanor by monitoring our TV and radio transmissions which have been travelling for less than 100 years.

Therefore I conclude that:

There is no alien civilization within 100 light years and THEY , if they actually exist< don't know that we are here and are a bunch of warring tribes.

Counter-arguments welcome.
ID: 1755079 · Report as offensive
Profile Bob DeWoody
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 9 May 10
Posts: 2848
Credit: 1,215,344
RAC: 206
United States
Message 1755157 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 21:16:36 UTC

If there is an alien civilization within 100LY and they are even only 100 years ahead of us in development they would most likely be able to prevent us from detecting them. Why would they do that? Just look around.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
ID: 1755157 · Report as offensive
Profile William Rothamel
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 25 Oct 06
Posts: 3335
Credit: 1,322,163
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1755169 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 21:54:36 UTC - in response to Message 1755157.  
Last modified: 9 Jan 2016, 21:56:09 UTC

prevent us from detecting them.



They would have to hide their planet and it's atmosphere.
ID: 1755169 · Report as offensive
John D AnthonyProject Donor

Send message
Joined: 4 Sep 15
Posts: 175
Credit: 384,498
RAC: 546
United States
Message 1755202 - Posted: 9 Jan 2016, 23:36:58 UTC - in response to Message 1755157.  

If there is an alien civilization within 100LY and they are even only 100 years ahead of us in development they would most likely be able to prevent us from detecting them. Why would they do that? Just look around.

I gotta say, Bob, the idea of being judged by an incomprehensible and unseen intelligence - in the sky - sounds vaguely familiar...

But seriously, I can't buy the notion that anyone's hiding from us. If someone is aware of us and making no effort to contact and we're not any kind of immanent threat to them then I'd have to conclude we're simply being ignored. Or, to look at the bright side, maybe someone is now aware of us and their greeting just hasn't arrived yet.
ID: 1755202 · Report as offensive
Neil Erickson

Send message
Joined: 15 May 99
Posts: 6
Credit: 9,030,200
RAC: 7,106
Canada
Message 1755239 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 4:27:39 UTC - in response to Message 1755202.  

I continually see comments about how any advanced alien civilization within 100 light years of us would already know about us from our TV broadcasts, etc. But I fail to see the logic of this... any unintentional omnidirectional signal leakage into space from our TV & radio broadcasts would dissipate in signal strength so rapidly that I doubt it would be distinguishable from the overwhelming cosmic background radiation even by the edge of our solar system, never mind at the unfathomable distances of interstellar space. It seems to me that the only detectable signals would be very high powered focused directional signals aimed directly at a target star system, and even then would only be detected if some entity at the target star system happened to have a very sensitive receiver aimed in our direction and tuned to the right frequency at the same time as when that signal arrived there... something to keep in mind. This is very likely why our SETI efforts to date haven't detected any alien civilizations - unless someone out there beams a high powered focused signal directly at us which happens to arrive while we are listening in that direction at the right frequency we would not detect their presence with our current search methods. Add to this that we have no idea if radio communication is eventually replaced by some other communication technology and if so for how long that a civilization uses radio communication before it becomes obsolete. Just my humble layman's opinion...
ID: 1755239 · Report as offensive
Profile Gary CharpentierCrowdfunding Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 21100
Credit: 30,569,383
RAC: 21,880
United States
Message 1755247 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 6:21:22 UTC

Knew I'd seen this before, a SETI range calculator
http://www.satsig.net/seticalc.htm
ID: 1755247 · Report as offensive
Profile Chris SCrowdfunding Project Donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 40039
Credit: 34,791,457
RAC: 63,833
United Kingdom
Message 1755285 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 8:58:58 UTC

But they ARE contacting us!!! Every year they bring out their flying saucers and doodle in the cornfields leaving their messages. Where do these saucers come from, why the hole in the earth at the North Pole of course!

Must go and put my tin foil hat on, bye bye. wibble wibble wibble ....
ID: 1755285 · Report as offensive
Profile betregerProject Donor
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 29 Jun 99
Posts: 6428
Credit: 15,521,651
RAC: 10,097
United States
Message 1755368 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 16:16:16 UTC - in response to Message 1755285.  

But they ARE contacting us!!! Every year they bring out their flying saucers and doodle in the cornfields leaving their messages. Where do these saucers come from, why the hole in the earth at the North Pole of course!

Must go and put my tin foil hat on, bye bye. wibble wibble wibble ....

Chris, that is why one should always wear an AFB
ID: 1755368 · Report as offensive
rob smithProject Donor
Volunteer tester

Send message
Joined: 7 Mar 03
Posts: 15197
Credit: 251,606,437
RAC: 325,156
United Kingdom
Message 1755372 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 16:27:25 UTC

...and I thought one had to have one's shield carried above one's head to prevent the sky falling on it, and thus being adversely affected by aliens.
Bob Smith
Member of Seti PIPPS (Pluto is a Planet Protest Society)
Somewhere in the (un)known Universe?
ID: 1755372 · Report as offensive
Michael Watson

Send message
Joined: 7 Feb 08
Posts: 937
Credit: 1,108,053
RAC: 1,382
Message 1755409 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 18:20:35 UTC - in response to Message 1755239.  

Reply to Neil Erickson; An advanced civilization would be much more likely to know of us, than we of them. Even a modest sized receiver placed at a point in space where their star's gravity acts as a lens could make even our routine, low power transmissions receivable.
There are a number of such points for each star. Dr. Frank Drake explains that for our Sun, they begin about 550 astronomical units out, with the reception path improving in quality out to about 1000 AU.
ID: 1755409 · Report as offensive
Michael Watson

Send message
Joined: 7 Feb 08
Posts: 937
Credit: 1,108,053
RAC: 1,382
Message 1755413 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 18:46:59 UTC - in response to Message 1755202.  
Last modified: 10 Jan 2016, 18:48:28 UTC



But seriously, I can't buy the notion that anyone's hiding from us. If someone is aware of us and making no effort to contact and we're not any kind of immanent threat to them then I'd have to conclude we're simply being ignored. Or, to look at the bright side, maybe someone is now aware of us and their greeting just hasn't arrived yet.


The issue of contact between ourselves and another civilization in space may not be so black or white; either hiding from us or ignoring us on one hand, or openly sending us a greeting, on the other.
There could be a desire on their part to make themselves known to us only very gradually, in order to avoid disruption of our cultures. As we begin to penetrate space we may already have caused this process of contact to begin.

We may not seem much of a threat at the moment, but to a very long-lived civilization, used to thinking further ahead than we usually do, it may seem wise to act proactively and begin to make us ready for our introduction to galactic society. We could undoubtedly benefit from a few lessons in how to be good galactic citizens.
ID: 1755413 · Report as offensive
rob smithProject Donor
Volunteer tester

Send message
Joined: 7 Mar 03
Posts: 15197
Credit: 251,606,437
RAC: 325,156
United Kingdom
Message 1755431 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 20:15:22 UTC

Two things to consider.
First is that radio waves travel at the speed of light, so a signal arriving from an object 50 light years away started its journey 50 years ago, and even if we could decode it today, and produce a sensible response "instantly" it would take another 50 years to get back to the sender.
The second is decoding - anyone who has ever tried to receive an NTSC TV signal with a PAL receiver will know that even if we know what the signal being transmitted contains it is not the easiest thing in the world to do. And, at the outset, we will not know the message content, the coding mechanism, or the type of data contained. At our current state of development the best we can hope for is that we detect a potential signal, probably akin to the RF noise that we have been radiating into space for the last 110 years (although the real RF surge started much more recently than that, say 80 years).
Bob Smith
Member of Seti PIPPS (Pluto is a Planet Protest Society)
Somewhere in the (un)known Universe?
ID: 1755431 · Report as offensive
John D AnthonyProject Donor

Send message
Joined: 4 Sep 15
Posts: 175
Credit: 384,498
RAC: 546
United States
Message 1755463 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 22:32:56 UTC - in response to Message 1755413.  

The issue of contact between ourselves and another civilization in space may not be so black or white; either hiding from us or ignoring us on one hand, or openly sending us a greeting, on the other.
There could be a desire on their part to make themselves known to us only very gradually, in order to avoid disruption of our cultures. As we begin to penetrate space we may already have caused this process of contact to begin.

We may not seem much of a threat at the moment, but to a very long-lived civilization, used to thinking further ahead than we usually do, it may seem wise to act proactively and begin to make us ready for our introduction to galactic society. We could undoubtedly benefit from a few lessons in how to be good galactic citizens.

How do you gradually tell someone they're not alone in the universe?
And unless we're making the leap to FTL travel, how could we pose a threat to anyone? Say there's an ETI on a planet 20 light years away and they're a thousand years ahead of us technologically. No matter how fast we manage to get there, they will always be a thousand years ahead of us.
And how could they know the proper time to reveal themselves? Are we imagining the application of a known standard of behavior for all emerging civilizations, or the best guess of one paranoid and manipulative neighbor? Assuming there is no technological "magic moment" - like developing warp capability - that removes some Prime Directive being imposed on us, then at what point is an isolated space-faring civilization like us ready to hear that there are other isolated space-faring civilizations out there?
Without FTL travel none of us pose a credible threat to anyone but ourselves, and I don't believe a galactic society based on communication would get very far by being deceptive when making new contacts.
ID: 1755463 · Report as offensive
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 . . . 5 · Next

Message boards : SETI@home Science : Scientific American: If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?


 
©2017 University of California
 
SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.