SETI may be looking in the wrong places: astronomer

Aug 24, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A senior astronomer with the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, Dr Seth Shostak, has reported in an article published online that perhaps we should be seeking alien "life forms" that are thinking machines instead of concentrating the search on biological life forms.

Dr Shostak said current experiments aiming to locate extraterrestrial intelligence all assume it is most likely to be found on "habitable worlds" with liquid surface water and light gaseous atmospheres, in other words, worlds that could support life similar biochemically to that on Earth.

The problem with this assumption is that the development of artificial intelligence may come soon after the invention of communication technologies, as it has for us, which means SETI's targeted searches may be "chasing a very short-lived prey," Dr Shostak said. We have a chance of detecting extraterrestrial intelligences once they invent radio and go on the air, but within a few hundred years they are likely to invent their thinking machine successors.

Like many other researchers, Shostak is unconcerned about the kind of extraterrestrial intelligence we find, and therefore restricting the search to biological is unnecessarily limiting. The odds of finding artificial intelligence are greater than finding intelligent biological life, he said, although the decoding of any messages from a sentient machine might be more difficult than signals from a biological source.

has been searching for from other planets and moons for 50 years, and its researchers have realized that as our technology is rapidly advancing, so might that of other civilizations, so we are searching for an evolutionary moving target.

Dr Shostak suggested the search for should focus for at least some of the time on places were matter and energy are plentiful, such as young, hot stars, or near the center of galaxies, since these places would be of more interest to intelligent machines, even though they would be inhospitable for biological life forms.

The article was published online in Acta Astronautica on 7 July. Shostak also presented his ideas in Daejeon in the Republic of Korea in October 2009 at the 60th International Astronautical Congress.

Explore further: Caterpillar comet poses for pictures en route to Mars

More information: What ET will look like and why should we care, Acta Astronautica, Volume 67, Issues 9-10, November-December 2010, Pages 1025-1029. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2010.06.028

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Bob_Kob
4.3 / 5 (26) Aug 24, 2010
"...but within a few hundred years they are likely to invent their thinking machine successors."

Uh.. successors? Thats a bit presumptuous.

@Kevin

You're damn right you'll be shot down. This article has nothing to do with the bible, you're just being an asshole.
DamienS
4.6 / 5 (16) Aug 24, 2010
I didn't know SETI was looking only for 'biological' intelligence. What are these biological intelligence detectors and how do they compare with artificial intelligence detectors? A (non-natural) signal is a signal, regardless of whether or not an AI or a BI (biological intelligence) has produced it, surely?

Also, it sounds a bit silly to be targeting galactic centers for signals, as they're extremely noisy environments and signal discrimination becomes so much more challenging.
danielevan
2.7 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2010
The whole thing is pretty presumptuous; I would love for us to discover extraterrestrial life, but I feel like investing the intelligent minds and resources into spending our lives searching for it is a bit of a waste, the odds of SETI finding what is (most likely) out there have to be incredibly low. However, the more presumptuous thing currently on this webpage are people who feel that people who read science news are ignorant enough to take as conclusive fact some incoherent fictional novel written thousands of years ago by (not necessarily intelligent) humans.
otto1923
3.2 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2010
but the bible also goes on to say that the WHOLE of creation suffered and was subject to bondage because of one man's sin.
Yes but the bible LIES Kevin, you know that, youve been here long enough to have read the evidence and accepted the obvious Truth.
OK, you can shoot me down in flames now.
Oh you will burn for spreading lies sir, if not in hell if it exists (it doesn't), then certainly when the alien machines get here (they abhor defective creatures like you which lack the capacity to recognize Reality). For that matter so did Yaweh.

Either way you're toast.
Nemo
3.8 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2010
Among my science minded peers pretty much everyone assumes AI will be the natural successor in human evolution. Basically The Terminator had it right.
otto1923
4 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
Also, it sounds a bit silly to be targeting galactic centers for signals, as they're extremely noisy environments and signal discrimination becomes so much more challenging.
So if you lose your wallet you prefer looking for it under the streetlamp where the lights better? If that's where the aliens are, then that's where we look. We just have to figure out how best to discern their presence.

Personally I think they would have gotten very economical with energy production, and wouldn't be scattering signals about. Perhaps some waste heat signature?
MaxwellsDemon
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
Seems pretty unlikely that we'd recognize a signal from a sentient machine intellect that's just 100 years ahead of our technology today, unless the signal were 'dumbed down' to be obvious to the likes of us primitives.

In which case it would probably be bait, akin to fly paper.
otto1923
3.4 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
Among my science minded peers pretty much everyone assumes AI will be the natural successor in human evolution. Basically The Terminator had it right.
I like the way Whitley streiber described the greys as hybrids with metal skeletons. I don't know if ultimately it might be easier to grow remotes or assemble them?

And if you wanted them in a far system would it be possible to send information that would somehow cause the matter there to self-assemble, rather than sending Von Neumann devices?

OR maybe it might be preferable to remotely tweek the genes of some suitable lifeform, say primate?
MaxwellsDemon
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
OR maybe it might be preferable to remotely tweek the genes of some suitable lifeform, say primate?

Sure: program some hapless primates to build your AI machine brethren, along with enough warheads to sterilize the planet. Quite the convenient strategy, actually.
DamienS
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
So if you lose your wallet you prefer looking for it under the streetlamp where the lights better? If that's where the aliens are, then that's where we look.

I don't know what that means in reference to what I said. However:
A) We don't know where the aliens are.
B) If they are out there and signaling, why would we look in places where we're almost guaranteed not to be able to detect their signals compared to places where detection is easier and just as likely (given we don't have any real idea where to look).
C) Given limited resources, funding and points A & B, I'd be picking targets with a high signal to noise ratio.

Personally I think they would have gotten very economical with energy production, and wouldn't be scattering signals about.

All the more reason to look at minimally noisy targets. But I doubt we could ever detect signal leakage - they would have to be sending out a targeted beacon signal (ie, a deliberate transmission designed to attract our attention).
Givemhell
3.2 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
do not bring religion into science
The bible is a book written by a man
a man that doesn't know a damned thing about science
/shoot rocket launcher
LariAnn
4.1 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2010
My thought is that highly advanced civilizations, biological or otherwise, are likely to have outgrown the stage where they broadcast their presence to the cosmos. Perhaps those that do not outgrow this phase end up meeting aliens after all, but just not the kind they really wanted to meet. A civilization sending out signals is like someone with a lot of wealth broadcasting that fact to everyone, including all the criminals out there. We may get visited as a result of our broadcast signals, but I wouldn't be too sure of the motives of the visitors. The natural world has plenty of examples of parasites and robbers; wouldn't this also be true among galactic civilizations?
yyz
3.6 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
"....I wouldn't be too sure of the motives of the visitors"

To serve man! ;)
otto1923
2.6 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
@kevin
One thing on topic that occurred to me which you may want to consider... As there is no evidence whatsoever that the major things described in the bible happened at all, at least not HERE... perhaps they occurred elsewhere?

Most xians accept nowadays that the bible fables are mostly parables, allegory. Moses' staff didnt really turn into a snake, he didnt really part the sea of reeds/yam suph:
http://en.wikiped...Yam_Suph
-But those things which the bible claims undeniably happened- exodus, joshua, solomon/david kingdoms, etc- left absolutely no trace whatsoever... at least not HERE.

So you may consider that these tales were actually about furry little ewoks or giraffe people on some eden far far away, and were given to us in one grand peice of historical fiction. For us to learn humility.

If youre curious, read more here:
http://en.wikiped...alactica
Bob_Kob
3.4 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
I like the way Whitley streiber described the greys as hybrids with metal skeletons.


We pretty much have metal skeletons. Calcium is technically a metal.
jtdrexel
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
They're definitely looking in the wrong place.

First place would be the human cell. Check that out to see if the codes contained in there fullfill their requirements for intelligent life.

Oops, actually they've already done that and it does!

There's no other life out there except for us here. The bible is quite clear on that - there cannot be any aliens because how could Jesus have died ONCE for ALL when we are the once who sinned, not the aliens? Yes, it seems strange but the bible also goes on to say that the WHOLE of creation suffered and was subject to bondage because of one man's sin. Hence it's illogical for aliens to also suffer because of Adam and ergo - there are no aliens in the universe. We're all there is - and it's definitely not a "big waste of space", the earth's meant to be inhabited whilst the heavens declare the glory of God.

OK, you can shoot me down in flames now.



"OK, you can shoot me down in flames now"... HAHA
Ravenrant
1.9 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
I am not so sure a self-supporting, replicating machine intelligence/culture is possible despite what sci-fi has been telling us.

Is it a true AI? We aren't sure we can do that yet. Where will creativity come from? Self replicating? That may not be possible either.

However, it doesn't take too much intelligence to be a slave master and slaves have always been used to do what either the master can't or won't. And intelligent life would be the perfect slave for a semi-intelligent machine culture.

If there is one of any sort, would we want to let it know where we are? You think a machine is going to know the meaning of altruism or co-existence or benevolence? I think it would only know self survival.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2010
The bible is quite clear on that
No mention of aliens anywhere in the Bible.
Yes, it seems strange but the bible also goes on to say that the WHOLE of creation suffered and was subject to bondage because of one man's sin.
Because men, without telescopes, wrote the book.
Hence it's illogical for aliens to also suffer because of Adam and ergo
It's illogical for me to suffer because of Adam as well. The rest of your commentary is moronic.

If you limit the range of suffering, due to a single person's actions, to the planet why not just limit that suffering and punishment to the individual who performed the action. The reason why you don't is because if there was no original sin, those of us who actually recognize our inherent morality and ethics would have no reason to join the God club. This is why atheism has come about kev. We recognize that we're not born broken, and in our humble opinion, we have no need of being "saved" from ourselves.
gunslingor1
4 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2010
kevinrtrs,

Why are you even on this site? Anyone who puts personal beliefs over observation and science should simply stay out of science completely. Putting a belief ahead of everything else without any question of validity is in direct contradiction to scientific principles, and I truely mean direct contradiction. So I ask, why are you even on here?

Scientific method (literally the method of Science) refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[1] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[3]
gunslingor1
3.8 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2010
kevinrtrs,

If the bible is really that clear on the subject, and we do find intelligent life, will you then renounce your religion? I doubt it... You'll adapt it to the new knowledge as anyone intelligent has done for millenia.

I mean, do you really beleave:
-god and everyone who ever died are hanging around in rain clouds?
-evil people go to a magical place under the earths crust?
-the solar system is 4,000 years old
-the universe is, what... 4,000 years old
-gandhi is going to hell, but child raping preachers are going to heaven ("all you have to do is beleive!")
-witches exist, and should be burned at the stake

The fact of the matter is if a scientist takes any book, any book at all, and takes that book as the only unequivical facts in the universe, no matter what he/she sees throughout their life.... you can never use the scientific method.

Stay out of it, become a preacher... or stay and learn, I personnaly think if there is a god he doesn't want us to know

ArcainOne
2.9 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
Battlestar Galactica comes to mind on this one. However it does bother me that the article suggests that "Artificial" Intelligence would be the natural "successor" to a civilization which could be taken one of two ways and seems to be purposefully worded so. Immediatly it provokes the ideas of Mass Effect Reavers, The Matrix machines, the Terminator, or the Cylons. However I like to think cyborg would be the more natural progression, both in the form of complex mechanical parts and machines designed to supplement the bodies own natrual abilities. I've seen plenty devices that suggest this such as the digital tattoo, the rat brained robot, and robotic limbs that interface directly into your nerves. Which will take us down the same rout but with less images of the machine appocolypse
Ethelred
3.6 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2010
. The bible is quite clear on that
It is also quite clear about a lot of things it is totally wrong on. There was no Great Flood and the Earth and the Universe are bot vastly older than Genesis allows.

But of course you know that you just lie to yourself about it.
Jesus have died ONCE for ALL when we are the once who sinned
Not only was there no Adam and Eve to have sinned it makes absolutely no sense for a god to NOT die, since it is alleged to still be alive, for the SAME god to forgive all of the human race for a sin committed by two members. The whole thing is silly beyond belief and about as logical as a Rock video.
OK, you can shoot me down in flames now.
How about you SUPPORT your claims, for the first time ever? By ANYONE. Or better yet start dealing with reality.

Ethelred
gunslingor1
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
The problem with this assumption is that the development of artificial intelligence may come soon after the invention of communication technologies, as it has for us, which means SETI's targeted searches may be "chasing a very short-lived prey," Dr Shostak said. We have a chance of detecting extraterrestrial intelligences once they invent radio and go on the air, but within a few hundred years they are likely to invent their thinking machine successors.
-So? they would still use EM to communicate long distances.

Like many other researchers, Shostak is unconcerned about the kind of extraterrestrial intelligence we find, and therefore restricting the search to biological life forms is unnecessarily limiting. The odds of finding artificial intelligence are greater than finding intelligent biological life, he said, although the decoding of any messages from a sentient machine might be more difficult than signals from a biological source.
-No, digital is easiler to pick up than analg
ArcainOne
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010

-So? they would still use EM to communicate long distances.


Very good question.


-No, digital is easiler to pick up than analg


I do not know about pick up the signal, to our instruments that message could appear as nothing more than background microwave noise. However, to me, they are talking about decrypting(decoding) the message. As it stands breaking some digital encryptions are getting harder and harder requiring some serious hardware to do so. I've already seen an article about quantum encryption making it "impossible", at least with OUR current technology. The Article proposes an artificial intelligence that will be very well versed in its own communication abilities and a long history of knowledge about its predecessors communication abilities and limitations.
rkolter
3 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
I have to agree with Damien5 -

Given limited resources and our current technology, it makes the most sense to concentrate those resources on locations that we can get the least ambiguous signals from.

I have a key problem with the article - it assumes that artificial intelligences will be particularly attracted to areas of dense matter and energy, like the center of our galaxy.

Why, exactly, would that be? The article is anthropomorphisizing(sp?) an alien AI. What if...

The alien AI was developed by a warrior-like species and so specifically seeks out biology-friendly environments?

The alien AI is itself organic and lacks the shielding to go to the center of the galaxy.

The AI has a life span of a few thousand years and FTL travel doesn't exist to take it somewhere so "interesting"?

To get a good view of the densly packed area, the AI has moved to a point that is not densely packed, say perpindicular to the plane of the galaxy?
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2010
We recognize that we're not born broken, and in our humble opinion, we have no need of being "saved" from ourselves.
Ah, but we are, most of us one way or another, or we get damaged during the course of life. Look at kevin and others like him who accept the xian palliative so readily.

The species is a design pushed beyond its normal limits and further weakened by unnatural selection. Like the german shepherd with its weak hind quarters or the fainting goat, our brains have gotten too big, too delicate, too prone to dysfunction and degradation.

Thats one reason why augmentation, followed by replacement, is inevitable; our flaws demand it. We are tired of being too smart and too general-purpose. Overactive immune systems in response to diseases borne of overcrowding leave us itching, aching, swelling. Unnatural fears of possible futures which the other animals cant conjure make us greedy and spiteful.

Is it any wonder we use god and the other drugs to escape it all?
otto1923
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
The alien AI was developed by a warrior-like species and so specifically seeks out biology-friendly environments?
It would be overcome by a species with more resources to exploit. Just like weak agrarians swamped the stronger more resourceful hunter-gatherers.
krundoloss
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
Think about it - Given vast amounts of time, what would an evolving species be lead to? Well, they would certainly be able to maintain themselves and whatever habitat they prefer. They certainly wouldnt be hostile, having mastered all of thier own needs (if you had a replicator, why would you be hostile?). They would probably behave just like humans do when going on safari. Bring a big gun, try not to use it, and enjoy the view. I think Aliens would just visit in "cloak mode", observe us for some time, then get bored and come back in a hundred years or so. Same thing we do when looking at an anthill.
krundoloss
2.2 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
I just think that the difficulty involved in interstellar precludes barbaric behavior. How can you solve all those problems, designing the ship, making it self-sustainable, creating faster-than-light travel, but still fall victim to your more primal instincts?
otto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
I just think that the difficulty involved in interstellar precludes barbaric behavior. How can you solve all those problems, designing the ship, making it self-sustainable, creating faster-than-light travel, but still fall victim to your more primal instincts?
'Hostility' is only one of a number of alternative behaviors necessary for survival. We can expect another species to be hostile toward us if we present a threat to them, either presently or sometime in the future. Resource conservation precludes unnatural aggression unless attack is the only logical form of defense.
gunslingor1
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
ArcainOne,

That's why digital is easier to pick up. You either see the square wave or you don't (could also be another wave). But in a binary digital system, you'd see the DISCRETE ups and downs between the voltage... nature doesn't produce this, at least not usually. I guess a pulsar spinning super super fast might... but that would be easy enough to identify.. Seeing a digital single coming from a typical star, whether encrypted or not, would be plenty of evidence.... Boy, I'd love to be the guy to decrypt an alien signal... "How to serve man". lol
CouchP
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
ArcainOne,

That's why digital is easier to pick up. You either see the square wave or you don't (could also be another wave). But in a binary digital system, you'd see the DISCRETE ups and downs between the voltage... nature doesn't produce this, at least not usually. I guess a pulsar spinning super super fast might... but that would be easy enough to identify.. Seeing a digital single coming from a typical star, whether encrypted or not, would be plenty of evidence.... Boy, I'd love to be the guy to decrypt an alien signal... "How to serve man". lol


Why are we assuming that sentient AI would use discrete logic and signals? In fact, digital signals (based on 2 states) is really quite inefficient when mapping to any number system other than binary. Also, would it be out of the question that some other medium than EM is in use?
LariAnn
3 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2010
Keep in mind that highly advanced entities might regard humanity as "pre-intelligent" based upon our behavior. After all, we don't regard any other species on Earth as being equal to us in intelligence, even though porpoises might even be more intelligent. As such, we may be regarded as an unusable resource by a race in search of something else they might want on this planet, just as porpoises are caught and killed in nets used in commercial fishing. If so, they'll take what they want and throw the rest back, dead or alive, without any qualms whatsoever. We are trapped in our own cultural limitations, while a race of hideously intelligent entities might not be so trapped.

Then again, we might be just the thing for their dinner table . . .
ArcainOne
3 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2010

Why are we assuming that sentient AI would use discrete logic and signals? In fact, digital signals (based on 2 states) is really quite inefficient when mapping to any number system other than binary. Also, would it be out of the question that some other medium than EM is in use?


Thats kind of what I was hinting at. I once said in another thread that no one really knows where our own technology will lead us and only those who are at the forefront of engineering can make a decent guess at it (speaking 50-100 years down the line). We are working on Quantum computers capable of using atoms as (qubit) states. Who knows what an galactic alien race would have. IF an alien life form was out there I think we would only find it if it wanted to be found (with our current technology).
Modernmystic
2.6 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
I agree in principle we're looking the the wrong place.

I disagree in that we'd have the slightest clue where to look for a hyper advanced "singularity" type civilization.

Would that be in the 10th or the 11th dimension, or in the next universe over perhaps?

On edit: Yes, that's is a touch of sarcasm there at the end, but the point is the same.
gunslingor1
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
All good points. 98% of our universe is missing, and we are still having a hard time understanding the 2% we found... We do have a lot to learn =)
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
I just think that the difficulty involved in interstellar precludes barbaric behavior. How can you solve all those problems, designing the ship, making it self-sustainable, creating faster-than-light travel, but still fall victim to your more primal instincts?


Why do you assume that our total annihilation at their hands would be a "hostile" action? Why would you assume it would even fall within their moral framework? Do we feel guilty about killing bacteria? When I clean my counter tops I kill millions of things, I only think about it .0001% of the time, and when I do it doesn't make me hesitate for a second....
ArcainOne
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
I just think that the difficulty involved in interstellar precludes barbaric behavior...


Why do you assume that our total annihilation at their hands would be a "hostile" action? ...When I clean my counter tops I kill millions of things, I only think about it .0001%...


I must interject that I agree and disagree with both view points here. My only model however is humanity. A very old ancient alien race who has solved all of its resource problems I doubt will be hostile, I also doubt given its age it would not be mindful of other fledgling alien races. After all humanity itself has thought up ideas such as Star Treks ban against interfering with underdeveloped planets, who is to say aliens have not thought of similar ideas and implemented them. However I also believe younger alien races would probably be more variable in hostility, similar to if humanity where to discover FTL Space travel in the next 20 years.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
For the most part, this has been the type of conversation I come to physorg for, to the majority of you above, thanks for reaffirming my motivations for continued posting.
Question
2.6 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
Maybe we are not looking in the wrong place but in the wrong time period. Intelligent life may be so rare as to happen on average only once at any given time period in a galaxy the size of ours?
Parsec
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
They're definitely looking in the wrong place.

First place would be the human cell. Check that out to see if the codes contained in there fullfill their requirements for intelligent life.

Oops, actually they've already done that and it does!

There's no other life out there except for us here. The bible is quite clear on that - there cannot be any aliens because...

You have no evidence. Faith is not science. You blogging in the wrong place. This a science forum, not a religious one.
bob456789
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Kevinrtrs
please hawk your goods elsewhere,nobody here is buying.
Let's make a deal, i'll refrain from posting on Religious Ideology blogs and you refrain from the Scientific ones.
Intelligent life is out there people, they just evolved into an Amish lifestyle.
mrlewish
4 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
Oddly enough.. I suspect that once you have the technology to cross interstellar space you don't need to anymore. Same goes with communication. Not to say that there would not be any exceptions just that they would be few and far between.
UDF
4 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
My bet is that the more advanced civilization finds
the less advanced one.
Therefore it is more likely that "they" have
already found us.
Within a century we will have telescopes capable of
imaging extra-solar planets so my thinking is that
the aliens (which could be more advanced by
hundreds of millions of years) probably have known
for millions of years that Earth has macroscopic
life and may even have watched the development of
the human species.
Who knows: they may even have seeded the Cambrian
explosion ?!
I doubt highly they would be interested in any
resources we could offer them (except watching our
history).

kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (11) Aug 25, 2010
Thanks be to all the educated replies received from you all.

Just to be sure, what are aliens? If aliens are beings originally not from earth, then I can say categorically that LIFE itself is alien to earth!

Life did not originate here - it is from outside of this place, brought in by "aliens" in the form of Him who created us.

God, and Jesus as a consequence has LIFE in Himself and is able to give it to whoever He pleases.

Yes, I know you're getting pretty zipped up about it now but just to let you know, there's a million U.S. dollars waiting for ANYONE who can come up with a scientifically plausible [peer-reviewed to bits] sequence of events that created life on earth.

It's in the Nobel prize you'll win for showing how life arrived on earth. Go ahead, submit your best theory.

There are no aliens in the shape or form you envisage because your thoughts are limited to the material world. You need to expand your vision to the unseen.

Cheers.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
kevinrtrs, I'll just repeat two points I previous said:

1. 98% of our universe is missing, and we are still having a hard time understanding the 2% we found... We do have a lot to learn =)
-How is this not "expanding your vision to the unseen"

2. Scientific method (literally the method of Science) refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[1] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[3]
-If you take any knowledge as law that cannot be disproven, you are incapable of science. Even I am open to the possibility your god/jesus exists, but you take it as 100% fact without evidence & close yourself off to greater possibilities.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.6 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
Just to be sure, what are aliens? If aliens are beings originally not from earth, then I can say categorically that LIFE itself is alien to earth!
Perhaps that's true, but you cannot say so "categorically".
Life did not originate here - it is from outside of this place, brought in by "aliens" in the form of Him who created us.
And let the great train of conversation derail again.
Yes, I know you're getting pretty zipped up about it now but just to let you know, there's a million U.S. dollars waiting for ANYONE who can come up with a scientifically plausible [peer-reviewed to bits] sequence of events that created life on earth.

It's in the Nobel prize you'll win for showing how life arrived on earth. Go ahead, submit your best theory.
Congratulations Dr. Szostak. http://www.youtub...YDdgP9eg
otto1923
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Intelligent life is out there people, they just evolved into an Amish lifestyle.
Lets hope not. The Amish have a higher reproductive rate than almost any other group in the US and are set to double their numbers in about 15 years.

I predict that war among Hasidic, Amish, and Shiite immigrants for control of the continent will occur in less than 3 generations.
Life did not originate here - it is from outside of this place, brought in by "aliens" in the form of Him who created us.
Well you're right- god is an alien viral meme that really has no place on this planet. Time for It to be deported.
otto1923
5 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2010
It's in the Nobel prize you'll win for showing how life arrived on earth. Go ahead, submit your best theory.
And when the theory is there in black and white, and the money is awarded, and boffins all over are busy reproducing the results in the lab, pinheads like you STILL won't believe it. Thus is the Power and Majesty of your addiction.
insectking
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Please don't argue with the religious people, it goes nowhere.

That being said, the idea of looking for post-biological machinery makes far more sense than, as Charles Stross calls it, spam in a can.

Machine life has none of the resource drag biological life imposes on stellar travel.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (9) Aug 25, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen I implore you, do not feed the troll. I have tracked it through many of forums where it has left its skat turning good topics into waistlands of religious lash backs and hate posts. Trollum Kevinous rtrsum, It is a rather tenacious beast who only returns to insure its skat has grown and consumed the thread. The only way to defeat it is to starve the creature by ignore it and continuing on with your regular intelligent conversations.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Machine life has none of the resource drag biological life imposes on stellar travel.
That entirely depends on the biological life.

We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond. It isn't unreasonable to think that biological organisms could have evolved, over great timescales, to traverse space without the aid of machinery.
otto1923
5 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
Please don't argue with the religious people, it goes nowhere.
Its fun and good exercise, and informative for fence-sitters and the minimally-deluded.
We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond.
Aw, kevins not that tough-
ArcainOne
4.7 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond. It isn't unreasonable to think that biological organisms could have evolved, over great timescales, to traverse space without the aid of machinery.


One such noteworthy critter is the Tardigrades which can survive the vacuum and intense radiation of space for about 10 days. Life is an amazing thing composed of all the basic elements of the universe. It has a tenancy to adapt to prolonged moderate exposure to things over several generations as long as it has the proper resources to do so. (The key is the moderate part, it has to be able to survive and produce offspring) I believe given enough time, life can accomplish just about anything.
Simonsez
4.9 / 5 (7) Aug 25, 2010
@Skeptic
We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond. It isn't unreasonable to think that biological organisms could have evolved, over great timescales, to traverse space without the aid of machinery.

I agree, and that touches on another concept only briefly touched on in this thread: alien (sentient) life should not necessarily be limited to fleshly origin. Machine life has been mentioned, what about organic life based on plants? Minerals?

Even physorg had an article a few years ago about space dust exhibiting life-like qualities:
http://www.physor...123.html

How do we presume to communicate with potential intelligence whose existence we can barely even fathom?

I agree with the subject of the article, SETI may be looking in the wrong places, and they may be far off in terms of what alien life is like.

Thanks to Star Trek we have this idea that all sentients are erect bipeds that look vaguely humanoid but with a bisected head.
Modernmystic
4 / 5 (10) Aug 25, 2010
I had a thought a while back that one of the best clues we could get about hyper intelligent civilizations is to look for evidence of engineering on cosmic scales. Something that is obviously artificial, but on immense scales.

The problem is, how would we really know the difference? We've always seen the universe as we've seen it and we've made up our rules to explain it as best we can. I think we've done a hell of a job so far, but can you see the dilemma here?

That is to say if you raised a child exclusively in an air conditioned building surrounded by TV, Xbox, cell phones, etc but told him none of this was "technology" and then suddenly when he was 18 set him in the middle of Yellowstone Park, what's "natural" to him?

I know it's a sloppy post, but hopefully my jist came through there...
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 25, 2010
I know it's a sloppy post, but hopefully my jist came through there...
Came through very clearly to me.

For example, look at the newest observations of Neutron stars, magnetars, blazars, etc. They appear to defy our understanding of physics. Now this most likely is an error in our understanding, but how would we tell the difference if a type 3 or 4 civilization had created them as experiments?

It would be akin to an ant crawling through your roof joists. To him, wood is familiar, but shaped pressurized wood?

In time this question may be answered.

Someone brought up an interesting thought process the other day in a conversation with some programmer friends of mine. "What would it look like, if we lived in a computer simulation?" I wanted to reply immediately but his second point was sublime. "If I was rendering an ultra large simulation, I wouldn't render every molecule, atom, and particle until someone tried to look at them."

Oddly like QM.
gunslingor1
4.8 / 5 (8) Aug 25, 2010
interseting skeptic. Could be... who knows. Problem is, I don't think the programmer even knows where in the universe life would spring up, making it difficult to identify the observer let alone determine when he is observing.

I find it more likely the programmer simply programmed some basic laws he new would develop into complex systems.. like mass is this, forces are these, time and space does this, etc... Then just had the intuitive understand the complex systems, given enough time and stability, would develop conciousness. Survival of the fit applies to atoms and quarks as well.

Yeah, those religious nuts, I'll just report them from now on. Personal beleifs have no place in science, that guy would have science bent to his will... hell, he'd probably have the courts and all the books bent to his beliefs if he had the opertunity.

REPORT THEM FROM NOW ON.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
REPORT THEM FROM NOW ON.
Did it for 6 months with absolutely no interaction from the moderators.

In short, physorg doesn't give a shit.
ArcainOne
4 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
I know it's a sloppy post, but hopefully my jist came through there...


I gotcha.


For example, look at the newest observations of Neutron stars, magnetars, blazars, etc. They appear to defy our understanding of physics. Now this most likely is an error in our understanding, but how would we tell the difference if a type 3 or 4 civilization had created them as experiments?


I had this same thought actually. It was when I heard a scientists state that we could use these to uniquely identify a location in space and navigate. My immediate thought, was what if they where created for that very purpose, it was based on their timing.
ArcainOne
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2010
Someone brought up an interesting thought process the other day in a conversation with some programmer friends of mine. "What would it look like, if we lived in a computer simulation?" I wanted to reply immediately but his second point was sublime. "If I was rendering an ultra large simulation, I wouldn't render every molecule, atom, and particle until someone tried to look at them."


As an interesting connection to this I've seen video games that work similar to this idea. "Infinity: The Quest for Earth" is a game with a randomly generated Galaxy with full scale planets with terrain that increases in detail the closer you get (other games do a less extreme version of this). However given enough computing power this concept could carry into voxels. Add some basic physics and you have an atom based 3D game.

AND I beleive DirectX 10 with its geometry shader can perform this kind of transformation...
dutchman
3.8 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
Personal beliefs have no place in science, that guy would have science bent to his will... hell, he'd probably have the opportunity


Except that religious doctrine is now running the Texas Board of Education's textbook selection and content - And by extension the content of all textbooks used in public schools in the entire country.

(For those unfamiliar with the situation: Since Texas has the largest school-board in the country, and therefore has the largest budget for textbooks, the textbook publishers pretty much bend to the will of the Texas School Board. Even if it means, rewriting Science, adding "Creationism" as a valid science, and rewriting (US) history. - Cheers)
gunslingor1
4 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
My point exactly dutchman. Religion can be a good thing, or an extremely evil and manipulative thing. We can't let science get anymore corrupted by it. Phylosophy will always have its place though; you never hear anyone say "I think therefore I exist for a fact"... Openmindesness is key.
otto1923
3 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
Religion can be a good thing
-Which has usually proven to be a temporary and localized state. Heres one example:
http://edition.cn...om=false
-Xians would say that these people need education. But it was missionaries who educated them in the first place-
Phylosophy will always have its place though; you never hear anyone say "I think therefore I exist for a fact"... Openmindesness is key.
Karl marx and adolf hitler wrote some pretty effective stuff.
ArcainOne
3 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
-Which has usually proven to be a temporary and localized state. Heres one example:
http://edition.cn...om=false


Otto don't make me get my troll gun. We've already had this discussion ::muzzel loads old Sting::

Most of us here are well aware of the Dark-side of Religion.

For example, look at the newest observations of Neutron stars, magnetars, blazars, etc.


I did have one thought on this after wards, neutron stars on occasion speed up and slow down(their period is always unique). I think it would be plausible that if they where indeed used as navigation points something would be monitoring this. After all if we have had this idea, surely a space faring alien race would have as well.
KBK
3 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
Our problem is, I suspect, one where those who discover the capacity to go into space, and will do so via defeating gravity -- will also defeat time and space, and dimensional existence at the same time.

Which means that their evolution will enter a 'develop or perish' mode.

I think we are on the same threshold ourselves.
ArcainOne
3.5 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010

Which means that their evolution will enter a 'develop or perish' mode.


I too have had this thought, as technology begins advancing faster and faster we start dabbling in more experimental and dangerous sciences. They could be our own destruction or our greatest triumph. It seems to be a balancing act really. On one hand we should be mindful of the consequences of our actions and research, and on the other hand we shouldn't be over cautious and nothing ever gets done.
otto1923
4 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2010
Otto don't make me get my troll gun. We've already had this discussion ::muzzel loads old Sting::
I wasnt talking to you was I? ANY TIME religionists show up Otto responds. Superstition has only one side and it is very very dark.

Don't call me a troll.
ArcainOne
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
I wasnt talking to you was I?


something a bad child would say after being caught...

ANY TIME religionists show up Otto responds.


Which is not always needed.

Don't call me a troll.


Quit acting like one. You said it yourself.

Please don't argue with the religious people, it goes nowhere.

Its fun and good exercise, and informative for fence-sitters and the minimally-deluded.


you said it yourself, "Its fun". You do it to provoke a response, get an emotion. You are the reason those crazies keep coming back to post. You are feeding the trolls and they love fresh otto. Seriously you tend to become the very thing you hate most. Occasionally you have good input, if you'd stop lashing out at every single little comment made about religion you'd be alright.

I come to this site to read and engage in the articles, not pick on religious or [insert demographic] people.
gunslingor1
4 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2010
Good stuff guys,

otto I agree man, I just had to account for that small area a time where religion may have been a good thing... giving a small portion of it the benefit of the doubt..

Now go get back in your bucket otto.... and get some plastic sergery man.. god!
http://en.wikiped...ar_Trek)

sorry, that was odo, not otto... still funy.. lol all the way home.
otto1923
4 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2010
I come to this site to read and engage in the articles, not pick on religious or [insert demographic] people.
So whos stopping you?
Which is not always needed.
NOT your decision.
Occasionally you have good input, if you'd stop lashing out at every single little comment made about religion you'd be alright.
And who cares what you think? I decide what I want to talk about here. Mind your own business.
otto I agree man, I just had to account for that small area a time where religion may have been a good thing... giving a small portion of it the benefit of the doubt..
Thankyou. Freedom depends on vigilance.

Surgery on shape-shifters is pointless.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2010

Now go get back in your bucket otto.... and get some plastic sergery man.. god!
http://en.wikiped...ar_Trek)

sorry, that was odo, not otto... still funy.. lol all the way home.


lol poor odo, he said it himself he wasn't very good at faces... thats right I am that much of a dork.
gunslingor1
5 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2010
ME TOO! I'm actually going to dragoncon in ATL in a couple weeks. but call yourself a Geek, not a dork... there is honor in geekdom.

Also guys, you really need to watch this, this is the best ever hard and fast proof of how Fox is manipulating the news. Watch the entire episode please, and let me know what you think:
http://www.thedai...gojevich
Truth
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
@kevinrtrs: I suggest you watch the original movie "Planet of the Apes." There you will see just how stunted and narrow-minded believing "we are the ONLY intelligent beings" really is. If you truly believe in God, then you must arrive at the conclusion that He gave you a brain to go out and seek new knowledge, which must eventually lead you to see that there are THOUSANDS of other species scattered about the Universe. Note that there are more stars and planets in space than there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world. Please rise above your stunted viewpoint and truly give God the honor and gratitude for having given you a brain and the spirit of exploration.
Truth
4 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
@danielevan: It boils down to simple logistics. If we don't search for other civilizations, other civilizations wil eventually find us, giving them a tremendous tactical advantage. In business, war, and other endeavors, this kind of advantage is supreme and not to be taken lightly. Therefore, it is IMPERATIVE that we should not be left behind in exploration. It is something we need to do for ourselves and for future generations.
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
@Modernmystic,

"I had a thought a while back that one of the best clues we could get about hyper intelligent civilizations is to look for evidence of engineering on cosmic scales. Something that is obviously artificial, but on immense scales"

Might want to check out this widely discussed paper on interstellar archaeology: http://lss.fnal.g...7-ad.pdf

From the abstract:

"A variety of interstellar archaeology signatures are discussed including non-natural planetary atmospheric constituents, stellar doping with isotopes of nuclear wastes, Dyson spheres, as well as signatures of stellar and galactic-scale engineering. The concept of a Fermi bubble due to interstellar migration is introduced in the discussion of galactic signatures. These potential interstellar archaeological signatures are classified using the Kardashev scale. A modified Drake equation is used to evaluate the relative challenges of finding various sources"
ArcainOne
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
ME TOO! I'm actually going to dragoncon in ATL in a couple weeks. but call yourself a Geek, not a dork... there is honor in geekdom.


I must acknowledge your wisdom, also I believe this to be true for nerd as well. However being something of a technophile I tend to gravitate toward Geek more haha.

Also guys, you really need to watch this, this is the best ever hard and fast proof of how Fox is manipulating the news. Watch the entire episode please, and let me know what you think:
http://www.thedai...gojevich


Ah my good sir I believe this is something most of us here can all agree on!

"You can walk in through the front door of Fox News, punch out the first guy you see and be almost certain he had it coming" ~ Steward (some what paraphrased)
otto1923
2.2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
something a bad child would say after being caught...
And now ArcainOne sends me a PM to call me a troll? Thats pretty unusual-
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
you really need to watch this, this is the best ever hard and fast proof of how Fox is manipulating the news.

I think that's pretty obvious when you look at their top story coupled with their investor base.

The Daily Show said it better than I could have.
otto1923
2.2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
something a bad child would say after being caught...
Heres AOs latest PM to me:
defiantly a troll
-I could probably get him banned for harassment, no?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
Heres AOs latest PM to me:
defiantly a troll
-I could probably get him banned for harassment, no?
If other posters couldn't do it to you, you couldn't do it to him.

At this time, you really are just trolling.
otto1923
2 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
Heres AOs latest PM to me:
defiantly a troll
-I could probably get him banned for harassment, no?
If other posters couldn't do it to you, you couldn't do it to him.

At this time, you really are just trolling.
How do you figure SH? These are personal messages. I feel... violated.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2010
It is okay I believe my point is proven. Far better than I could have hoped. Now lets get back to science.

Might want to check out this widely discussed paper on interstellar archeology: http://lss.fnal.g...7-ad.pdf - yyz


This is intresting. [/blockquote]
Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
How do you figure SH? These are personal messages. I feel... violated.
Like altar boy violated or like promiscuous male escort violated?

In this case you were most certainly "asking for it".
otto1923
2 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
How do you figure SH? These are personal messages. I feel... violated.
Like altar boy violated or like promiscuous male escort violated?

In this case you were most certainly "asking for it".
Be specific. What do you think I did to deserve being called a troll?
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
@ArcainOne,

In the paper I linked, Section 5 on looking at exoplanet atmospheres in the search for ETI especially timely, in light of the recent CoRoT and Kepler findings (the missions are discussed here). Looking for clearly synthetic or unnatural molecules (like, say, Freon) in the atmospheres of exoplanets should be achievable in the near term (~20 years), and there is a good discussion of the process. There is also mention of Hubble's recent detection of sodium in the atmosphere of Osiris b, a crucial first step in this direction.

Section 7 deals with looking for spectral signatures of Dyson Spheres and Dyson Shrouds with infrared surveys. A preliminary search of a few regions of the sky using the 2MASS IR survey has been undertaken and results of these searches are discussed, along with a list of objects that may have similar spectral signatures (false positives).

Overall, it's a speculative paper, but many interesting ideas are discussed.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2010
Be specific. What do you think I did to deserve being called a troll?
Regaling us with tales of private messages, the continuous and in some cases fatuous claims made against people who've given you no grounds for the commentary, etc. You're a big boy, act like it.

@yyz, You know what really bothers me. The fact that Kepler cost a few hundred million in total and people are bitching about it whilst conducting war against a bunch of desert nomads is costing us hundreds of billions.
otto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
Well, this is one troll whos easy to get rid of.

Have fun with the noobs.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010

Overall, it's a speculative paper, but many interesting ideas are discussed.


I will keep that in mind when I read it. Had some time to look at the abstract and sounds like my kind of paper. Space is just one of my many many passions. It truly makes me sad when I hear someone call it a waist of money. When it actually doesn't cost us that much from our budget (comparatively).
chaman
3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
@ Modermystic and Skeptic Heretic

Are Pulsar Signals Evidence of Astro-Engineered Signalling Systems?
Invitation to a Collaborative Study
Gerry Zeitlin, Sedona, Arizona, USA
http://www.biblio...rs08.htm

regards
yyz
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
"Are Pulsar Signals Evidence of Astro-Engineered Signalling Systems?
Invitation to a Collaborative Study"

From the website:

"This exhaustive study presents first time proof that astronomers have been receiving radio signals of intelligent origin. "

______________________________

"Equally compelling is the message they are sending a warning about a past Galactic core explosion disaster that should help us avert a future global tragedy."

______________________________

"Provides proof of an extraterrestrial communication network
Includes information about the formation of crop circles and force-field-beaming technology"

Ummmm...........what?
yyz
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
@Skeptic Heretic/ArcainOne:

R.e. mission funding woes - I hear what you're saying. I think the days of funding Big Science astronomy missions like Hubble are over. International collaborations with other space programs and NGOs seems a logical alternative.
trekgeek1
3.5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
I just had to come back to see how many 1-star ratings Kev had. 38, not bad.
james11
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
Kevin, We are already in hell but we have adapted to it. There have been good hearted people that have died tragic, painful, deaths. Do those people get a better heaven?
Birger
5 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
Intelligent machines would have no trouble settling down on planets orbiting Brown Dwarf systems, and since such systems may rival "real" stars in abundance, there is no shortage of real estate, provided the machines use their own fusion reactors instead of relying on solar power.
maxcypher
2.8 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
Our technology is currently crude in comparison to the sophistication of the natural systems studied by science. Of course, technology is developing much more quickly than natural evolution by many orders of magnitude. With this in mind, I think that attempting to contact intelligences that are even one hundred years further down the road humanity is traveling on is both naive and extremely dangerous.
kevinA
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
When we look in the mirror we are aliens.
We have missing links and no true understanding of how we developed so fast or the real reason why the last hundred and twenty years or so many advancments have been made. The old saying there is nothing new under the sun, except fax machines,cell phones and a billion other modern devices and discoverys.
I would think most people would realize they are all ready here.
Aliens look at us the same way we look at white tigers in the wild. Preservation and conservation with as little disruption of the tigers daily life.
I would think us grabing a lion to do testing on him is just as scarry for him as a person being abducted by aliens. I bet his lion friends do not belive him when he gets back.lol.
If you want to see ufo's or aliens you just have want to go out there looking for it. Some people take drugs like DMT others go skywatching all over the world.
Personaly i think they are inter-demensional and the demnsions are very close together.
A_Paradox
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
.... If that's where the aliens are, then that's where we look. We just have to figure out how best to discern their presence.

Personally I think they would have gotten very economical with energy production, and wouldn't be scattering signals about. Perhaps some waste heat signature?


I tend to think that any space traveling civilisation would need to be using radar a fair bit because they would certainly be building their transport vessels and larger sized off-planet habitats by using materials gathered from planetary rings or the stellar system equivalent, ie asteroids and comet type stuff from out beyond the planets.
droid001
1.3 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
There are no aliens out there. Stop wasting resources, because there's a million things to do, like clean energy,
human body improvement, AI... you can add more.
Hesperos
2 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
If a civilization at the same stage of development as Earth is in now were 1 light year away, we wouldn't be able to detect them with our current equipment, and the nearest star is 4+ light years away.

On the other hand if most aliens were AIs (as seems likely):
A. Why would they want to communicate with us?
B. Why would we want to attract their attention?

SETI is only good for one thing. Raising the standard of living of the "investigators".
Can you say boondoggle? How about HOAX?
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
1. Expecting that Life is carbon-based is misleading anthropochauvinism. Life could be vast, and energetically-based, silica-based, or even non-material, for instance. Nothing can be ruled out.
2. Likely, the only types of life that we might have to fear would be those that evolved in a similar environment to Earth's, or, that needed as a vital resource, some by-product of biological activity(though that seems unlikely).
3. Certainly, by the time that a lifeform was sufficiently evolved to become spacetime faring, they will have conquered their resource needs, and given the abundance of raw materials throughout the universe, it seems unthinkable that they would need terrrestrial resources. Except for in the case of a lifeform that was so entirely different from us as to not recognise us as life at all- again, highly unlikely.
4. SETI should be looking for periodicity in ALL wavelengths, as period is the only thing that would distinguish communication from noise.
contd
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
contd
And the scale of this communication could also lie anywhere along the curve, from a few light years, to across the universe, and could include the use of stellar- or galactic-scale objects.
5. Ultimately, given the above reasons, it would seem most likely that ET would be searching for intelligence in order to avoid loneliness. There doesn't seem to be any reason for aggression, except for in the case of a lifeform that has evolved technology while still remaining almost entirely, and brutally, internally competitive, in the Darwinistic sense- but this in itself seems unlikely, although it remains a possibility. The other option of agression would likely be some type of biologically-enabled spacefaring organism, organised in a bacteria-like way, and perhaps nearly mindless -a ravenous hive-thing. To be feared.
6. I say, let's keep looking, but necessarily, we should keep developing our own defensive tech, and pushing to get offworld.
contd
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
contd
7. As far as AI and transhumanism are concerned, I think it is important to remember that any AI we develop had better be subservient to humanity, and hopefully will encompass enough computational power and research ability to be able to solve most or all of the problems facing us in the quest to upload into Space.
The transhuman notion is all fine and dandy, but I believe it would fundamentally alter what it is to be human, -which may or mayn't be a good thing, but, for myself, and for now, I think I would prefer XXXFTL travel, and some sort of field-generating device that could negate or normalize gravity, radiation, temperature, pressure and other environmental/biotic factors(and including some type of nano- or self- regenerating capacity), while still allowing us to remain substantially human in form and function. The only other reasonable option would be to go 100% synthetic with enhanced sensory capacity, which could also be enabled for the non-synthetic human.
Au-Pu
2 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2010
Caliban in item 5 above has clearly described the human species, their technological advancement clearly outstripping its emotional development.
As for Shostak he needs to take a good long cold shower or spend more time with his psychiatrist.
Artificial Intelligence is feasible but it remains a very, very long way off. We have to understand the nature of intelligence before we can create an artificial version and at present we are still in the earliest and darkest of dark ages as far as our ability to understand the nature of intelligence is concerned.
Computer idiots are always claiming to be developing forms of artificial intelligence but all their best efforts are simply sets of decision gates there is not one iota of intellect in any of them.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
There doesn't seem to be any reason for aggression, except for in the case of a lifeform that has evolved technology while still remaining almost entirely, and brutally, internally competitive, in the Darwinistic sense- but this in itself seems unlikely, although it remains a possibility.
Or the organism has a history of competitiveness with other technologically advanced organisms.
GDM
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Some good posts, as long as you don't throw sand at each other...
Some thoughts: 1.) If ET's exist as space faring entities, wouldn't they tend to stay away from the gravity wells? After all, there are extensive resources out in our Oort cloud well in excess than our measly planets could supply. 2.) Biological life "out there" is a virtual certainly, what with all the precursors floating around out there. They fell to Earth, got zapped by lightning, sitrred up in the primoridal soup and voila! Doesn't seem difficult to me to imagine that the universe is teaming with life. 3.) If you accept that conjecture, any life, especially microbial, is likely to be rather dangerous. Human and ET life evolved over billions of years without mutual contact, and could be highly reactive to each other. I just hope our immune systems are up to the task when we land on Mars/Europa. 4.) Bacteria do not require Earth-like environments. (cont.)
GDM
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
(cont.) 4.) Such bacteria was discovered thriving on the camera lens of the Surveyor Moon lander after many years in the hostile lunar environment by the Apollo astronauts. I never heard whether it and evolved any further. 5.) Life in general is competitive. You struggle for resources, then struggle for dominance, and if you reach a position of relative safety, you ensure that you remain there. Life is tough. Choose to stay in your cradle forever and you will eventually vanish. 6.) I'm sure I missed something...I will post it later...
kevinA
3 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
Someday our sun will die and we will be the ones traveling looking for other places to spread the human race. Maybe we will learn to feed our sun and keep it from dieing.
If you can cut a single photon in half and take one half to the space station and keep the other half in a lab here on earth, as you alter one half of the photon the other half changes to match instantly. So what connection keeps them together even though as we see it they are in two diffrent locations. If there is some string like connection to atoms maybe that is the future of communication or travel that will come from learning what path the information is taking to tell the atom to change.
The idea that the speed of light is the way to travel is like cave man telling you how to fly.
GDM
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Quantum Mechanics - the law that drives the universe (or as best we currently know). I choose to believe in QM rather than 4,000 year-old fables. (c'mon trolls! feeding time!)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
If you can cut a single photon in half and take one half to the space station and keep the other half in a lab here on earth, as you alter one half of the photon the other half changes to match instantly.
Wrong. When you measure one, the other will gain a fixed measurement, thus ending the "entanglement". This doesn't speak to what the fixed valules will be.
(c'mon trolls! feeding time!)
No, no. You must wait for them to say something stupid, and then the troll slaying begins.
Tristan_Caley
3 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
We're forgetting that the aliens might not use communication technology at all. As we look into quantum entanglement and the idea that any paired particles mirror eachother instantly across space and time, it seems more and more likely that a "telepathic" race might be possible. If they evolved to have certain paired particles internally they could communicate easily amongst themselves.

Barring that unusual theory, why not chemical? Ants and other hive insects use chemical communication to cooperate and maintain order. Why do we assume this alien species would have developed with a need for broad communication like radio? We might be the only species that isn't content with the leisurely pace of life without instantaneous transmission of knowledge..
kevinA
5 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
Sorry if this is a bad place to ask this question.

Do you think things on earth can live in wavelengths that humans can not see?

Only in the last 80 years have things started to change that we can see with devices that the human eye is blind to. I am not saying that there are aliens walking with us i am saying that maybe animal/bug life at a gas like form or other is here in places of the world. If that is found on Mars or another planet it could be we need to take a closer look around our planet.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Intelligent machines would have no trouble settling down on planets orbiting Brown Dwarf systems, and since such systems may rival "real" stars in abundance, there is no shortage of real estate, provided the machines use their own fusion reactors instead of relying on solar power.


Well duh, this is exactly what has happened on Cybertron. Let's just hope the Autobots find us first! But really, the idea that an ancient society created computers and those computers advanced to sentience and formed their own civilization is a really cool situation to ponder.
yyz
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
"Such bacteria was discovered thriving on the camera lens of the Surveyor Moon lander after many years in the hostile lunar environment by the Apollo astronauts. I never heard whether it and evolved any further."

GDM, There is good reason to believe that there may have been a "breach of sterile procedure" that accidentally produced a false positive: http://en.wikiped...the_moon

(Note Dr Jaffe was "Surveyor program scientist and custodian of the Surveyor 3 parts brought back from the Moon")
insectking
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2010
@Skeptic Heretic and others:
We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond. It isn't unreasonable to think that biological organisms could have evolved, over great timescales, to traverse space without the aid of machinery.


That might give those life forms an advantage over us but they still need a sealed, shielded atmosphere and nutrition for the journey. A machine does away with all that. I don't the possibility of life evolving from interstellar gases but, as intelligent as they might get, their technological development is pretty much going to stop at the stone age.

Really, insects with diamond-hard shells? That's amazing.
insectking
5 / 5 (5) Aug 31, 2010
RE: religious trolls.

I am an atheist but once upon a time I was housemates with a fellow. He was vastly intelligent; he loved science, he had a fine sense of humour; was kind and soft spoken and patient, but also a devoted father and Christian. Nothing switched on his rage like Creationists and their theory Intelligent Design.

Like him, ID fills me with horror at this vast, unthinking arrogance of willful ignorance.

My advice is not to alienate people based on religion but find your allies in science there. They do exist. They are legion.

Cheers,

Chris.
Bob_Kob
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
Perhaps not naturally, but i'd imagine an advanced alien race would turn to the ultimate technology of mastering DNA manipulation. Our robots and machines are no match for an engineered biological machine - self healing, replicating, growing etc.
insectking
3 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2010
Our robots and machines are no match for an engineered biological machine - self healing, replicating, growing etc.


Not now but in a million years machines could be so complex that our DNA-instructed cells look like Lego blocks.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
Perhaps not naturally, but i'd imagine an advanced alien race would turn to the ultimate technology of mastering DNA manipulation. Our robots and machines are no match for an engineered biological machine - self healing, replicating, growing etc.
In short, the Zerg.
Caliban
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
@Skeptic Heretic and others:
We've already found insects with shells harder than diamond. It isn't unreasonable to think that biological organisms could have evolved, over great timescales, to traverse space without the aid of machinery.


That might give those life forms an advantage over us but they still need a sealed, shielded atmosphere and nutrition for the journey. A machine does away with all that. Really, insects with diamond-hard shells? That's amazing.


Seriously, if we develop the technology to make robots of that degree of sophistication, then my guess is that we'd have also developed the technology to overcome the problems of resource issues for human space travel.

It's not a 100% sure thing, but let me ask you this- if you were given the chance, would you go into space? I know I would. I don't really expect that desire to be lessened any in the coming years, and I believe that science will find a way to get humanity into space.
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2010

Seriously, if we develop the technology to make robots of that degree of sophistication, then my guess is that we'd have also developed the technology to overcome the problems of resource issues for human space travel.


Sadly it does not look so for our race. Maybe it is a perception thing but to me it looks like robotics and communications are developing much more rapidly than than galactic transportation.. or any transportation, due to funding. (I mean didn't we say we would have the 'flying' car by 2000? hehe, finally got prototypes.) I remember being a young lad and NASA saying we'd have a manned misson to mars by 2005.

It's not a 100% sure thing, but let me ask you this- if you were given the chance, would you go into space?


Just for the record, I'd be on the first boat out! or at least the fastest one I could get, wouldn't matter the cost... hell I'd build my own even if it meant breaking into fort nox just to take the designs...
ArcainOne
not rated yet Sep 01, 2010
...(accidental repost)
ArcainOne
5 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2010
Perhaps not naturally, but i'd imagine an advanced alien race would turn to the ultimate technology of mastering DNA manipulation. Our robots and machines are no match for an engineered biological machine - self healing, replicating, growing etc.


True, but I'd imagine it would depend on the alien's technological evolution. Using nano-machines an AI robot can appear as every bit 'biological' as... well us, the biological machines. Even give them better healing, faster replication, and tougher armor. They'd just need a store of raw material to do the jobs... like us.

Of course to truly manipulate DNA you need extremely complex equipment, which I'd also imagine that the best instruments to do the job would be nano-machines.