It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Fatal Flaw of the SETI Project.

page: 2
5
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:42 PM
link   
Who's to say that 10,000 years is a long time for another civilization?




posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:43 PM
link   
Not only that if we are spiraling around the milky way, are they really going to be able to extrapulate where it came from 50,000 light years ago. If they are pointing at star system and get a signal, how do they know this is the star system was in that position 100,000 years ago.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:54 PM
link   
SETI used the big Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico to hunt for alien intelligence. The SETI mission is not really that much different from the original Arecibo functionality. During the cold war Arecibo was used as a listening post designed to intercept electronic emissions from Russia. Back in the early 60's the listeners might literally have detected an out of balance washing machine and interpreted it as some part of a missile silo.

The SETI engineers are of course limited by their own interpretation and signature assignments. Pulling a meaningful signal out of all that noise does seem like an effort in futility from a lay persons frame of reference.

The Isaac Newton beach allegory seems to be the best explanation, lots of waves and sand with entertaining diversions to look at some interesting pebbles and shells.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:05 AM
link   
reply to post by whatukno
 



so you dont think theres any point in detecting ET civs if theres no chance of communication?

plenty people would disagree with you, 1st it would prove intelligent life is not unique to earth and to answer that question alone its worth it. 2nd We could pick up a signal which when decoded tells us how to join the galactic "broadband" communication system. Instructions on how to send/receive quantum communication etc. or where other civs are and how to contact them.

Your just short sighted in your outlook on ET civs and what could be possible.

edit on 22-12-2010 by yeti101 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:19 AM
link   
The majority of people believe that SETI is a small self funded group that was set up to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, unfortunately this is not the case. It was set up purely for monitoring UFO'S entering and exiting our airspace, it was set up to learn as much as possible about 'critters' and of course our galactic neighbours, whilst at the same time appease the people calling for action in regards to looking out for other intelligence.

Make no mistake SETI is linked with DOD,DNI,NSA and of course NASA. Anything that SETI finds is filtered back to the DNI immediately. Unfortunately I have come to understand that the people who know about all this do not frequent this site and you will be very luck to find any answers here in regards to the true purpose of SETI and the DNI.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:26 AM
link   

Originally posted by whatukno
Simply put, if the Drake Equation is correct,


I must respectfully disagree WUK. The Drake equation might as well ask, "How long is a piece of string?".
The variables within the equation merely reflect the breadth of human 'knowledge' at this point. It also presumes that we are asking the right questions/making the correct assumptions. The numbers we can inject into many of the variables cannot be corroborated which is important to note. I think the Drake equation is merely the first step of a big journey. IMHO, it's presumptuous, arrogant and incomplete.

IRM



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:39 AM
link   
don't forget the protocols.....






posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:00 AM
link   
SETI is run by naive college kids who hardly have the time to manage a project so important...

They take the servers down 3 days of every week to perform maintenance, and just finished up a 1 1/2 month server migration project which is crippling the participation. It only allows for the hardcore SETI guys to stick with the project. The average joe doesn't know how to get 3 days of work at a time, nor does the average joe have the patience to kiss their feet everytime they take down a couple servers for months a time. Not to mention the bulk of their work deals with looking for signals that are intentionally being sent out by alien civilizations.

I don't believe for a second, that an intelligent civilization would want to invite in strangers to their home planet. What if these strangers were violent hostile entities, like us for example. Btw, I don't consider us a truly intelligent civilization, as a very large majority of us are idiots. I believe a truly intelligent civilization would all be millions of years more advanced on the evolutionary ladder and let's say 95% of them have IQs of above 140.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:00 AM
link   
reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


You did see that IF in there right? I believe I said, IF the Drake equation is correct. IF, here, let me define IF for you just in case that word tripped you up.

IF the Drake equation is correct, that would mean that there might be only two civilizations in this whole galaxy that are even capable of sending out a signal, we make up one of those. So the other one who knows how far away they are.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:12 AM
link   

Originally posted by whatukno
reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


You did see that IF in there right? I believe I said, IF the Drake equation is correct. IF, here, let me define IF for you just in case that word tripped you up.


My Bad! Ooops!


An Edit is in order!

IRM

edit on 22/12/10 by InfaRedMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:19 AM
link   

Originally posted by sliceNodice
SETI is run by naive college kids who hardly have the time to manage a project so important...

They take the servers down 3 days of every week to perform maintenance, and just finished up a 1 1/2 month server migration project which is crippling the participation.
I think you're confusing this:

SETI@home

with this:

SETI institute

Or other SETI projects. The SETI institute got some pretty decent funding from Microsoft's Paul Allen.

Seti@home was a university experiment as much about distributed computing as it was about SETI and they've apparently had some server issues as you said, but it's not really at the forefront of the global SETI efforts.
==========
@whatukno

So what do you propose as an alternative to SETI?

Do nothing? We're almost guaranteed not to find anything if we don't look.

At least if we look, there's a chance, no matter how slim it is.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:53 AM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



So what do you propose as an alternative to SETI?


There has to be some other kind of signal that an intelligent race sends out that can be detected. Maybe something that travels faster than light, and is detectable.

I would also personally look at likely targets instead of just passively listening to chunks of the sky for Alien FM Stations.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by whatukno
There has to be some other kind of signal that an intelligent race sends out that can be detected. Maybe something that travels faster than light, and is detectable.
Fair point, if we knew how to look for faster than light signals, we would probably do it. Someone mentioned quantum entanglement, yes it's faster than light but whether it can be used for communication is beyond our current technology if it's possible. SETI efforts have expanded beyond just radio detection as IssacKoi pointed out, but none of the technologies are faster than light. Someone will have to explain how we can do that before we can look for such a signal.


I would also personally look at likely targets instead of just passively listening to chunks of the sky for Alien FM Stations.
What makes you think that's not what they're doing?

Target Selection for SETI. II. Tycho-2 Dwarfs, Old Open Clusters, and the Nearest 100 Stars


We present the full target list and prioritization algorithm developed for use by the microwave search for technological signals at the SETI Institute. We have included the Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems (HabCat, described in Paper I), all of the nearest 100 stars and 14 old open clusters. This is further augmented by a subset of the Tycho-2 catalog based on reduced proper motions, and this larger catalog should routinely provide at least three target stars within the large primary field of view of the Allen Telescope Array. The algorithm for prioritizing objects in the full target list includes scoring based on the subset category of each target (i.e., HabCat, cluster, Tycho-2, or nearest 100), its distance (if known), and its proximity to the Sun on the color-magnitude diagram.
That target selection for the SETI institute includes the nearest 100 stars, and beyond that the "17,129 stars selected from the Hipparcos Catalog according to considerations of age, variability, spectral type, metallicity, and multiplicity. Subject to observational limitations and gaps in our understanding of life, this catalog contains "habstars" that may host planetary systems that are habitable to complex lifeforms."

edit on 22-12-2010 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:40 PM
link   
reply to post by whatukno
 


holy crap seti must want to employ you bad becuase they would never ever think of that!! what a genius you are /end sarcasm



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 01:30 AM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Maybe a civilization advanced enough for electronic communication sends out some other form of detectable telemetry not necessarily used for communication. Something not normally found in nature. Or at least something that is not emitted by every single star in the sky.

I am not saying don't search, I am just saying that maybe radio isn't the way to go.
edit on 12/23/2010 by whatukno because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 07:38 AM
link   
reply to post by whatukno
 


why dont you just read this and learn something about the subject www.space.com...

its still amazing you think people who dedicate their life to the search and have phds in astrophysics, astronomy, engineering, astrobiology etc wouldn't think about these things but you do.



edit on 23-12-2010 by yeti101 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 08:06 AM
link   

Originally posted by whatukno
I am not saying don't search, I am just saying that maybe radio isn't the way to go.


Hello Whatukno,

Sorry to say, but that is exactly what is seems like you are saying. You are criticizing SETI based not on any real flaw on the part of SETI but based on your own limited understanding of what SETI is and your limited views on extraterrestrial.

While you are right, radio may not be the way to go. There could better forms of communication, radio is the height of what we have achieved thus far. It is ridiculous to criticize SETI for using radio simply because there may be some theoretical communication form that has yet to be invented.

As others have already pointed out, no where in the SETI acronym is there a "C" for communication. The point is not communication but to determine if we are alone or not. If SETI picks up a signal, mission accomplished.

However, what others have no pointed out is that there is not a "MAF" in the acronym either, for "most advanced form". You seem to think that if alien intelligence does exist that it will be thousands of years more advanced than us. That is very narrow thinking. If there are intelligences out there, while there would certainly be those considerably more advanced, there will also be those around our level of technological understanding. We are not just searching for the most advanced ET intelligence but any and all ET intelligences. And if an millenniums-old civilization does want to communicate with younger intelligences, they could employ less advanced forms (such as radio) to do so.

I find it amazing that the skeptics here seem far more knowledgeable and supportive of SETI than the believers do.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 08:09 AM
link   

Originally posted by franspeakfree
The majority of people believe that SETI is a small self funded group that was set up to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, unfortunately this is not the case. It was set up purely for monitoring UFO'S entering and exiting our airspace, it was set up to learn as much as possible about 'critters' and of course our galactic neighbours, whilst at the same time appease the people calling for action in regards to looking out for other intelligence.

Make no mistake SETI is linked with DOD,DNI,NSA and of course NASA. Anything that SETI finds is filtered back to the DNI immediately. Unfortunately I have come to understand that the people who know about all this do not frequent this site and you will be very luck to find any answers here in regards to the true purpose of SETI and the DNI.


Hello Franspeakfree,

You are speaking with an air of great authority and knowledge on this subject. Perhaps you could tell us where you came across such knowledge, to support your claims?



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:45 AM
link   
SETI is, literally, looking for a needle in a haystack. Or, more accurately - it is looking for a vaguely described "object of interest" in a massive pile of odds and ends taken from people's homes. We have no real clue what we are looking for. In all honesty - the signs of our own civilization are fuzzed over the course of just a few light years - barely above the radio background. About the only thing likely to grab attention outside of several light-years would be our nuclear tests - and even these have only likely been picked up (via known methods) by systems within 30 light-years, or so. Even if they had the ability to travel faster than light, they would still have to wait for our own signs of existing to be revealed.

At that - most of our nuclear explosions were so brief that most of our own equipment would be unable to pick them up - designed to pick out signals over the course of weeks to get such sensitive readings. A momentary burst would need to be insanely intense and/or focused to register.

While they may be all-knowing and god-like ET, I'm not so convinced. Even given a thousand more years of development at our current pace - we would be far from omniscient or omnipotent. Given a few million more years - it's hard to speculate - but I doubt technology would have evolved so radically as to permit omniscience.

We must then look at what types of civilizations we would be looking to find. The first category would be other civilizations like ours. It would be rather pointless to try and find a species using completely different concepts of technology and communication, as we wouldn't know what to look for or how to interact. So - we'd be looking for signs of what we recognize as technology and be open to expanding that search as our own technology develops. This would be electromagnetic radiation.

Lower-frequency (LF and ELF) are rather common and a generally bad thing to try and use to communicate. It is, however, one of the primary markers of our own civilization - millions of kilometers of wiring emitting between 50 and 80 Hz. Since a civilization is likely to use this for some time and it is likely to persist - it makes it a valid search criteria.

HF is more frequently used in communication - but is generally low power and has difficulty with the ionosphere. There are also a number of HF background sources that could throw this off. It would, therefor, be somewhat more telling - but also somewhat more fickle of a source.

X and Gamma rays would be more ideal. The energy-waves, themselves, are more intense and more likely to be distinguished against the background. Many sources of gamma rays are noted and documented, so a 'new' source displaying a repeated pattern or exhibiting unique behavior would be -very- telling of some form of advanced civilization. Unfortunately - most sources of such intense radiation as we use them are weaponized forms. Our civilization does not routinely emit gamma or x-ray radiation in any regular interval or background operation to such a degree as it might be detected by another civilization. It would not be logical to presume other civilizations would do so, either.

Thus - gamma and X-ray interceptions would likely indicate an actively-pinging system, or some kind of nuclear war (or some other purpose for nuclear warheads that our species simply doesn't relate to).

This leaves light-based communication - which is along the lines of gamma and x-ray... we don't emit tons of light that could be detected outside of our own solar system. It -might- be possible with a large-enough array to detect such things as city lights on our planet from a few hundred light-years away... but it would be a colossal array of unimaginable proportions - something we might consider building in a hundred years or more. Of course - by then, we may have broken away from relativistic restrictions and find it better to simply jump to another system and have a look around the old fashioned way.

Which brings us to the other type of civilization we would be looking at trying to contact/detect: - an older civilization and/or one that is sufficiently more advanced than ours. It is entirely possible that a species could go about propagating the galaxy without overcoming relativistic limitations on velocity - so they do not have to be advanced in the sense of being able to warp around. However - such species, if they have the goal of searching for and making contact with other species, would likely go about setting up automated 'buoys' set to search for various activity. By keeping track of where they have buoys, when a buoy receives something of interest, it forwards the information back home - perhaps via a relay system (contacting other buoys). In this way - communication is still limited to the speed of light, but many of the problems associated with searching for intelligent life are eliminated - such as where to look for signals (the buoys look everywhere to the best of their ability and phone-home with concentrated pre-defined beams), and compensating for the inverse-square law (it would be far more practical to detect our civilization from a buoy placed on, say, the moon or Mars, than it would be to detect it from Betelgeuse).

A civilization having overcome relativity would likely employ a similar system, just be far less restricted.

Detecting these civilizations still falls within our known concepts of technology. If they have moved on to using other forms of technology - it would be virtually impossible for us to look for them, as any signs they exist would be almost indistinguishable from natural phenomena or nearly impossible for us to predict how their technology may work - much less how to detect it.

Would a man, born and raised in the remote tribes of South America, regard the regular transcontinental flight overhead (visible from his perspective) as anything of intelligent or technological origin? It's happened since the day he was born and will continue beyond the day he dies.

Likewise - we are in a similar situation when dealing with sufficiently advanced civilizations. If we don't know to recognize it as the product of technological origin - then we can't search for it. We, thus, have to look for emissions in the electromagnetic spectrum.

An advanced species may actively signal in these ranges, particularly if they are experienced in dealing with other species and societies that develop technology similar to our own. Or, they may know we are already here. We can speculate on it until we are blue in the face. At the end of the day - we don't know how to search for anti-gravity, "FTL-wakes", or "superluminous emissions" - Even if we developed a method of accomplishing it - there may be many other methods that leave completely different indicators in utilization by other species.

So, yes, there are plenty of "flaws" in trying to search for another intelligence and/or society. In all likelihood, we will be 'warping' or 'jumping' off to other systems in search of life before SETI ever gets a positive result. However - it can't really hurt to try.

That poses an interesting concept, however. We have spent, roughly, a hundred years in the semi-modern electrical era. That's a rather short time-frame, cosmologically speaking. Determining how long a species is likely to remain in any given 'state' of technology is impossible given our lack of data - but even if we were to be pumping out radio waves for a thousand years - that gives every other species a thousand-year window to detect us; plus relativity constraints. It is quite likely that, within a hundred years, we will have some form of FTL capability. Even if it took two or three hundred more years - that's still a 400-year window. By that time, it would be far more reasonable for civilizations looking for our presence to watch for us to show up in their system and search around. We would be closer and looking for them, and any indications of our presence would be far more noticeable than those of our home planet.

It would, perhaps in a strange bit of irony, be more worth-while for SETI to search for other civilizations to be perusing around our own back yard as opposed to searching through countless star systems for faint signals of existence.

That is heavily weighted on the plausibility of relativity-defying drive systems - but from a statistical standpoint - it is far more likely that an advanced civilization would be detected while visiting our system than we would be likely to detect their own planet. It is also far more likely that they would be here than it is likely we would be listening to their neck of the woods during one of the "windows" in which we could detect their civilization.

I would still do both - you never know what you will find when you keep an open eye. However, if I had to choose one over the other (as one must often do with limited funding) - I would choose the search for signs that an advanced civilization is or has been in our own back yard. If they are that advanced and have a significant chronological lead on us - it is likely they've already been here and cataloged our planet's existence and noted any interest in it. It would therefor be likely that they would return to observe - and therefor more likely for us to detect them. If no one has been here, or has simply had the desire to return - it is still more likely that an advanced species would stumble upon us than we would be to stumble upon a reliable indicator from a planetary system of a techno-industrial society.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:53 AM
link   
reply to post by WingedBull
 


Dude, when you are looking for a needle in a haystack you don't look for hay.

Hay we got. The universe is chock FULL of hay.

We are looking for the needle, and in reality, when looking for the needle, you use a magnet.

You don't use a device that looks for hay.



new topics

top topics



 
5
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join