Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 399

Thread: no ETs in universe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    279

    no ETs in universe

    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/...ely-rare-1885/


    They say SETI is a waste of time.
    I say some guy just won $85k with 15,16,17,18,28 thus anything is possible.
    If you were to shuffle cards 10million times, a royal flush must come up a few times.

    Since no alien probes, signals, invasions, or rendezvous with Rama have happened, we need not fear an alien attack.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    ...they argue that the life here on Earth could be common, or it could be extremely rare...
    In other words, they're saying "we don't know yet", which most of us kinda already knew.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    WA state, USA - Seattle area
    Posts
    2,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Gomar View Post
    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/...ely-rare-1885/


    They say SETI is a waste of time.
    I say some guy just won $85k with 15,16,17,18,28 thus anything is possible.
    If you were to shuffle cards 10million times, a royal flush must come up a few times.

    Since no alien probes, signals, invasions, or rendezvous with Rama have happened, we need not fear an alien attack.
    Just because we've never detected any alien probes, invasions, etc. does not mean ET does not exist. And if ET does exist, it does not follow that we'll be attacked. Just too many possibilities to draw many conclusions...except for 'we don't know yet'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    As someone once put it, all our efforts so far to find ET life have been like boiling water and waiting for a lobster to walk into your kitchen. The Universe is unimagineably huge, and we've only observed a tiny, tiny fraction of it in very limited detail.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Gomar View Post
    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/...ely-rare-1885/


    They say SETI is a waste of time.
    I say some guy just won $85k with 15,16,17,18,28 thus anything is possible.
    If you were to shuffle cards 10million times, a royal flush must come up a few times.

    Since no alien probes, signals, invasions, or rendezvous with Rama have happened, we need not fear an alien attack.
    Yea well...opinions...everyone has them. Is it a waste of time? If people want to run SETI@Home using data that is already being gathered...let them. Would I want any government to be funding this stuff exclusively? No. I'd say that would be a waste of resources.

    Sure I might get dealt a royal straight flush but I can tell you when I play poker I never bet like I'm going to get one. The whole thing is more "are the resources invested worth it?" The more resources that are donated the less valid the claim that it is a "waste".

    It is a bit like when I heard someone say "Target shooting is not a sport." to which I said "Why do you think that?" their answer "Because I don't enjoy it." to which I said "I don't enjoy playing basketball but I'm not about to say that isn't a sport". If they where being asked to fund target shooting then I might agree that it is a waste but if they aren't. then who cares and if they argue that $0.00001 of their taxes are going to fund it I'll point out that they are idiots because it would cost more to stop them from having to fund it then just letting it slide.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,646
    rare or extremely rare does not equal none.

    Christopher Columbus, the Viking explorers and other European explorers
    did not know of or extrapolate the existence of the Aztecs/Mayans either...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,008
    I dont get the point of papers being published like this. All they conclude is that our existance cannot be used as a logical basis to predict the occurrance of other intelligences. we know this. It's why we are looking for ET so hard, so we can do statistics.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,460
    Space is a very very big---as we have all been told and can notice on a clear night.

    We are a relatively young civilization IMHO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    13,222
    Yes, space is very big...so big, that I wouldn't be surprised if there were thousands of ET civilizations, although so far removed from each other, that they never "discover" each other.

    Extreme distance...to an observer, it would be no different than a complete lack of civilizations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,460
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Yes, space is very big...so big, that I wouldn't be surprised if there were thousands of ET civilizations, although so far removed from each other, that they never "discover" each other.

    Extreme distance...to an observer, it would be no different than a complete lack of civilizations.
    Well said!

    I still support the search for instances of biochemical reasons for our own existence in the Solar System--& the reasons for my support are somewhat pragmatic. I would argue that my progeny need to know that I cared enough for them to (hopefully) carry on science or better termed astronomy to whatever degree they could.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    13,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    We know for a certainty that we exist, while we can only speculate on other life. The cartoon is cute but not relevant because of that.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    We know for a certainty that we exist, while we can only speculate on other life. The cartoon is cute but not relevant because of that.
    OK, I'll spell it out and ruin the joke: The cartoon says clearly that this is the first sentient ant colony, searching for other intelligent life. The ants represent us, their pheromone trails represent our search. Since the OP is about SETI and our search, a cartoon about just that is quite relevant.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    13,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    OK, I'll spell it out and ruin the joke...
    Sometimes I am so humorless, that I can't see the forest for the trees.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    We know for a certainty that we exist, while we can only speculate on other life. The cartoon is cute but not relevant because of that.
    i think the carton hits the nail squarely on the head!
    the ants also know for certain that they exist. and we can only use our primitive technology to look for others out there. i don't think any sufficiently advanced civilization (i.e. one capable of interstellar travel) would use something as primitive as radio-waves (corresponding to the "known pheromone trails" in the cartoon). that assumption is absurd. but given our primitive level it's all we know and therefore all we can use.

    in that sense one could indeed argue that seti doesn't make too much sense. but as far as i know it is (mostly or entirely, not sure) funded by private donors. let them, i'd say. i find it interesting enough but the hot water and lobster analogy is probably generous.

    now, if you ask me what would they use if not radio waves, i'd have to say - of course - that i don't know but i would assume something based on quantum entanglement (i'm aware of the limitations but maybe there's a way around them?).
    Last edited by PaulLogan; 2011-Sep-20 at 10:31 PM. Reason: clarification

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    924
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulLogan View Post
    i think the carton hits the nail squarely on the head!
    the ants also know for certain that they exist. and we can only use our primitive technology to look for others out there. i don't think any sufficiently advanced civilization (i.e. one capable of interstellar travel) would use something as primitive as radio-waves (corresponding to the "known pheromone trails" in the cartoon). that assumption is absurd. but given our primitive level it's all we know and therefore all we can use.
    Perhaps a less assumption-ridden way of searching for intelligent life would be to first look for potentially habitable exo-planets, and when they are found, target all sorts of instruments at those particular planets – radio telescopes, optical telescopes, gamma ray telescopes, you name it...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,102
    Does nature ever produce things so rare that they don't have another of their kind? Is there an example of any particular ever discovered that belongs to a class of things, where the particular is the only member of that class? There is no evidence that I know of, apart from the existence of the Earth, that our solar system and the processes that lead to its formation is particularly special compared to other solar systems. So if the general conditions that lead to the formation of the Earth are not rare then I don't think intelligent life is extremely rare in the universe. But this is just my intuition based on the fact that nature tends to have a certain regularity, wherever we may look.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Perhaps a less assumption-ridden way of searching for intelligent life would be to first look for potentially habitable exo-planets, and when they are found, target all sorts of instruments at those particular planets – radio telescopes, optical telescopes, gamma ray telescopes, you name it...
    Yes, like the ants, we've examined the entire kitchen tile. That's how far our sensory reach extends-- all the way to the edge of the grout!
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Does nature ever produce things so rare that they don't have another of their kind?
    from what we can see in our neck of the woods, nature tends to produce highly complex and highly chaotic systems. whether or not you fart today can have huge consequences a million years down the line.

    even if it were possible to recreate the conditions of the very early earth and the solar system to the maximum degree quantum laws allow us to, it stands to reason that life would evolve very differently (if at all) on that second earth. in that sense, i'd say nature produces uniqueness all the time. on the other hand, it seems that the basic laws and building blocks with which nature operates are universal. in that sense i believe the assumption that we are not alone is an almost 100% certainty. i wouldn't be surprised if even our galaxy was full of intelligent life.

    seti is just too blunt an instrument to detect it. but hey, humans are very new and still appallingly primitive (both technologically and culturally). it is not surprising we haven't detected et life yet.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,505
    Quote Originally Posted by iquestor View Post
    I dont get the point of papers being published like this. All they conclude is that our existance cannot be used as a logical basis to predict the occurrance of other intelligences. we know this. It's why we are looking for ET so hard, so we can do statistics.
    Hmmm---can anyone think of anything else in the universe that has definitely happened only once? Seems to me that our existence makes other intelligence more likely than not. Otherwise, would we not have to demonstrate what makes Earth unique in all the cosmos?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    Quote Originally Posted by Daffy View Post
    Hmmm---can anyone think of anything else in the universe that has definitely happened only once? Seems to me that our existence makes other intelligence more likely than not. Otherwise, would we not have to demonstrate what makes Earth unique in all the cosmos?
    We don't have enough information to answer either question. You can't extrapolate from an example of one.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Aha! So the ants are humans who are seeking their own kind by smelling out gases or human waste, while not realizing they are living in an alien created world?!
    Right. Ifcourse all this might be a design or some type of ant farm for humans or a computer simulation or a college lab experiment created by an alien under-grad.
    Thus, humans live in a zoo. Cool.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by Gomar View Post
    Aha! So the ants are humans who are seeking their own kind by smelling out gases or human waste, while not realizing they are living in an alien created world?!
    Right. Ifcourse all this might be a design or some type of ant farm for humans or a computer simulation or a college lab experiment created by an alien under-grad.
    Thus, humans live in a zoo. Cool.

    not sure if you are serious or sarcastic.

    the ants are us looking for other life. they only consider and search a small part (a tile or 2) of the entire area (i.e. universe).
    and they only consider (of course) means they know, which in their case are trails of pheromones, not realizing that right above them is an entire human (and to them alien) world with (to them) entirely alien and incomprehensible means of technology and communication.

    that's us looking for signs we couldn't possibly comprehend. at the very least not yet and maybe never.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    12,577
    The main target of the cartoon appears to be the fact that
    we are only looking for certain types of signals. I think that
    criticism is a bit unfair because we are not limited so much
    by what what we think we should be looking for as by what
    we have the ability to detect.

    The main target of the paper (which I haven't read -- I only
    read the article) appears to be the fact that we only have a
    single example of biogenesis from which to extrapolate the
    "laws" of biogenesis. That makes uncertainty very great and
    makes speculation more useful than observation -- until we
    actually find some other examples to observe.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,038
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    The main target of the cartoon appears to be the fact that
    we are only looking for certain types of signals. I think that
    criticism is a bit unfair because we are not limited so much
    by what what we think we should be looking for as by what
    we have the ability to detect.
    I think the cartoon was pointing out that our ability to detect is limited by our conception of what we consider evidence of intelligent communication, as well as our means of detection. Don't overthink the metaphor, it's just a one-panel gag.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Does nature ever produce things so rare that they don't have another of their kind? Is there an example of any particular ever discovered that belongs to a class of things, where the particular is the only member of that class? There is no evidence that I know of, apart from the existence of the Earth, that our solar system and the processes that lead to its formation is particularly special compared to other solar systems. So if the general conditions that lead to the formation of the Earth are not rare then I don't think intelligent life is extremely rare in the universe. But this is just my intuition based on the fact that nature tends to have a certain regularity, wherever we may look.
    I'd agree. I'd be very surprised if we where the only technologically advanced life in our "neighbourhood" but that said I'd be a bit surprised if any life close enough for us to weed out any radio signals from them from the back ground noise. But seeing SETI is largely done by people like you and I then I support it whole heartedly. If any government was going to throw any real amount of money at it then I'd hope it would be something more generic like a terrestrial planet finder programs that can look for signs of life not just "tv broadcasts" leaking into interstellar space. Radio is very inefficient at these scales. But maybe some alien kid who has access to vast amounts of energy is doing some "high school" project beaming a signal out into space that we can pick up on.

    We've had this discussion on other threads before. That advanced civilizations might use self replicating robots to search the galaxy but my theory on that is because of the vast distances we haven't had any get here yet because if we did it seems to make more sense that they'd make contact more pronounced then just buzzing around our skies. But who's to say what aliens would think.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Daffy View Post
    Hmmm---can anyone think of anything else in the universe that has definitely happened only once? Seems to me that our existence makes other intelligence more likely than not. Otherwise, would we not have to demonstrate what makes Earth unique in all the cosmos?
    As far as we can tell...the big bang. Is there a copy of Earth some where? Well if the universe is infinite in size then yes but it doesn't matter because it effectively doesn't exist to us anyway.

    A planet with life? I bet they are all over the place. Most probably carbon based. Will it be DNA/RNA type molecule based life? Who knows but I wouldn't doubt it.

    Currently our sample set is 1. I'd love for "life" to be discovered on Europa that is not based on DNA/RNA because it would show that different forms of life are possible. But I'd settle for DNA like based life too :P

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,126
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulLogan View Post
    not sure if you are serious or sarcastic.

    the ants are us looking for other life. they only consider and search a small part (a tile or 2) of the entire area (i.e. universe).
    and they only consider (of course) means they know, which in their case are trails of pheromones, not realizing that right above them is an entire human (and to them alien) world with (to them) entirely alien and incomprehensible means of technology and communication.

    that's us looking for signs we couldn't possibly comprehend. at the very least not yet and maybe never.
    Well put.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    The main target of the cartoon appears to be the fact that
    we are only looking for certain types of signals. I think that
    criticism is a bit unfair because we are not limited so much
    by what what we think we should be looking for as by what
    we have the ability to detect.

    The main target of the paper (which I haven't read -- I only
    read the article) appears to be the fact that we only have a
    single example of biogenesis from which to extrapolate the
    "laws" of biogenesis. That makes uncertainty very great and
    makes speculation more useful than observation -- until we
    actually find some other examples to observe.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    Which is why I think the discovery of non DNA based life would be more exciting. Discovering DNA based life could be 1 of 2 things.
    1) A common ancestor
    2) A propensity for life to form this way.
    At first it might be hard to distinguish between the 2
    Again I'd wouldn't get upset with life that we could be directly related to either. :P

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,501
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jaksich View Post
    Space is a very very big---as we have all been told and can notice on a clear night.

    We are a relatively young civilization IMHO
    True, and yet statistically speaking, are quite probably one of the elder civs to make it to this point of development. We are still toward the front end of the Universe's history. And the intelligent technological civs we know of trend toward self-destructive behavior.

Similar Threads

  1. Could our present universe be embedded within a larger universe?
    By potoole in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 2012-Jun-18, 01:46 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2012-Jun-04, 02:20 AM
  3. Acceleration of the expansion of the Universe and open Universe?
    By cosmos0 in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2011-Jul-26, 02:51 PM
  4. Universe Older than 13.7 and Previous Epochs in the Universe??
    By mmaayeh in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 2010-Nov-23, 11:19 AM
  5. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 2004-Jul-24, 09:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
here
The forum is sponsored in-part by: