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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old June 18 2013, 11:15 PM   #1
ConRefit79
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Do you want to phone E.T.?

http://www.space.com/21601-alien-lif...-messages.html

Funny, we were just discussing this on a thread about worlds orbiting Alpha Centauri A.
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Old June 19 2013, 02:16 PM   #2
DarthTom
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

That's cool actually. It's too bad that the, "Wow Signal," didn't end up being ET trying to talking to us or each other and didn't re-occur

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University then located at Ohio Wesleyan University's Perkins Observatory, Delaware, Ohio.[1] The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-Solar System origin. It lasted for the full 72-second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. The signal has been the subject of significant media attention.
Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.[1]
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Old June 19 2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
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Old June 19 2013, 09:05 PM   #4
DarthTom
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

sojourner wrote: View Post
Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
Yea, I've heard Stephen Hawking among other scientists say that things likely wouldn't go so well with the aliens despite the fact many people would like to believe they would be benevolent.

I think the comparison he made was how did it work out for the Native Americans in North Amercia when the Europeans arrived. Not great.
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Old June 19 2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
That's cool actually. It's too bad that the, "Wow Signal," didn't end up being ET trying to talking to us or each other and didn't re-occur
The Wow! signal still has not ended up being anything for that matter, the truth about its origin is still waiting to be resolved. It could as well be alien as it could it be anything else.

But it was never discounted as a signal with ET origin and no phenomena, natural or human-made, was able to explain where it came from. Which does not mean that aliens exist, but to me it does mean that if aliens are all over the place, this is pretty likely to have come from them.

It might say little about aliens, but it debunks the Fermi paradox. You should not wonder why we had no contact if they are out there, cause if there are out there, there's your contact right there. It's even too much contact for that little monitoring of the galaxy that we've done.
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Old June 19 2013, 09:36 PM   #6
Jonas Grumby
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Scenario 1: "We come in peace! We only want to study you! Of course, that does mean we'll need to dissect a few of you. But probably not more than a few thousand or so!"

Scenario 2: "Oh, look at the cute bipeds! How adorable! I'm going to take this one back with me and give him a nice home! You're so cute, you widdle thing! Yes, you are!"

Scenario 3: "What great luck, Commander! This indigenous protein source will allow us to avoid depleting our on-board food stores!"

Scenario 4: "Yes, Leader, we encountered a fascinating, intelligent life form on the third planet in the system. But then Ensign Snorknozz here sneezed on them and they all died!"

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Old June 19 2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Jonas Grumby wrote: View Post
Scenario 1: "We come in peace! We only want to study you! Of course, that does mean we'll need to dissect a few of you. But probably not more than a few thousand or so!"
Only a few thousand? You mean they are more friendly to humans than other humans?
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Old June 20 2013, 04:25 AM   #8
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Scenario 5: "Oh look, another planet full of pests that could be a problem later" <gets out pesticide and fumigates planet>
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Old June 24 2013, 09:49 AM   #9
StarMan
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
Yea, I've heard Stephen Hawking among other scientists say that things likely wouldn't go so well with the aliens despite the fact many people would like to believe they would be benevolent.

I think the comparison he made was how did it work out for the Native Americans in North Amercia when the Europeans arrived. Not great.
One possibility - if Aliens exist - is that first contact with a species at our level of development is not without precedent for a civilization as advanced as the ones we envision. Consequently, the analogy Professor Hawking draws is a scenario extra terrestrials may well be aware of. It could also explain why - assuming their existence and awareness of ours - they don't land on the White House lawn and holla "welcome to the neighborhood!" or rise out of the ocean in a display of wanton spectacle.

You don't tell your kids outright Santa isn't real; you let them figure it out or coax them round to that conclusion when the time's right. Maybe the best approach is a very gradual introduction; what we produce in our entertainment has certainly acclimatized us to the concept of alien civilizations.

As for Aliens that arrived that were hostile. Well, we're still here. I know that's not an argument for there are no hostile aliens. But consider we've already extrapolated where our technology is taking us is terms of liberating us from competing for resources. If you've got a civilization that has persisted for thousands of years minus the infirmities and resource restraints we face, then - unless we were perceived as a threat significant enough to commit resources to our extermination - I can't think why hostile would be the default position of extra terrestrials.

I've often considered the possibility Aliens sufficiently advanced might not partition reality up as we do. What I mean to say is they may view the Universe as 'home', not a particular planet or point of origin. We could be children playing in a sandbox that they're concerned about.
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Last edited by StarMan; June 24 2013 at 10:03 AM.
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Old June 24 2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Then again, they might see us as ants in the picnic basket. A nuisance that's easily taken care of when found.
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Old June 25 2013, 03:51 AM   #11
StarMan
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

I'm quite fond of Michio Kaku's Bambi meeting Godzilla analogy.
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Old June 25 2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

What if we make a prank call?
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Old June 26 2013, 01:45 PM   #13
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Most of these scenarios assume that we have some way of getting at one another. Basic physics makes it virtually impossible that we will ever have a real-time conversation with an alien species, much less have to worry about space traveling critters.
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Old June 26 2013, 02:44 PM   #14
137th Gebirg
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
Yea, I've heard Stephen Hawking among other scientists say that things likely wouldn't go so well with the aliens despite the fact many people would like to believe they would be benevolent.

I think the comparison he made was how did it work out for the Native Americans in North Amercia when the Europeans arrived. Not great.
I, too, am in the Hawking camp. I don't think we really should want to broadcast our existence and location to the entire galaxy. Don't think we're ready for first contact yet, in general, and I'm not convinced that advanced beings would be benevolent. I think it is arrogant presumption and absurdly naive to assume that, simply because an advanced species has developed space travel that it should, de facto, be peaceful.
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Old June 26 2013, 07:34 PM   #15
Ryan8bit
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

sojourner wrote: View Post
Purposely sending signals into space is akin to a 5 year old kid calling random people, telling them he is home alone and what his address is.
That's assuming there are actually other adults out there, and that if they are that they're capable of doing anything about it (like if the kid lives in US and the adult is in China), and also that the adult even cares.

On top of that, you might say that the kid has already had phone calls going out for decades, but no one has showed up yet.

I don't think sending out messages now is going to make any additional difference on top of what we've already sent out and will keep sending out. And I don't think that there's anything remarkable enough about Earth or humans that any civilization advanced enough to traverse the stars would even bother, much less be needlessly hostile over.
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