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A glaring question: SETI, Y no contact of any sort?

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posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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It seems strange (to me) that if there really are trillions and trillions of possible earth-type civilizations out there, based on purely mathmatical odds, then why isn't SETI totally overloaded with indications pouring in at the rate of a few million-trillion-per-second??




posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 07:35 PM
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Well in the first place we are assuming that our methods of communication will be universal, that may not be the case. Other civilizations might employ means that we cannot even imagine. Also, the strength of any EM signal decreases with the square of the distance (not exactly sure about the math there). Signals from very far away would be difficult to detect. We ourselves make things harder by creating interference.

On the other hand, I wouldn't rule out the possiblity that we have already made contact, but the general public doesn't know about it.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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I think there are two equally likely explanations, and both may be playing a role. One, there's always a possibility that they are not using radio waves to communicate. While its impossible to say for sure, I believe this is a big reason why. We are either unable to detect their communications or we cannot distinguish them from interstellar background noise. If this proves to be true, they could be EVERYWHERE in our local region of the galaxy and we'd never know it.

The other possible reason is that they are too far away and that their communications are dissipating over distance and again, becoming indistinguishable from interstellar background noise. I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but if memory serves, I've read that this would happen to our own signals over a distance of a couple hundred light years given the power of our transmitters. Apply that to an alien civilization, and they may simply be too far away for the signal to carry that far.

There is one other big potential reason why. SETI does not yet have a dedicated radio telescope, at least to my knowledge, and this could be hampering their efforts. That will change in a year or two. I do find it interesting that they have predicted contact within 20 years, which is a bit odd for a group of scientists to do, unless they have some very strong candidate signals that they feel very confident about but can't quite 'prove' just yet.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

One thing I think you'll agree on, if ever there is contact, followed by dialogue, it'll be very interesting to see who's ever doing the talking from our end, to see how they go about relating to our new friends the kind of earth history we've had with all our wars ... and every-day hate. I'd guess there'd be a lot of sugar-coating.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:16 PM
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Well, apparently SETI is only looking at what amounts to a narrow band of frequencies, and only radio frequencies at that (not entirely sure of the specifics). Plus it will take time for any signal to reach earth anyways too. If other planets have had similar histories then they might just not be old enough to have reached earth yet.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by zamphir66
Well in the first place we are assuming that our methods of communication will be universal, that may not be the case. Other civilizations might employ means that we cannot even imagine. Also, the strength of any EM signal decreases with the square of the distance (not exactly sure about the math there). Signals from very far away would be difficult to detect. We ourselves make things harder by creating interference.

On the other hand, I wouldn't rule out the possiblity that we have already made contact, but the general public doesn't know about it.


If you picture a transmitter out by itself in space sends a signal, that signal will move away in all directions from the transmitter like a growing sphere. As the distance between the signal and the transmitter increases the area of the sphere grows in a squared fashion since the area of the sphere is 4(pi)r^2. That's why the transmission strength decreases (is spread out) in proportion to square of the distance.

[edit on 1/17/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:34 PM
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Just a little over 100 years ago mankind couldn't pick up television or radio frequencies even if they tried. We didn't even know they existed. Now that we do were trying to use them to find others who also might be using them.

Now imagine what an advanced alien civilization might be using. i doubt we have the technology to pick it up.

Its not that the messages aren't there, its that mankind either isn't listening for the right thing or doesn't have the technology to detect it.

Atleast not the general public. I'm betting that shape shifting Cheney is in all kinds of contact with other planets....the B@stard...

Hehehehe..

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:08 PM
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I like how they have this "rule" that if any foreign contact is intercepted from off the Earth, it has to be kept confidential, so peopl wouldn't panick.

Anyhow, not to long ago, a signal of some sort bounced off of a reflector they had on the moon, and they intercepted it and weren't sure if it was a real extraterrestrial signal or not......the New York Times had them on the phone in 2 minutes asking if it was a real alien signal or not (to their shock too).

So much for classification. I think if aliens REALLY contacted us, it would be like in the movie "Contact," where the media gets ahold of the info, there is a big uproar, with militant religious groups raising all sorts of hell, etc....etc.....and the gov't decides to make it all seem like a bunch of hoopla, and it just goes down as unwritten history, deep within the gov't.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:33 PM
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It occurs to me SeTI has not and will not be successful because stars and life bareing worlds around them ,are just too damn far apart. I think Astronomical distances are such because were not supposed to know about or have contact with others, were separate experiments. Afterall, were barely evolved above clubbing each other, except we dont use tree branches anymore. Tecknological advances mean little outside earth.
Why are monkeys in zoos often surrounded by uncrossable distances, i.e moats? because there not supposed to cross, i think were the same and space is our moat.
How else do you contain an ecosystem and prevent interference with others when some beings of that system, do or will evolve to explore space?
I think also the concept of races millions of years more evolved than us is also still just assumption, afterall, some folk beleive this world has gone through cycles of evolution, why not all worlds? maybe theres an evolutionary limit, set by nature or set by the scientist(GOD)?
Perhaps none are allowed to evolve enough for interstellar travel because none are intended to.
The rats in one lab dont contact the rats in another. because they are separate experiments? because of risk of disease transmission?
Or simply sheer difference. we dont communicate, we murder each other and have eaten each other.
just imagine how many lifeforms we would treat the way we treat food animals and each other, and how many would treat us that way.
the beings from the movie alien would be last i would want to have the means to come to earth if they existed, and whos to say they dont, somewhere?

[edit on 083131p://35018 by instar]



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 09:26 PM
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Any signal that SETI finds will undoubtedly be very old considering just how long it would take a radio signal to go from one solar system to another so at our current level of technology I would think any kind of diolouge would be impossible, unless the aliens help us out some.



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