Intelligent civilizations rarer than one in a million

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posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:12 PM
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Scientists at UC Berkeley have now used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars. While discovering no telltale signs of life, the researchers calculate that fewer than one in a million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planetary civilizations advanced enough to transmit beacons we could detect.




Most of the stars were more than 1,000 light years away, so only signals intentionally aimed in our direction would have been detected. The scientists say that in the future, more sensitive radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometer Array, should be able to detect much weaker radiation, perhaps even unintentional leakage radiation, from civilizations like our own.


Source

Now I realize this does not justify that aliens do not exist. Everyone has their own experiences with UFOs, so I thought I would post this here to see what others think. I believe in the future we will have better ways of finding out where other intelligent life forms exist.


At the end of the article the funding came from NASA's Exobiology grant and donations from the Friends of Berkeley SETI.
edit on 11-2-2013 by theone88 because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by theone88
 


SETI is doing this too. I have one problem with this theory. What if aliens do not use radio technology? Or what if aliens had technology 15,000 years ago? We've missed they signal already.

Just because humans use radio technology doesn't mean aliens do or would use them. They may have something that we wouldn't even fathom to be a technology...Anything and everything is possible when discussing aliens.

ETA: One in a million may be strech though. May be one in hundred thousand or one in tens of thousands.

-SAP-
edit on 11-2-2013 by SloAnPainful because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:28 PM
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One in a million, one in a billion, such calculations are riddled with flaws because the equations used to make the calculations have input variables which aren't understood.

The observations of absence of signals though is something, though not all that conclusive. Let's say a civilization 1000 light years away had an advanced receiver that detected our old "I love Lucy" broadcasts. They still have another 940 years to get there. Then that civ might aim a transmitter back at the source(us) and we might get a transmission aimed at us, 1940 years from now, or 2000 years from the original broadcast.

But right now, only civs within 30 light years would have time to receive our I Love Lucy, and respond by aiming a broadcast at us.

All we can do is keep looking, so I applaud that effort.


Originally posted by SloAnPainful
I have one problem with this theory. What if aliens do not use radio technology? Or what if aliens had technology 15,000 years ago? We've missed they signal already.
Such factors have already been considered in the Drake Equation.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:30 PM
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Must not be aliens out there...we searched nearby planets for steam engines...and couldn't find any..therefore...considering people will use steam engines forever and ever, it is clear that...etc


Here is something to consider

Our planet is in the process of upgrading everything to digital..soon our planet will be "going dark" radio signalwise...give it 1-200 years and from our standards today, another civilization could dismiss the sol system as having life.



Also 1 in a million is still a very lot in a galaxy with 200-400 billion stars (with planets around each star with potential for some form of life)

Milky Way's Planets Include At Least 17 Billion About Earth's Size, NASA's Kepler Telescope Shows

That's 17 billion chances of life "as we know it" in our milky way galaxy.

This figure was estimated based on a very conservative 100 billion stars in the milky way



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
One in a million, one in a billion, such calculations are riddled with flaws because the equations used to make the calculations have input variables which aren't understood.

The observations of absence of signals though is something, though not all that conclusive. Let's say a civilization 1000 light years away had an advanced receiver that detected our old "I love Lucy" broadcasts. They still have another 940 years to get there. Then that civ might aim a transmitter back at the source(us) and we might get a transmission aimed at us, 1940 years from now, or 2000 years from the original broadcast.

But right now, only civs within 30 light years would have time to receive our I Love Lucy, and respond by aiming a broadcast at us.

All we can do is keep looking, so I applaud that effort.


Originally posted by SloAnPainful
I have one problem with this theory. What if aliens do not use radio technology? Or what if aliens had technology 15,000 years ago? We've missed they signal already.
Such factors have already been considered in the Drake Equation.


It would be wiser to start using hypothetical science to try and detect signals..such as quantum frequency shifts, and other things barely understandable by us for any "realtime" information...I don't think the space federation will be using 4g tech to call the starship 300 light years from home planet.

Our scientists must be catering to the truly short sighted whom think we have basically reached the end of any and all potential technological progress...



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


I couldn't agree more with that statement.

The Drake Equation seems like it could be flawed just because of it's theory of radio technology. What is they didn't use radio waves?



-SAP-



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
It would be wiser to start using hypothetical science to try and detect signals..such as quantum frequency shifts, and other things barely understandable by us for any "realtime" information...I don't think the space federation will be using 4g tech to call the starship 300 light years from home planet.

Our scientists must be catering to the truly short sighted whom think we have basically reached the end of any and all potential technological progress...
There may also be some merit to the argument

"we are only looking for life as we know it"

That may be true, but we only know what we know and don't know what we don't know. We don't know how to use things we don't understand. If they are using technologies we don't understand which is entirely plausible, how can we detect them?

But the fact that we are only using the technology we know is no claim that we are the pinnacle of technological evolution, so I don't know why you say "Our scientists must be catering to the truly short sighted whom think we have basically reached the end of any and all potential technological progress." There is no such basis for such statements and especially if you talk to or listen to the scientists involved in this...ever listed to Seth Shostak's podcasts?

The problem isn't that they don't want to use other technologies to detect aliens, it's that they don't know what technologies to use and how.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by SloAnPainful
reply to post by SaturnFX
 


The Drake Equation seems like it could be flawed just because of it's theory of radio technology. What is they didn't use radio waves?
The flaw is in your understanding of the equation, not the equation. From the source I posted:


fc = the fraction of the above that release detectable signs of their existence into space
This factor explicitly recognizes not all intelligent civilizations will release detectable signs.
edit on 11-2-2013 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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What they should do is every time our planet passes the sun start beaming a giant torch like crazy in some sort of Morse code. That way, any other life out there presumably trying to detect planets the way we do, will see us!.
edit on 11-2-2013 by Tuttle because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
That may be true, but we only know what we know and don't know what we don't know. We don't know how to use things we don't understand. If they are using technologies we don't understand which is entirely plausible, how can we detect them?
...
The problem isn't that they don't want to use other technologies to detect aliens, it's that they don't know what technologies to use and how.


Thing is though, we aren't even doing a good job at detecting what we know...we have some very good theoretical physics work being done now..and we are focused on 1980s tech sweeping for some obscure reason...I guess space must be steampunk to the eggheads in charge of these operations.

I think it high time we have some cutting edge researchers do a think tank on latest and potential future communications (go sci-fi) and try to understand and detect key signatures..

hell, we may be in a 5 bar wifi zone of the alien internet being broadcast over neutrino vibrations or something and not know it because we haven't even bothered taking a look for patterns there.

Its way above my head...but so is rocket science...its not above everyones head..
I know our current method of seeking isn't very good..because I actually understand our current seeking methods..and frankly, if I can understand it, its not very advanced.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by theone88
Now I realize this does not justify that aliens do not exist.

It's more evidence that they do not exist than that they do exist. So far, the evidence that we have for alien existence is zero. It's true that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, but it's for damned sure not evidence of existence, either.

Some people are very interested in hypothetical aliens. Personally, hypothetical aliens, even if they exist, are no more of interest to me than fictional aliens. And if the universe is so big that we never find good proof of these aliens, they might as well not exist, as far as I'm concerned.

In this case, you can ask, "If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?" But when it comes to aliens, we can't even say for sure that the tree exists, much less that it might make a sound when it falls.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by theone88
 


One in a million equates to around 300,000 in our Galaxy alone....

Scaled up to Universal numbers, it's estimated there are between 150 Billion to 200 Billion Galaxies in the Universe...150 - 200 Billion X 300,000 potential civilisations is a very, very, very big number..if my maths are right, it's about 45 Trillion civilisations, at only one per million star systems.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by Tuttle
What they should do is every time our planet passes the sun start beaming a giant torch like crazy in some sort of Morse code. That way, any other life out there presumably trying to detect planets the way we do, will see us!.
edit on 11-2-2013 by Tuttle because: (no reason given)


torch...like..hold up a flashlight to the sky? lol

and erm..define "passes the sun". we are endlessly passing (going around) the sun...

And finally...see us? you realize a nationwide forestfire may..may be slightly visible from the moon..maybe...not very, but slightly...would look like a slight yellow hue.
if our bright blue water doesn't capture their attention, I don't reckon waving my mag light into the sky is going to do a whole lot.

Finally...if we do that...and lets say there was a potential for them to see our lights blinking on and off..our nearest star (proxima centauri) is about 5 light years..so they wouldn't even see (if there is a planet around PC that houses advanced civ that happened to be looking this way) it for 5 years anyhow...

Then what? wait another 5 years to see if they answer back with an equal light?



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift

Originally posted by theone88
Now I realize this does not justify that aliens do not exist.

It's more evidence that they do not exist than that they do exist. So far, the evidence that we have for alien existence is zero. It's true that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, but it's for damned sure not evidence of existence, either.


Alternatively, we can look at it this way:
We have hands on studied 2 planets. Earth and Mars. Mars is very new and so not ready to report yet
But Earth..we know
and of this one planet, it is 100% in finding life on planets.

You can look at things in a variety of ways...but one thing we are sure of, is that life exists on planets (considering we are discussing this..aka, we are alive)...

So its just a matter then of finding the form and frequency already established.

Add:
One final note.
If we didn't yet posess the tech to create ships (normal, not space)...should we be concerned if civilizations exist on other shores in the ocean?

Answer is...yes. We don't have the tech now..but that doesn't mean we will forever be stuck to a single island.
edit on 11-2-2013 by SaturnFX because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 

As you may be aware, funding is hard to come by for SETI researchers.
And if they were searching for highly speculative signs that we don't even understand, it might even get harder to obtain funding.

If they had more funding and people providing the funding didn't care how speculative the research was, they might do what you suggest.
edit on 11-2-2013 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by MysterX
reply to post by theone88
 

One in a million equates to around 300,000 in our Galaxy alone....
Scaled up to Universal numbers, it's estimated there are between 150 Billion to 200 Billion Galaxies in the Universe...150 - 200 Billion X 300,000 potential civilisations is a very, very, very big number..if my maths are right, it's about 45 Trillion civilisations, at only one per million star systems.

You gotta watch out when you start saying so many civilizations exist, because the more you have, the more difficult it becomes to justify why we don't have even the tiniest shred of evidence for a single one of them. Quarantine? And 300,000 civilizations are all going to agree on that, without one of them deciding otherwise?

That many civilizations would be hard to miss, and yet... where are they?



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
reply to post by SaturnFX
 

As you may be aware, funding is hard to come by for SETI researchers.
And if they were searching for highly speculative signs that we don't even understand, it might even get harder to obtain funding.

If they had more funding and people providing the funding didn't care how speculative the research was, they might do what you suggest.
edit on 11-2-2013 by Arbitrageur because: clarification


Right, I understand the dilemma
Its a bit of a catch 22.
For mass funding, they need something of substance
For something of substance, they may need a lot more funding.

For right now, Seti is simply standing on a shore of a river with a bucket hopeing a fish will just jump in, in order to prove fish are in the river and its worth getting a net.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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Evolution? When the first few evolved (lets pretend the universe isn't infinite, and their odd theories are correct for a moment, and they're not), bear in mind, there stars billions of years older than earth, such as zeta retticuli, and that means there are ETS billions of years ahead of us technologically speaking, and those have terraformed the universe, created life everywhere, seeded everything, have cities in space, and utilize many asteroids, and basically clone everything, and theres nary a piece of empty real estate out there and unending combinations of life. Just saying!



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
But Earth..we know and of this one planet, it is 100% in finding life on planets.

As discussed in another topic, knowing that there is life on Earth in no way allows us to extrapolate to other planets and say sure there is life on any of them. We could very easily be the only planet in the entire universe with life on it, just as we are the only planet in the entire universe that is the third planet orbiting around our Sun. We are unique in an infinite number of ways, and that uniqueness might carry over to being the only one where a bunch of dead chemicals happened to stick together and create a living thing. Or however life happens. We really don't know.

It's true that we've only started our planetary explorations. But of all the planets and moons and asteroids in our Solar System, we still haven't found life anywhere but Earth. The only way we can really be sure that there is alien life (or civilizations) is to find it. And if we can rule out contamination, then the most we can say is that life happened at least twice. But no more.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift

Originally posted by MysterX
reply to post by theone88
 

One in a million equates to around 300,000 in our Galaxy alone....
Scaled up to Universal numbers, it's estimated there are between 150 Billion to 200 Billion Galaxies in the Universe...150 - 200 Billion X 300,000 potential civilisations is a very, very, very big number..if my maths are right, it's about 45 Trillion civilisations, at only one per million star systems.

You gotta watch out when you start saying so many civilizations exist, because the more you have, the more difficult it becomes to justify why we don't have even the tiniest shred of evidence for a single one of them. Quarantine? And 300,000 civilizations are all going to agree on that, without one of them deciding otherwise?

That many civilizations would be hard to miss, and yet... where are they?


I'm not saying that 300,000 civilisations exist in our Galaxy, i'm saying that would be the approximate number based on the general calculations quoted by UC Berkely at the start of this thread.

Estimates are based on the numbers given, of around 1 per 1 Million...estimates are there are 300 Billion stars in our Galaxy, most seem to have planetary systems...hence, based on the numbers in the quote, 300,000 civilisations are estimated statistically to exist at 1 per million. Then scale that up by the estimated number of Galaxies thought to exist in the Universe.

Nobody is saying that X amount of civilisation DO exist, that would be rediculous considering we don't know with any real degree of accuracy how many stars exist in our own small, unremarkable Galaxy let alone how many planetary systems there actually are around those stars.

Reading through this site, we're not even 100% sure how many stars are in our SOLAR SYSTEM, 1 or 2...so relax, i'm not saying this is absolutely how many civilisations are actually out there.

But...of course, any reasonable person would say that there must be a huge number out there, in many different stages of development...there's members of at least one debating the numbers right now.





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