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The Eerie Silence from Space

dee-em
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7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?
dee-em
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7/27/2015 7:03:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:39:24 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
"I"m sure the Universe is full of intelligent life " it"s just been too intelligent to come here" -- Arthur C Clarke.

Groucho would have the perfect retort to this exclusive Intelligence Club:

"I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member".
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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7/27/2015 3:00:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Space is a big place, and there is still lots that we don't know. Who's to say that the technologies that space-faring civilizations use would be detectable at all.
August_Burns_Red
Posts: 1,253
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7/27/2015 3:42:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

I think there's probably millions of intelligent extra-terestial civilazations out there. Not in our solar system, but for sure in our galaxy and in the billions of others. to think we're special is hubris or just plain astronomical ignorance of the highest. only a person not aware of how big the Universe really is would hold the "we are alone" idea!

The obsolete Fermi paradox can be answered with one word. "Distances."
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
August_Burns_Red
Posts: 1,253
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7/27/2015 3:55:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

Distances, my brother. Thats my thought why we haven't yet met any of the millions of ET civillazations yet. One day we will though, I think.
http://www.real-world-physics-problems.com...
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/27/2015 4:14:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Our radio transmissions have only been going in earnest for about 100 years, which means that presently they've expanded to a volume with 100 light-years radius, covering only about 512 yellow-orange G-type stars, compared to 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. That's a pretty small sphere of interstellar influence in the life of our species.

Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a mammalian species is 1 million years, of which we spent 25-40% before we could invent radio, so we've had radio for only 0.01% of our expected species lifespan. If we can avoid messing up our resources, environment, medicine and international relations, we might hope to continue transmitting radio signals for another 750,000 years before we're replaced by other species.

However, there's no guarantee that whatever species succeeds us will be tool-using, much less scientific. In four billion years of terrestrial life, we've been the only scientific species. With only about five billion years left in the life of our sun, and with major terrestrial resources squandered, we might not be succeeded by another. So our planet might only produce radio transmissions for eight one-thousandths of a percent of the nine billion years or so that our environment is habitable.

So is it possible that other scientific life has also appeared briefly and departed before we even existed, or while we were too stupid to hear, while the life within range of our transmissions is now too stupid to hear us talking or reply?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,120
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7/27/2015 4:34:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

Is there a point when our emissions (radio) degrade so that they are no longer recognizable as anything special? If so, the same works in reverse. Plus, if there is life *unlike* us out there, then they may not consider oxygen, methane, or water significant. If this were the case, then it wouldn't be surprising that we have not learned of any other life out there.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
B0HICA
Posts: 366
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7/27/2015 5:51:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

I'll believe in ET when I see him.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/27/2015 9:14:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

It could just be that there are physical limits to how fast anybody can travel, the nearest star is 4.3 light years away, that's over 80,000 years traveling at today's ion propulsion speeds. Star Trek warp drive was science fiction, if traveling here from the nearest intelligent planet is a matter of a million years and a lot of resources, and there are ten thousand possible worlds to go check out, maybe it just isn't worth it. If we were talking trillions of dollars and a million year trip, do you really think we'd go?

I think the idea that the sky should be teaming with life out there is a bit na"ve, it's unlikely that sufficiently advanced civilizations are going to go places that take100,000 generations to get to, that just seems pointless.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won"t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is." - Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
dee-em
Posts: 6,473
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7/27/2015 11:17:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 3:42:40 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?


I think there's probably millions of intelligent extra-terestial civilazations out there. Not in our solar system, but for sure in our galaxy and in the billions of others. to think we're special is hubris or just plain astronomical ignorance of the highest. only a person not aware of how big the Universe really is would hold the "we are alone" idea!

I agree. However, there is no denying that the silence is eerie. Where are they?

The obsolete Fermi paradox can be answered with one word. "Distances."

No, I don't think that is right. Assuming advanced technological civilizations a million years old or more (compared to our measly few thousand years) we should see signs of cosmic engineering as the article says. At the very least I would expect probes and beacons seeded in the bubble of space tens of light-years around a space-faring civilization. Yet all we have is the sound of crickets chirping.
dee-em
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7/27/2015 11:27:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 3:55:16 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

Distances, my brother. Thats my thought why we haven't yet met any of the millions of ET civillazations yet. One day we will though, I think.
http://www.real-world-physics-problems.com...

Hmmm. I didn't find the article particularly convincing. A civilization a million years old or more would have technology we can't even begin to imagine. The author is basically discussing current or near-future human technology only.
dee-em
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7/27/2015 11:34:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 4:34:21 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

Is there a point when our emissions (radio) degrade so that they are no longer recognizable as anything special? If so, the same works in reverse.

True, for inadvertant stray transmissions meant purely for planetary communication. Not true, I think, if you were deliberately trying to send a high-powered directed signal aimed at nearby stars.

Plus, if there is life *unlike* us out there, then they may not consider oxygen, methane, or water significant. If this were the case, then it wouldn't be surprising that we have not learned of any other life out there.

Even if we restrict ourselves to carbon-based life somewhat similar to ourselves, there should be a multitude of planets available where it could arise. That doesn't rule out more exotic, alien kinds of life as you say. It's not either/or though.
dee-em
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7/27/2015 11:47:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 9:14:17 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

It could just be that there are physical limits to how fast anybody can travel, the nearest star is 4.3 light years away, that's over 80,000 years traveling at today's ion propulsion speeds. Star Trek warp drive was science fiction, if traveling here from the nearest intelligent planet is a matter of a million years and a lot of resources, and there are ten thousand possible worlds to go check out, maybe it just isn't worth it. If we were talking trillions of dollars and a million year trip, do you really think we'd go?

We've invented an ion-drive in the space of a few hundred years since beginning a technological civilization. You don't think that we'll have something better in 1 million years (even if it isn't FTL)?

I think the idea that the sky should be teaming with life out there is a bit na"ve, it's unlikely that sufficiently advanced civilizations are going to go places that take100,000 generations to get to, that just seems pointless.

You're thinking small. Think about a civilization that could directly harness the power of suns to fuel their technology.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won"t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is." - Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

I know that, but people said that about the Earth when a sea voyage took months. They said that about the solar system, but we now have a probe taking pictures of Pluto. Think about our current technology magnified a hundred times or more.
dee-em
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7/28/2015 12:03:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Has anyone considered the possibility that it's all dinosaur planets out there on planets capable of supporting life?

Let me explain. The Earth was a relatively stable bio-system for the 200 million years or so when the giant lizards ruled. Intelligence doesn't appear to have been very useful to them as a survival strategy. It took a planet-wide catastrophe to wipe them out almost completely and create a new slate where mammals had a chance to shine. So, is it possible that the Earth is unique in having had its dinosaur-killer meteor? Will we find nothing but dinosaur planets out there when we begin exploring the galaxy?
RuvDraba
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7/28/2015 3:20:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 12:03:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
Has anyone considered the possibility that it's all dinosaur planets out there on planets capable of supporting life?

Let me explain. The Earth was a relatively stable bio-system for the 200 million years or so when the giant lizards ruled. Intelligence doesn't appear to have been very useful to them as a survival strategy. It took a planet-wide catastrophe to wipe them out almost completely and create a new slate where mammals had a chance to shine. So, is it possible that the Earth is unique in having had its dinosaur-killer meteor? Will we find nothing but dinosaur planets out there when we begin exploring the galaxy?

I love that thought, Dee-Em.

"It's dinosaurs, sir! Big, honking, weed-munching dinosaurs all the way from here to Ursa Major!"
RuvDraba
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7/28/2015 3:27:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Okay, I have one...

Space is FULL of intelligent life.

SILENT, intelligent life.

Listening.

Monitoring.

ALL of them working fevershly on interstellar space-travel.

ALL of them having their own, greebly version of HG Wells.

They KNOW what's coming.

And they want to be FIRST.

And then there's us.

The only naive, sociable, unparanoid hominid in the entire rapacious, kill-or-be-killed universe.

"Hi! We're here! We're HEEERE!"

"Guys!"

"Guys?"
RuvDraba
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7/28/2015 3:33:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Another scientific transmission from Terra, Your Inkiness. Shall I acknowledge?"

"Frack those dry-skinned land-dwellers. They're still using binary."
Sidewalker
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7/28/2015 4:43:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 11:47:29 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 9:14:17 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

It could just be that there are physical limits to how fast anybody can travel, the nearest star is 4.3 light years away, that's over 80,000 years traveling at today's ion propulsion speeds. Star Trek warp drive was science fiction, if traveling here from the nearest intelligent planet is a matter of a million years and a lot of resources, and there are ten thousand possible worlds to go check out, maybe it just isn't worth it. If we were talking trillions of dollars and a million year trip, do you really think we'd go?

We've invented an ion-drive in the space of a few hundred years since beginning a technological civilization. You don't think that we'll have something better in 1 million years (even if it isn't FTL)?

I"m sure we will, but it"s pretty clear that there are limits to just how fast we can travel, and Einstein demonstrated that there are diminishing returns, the faster you go the more energy is required. It"s also a crap shoot in terms of what direction to go, we are talking about taking a very very expensive shot in the dark, and we won"t know if we hit anything for thousands of years. A sufficiently advanced intelligent civilization might just be intelligent enough to come up with better ways to spend their time and resources.

I think the idea that the sky should be teaming with life out there is a bit na"ve, it's unlikely that sufficiently advanced civilizations are going to go places that take100,000 generations to get to, that just seems pointless.

You're thinking small. Think about a civilization that could directly harness the power of suns to fuel their technology.

You"re thinking we are the center of attention for some reason, and that is unlikely, a civilization that cold directly harness the power of suns could probably think of something better to do with that power than take shots in the dark that may or may not return something interesting in untold eons. I doubt an advanced civilization is going to just be bored because there"s nothing better to do.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won"t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is." - Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

I know that, but people said that about the Earth when a sea voyage took months. They said that about the solar system, but we now have a probe taking pictures of Pluto. Think about our current technology magnified a hundred times or more.

Magnified a hundred times and you still take 1,600 years to get to the closest star and back, how much of your resources are you willing to put into a project that has a miniscule chance of being interesting in 60 to 80 generations. Recognize that it could take a thousand tries to find something, or a million, maybe a billion, and each one takes longer and longer. Are you willing to have your taxes increased dramatically now so people might gain some knowledge hundreds of thousands of years from now?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
August_Burns_Red
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7/28/2015 5:51:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 11:27:55 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 3:55:16 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

Distances, my brother. Thats my thought why we haven't yet met any of the millions of ET civillazations yet. One day we will though, I think.
http://www.real-world-physics-problems.com...

Hmmm. I didn't find the article particularly convincing. A civilization a million years old or more would have technology we can't even begin to imagine. The author is basically discussing current or near-future human technology only.

depends, my friend. IF there are any civilizations that old. I kind of doubt it. that anyone can go that long without destroying themselves or depleting their planet's environment to the point of fatal pollution. like we seem to be bent on doing.
but sure, if any ETs have made it here and done a fly-by or any other contact (encounter of 3rd klind) with us, then they would have to be far more advanced. since their ways of travelling, their methods, would be nothing like we know. not conventional. something like teleportation or using a wormhole. or playing with Time itself. all those things are sci fi to us right now!
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
August_Burns_Red
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7/28/2015 5:55:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 11:17:58 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 3:42:40 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?


I think there's probably millions of intelligent extra-terestial civilazations out there. Not in our solar system, but for sure in our galaxy and in the billions of others. to think we're special is hubris or just plain astronomical ignorance of the highest. only a person not aware of how big the Universe really is would hold the "we are alone" idea!

I agree. However, there is no denying that the silence is eerie. Where are they?

The obsolete Fermi paradox can be answered with one word. "Distances."

No, I don't think that is right. Assuming advanced technological civilizations a million years old or more (compared to our measly few thousand years) we should see signs of cosmic engineering as the article says. At the very least I would expect probes and beacons seeded in the bubble of space tens of light-years around a space-faring civilization. Yet all we have is the sound of crickets chirping.

good point. there should be something! what is your take on contacting an ET civilization that is more advanced than us? If we could? do you think: A)Good idea! They could help us! cure cancer; grow crops; clean up pollution; find alternative for fossil fuel! etc.
or... B) No way! leave them alone! They might be hostile and conquer us or do whatever they want with out planet and resources?
Tomorrow's forecast: God reigns and the Son shines!
dee-em
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7/29/2015 4:22:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 3:20:57 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/28/2015 12:03:36 AM, dee-em wrote:
Has anyone considered the possibility that it's all dinosaur planets out there on planets capable of supporting life?

Let me explain. The Earth was a relatively stable bio-system for the 200 million years or so when the giant lizards ruled. Intelligence doesn't appear to have been very useful to them as a survival strategy. It took a planet-wide catastrophe to wipe them out almost completely and create a new slate where mammals had a chance to shine. So, is it possible that the Earth is unique in having had its dinosaur-killer meteor? Will we find nothing but dinosaur planets out there when we begin exploring the galaxy?

I love that thought, Dee-Em.

"It's dinosaurs, sir! Big, honking, weed-munching dinosaurs all the way from here to Ursa Major!"

I know. It sounds bizarre, but think about it. The herbivores had evolved to use sheer size as a defense mechanism. Others had developed armour-plating and defensive weapons to combat the carnivores. The carnivores meanwhile were content with big teeth and powerful legs. Big brains with their high energy cost were not a prized option. The system was stable and every niche around the planet had been filled. The status quo could have remained undisturbed for billions of years without the bio-diversity reset offered by a large meteor bringing on a decades long winter. Doesn't it make sense that most life-bearing planets will have dinosaur equivalents filling the eco-system?
dee-em
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7/29/2015 4:27:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 5:55:45 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 11:17:58 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 3:42:40 PM, August_Burns_Red wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?


I think there's probably millions of intelligent extra-terestial civilazations out there. Not in our solar system, but for sure in our galaxy and in the billions of others. to think we're special is hubris or just plain astronomical ignorance of the highest. only a person not aware of how big the Universe really is would hold the "we are alone" idea!

I agree. However, there is no denying that the silence is eerie. Where are they?

The obsolete Fermi paradox can be answered with one word. "Distances."

No, I don't think that is right. Assuming advanced technological civilizations a million years old or more (compared to our measly few thousand years) we should see signs of cosmic engineering as the article says. At the very least I would expect probes and beacons seeded in the bubble of space tens of light-years around a space-faring civilization. Yet all we have is the sound of crickets chirping.

good point. there should be something! what is your take on contacting an ET civilization that is more advanced than us? If we could? do you think: A)Good idea! They could help us! cure cancer; grow crops; clean up pollution; find alternative for fossil fuel! etc.
or... B) No way! leave them alone! They might be hostile and conquer us or do whatever they want with out planet and resources?

Making contact is a separate issue. We have to detect them first.

I would rule out your second option for various reasons but your own arguments about cost would suffice. :-)
dee-em
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7/29/2015 4:30:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/28/2015 3:33:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
"Another scientific transmission from Terra, Your Inkiness. Shall I acknowledge?"

"Frack those dry-skinned land-dwellers. They're still using binary."

Binary? There are some backward countries which still haven't switched to measuring things in decimal. Lol.
dee-em
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7/29/2015 4:59:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 4:14:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Our radio transmissions have only been going in earnest for about 100 years, which means that presently they've expanded to a volume with 100 light-years radius, covering only about 512 yellow-orange G-type stars, compared to 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. That's a pretty small sphere of interstellar influence in the life of our species.

Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a mammalian species is 1 million years, of which we spent 25-40% before we could invent radio, so we've had radio for only 0.01% of our expected species lifespan. If we can avoid messing up our resources, environment, medicine and international relations, we might hope to continue transmitting radio signals for another 750,000 years before we're replaced by other species.

I'm sorry, Ruv, but I have to take issue with this. You must have noticed that we are not just another mammalian species. For a start we have colonized the entire planet (apart from Antarctica) and we did that whilst we were still hunter-gatherers. No other mammal has ever had the geographic spread of homo sapiens. I can only think of the lion with their superb pride system, but even they never made it to the Americas and Australia.

Most species become extinct because they become too specialized and something changes which brings them to grief (eg. the Panda). Some have too narrow a habitat and rapid environmental change brings them undone because they can't adapt fast enough. I could point to many of the animals from the last ice-age such as the woolly mammoth as examples. Ironically many of the recent mammal species extinctions have been caused by the encroachment of man on their habitats. Since homo sapiens are planet-wide it would take a global catastrophe to wipe us out. Even pandemics such as the Bubonic Plague leave a percentage of the population untouched.

Therefore I think your use of statistics concerning species extinction rates for mammals is misleading. We are not your average mammal. No other mammal has changed the Earth's environment to the extent that humanity has. The only thing that could cause our extinction is ourselves, either through nuclear war or runaway degradation of the environment through pollution and warming. Even the latter probably wouldn't erase us completely.

The other consideration is that, given another few hundred years, we should have viable colonies off-planet (if we haven't destroyed ourselves first). That will be a game-changer. Another few thousand years and, assuming we maintain a technological civilization, we should have sent off colony ships to the nearest viable Earth-like planets in our neighbourhood. I don't think natural extinction is on the cards for us. We will either burn bright and fast or we will fade away very, very slowly.

However, there's no guarantee that whatever species succeeds us will be tool-using, much less scientific. In four billion years of terrestrial life, we've been the only scientific species. With only about five billion years left in the life of our sun, and with major terrestrial resources squandered, we might not be succeeded by another. So our planet might only produce radio transmissions for eight one-thousandths of a percent of the nine billion years or so that our environment is habitable.

This doesn't take into account exploiting the resources within our solar system, and then later interstellar travel. What is true for us is also applicable to any intelligent aliens out there.

So is it possible that other scientific life has also appeared briefly and departed before we even existed, or while we were too stupid to hear, while the life within range of our transmissions is now too stupid to hear us talking or reply?
RuvDraba
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7/29/2015 7:58:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/29/2015 4:59:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 4:14:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Our radio transmissions have only been going in earnest for about 100 years, which means that presently they've expanded to a volume with 100 light-years radius, covering only about 512 yellow-orange G-type stars, compared to 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. That's a pretty small sphere of interstellar influence in the life of our species.

Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a mammalian species is 1 million years, of which we spent 25-40% before we could invent radio, so we've had radio for only 0.01% of our expected species lifespan. If we can avoid messing up our resources, environment, medicine and international relations, we might hope to continue transmitting radio signals for another 750,000 years before we're replaced by other species.

I'm sorry, Ruv, but I have to take issue with this. You must have noticed that we are not just another mammalian species. For a start we have colonized the entire planet (apart from Antarctica) and we did that whilst we were still hunter-gatherers.

Yes. Like pigs, we're a large, omnivorous hunter/forager with a ranging diet. Before agriculture, pigs could live virtually anywhere we could, except the arctic, where they'd have needed fire. :) After agriculture though, there were bound to be more of us, and fewer pigs.

The conclusion though, is that a ranging, omnivorous diet takes you places. :)

No other mammal has ever had the geographic spread of homo sapiens.

That once was true, but isn't today. Rats, dogs and mice are pretty much everywhere, rats are now in the Antarctic, and global warming will likely see mice there too. AND we mustn't forget that a dog beat us into space. :)

I think your use of statistics concerning species extinction rates for mammals is misleading. We are not your average mammal.

No, for all of my light-hearted responses, we're not. Mammals specialise in high-energy hunting and foraging, and we're the apex mammal because we're biggest energy user of the lot. Pretty much any problem that affects our live birth rates or adult mortality, we throw more energy at. That's what fire is: a high-energy strategy to improve our range of habitat, improve security and reduce the metabolic effort to eat. Agriculture: a high-energy strategy to concentrate food and fibre resources, allowing a bigger population and more labour in a smaller range. Livestock domestication: the same. Metalworking: a high-energy strategy to improve labour efficiency. Horses and bullocks: the same. Coal, oil, nuclear energy exploitation... high-energy strategies to feed our high-energy industrialisation strategies.

So although you think we're not specialised, Dee-Em, I think we are. If we can come up with a scalable, inexpensive source of 'free' energy soon, I think we'll do just fine. We'll have interplanetary colonies; perhaps even some interstellar efforts. We'll find ways to recover and recycle our rare earth metals, take CO2 out of the air, adapt to whatever happens to our climate, clean up our water up and reforest. There's not much we can't do with 'free' energy, and we can always find the will to do it.

But if we don't find something clean, high-yield, abundant and easy to sustain soon, we'll be in serious problems because historically, we've spent tends of thousands of years exploiting the highest-yield energy sources readily available, no matter how dirty they are, or how limited their reserves. And that'll leave us with a dirty, low-energy planet where it's harder to leverage new technologies, because our carbon reserves are all in the air where it's expensive to extract, our rare metals are all scattered among cellphones and catalytic converters in landfill, our high-energy agriculture can't feed us any more, because we can't feed it, and we only have low to medium energy power-sources to manufacture with.

I suppose one could argue for setting up off-planet mining colonies, but that's a ludicrously high-energy strategy just to recover resources that we already had, but failed to manage. :p And it's something of a gamble too, isn't it?

Hmm. Fleischmann's dead now, but Pons is still alive I think. We need to dust him off and poke him with a cattle-prod until he can get Cold Fusion to work, as he claimed. :D
dee-em
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7/29/2015 10:07:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/29/2015 7:58:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/29/2015 4:59:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 4:14:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Our radio transmissions have only been going in earnest for about 100 years, which means that presently they've expanded to a volume with 100 light-years radius, covering only about 512 yellow-orange G-type stars, compared to 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. That's a pretty small sphere of interstellar influence in the life of our species.

Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a mammalian species is 1 million years, of which we spent 25-40% before we could invent radio, so we've had radio for only 0.01% of our expected species lifespan. If we can avoid messing up our resources, environment, medicine and international relations, we might hope to continue transmitting radio signals for another 750,000 years before we're replaced by other species.

I'm sorry, Ruv, but I have to take issue with this. You must have noticed that we are not just another mammalian species. For a start we have colonized the entire planet (apart from Antarctica) and we did that whilst we were still hunter-gatherers.

Yes. Like pigs, we're a large, omnivorous hunter/forager with a ranging diet. Before agriculture, pigs could live virtually anywhere we could, except the arctic, where they'd have needed fire. :) After agriculture though, there were bound to be more of us, and fewer pigs.

The conclusion though, is that a ranging, omnivorous diet takes you places. :)

You make my point for me. A species which is everywhere is not going to hit an evolutionary dead end easily.

No other mammal has ever had the geographic spread of homo sapiens.

That once was true, but isn't today. Rats, dogs and mice are pretty much everywhere, rats are now in the Antarctic, and global warming will likely see mice there too. AND we mustn't forget that a dog beat us into space. :)

No fair! Man took them with him.

I think your use of statistics concerning species extinction rates for mammals is misleading. We are not your average mammal.

No, for all of my light-hearted responses, we're not. Mammals specialise in high-energy hunting and foraging, and we're the apex mammal because we're biggest energy user of the lot. Pretty much any problem that affects our live birth rates or adult mortality, we throw more energy at. That's what fire is: a high-energy strategy to improve our range of habitat, improve security and reduce the metabolic effort to eat. Agriculture: a high-energy strategy to concentrate food and fibre resources, allowing a bigger population and more labour in a smaller range. Livestock domestication: the same. Metalworking: a high-energy strategy to improve labour efficiency. Horses and bullocks: the same. Coal, oil, nuclear energy exploitation... high-energy strategies to feed our high-energy industrialisation strategies.

So although you think we're not specialised, Dee-Em, I think we are. If we can come up with a scalable, inexpensive source of 'free' energy soon, I think we'll do just fine. We'll have interplanetary colonies; perhaps even some interstellar efforts. We'll find ways to recover and recycle our rare earth metals, take CO2 out of the air, adapt to whatever happens to our climate, clean up our water up and reforest. There's not much we can't do with 'free' energy, and we can always find the will to do it.

But if we don't find something clean, high-yield, abundant and easy to sustain soon, we'll be in serious problems because historically, we've spent tends of thousands of years exploiting the highest-yield energy sources readily available, no matter how dirty they are, or how limited their reserves. And that'll leave us with a dirty, low-energy planet where it's harder to leverage new technologies, because our carbon reserves are all in the air where it's expensive to extract, our rare metals are all scattered among cellphones and catalytic converters in landfill, our high-energy agriculture can't feed us any more, because we can't feed it, and we only have low to medium energy power-sources to manufacture with.

That's overly pessimistic in my view. It's true we are high-energy users but that's more the fact that we can be because we've had relatively cheap resources to exploit from which to produce energy. Given the lifestyles we have become accustomed to (at least in the west) that is unlikely to change, I agree. However, there is almost free power to harness from the sun and wind. I see no problem in switching over to such sustainable sources of energy regardless of whether the fusion problem is ever solved (which you seem to be hinting at). This is already underway in countries like Germany. We have a climate denier PM and he is holding us back, but sooner or later Australia, with its abundant sunshine and wind harvesting opportunities, will go down this path as will all the other developed economies.

You have sidetracked the discussion though. My point was that you were misusing statistics in predicting the window of opportunity we (or aliens) have to make their presence known.

I suppose one could argue for setting up off-planet mining colonies, but that's a ludicrously high-energy strategy just to recover resources that we already had, but failed to manage. :p And it's something of a gamble too, isn't it?

I don't see any point in crying over spilt milk. I'm thinking of high-value resources and not necessarily transporting them to Earth. In fact, I think the traffic will be largely the other way for a very long time to come. The Earth will need to invest heavily in space before getting any return (if ever). For that to happen we need a low-cost way to get people and material out into space. My hopes are resting on a space elevator. Elon Musk are you listening? :-)

Hmm. Fleischmann's dead now, but Pons is still alive I think. We need to dust him off and poke him with a cattle-prod until he can get Cold Fusion to work, as he claimed. :D

It would be nice since hot fusion is always 20 years away. :-)
FaustianJustice
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7/29/2015 11:30:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/27/2015 5:51:23 PM, B0HICA wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

I'll believe in ET when I see him.

Ironic, coming from some one whom professes allegiance to a deity. I could just as easily posit the surest sign of intelligent life out there is that it hasn't visited Earth, but that would hardly satisfy, would it?
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
http://www.debate.org...
dee-em
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7/29/2015 12:36:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/29/2015 11:30:27 AM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 7/27/2015 5:51:23 PM, B0HICA wrote:
At 7/27/2015 6:18:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
Where is everyone - the Fermi Paradox:

http://www.smh.com.au...

Given the possible age of some ET civilisations, we should see cosmic engineering writ large across the heavens. It should, in short, be Star Trek out there. After all, "they" will certainly know we are here; large telescopes of the sort we can build, on planets orbiting nearby stars, will be able to spot the telltale signs of life, methane in our atmosphere, oxygen, the glint of our oceans; even city lights.

But. Nothing. It may mean nothing, but the Universe looks empty. The "eerie silence", as the cosmologist Paul Davies calls it, is starting to get disquieting.


I'm not sure about the "telescopes of the sort we can build" part, but you get the gist.

Thoughts?

I'll believe in ET when I see him.

Ironic, coming from some one whom professes allegiance to a deity. I could just as easily posit the surest sign of intelligent life out there is that it hasn't visited Earth, but that would hardly satisfy, would it?

I had missed that. The irony (and hypocrisy) is almost palpable. Lol.
RuvDraba
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7/29/2015 2:22:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/29/2015 10:07:08 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/29/2015 7:58:26 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/29/2015 4:59:58 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/27/2015 4:14:52 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Our radio transmissions have only been going in earnest for about 100 years, which means that presently they've expanded to a volume with 100 light-years radius, covering only about 512 yellow-orange G-type stars, compared to 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. That's a pretty small sphere of interstellar influence in the life of our species.

Meanwhile, the average lifespan of a mammalian species is 1 million years, of which we spent 25-40% before we could invent radio, so we've had radio for only 0.01% of our expected species lifespan. If we can avoid messing up our resources, environment, medicine and international relations, we might hope to continue transmitting radio signals for another 750,000 years before we're replaced by other species.

I'm sorry, Ruv, but I have to take issue with this. You must have noticed that we are not just another mammalian species. For a start we have colonized the entire planet (apart from Antarctica) and we did that whilst we were still hunter-gatherers.

Yes. Like pigs, we're a large, omnivorous hunter/forager with a ranging diet. Before agriculture, pigs could live virtually anywhere we could, except the arctic, where they'd have needed fire. :) After agriculture though, there were bound to be more of us, and fewer pigs.

The conclusion though, is that a ranging, omnivorous diet takes you places. :)

You make my point for me. A species which is everywhere is not going to hit an evolutionary dead end easily.

I haven't made that point, Dee-Em. The point I made is only that if you're a species with a varied diet, you can travel.

As a hopefully interesting counter-example, entelodonts -- also called 'hell pigs' or 'terminator pigs', are an extinct family of large (420kg) pig-like omnivores -- apex predators that once covered North America, Europe and Asia -- so a very big range. Thought likely to have been opportunistic feeders, they lasted for 21 million years -- a very good run for a mammal, but they're still extinct today. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

I think the point we might draw from this is that species survival is not just geography or diet -- it's the whole strategy, considered against a shifting environmental context and all the changes in all the species you're competing with.

No other mammal has ever had the geographic spread of homo sapiens.

That once was true, but isn't today. Rats, dogs and mice are pretty much everywhere, rats are now in the Antarctic, and global warming will likely see mice there too. AND we mustn't forget that a dog beat us into space. :)

No fair! Man took them with him.

While that's true, does it matter? Many creatures use others as vectors. Will nature remember who brought whom and give the bringer a special break? :)

I think your use of statistics concerning species extinction rates for mammals is misleading. We are not your average mammal.
No, for all of my light-hearted responses, we're not. [Some discussion about our specific species strategy elided.]
That's overly pessimistic in my view.
I don't think so. We can forget that we're not the first smart, tool-using, fire-using gregarious hominid, Dee-Em. We're just the only one that continues to survive.

Thought about that way, it doesn't necessarily bode well for our strategy.

It's true we are high-energy users but that's more the fact that we can be because we've had relatively cheap resources to exploit from which to produce energy.

I'd say it the other way. I'd say our chief strategy is to findways to produce and direct energy from the world around us: fire, toolmaking, animal domestication, windmills and sails, coal, oil, gas, nuclear energy. That's very powerful while you can continue to produce it and live with the results. But we exhaust our energy-producing resources very rapidly (in an eyeblink, compared to biological timeframes), and we are still subject to the same survival pressures of every species. Energy gives us a variety of ways to buy time while we try and solve them, but also gives us a lot of ways to get it wrong -- and we've never done it before; and our planet has had no species do it this much before, so we have no examples to learn from, except our own.

So is our strategy likely to give us more than a million years -- like the entelodont -- or less, like the Neanderthal -- a species using a very similar strategy to ours, but which had only 600,000 years at best? [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Do you believe we can manage solar-powered manufacture on the scale we presently manufacture? What about wind- or wave-powered? If we can't, what will that do in the long term to our present hyper-energetic strategy of accelerating industrialisation? Or do you believe we can go hundreds of thousands of years more with fissibles, or fusion?

And do you feel that we've somehow broken the pressures of natural selection entirely? I feel we haven't, but I'd be interested to hear why, if you think we have.

For my part, it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't produce our own successor species -- things that increasingly diversified, while being unable to breed at all with their ancestors.

You have sidetracked the discussion though.
I hope not. I hope I was supporting a contention I understood you to have challenged.

My point was that you were misusing statistics in predicting the window of opportunity we (or aliens) have to make their presence known.
I don't think so, DE. Nature kills its species off at a steady background rate, and with mammals the average life is about a million years but can be much more or substantially less. If you feel we're exempt from that, I'd welcome some explanation -- and as I've argued, I don't think it's simply diet or geography.

But if we're not exempt from those pressures, then I think it's legitimate to index ourselves with the stats for our class.

I hope that might clarify.