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

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Old July 17 2013, 07:01 PM   #31
DarthTom
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Interesting. Popular physist Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson disagrees with Hawking on this matter. He thinks the aliens have perhaps already visisted and think us humans are too stupid to be of any interest.

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"I wonder if, in fact, we have been observed by aliens and upon close examination of human conduct and human behavior they have concluded that there is no sign of intelligent life on Earth," Tyson said in a recent interview with Business Insider (see video above).
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Old July 17 2013, 09:05 PM   #32
137th Gebirg
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

The Tyson argument could be extended to lend credence to the Hawking argument.

If we are "too stupid" to be bothered with (I actually agree with this parameter of the posit), it could be additionally argued that, once we achieve some form of interstellar travel, we still may be deemed "too stupid" in comparison to other space-faring civilizations. Then we would have to be re-evaluated to ascertain if our stupidity and ignorance could pose a threat to these other space-faring civilizations. Through wild speculation, looking through a human lens if the situation were reversed, the response would almost certainly be "yes", and we're back to the whole original "we shouldn't be asking aliens to come visit us, as they may think we should be destroyed" argument. Not because the aliens are warlike, but because we are and they may believe that they would be doing the universe a favor by wiping us out. It would be through kindness and charity alone that we are allowed to survive in such a scenario. Either that, or the aliens would find a use for us in fighting their wars - "Hey, we'll let you live, but you need to bend the knee and do our dirty work now". Or they'll just flat out turn us into a slave race based on our perceived inferiority.

So this is really the same argument, just from another angle - more evidence that we shouldn't talk to E.T. just yet.
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Old July 19 2013, 09:26 PM   #33
Ryan8bit
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
The Tyson argument could be extended to lend credence to the Hawking argument.
Not really. In the video he says that he doesn't agree with Hawking because his analogies are all based on human interaction, and not alien-human interaction. Yeah, that's about all we've got to work with, but it's also the point that it's an appeal to ignorance. We can't possibly comprehend or understand something that's so far advanced, and we can't just presume that it's something just like us. It's like you said, wild speculation.

Also, I can't imagine that a species with the capability of traveling between stars would actually want us for any slavery type purposes. If they can manage a feat like travel through the galaxy, I'm guessing they can either build efficient robots or genetically engineer lifeforms that are suitable to tasks. Humans and Earth would probably have very little value to them. That's part of the idea behind humans being "too stupid."
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Old July 19 2013, 09:33 PM   #34
JarodRussell
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Humans are certainly not too stupid. Alien life is definitely extremely rare. And when something is rare, nothing will be considered too stupid. The analogy of a child randomly calling other houses doesn't apply, because children on this planet are not rare, they are common.


Space travel is pure luxury. You will only travel to other star systems if you don't have any other problems left. It will never be used to mine resources because it costs more than it gains, it will also never be used to relocate the planet's population in case the planet's fucked up because other suitable planets are way too far away. It's highly likely that space travel will be so costly and time consuming that anything other than exploration is out of the question.

Whoever visits our planet is going to be an explorer. And whoever visits our planet is going to be an enlightened mind who will not just start a war or dissect people. They will also not evangelize other cultures, because the situation is not comparable to the colonization and sea faring in the 14th to 18th century. You have to keep in mind that we already know that it was wrong, and we wouldn't do it again, and it's already certain that a highly developed space faring race will be far beyond fundamentalist religion, because - as we already can see - scienctific exploration changes fundamentalist religion to something a lot more tolerant.

I don't think NASA astronauts would go around invading other planets, and so I don't think any alien astronaut would do it.

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Old July 19 2013, 10:48 PM   #35
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Alien psychology - there's no subject with more unknowns. Who could say what a truly alien species would think of us, or want from us? Anything we imagine is still limited by our own psychology.

If we're ever visited by anything extraterrestrial, it would most likely (IMHO) be something like the Voyager probes. At best it might be a pseudo-intelligent probe, but almost certainly still limited to lightspeed communcations. Therefore anything that stumbles over us can't be an immediate threat, because it would take time for signals from the probe to reach the homeworld, and still longer for the invasion fleet to arrive.

Still, if an alien species came here, who knows what they might want? Maybe they would turn Earth and the other terrestrial planets and moons into computronium, with or without our consent. If they think it's for our own good, how would we stop them?

It's an interesting scenario, but the physical laws of the universe are going to keep us safe from aliens, and them from us.
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Old July 20 2013, 05:04 AM   #36
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Humans are certainly not too stupid. Alien life is definitely extremely rare. And when something is rare, nothing will be considered too stupid. The analogy of a child randomly calling other houses doesn't apply, because children on this planet are not rare, they are common.
Well, talk about missing the point. Twice!


Space travel is pure luxury. You will only travel to other star systems if you don't have any other problems left. It will never be used to mine resources because it costs more than it gains, it will also never be used to relocate the planet's population in case the planet's fucked up because other suitable planets are way too far away. It's highly likely that space travel will be so costly and time consuming that anything other than exploration is out of the question.

Whoever visits our planet is going to be an explorer. And whoever visits our planet is going to be an enlightened mind who will not just start a war or dissect people. They will also not evangelize other cultures, because the situation is not comparable to the colonization and sea faring in the 14th to 18th century. You have to keep in mind that we already know that it was wrong, and we wouldn't do it again, and it's already certain that a highly developed space faring race will be far beyond fundamentalist religion, because - as we already can see - scienctific exploration changes fundamentalist religion to something a lot more tolerant.

I don't think NASA astronauts would go around invading other planets, and so I don't think any alien astronaut would do it.
Excellent job of viewing any possible aliens as having human motives. Which is totally unknowable and dangerous.
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Old July 20 2013, 08:59 AM   #37
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Humans are certainly not too stupid. Alien life is definitely extremely rare. And when something is rare, nothing will be considered too stupid. The analogy of a child randomly calling other houses doesn't apply, because children on this planet are not rare, they are common.
Sorry for nitpicking, but it is the stars that are rare (relative to expected travel speeds and costs) that make aliens rare. We don't have no clue how rare aliens are beyond that. They could be as near as Alpha Centauri and as far as ten galaxies away, and we have no way of telling. We've yet to find the means to reject the possibility of advanced alien life even around nearby stars, rejecting them or confirming them at distances further away might be forever impossible.

This is an important distinction, because the rareness is solely due to the travel speeds and costs, and if we underestimated them significantly, then Alpha Centauri is suddenly the house across the street, and life suddenly becomes common even if there is as much as a tribe of space monkeys there.

It would be even so if aliens perceive time in a different way. Or deal with long periods of time in a different manner. Or if they are on to colonizing the galaxy (which is not all that hard, by the way) – if they are everywhere, suddenly even the rare aliens become common for them, because they would have counted millions of us rarities along the way.

So in all certainty, it is not "definitely".

Space travel is pure luxury. You will only travel to other star systems if you don't have any other problems left.
Or if we saw further than the end of our noses and did long-term plans for our survival.
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Old July 20 2013, 05:50 PM   #38
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

I don't have a problem with calling out to the cosmos.

Something will eventually cause an extinction level event on planet Earth, it's only a matter of time.
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Old July 22 2013, 03:25 PM   #39
DarthTom
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

One astronmer estimated within the black lines is how far our radio signals have reached into the galaxy thus far since starting to broadcast 100 years ago.

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Old July 22 2013, 03:29 PM   #40
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

Here probably is another more accurate esimate:

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Old July 22 2013, 03:31 PM   #41
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Re: Do you want to phone E.T.?

This article talks about signal strength relative to if the aliens could actually hear us:

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Since radio WAVES travel at or near the speed of light in space they have traveled the same number of years from broadcast date to the current date, In Example IE: Radio transmitted in 1920 would have gone 90 light years by 2010. How ever there seems to be some question as to how far those waves can travel prior to loss of the ability to detect them. SETI (I THINK) believes that the newest array they have could detect our oldest radio from the 1920s up to or about 50 to 100 light years away. The more sophisticated and sensitive the equipment the weaker the signal you can detect. A radio WAVE is like an expanding ball getting weaker for many reasons as it travels through space. Some signal is "reflected" to other directions from some material, and some material will absorb the waves. However, even a degraded signal that could not be received as a sound radio channel would still give a "SINGLE Freq. Noise" for many more light years. In nature "Single Freq. Noise" does not happen, As far as we know currently. So even if we were or ET was to receive a radio signal that was just "Noise" but on a single frequency, that would mean most likely an advanced or at least tech society had created it.

In simple terms, here is how to do the math:
light travels around 5.879Trillion Miles in a year. (1LY[lightyear])
multiply that by 90, you get 529.1Trillion miles. so our first transmission are roughly that distance away from earth.
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