Statement on Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence/Active SETI

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Eric KorpelaProject Donor
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Message 1639526 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 0:26:09 UTC

In conjunction with other interested members of the SETI community, we've written a statement on beaming messages to other planets.

The essence of the conclusion is that a few people shouldn't be making this decision for an entire planet.
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Message 1639552 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 1:34:12 UTC - in response to Message 1639526.  

Totally agree with this.

Thanks for the information Eric.
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Profile Gary CharpentierCrowdfunding Project Donor
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Message 1639561 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 2:04:06 UTC - in response to Message 1639526.  

In conjunction with other interested members of the SETI community, we've written a statement on beaming messages to other planets.

The essence of the conclusion is that a few people shouldn't be making this decision for an entire planet.

Should we also expect ETI's to have reached a similar conclusion, that they are not transmitting, so there is nothing to receive?

While I agree with the thought that no single person should make the decision, especially a long term beacon, in the history of the world with respect to exploration, it seems as if it always in a single individual or small group that makes such a decision.
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Message 1639564 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 2:14:07 UTC

A totally conservative and rational viewpoint.
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Message 1639567 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 2:21:12 UTC

I, for one, am happy to hear that I am not the only one with reservations about METI/aSETI. Its good to know that I'm in great company with the likes of Dr. Werthimer, Dr. Korpela, and even Elon Musk!

And Remington P.S. Stone? Come on! That's your James Bond, evil Dr. Villain name! What's your real name? :-P Cool name sir.
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Message 1639570 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 2:24:23 UTC - in response to Message 1639567.  

I, for one, am happy to hear that I am not the only one with reservations about METI/aSETI. Its good to know that I'm in great company with the likes of Dr. Werthimer, Dr. Korpela, and even Elon Musk!

And Remington P.S. Stone? Come on! That's your James Bond, evil Dr. Villain name! What's your real name? :-P Cool name sir.

Agreed. I was always a bit dubious about the Voyager being sent out with a map to our house in it...and the odds of anyone coming across that are small.
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Message 1639584 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 3:57:18 UTC - in response to Message 1639570.  

I feel the intention of the message - risk management of future actions - is in line with current 'safety' culture and worthy of consideration but considering how much RF and Optical radiation we have leaked, including the intense flashes of atmospheric nuclear testing and our modern night lighting of cities as well as the space craft we have launched into the outer universe - aren't we shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted ??
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Message 1639596 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 4:56:55 UTC

Well, it is already far too late to worry.
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Radar_astronomy
The telescope has three radar transmitters, with effective isotropic radiated powers [EIRP] of 20 TW at 2380 MHz, 2.5 TW (pulse peak) at 430 MHz, and 300 MW at 47 MHz.

20 TW (20,000,000,000,000) is a lot of signal. (Perspective the Palo Verde nuclear plant produces 3.3GW [3,300,000,000]) That signal is being beamed into space. For many targets most of the beam will simply pass by the object being studied. (Arc minute beam width, arc second object) So humans are already sending huge strong signals into space, albeit random directions and not targeted at what we might think of as interesting targets. However, I'm also sure no one is even looking to see what lies in the background direction when these transmissions are undertaken.

For those concerned that we are signaling an ETI a look through the directions of past radar astronomy transmissions would be a high priority. They might also want to propose a ban on such observations, however many are undertaken to observe NEO's to be sure their orbital paths do not intersect earth. That brings up the question, which extinction event is more likely or more preferable; by ETI or by asteroid?

One of the unknowns in the Drake Equation is how long the ET remains as a civilization. we only have ourselves to measure. Today with the promise of global warming on the horizon, that length of time may be rather short. Perhaps far too short for interstellar travel to advance. But this is unknown. Also unknown is if faster than light travel is possible. Absent that almost certainly we would never meet an ETI other than one already watching I Love Lucy. There are also great uncertainties in the expected emissions from the galactic black hole the Milky Way has. Clearly if frequent and energetic, long lived civilizations become unlikely in a large portion of the galaxy.

Again absent some study and consensus I don't think one person or small group should set up a long term beacon. As to short bursts, we are already doing that and no one is looking at it now, so we would be closing the barn after the horses are gone.
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Message 1639638 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 7:03:45 UTC

I don't believe in global warming there is groups of people that try to force on me that its real. Sending messages to ET where only a few would have a say is scary in a way. What would that message be. Would the public be able to see what the Et message is? It may not matter if ET isn't interested and doesn't answer.
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Message 1639695 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 10:05:51 UTC - in response to Message 1639638.  
Last modified: 10 Feb 2015, 10:10:48 UTC

In that case, no signal will be received either. I will stop computing for this project, then. What a waste of cycles.
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Message 1639706 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 11:02:56 UTC - in response to Message 1639584.  

I feel the intention of the message - risk management of future actions - is in line with current 'safety' culture and worthy of consideration but considering how much RF and Optical radiation we have leaked, including the intense flashes of atmospheric nuclear testing and our modern night lighting of cities as well as the space craft we have launched into the outer universe - aren't we shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted ??


Not really. Most of our existing communications, in all forms, will dissipate before they make it out far enough to be detected beyond the background noise of space. The relatively tiny nuclear detonations that occur on this planet would doubtfully even be detected beyond all the more powerful and natural nuclear explosions occurring in space.
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Message 1639709 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 11:08:03 UTC - in response to Message 1639695.  

In that case, no signal will be received either. I will stop computing for this project, then. What a waste of cycles.


That's very unfortunate for the project.

I'm seeing a logical disconnect here. Just because we are not sending, doesn't mean ETI isn't sending either. Since SETI@home was never about METI, why would this change your mind about crunching? Certainly they're not wasted cycles at all as you were never processing signals to be sent out.
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Message 1639720 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 11:39:07 UTC - in response to Message 1639638.  

I don't believe in global warming there is groups of people that try to force on me that its real. Sending messages to ET where only a few would have a say is scary in a way. What would that message be. Would the public be able to see what the Et message is? It may not matter if ET isn't interested and doesn't answer.


There's a huge difference between the global Warming issue and METI. Global warming isn't about belief. It's not like faith where you either believe in God or you do not. You either accept the copious amount of scientific data that supports the conclusion, or you choose to believe the massive financial interests that are attempting to debunk the science because they stand to lose billions if we change our way of life to avoid further damage.

METI is about sending message to ETI without who we are sending it to. We have no data on whether they would be friend or foe. Again, completely different from the Global Warming issue.
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Message 1639727 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 12:09:56 UTC - in response to Message 1639709.  
Last modified: 10 Feb 2015, 12:15:02 UTC

That's very unfortunate for the project.

I'm seeing a logical disconnect here. Just because we are not sending, doesn't mean ETI isn't sending either. Since SETI@home was never about METI, why would this change your mind about crunching? Certainly they're not wasted cycles at all as you were never processing signals to be sent out.


If not transmitting is so intelligent as the manifest suggests, why should alliens transmit any message? Does SETI stand for Searching for ExtraTerrestrial Idiots?

I changed my mind about crunching because SETI@Home is not only not transmitting now, but the institutions/scientists involved in the project are stating that they will never transmit and actively encourage others not transmitting and encourage the public to oppose and retire funding to these projects. I don't want to support such a SETI@Home project.
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Message 1639732 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 12:13:41 UTC - in response to Message 1639706.  

I feel the intention of the message - risk management of future actions - is in line with current 'safety' culture and worthy of consideration but considering how much RF and Optical radiation we have leaked, including the intense flashes of atmospheric nuclear testing and our modern night lighting of cities as well as the space craft we have launched into the outer universe - aren't we shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted ??


Not really. Most of our existing communications, in all forms, will dissipate before they make it out far enough to be detected beyond the background noise of space. The relatively tiny nuclear detonations that occur on this planet would doubtfully even be detected beyond all the more powerful and natural nuclear explosions occurring in space.


If our emissions dissipate beyond the point of detection then wouldn't that be the same for ETI emissions reaching us. Are you saying SETI will not hear anything from ETI based on that pretence
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Message 1639734 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 12:34:55 UTC - in response to Message 1639727.  
Last modified: 10 Feb 2015, 13:21:48 UTC

That's very unfortunate for the project.

I'm seeing a logical disconnect here. Just because we are not sending, doesn't mean ETI isn't sending either. Since SETI@home was never about METI, why would this change your mind about crunching? Certainly they're not wasted cycles at all as you were never processing signals to be sent out.


If not transmitting is so intelligent as the manifest suggests, why should alliens transmit any message? Does SETI stand for Searching for ExtraTerrestrial Idiots?


I think you're reading it wrong. It doesn't state anywhere that transmitting isn't intelligent. The argument being made is that more public discourse should be taken into account before people start doing conducting such experiments and research.

Why should aliens transmit a message? Maybe they won't. Maybe they're advanced enough to know they could defend themselves from most aggressors. Maybe there's a mostly peaceful alliance of races that are looking for new races and species to join their friendly alliance by actively sending a signal. There's plenty of reasons why they would. However, none of this has anything to do with whether or not we should send a message ourselves. You are attempting to assemble a logical fallacy in that you're saying that if we don't consider it intelligent (false), that an alien species will also consider it unintelligent (unknown, probably false), so no one will send signals at all. Then you reason from there that we should indeed send a signal, and if we don't, then you disagree with the entire premise of SETI@home and you're holding your contribution hostage to the effort.

Your entitled to do as you please, but I would at least like to attempt to point out these logical fallacies in hopes that you'll reconsider your position, because most people are open-minded enough to not allow a position such as this to effect their views on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

I changed my mind about crunching because SETI@Home is not only not transmitting now, but the institutions/scientists involved in the project are stating that they will never transmit and actively encourage others not transmitting and encourage the public to oppose and retire funding to these projects. I don't want to support such a SETI@Home project.


I'm not seeing the word "never" in the statement at all. They are calling for more public discourse before such a message is sent, and they go on to state that there are very real possible consequences in sending a message that should be at least discussed first.

As I said, that's very unfortunate for the project indeed. But there are a lot of opinions out there, and there will be plenty that choose to continue on crunching, such as myself.
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Message 1639735 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 12:37:13 UTC - in response to Message 1639732.  

If our emissions dissipate beyond the point of detection then wouldn't that be the same for ETI emissions reaching us. Are you saying SETI will not hear anything from ETI based on that pretence


That's absolutely correct. The hope of finding a signal rests primarily in looking for a powerful signal purposely sent in our general direction of the Universe. There's a chance we could hear from nearby neighbors, but it seems a pretty slim chance.
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Message 1639736 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 12:38:37 UTC - in response to Message 1639526.  

In conjunction with other interested members of the SETI community, we've written a statement on beaming messages to other planets.

The essence of the conclusion is that a few people shouldn't be making this decision for an entire planet.

Thanks Eric, I agree 100% with that statement.
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Message 1639755 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 14:01:10 UTC - in response to Message 1639736.  
Last modified: 10 Feb 2015, 14:21:15 UTC

I think you're reading it wrong. It doesn't state anywhere that transmitting isn't intelligent.


It doesn't say it with that word, but in essence that is what it says. For example:

"As a newly emerging technological species, it is prudent to listen before we shout."

"Opponents of METI would vocally condemn METI transmissions, confusing the public about, and imperiling funding for, bona fide scientific endeavors related to extraterrestrial life."

So METI is "not prudent" nor "bona fide scientific endeavor" and it is "confusing the public". That seems to me a declaration that METI is a foolish, stupid and dangerous course of action.

The argument being made is that more public discourse should be taken into account before people start doing conducting such experiments and research.


We had already half a century of METI activities and debate. How much will be needed? Another 50 years? Maybe 100? Or perhaps 200? Also, the commitee of the IAA for SETI/METI voted 3 times against a ban/discouraging of METI. How much discussion is still needed? Maybe we should wait until humanity is extinct. Then surely will be no danger in METI. The anti-METI movement seems to me like the anti-GMO movement or the anti thelephony antenna movement. They allways claim more debate/testing is needed, but really they don't want any debate or testing, only an indefinite ban on that technology, since no proof or data will ever suffice to them. That's why I think the S@H scientists/institutions will never engage in METI.

Why should aliens transmit a message? Maybe they won't. Maybe they're advanced enough to know they could defend themselves from most aggressors. Maybe there's a mostly peaceful alliance of races that are looking for new races and species to join their friendly alliance by actively sending a signal. There's plenty of reasons why they would. However, none of this has anything to do with whether or not we should send a message ourselves.


Why an ETI capable and willing to travel insterestellar distances to kill the intelligent beings there, would be incapable of detecting us without METI? If you are searching for falacies this is a good one.

You are attempting to assemble a logical fallacy in that you're saying that if we don't consider it intelligent (false), that an alien species will also consider it unintelligent (unknown, probably false), so no one will send signals at all. Then you reason from there that we should indeed send a signal, and if we don't, then you disagree with the entire premise of SETI@home and you're holding your contribution hostage to the effort.


I'm only following the 'logic' of the statement. If it's unwise to send messages to civillizations millions of years older than our own, the same reasoning also applies to ETI, so ETI should wait millions of years before transmitting. But, hey, then there will be also other civillizations older than theirs, so they must still wait. The result: everybody is listening but nobody is talking. It's no surprise that SETI didn't find anything yet.

Finally, the statement says:

We feel the decision whether or not to transmit must be based upon a worldwide consensus, and not a decision based upon the wishes of a few individuals with access to powerful communications equipment.


Well, already a few individuals have made the decision that nobody on Earth should engage in METI, and they wrote an statement about that.
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Message 1639790 - Posted: 10 Feb 2015, 15:10:24 UTC
Last modified: 10 Feb 2015, 15:25:45 UTC

First of all, there were such transmissions already.
Moreover, there are Pioneer's and Voyager's disks . So I would say it's little late to make such statements. Better to go back to work on SETI@home project, there is much to do on SETI beta, btw, even w/o writing such loud "statements" :P

Just imagine if such position will be dominant. What we then hope to achieve on this SETI project? What to listen if no one wanna send anything?..... Golden rule cries on such statements...

EDIT:

Opponents of METI would vocally condemn METI transmissions, confusing the public about, and imperiling funding for, bona fide scientific endeavors related to extraterrestrial life.

So "lets do confusion by ourselves"?...
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Message boards : News : Statement on Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence/Active SETI


 
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