View Full Version here: : A slightly sobering concept ...
28-02-2012, 07:07 AM
No wonder we haven't back from anybody, it hasn't even got to them yet ...
28-02-2012, 10:39 AM
That sure puts thinks into perspective. Thanks for the post.
28-02-2012, 03:08 PM
I wonder how many stars lie within that tiny volume. I bet its more than a few!
EDIT: Never mind, 14,600 according to this:
of which around 500 are G type if you think that makes a difference.
Personally, I believe they simply aren't listening or capable of listening. What is it? 3.5 billion years of life on Earth and we've only been able to listen in for the last 100 years, and for a large chunk of that hundred we've had the capability to bring down the whole house of cards. As has been shown time and again, assuming we are unique in the cosmos is false. I'd be surprised if the seeds of life are even from here.
Wow signal aside, do you know just how much power it would take to resolve our measly transmissions from background noise at another star? What you want to do is set off some nukes in a sequence of prime numbers- then they might have a chance if they have discovered the em spectrum! It would be a short conversation though!:rofl:
29-02-2012, 06:17 AM
Just warn me before you do that please, I want time to duck for cover ....:eyepop:
29-02-2012, 01:08 PM
While our own feeble signal has only been moving outwards for 200 years or so, the rest of the universe has been 'out there' for 13.7 Billion years - or wharever the current received wisdom is - so while nobody has had much of a chance of hearing us, there is every reason to believe that we ought to be hearing them - if they are being broadcast in any medium or band within our techincal competence.
29-02-2012, 01:45 PM
I dunno. The idea that we should have heard from them seems to presume one of two things.
1 - They have found a way of circumventing the limitation of the speed of light. I find this hard to credit. It seems to be deeply embedded in the way things work. The potential outs to this as far as I can tell are either very exotic particles or wormholes. The former doesn't sound practical for actually moving things or communicating with us. The latter would require colossal amounts of energy harnessed with a precision that defies belief. And both are still based on very speculative science even in theory.
2 - They have been around for so long the speed of light isn't a major constraint. More than that, they are capable of developing, resourcing and sticking to a plan the size of a galaxy over geological time (hundreds of thousands of years at the very least). Sounds like space opera to me, and not something I'd consider likely from anything that had to evolve.
Further to both points (as many have observed), if they are that advanced, why on earth would they want to talk to us?
That said, I think it's overwhelmingly likely that plenty of them are out there. I just don't think it likely that any of us will ever hear from each other.
29-02-2012, 02:54 PM
Beg to differ: my point accepts the costraint of the speed of light. At those speeds, potential signs of intelligent activity (deliberate or not) have had 13.7 billion years to reach us - i.e. emanating from anywhere within a radius of 10+ billion lights years of us.
And it is not necessarily a planned and deliberate communication - it may be nothing more sophisticated that the equivalent of a 10 Billion-year-old episode of the Klingon Brady Bunch arriving here to be be enjoyed by us with no commerical breaks. Electromagnetic spectrum pollution of the kind at which we excel.
29-02-2012, 03:49 PM
- Fermi's Paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox)
- GRB and sterilization
29-02-2012, 03:52 PM
Aah. Hadn't exactly got your point, but I do now.
Although, I still think that if we're going to get a signal from someone much further away than the immediate neighbourhood, the 1/r^2 decay says to me that it would have to be very deliberate and targeted - a random emission would seem to have no chance of lasting long and loud enough. So I still hold onto my scepticism.
29-02-2012, 03:53 PM
Pretty dismal effort when you see it graphically displayed.
And even if some life form lived within that tiny radius it would need to be listening, know how to listen, bother with listening, have the technology to listen, or even care.
Then if they decided to reply it would take another 100 or more years for us to receive the answer, if we were listening in the direction the reply comes from.
Finding intelligent life elsewhere will be a massive task.
Simple life forms may be possible in our life times though (bacteria, fungus, etc).
29-02-2012, 04:04 PM
Gulp! I think I may start spending the kids inheritance right away.
29-02-2012, 05:21 PM
Clearly the Universe exists to provide one planet for life and that planet is Earth.
It would be stupid to suggest there could be inteligent life elsewhere as we clearly are the most wonderful beings that ever will be... it is clear we are special so why do we have to speculate that any other life may exist on another planet. It is almost as if the entire universe was created for humans...well obviously it has been created for us exclusively.
No doubt it is up to humans to occupy and use the rest of the universe as we see fit.
The possibility that life may exist elsewhere is clearly nonsence presented by those who fail to see our grand role in the scheme of everything.
Conditions for life exist on one planet and one planet only...Earth is that planet and humans are the highest form of life that can ever exist...
Alternatively given the huge number of objects in the Universe maybe there could be life on maybe one or two other planets but that life will never be inteligent like us.
Realistically the distances to elsewhere may leave the above views to forever remain unchalenged with facts that show things are indeed otherwise.
01-03-2012, 08:21 AM
Mmmm, well how about we put another 'earth' on that picture. On the other side of the Milky Way, not even on another galaxy and draw exactly the same little 200 light year circle at the same present time.
By the time both our little circles of transmission even met, let alone arrived at the other planet both civilisation will have probably long perished ...
Anything that will ever arrive here from that kind of distance will only be the signal of a long gone race methinks.
Still it's fun to even consider it and you never know what the future might bring. I reckon there has to be something out there somewhere but possible extraterrestrial fungii and slime make for quiet neighbours.
01-03-2012, 09:36 AM
Alex, you should be required to put a suitable warning on such a posting - something like "WARNING: Heavy Sarcasm in use." or perhaps "CAUTION: cynicism can damage your equilibrium."
01-03-2012, 10:04 AM
Peter you beat me to it !:D
And Alex....love the post!:lol::thumbsup::lol::thumbsup:
BTW Alex...every time I see a post of yours, I see your avatar as a Russian Tsar.......is it, was it, are you?:P:D
01-03-2012, 11:12 AM
Thankfully those who know me recognise the attempt at being funny, once such could get you killed...mmm when you think about it there are places on this planet where such will still get you killed....fortunately crazy is an almost universal defence..no one worries about you if they think you are crazy. I have found such a system of interaction with humans useful.
I havce been reading and thinking upon quantum entanglement for a while now. It seems the idea has merit past a mere thought experiment and entanglement can be taken as fact... if it be a fact then we have to contend with action taking place between quanta (whatever) in an instant..distance is not a consideration it seems...
I can not see any suggestion that the action is at C but indeed the suggestion seems such "spookey action at a distance" is instant..... now why could this be so? and leaving aside questions as to the medium or as to the particles that may produce the spookey action I ask could it be that there may be a highway hidden in this stuff that may allow "instant" communication??? .......and of course if such instant communication is possible then no doubt if there are any inteligent folk out there would they not be using such a system?... If so then 200 years ago whatever maybe all the smart folk of the universe picked up upon our existence in an instant.
So can we build a spookey action at a distance communication device?
01-03-2012, 11:25 AM
AND...the avatar is a photo of me although the hair and beard are now longer now it is a fair likeness I think.
WHY...my daughter insists that I look this way. I shaved etc once and she didnot talk to me for weeks..my clean shaven appearance reminds her of a serial killer she saw on tv years ago apparently...whatever but I do it for her ...
01-03-2012, 01:33 PM
Hmmm. She could be onto something there. Recognise this guy?
01-03-2012, 03:09 PM
This is questionable.. because it would violate the causality principle(s) (cause first, consequence after).
No information can propagate FTL through space. (perhaps if the medium is not space.. :P )
01-03-2012, 03:58 PM
The instant action at a distance of quantum entangling cannot send information. Unless you can figure out a way to send information by flipping coins where a coin somewhere else has the reverse face as you flip your coin. You cannot send a signal with a random outcome of an event.
01-03-2012, 04:05 PM
Charlie is in a world of his own! Maybe he is the life elsewhere, coz he certainly ain't with it here :rofl:
01-03-2012, 04:30 PM
So there are apparently some small engineering problems to overcome:).
Actually I dont know where I got the idea that action at a distance was instant I tried to find authority but well there was none.
AND I find the photo of Charles a worry but I now know why mothers shield their children when I walk by in the shopping center:D.
In general chat it appears NASA are in fact communicating with aliens but I sence the story needs confirmation as somehow it sounds to me someone is promoting a hoax... I know I am too sceptical but I think the story is phoney:D.
What a pity it is as to the lack of hope to establish the prescence of life out there...any life at all... still how could it be that we are the only life.
Chemistry although not fully understood yet suggests life is a natural consequence from chemical reactions and if such is valid the suggestion would be life could well be found in many places other than Earth.
I wonder if it was well established that other life was out there how our various cults of devil doggers would take it...deniel at first but latter they will all find text showing it was already written. Or would the finding of other life cause the collapse of such belief systems such that the masses lose their apparent morality. How could we keep everyone in line without a grand overseer?
mmmm that is why governments keep ufo visits under wraps and cover up the obvious contact between them and those who control the planet...maybe;)
Then who knows maybe SETI will get a reply in the years to come.
01-03-2012, 08:14 PM
Spooky action at a distance, as we presently define it, requires two entangled particles. So you're back to the light speed problem since in order to entangle particles they need to be close together. Then you have to send half of the entangled particles to the distant place and as they are ordinary matter light speed will apply. All before you can commence FTL communications.
As for alien civilisations being out there long before we were... most of the comments assume that once a civilisation is established, it does not die out or switch to something more efficient than radio. What you are actually hoping for is that the earth intersects a circular shell of communications that is loud enough to stand up above background noise at the frequency you are investigating. Many frequencies are useless for interstellar comms, but that still leaves an awful lot to search and some may think it wise not to attract attention by shouting across space! :lol:
01-03-2012, 08:49 PM
Nice interesting thread. I've always thought that the possibility of communication between us and a distant civilisation is almost impossible. When one considers that 14.5 billion years of Earth's existence has produced only 200 years-worth of emissions that an alien civilisation might be able to monitor as 'unnatural' ( ie not the product of physical processes, like Jupiter's radio emissions)... imagine if one of the Kepler planets harboured a civilisation at an equivalent stage to our Restoration England. All that genius and discovery! Newton, Wren, Hooke, Halley, Pepys....but the Industrial Revolution not even a twinkle in their eye....and we'd never know about it.
I think our best channel of inquiry is to assess the newly-discovered planets for their likeness to Earth, and refine our techniques for assessment of their biospheres. If we find decent Earth analogues, we might as well assume we have found life. although there have been some in these pages who wouldn't be satisfied til they received a stamped, self-addressed envelope from an alien penpal......:lol:
02-03-2012, 09:33 AM
Paul Dirac might disagree with this, having produced his equation which completely describes the behaviour of electrons with spin under electrodynamics (ie chemistry).
I have been told (can't find verification, annoyingly) that he later said, in response to a question about chemistry, "chemistry is an interesting problem which I solved in 1928". I still laugh every time I think about this.
02-03-2012, 09:47 AM
Sounds familiar,this may me true :thumbsup:
02-03-2012, 11:31 AM
I think you will find we can only predict the spectra of a single proton and single electron perfectly accurately. That is for a single Hydrogen atom in a vacuum. After this it gets a bit more complicated. We hit what is called the three or N body problem.
We used to use supercomputers to calculate the interactions of protein enzymes with their targets or drug mimics. Quantum effects have to be taken into consideration as well as the fields resulting from the aqueous environment with all ion species that are present.
Last I heard it took two months to simulate a few nanoseconds and that was by using semi valid approximations.
We used to wryly say that only the actual molecules can do the quantum calculations.
Reality is far more complex than we can even imagine!
02-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Well such folk can say what they like however I suspect there is still stuff to discover ..even in the field of chemistry.
One must be careful with sweeping statements as they are dangerous however mine may be less sweeping than his.
His contribution should not be underestimated because of his unfortunate choice of words in describing his work ...still it reminds us that folk can get a little carried away by their vision of their grandness.
02-03-2012, 12:25 PM
Absolutely agree. If indeed he said it, it's unclear to me whether it was intended to be funny, though I find it most amusing.
02-03-2012, 01:25 PM
Probably he just wanted to make a joke.. and amusing it is ;)
02-03-2012, 01:52 PM
Hard to tell with Dirac. He did not have a reputation for being particularly normal or humourous.
04-03-2012, 09:08 PM
Dirac is correct it's all physic's now.
In the worlds of Mr Adams "Space is big, you may think it's a long way to the corner shop, but that's just peanuts when it comes to space".
28-03-2012, 01:59 AM
A real good point on the map of the galaxy. The article author, though, had some confusion over the difference between radius and diameter.
Carl Sagan made a similar point in his story "Contact," where the first televised broadcast from Nazi Germany made its way back from Vega. In that story, some were wondering why intelligent aliens would only respond to Hitler. That's because they hadn't yet received Lucille Ball.
28-03-2012, 08:44 PM
I don't think Dirac's purported quote is at odds with this. All Alex seems to be saying is that the chemical pathway that changes non-living into living is not understood but evidence suggests that such a pathway would be followed where ever suitable conditions are found. This is a pretty common opinion.
In many peoples' view there is only one basic chemical pathway and so life only occurs in water in the Goldilocks zone. Isaac Asimov speculated that life may arise over a much wider temperature range than Goldilocks could endure and to do this it may be based in different solvents. He argued that the chemical building blocks (basically protein in our case) must be sufficiently stable at the ambient temperature but not inert. For example at somewhat lower temperatures than we live in proteins become unreactive but lipids (fats and oils) are now sufficiently stable that they could become the basis of life. I forget the details of what he suggested for each temperature range but I think that at the upper end - many hundreds to thousands C - it was some 'exotic' fluorine compounds.
29-03-2012, 04:39 PM
I may just be a little ignorant, but they are showing that as a nice little bubble expanding from our little blue ocean :)
Now i don't know about you but our lovely modern day signals if there are say mountains and what not between i have never found the signal to be any good. There in lays my question how did it pass though the Earth? and if it did pass around the out side how did it get out? If this is actually the case, then half that sphere and reduce the amount of people who might hear it!
30-03-2012, 11:13 AM
[QUOTE=AstralTraveller;835601] All Alex seems to be saying is that the chemical pathway that changes non-living into living is not understood but evidence suggests that such a pathway would be followed where ever suitable conditions are found. This is a pretty common opinion.
Yes indeed David as Bert would say "self evident" ..but one tends to say that when others have glossed over the simple things one has said but were not regarded as important and so they miss the self evident simplicity of a concept.
If we know all there is to know then such a process (the life chemical process) would be well understood. As Bert mentioned the complexities are mind bending ..just because one can use a hammer does not mean you can automatically build a house...
If we could identify the process (and control it such that we can test enviroments) it would then be reasonable to conclude life must exist everywhere basically, indeed such is an extrapolation but extrapolations have been used before in the name of science;).
Add the survival of the fittest and adaption to environment we observe in the life we can sample .... at that point perhaps we would be entitled to use the Drake equation to estimate probabilities on a reasonable footing.
I think identifying the procees would be wonderful and it matters not if we wish to call it physics or chemistry.
30-03-2012, 03:06 PM
They aren't talking about an individual transmission, rather our total planet-wide transmission. But even if it was just one transmission, if the transmission last for 12 hours the entire sky has been covered. Yes, technically one side of the sphere would be 12 light-hours smaller than the other but at the scale of the diagram this is impossible to see. Details aside, the take home message is that not much of the galaxy has even had the chance to hear us.
30-03-2012, 03:14 PM
I wasn't having a go at you. I was actually defending you against what I saw as I misunderstanding of your point and supporting it by pointing out that many other hold the same view.
BTW anyone who thinks chemistry can be reduced to physics clearly isn't a chemist. :P Perhaps in some ways it can be done but the complexity is overwhelming. If you want to achieve anything in practice it's the wrong level of abstraction. In a similar vein, music can be reduced to physics but to do so destroys what you are trying to achieve.
30-03-2012, 03:46 PM
David I did not for a moment think you were having a go at me and even if I did it would not worry me:).
I should have complimented you on expressing the idea was I was trying to point out. You made the point I probably clouded and I thank you:thumbsup::thanx:.
I wonder if survival of the fittest can be related to "chemicals" seeking their course in nature...:shrug:
I wonder how news of life elsewhere would be received on Earth.. I mean if reliable evidence was presented ( a body will do) of life from another world how would the various folk around the planet take it..some would reject it of course others would form domesday cults...the reaction would be so interesting. The thinking more there are folk who believe "they" are aready here:eyepop:
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