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"Trying to communicate with distant aliens is irresponsible." Debate beezzer vs SonoftheSun

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posted on Apr, 26 2013 @ 01:25 PM
Good evening ladies and gents. I'd like to thank the mods, staff, admin for this forum and oppourtunity to debate.

Tonight's debate is on the irresponsibility of trying to communicate with distant aliens.

I'd like to visit several aspects to this.

First is practicality. Where do we try to communicate? How do we try to communicate?

Space is a really big place.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

-Douglas Adams

So where do we send a signal? How long do we send it? At what blinky light in the night-time sky do we zap with our limited communication techniques?

And that leads me to the second point.

How do we communicate? Are we to assume that they use radio waves at the same frequency? What if they encode messages in pulsar-bursts? Or on a colour scale?

We anthropomorphise space by assuming that alien cultures will communicate the same as we do. Yet species on our own planet communicate by sound, pheromone, colour display, etc.

I just don't see it as very practical and highly unlikely that we could actually communicate with another intelligent species with our current limits.

I now turn over the debate to SonoftheSun.


posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 04:59 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to yet another interesting topic that came up for debate but before I get into it, I would like to extend my thanks to Beezzer for accepting this Match, the Moderators and Administrators for keeping this amazing Board exciting and finally you, the reader, without whom all of this would be worthless.

Trying to communicate with distant aliens is smart move

”In the deepest sense the search for extraterrestrial life is a search for ourselves”
- Carl Sagan

From the early dawn of man, we’ve looked to the sky, to this amazing sea of stars portrayed as Heaven and wondered; Is there life out there?

Nowadays, most will agree that it’s a given. The Universe as we know it is filled with life. According to Paul Horowitz, Harvard Physicist, life in our Universe is not only guaranteed but life in our Galaxy itself is so overwhelmingly likely that he’d give us almost any odds we’d like !

And because of our technological advancements, the search for life has become a reality, using different approaches and all within the last century:

[color=gold]NASA Programs

Our little baby steps mostly started back in 1972 with the launch of Pioneer 10 and 11 and then Voyager 1 and 2 that carry our little golden greeting cards. While it isn’t really pro active, our scientific community didn’t take any chances and gave them the human and Earth profiles in case they would encounter life.

With the launch of the KEPLER Mission back in March 2009, the search not only continues but gets more and more exciting; finding exoplanets that could harbour life is no longer a fantasy but a reality.

Kepler – 22

Pictured here is an artist’s depiction of Kepler-22, which was the first exoplanet discovered by Kepler to orbit in a star’s habitable zone. This means that Kepler-22 may have liquid water on it like Earth, making it our closest possible sister planet. As NASA writes, “the planet is 2.4 times the size of Earth, making it the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star like our sun.

We’ve found over a thousand of those exoplanets so far and the facts show that there could be as much as a billion exoplanets such as this one, simply in our Galaxy. And remember folks, we’re just beginning.

[color=gold]The Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence

Or SETI has been ongoing for decades, you’ve all heard about it. Also represented as a passive action as we “listen” to find out what’s out there. Countries from all over the world are tuning in.

In 2013, there are even internet programs on which you can listen in, with the scientific community as a pro active participant in the search. But it gets better and so it should...

[color=gold]ACTIVE SETI

This newer approach is based on an easy conclusion: If others out there are simply listening, as we do, the odds are so vast to find each other that it’s almost impossible and thus one has to make a first move forward and so we did. We send data.

Communication is complex and Beezzer has raised an important question, what is the best way?

We are now sending sounds, messages, mathematical formulas and graphs but the simplest way for another culture to acknowledge that we are intelligent pictures.

ACTIVE SETI are mostly active in the United States, Canada and Russia and I will get deeper into this new approach within the next posts.

But is it really a smart move?

Steven Hawking doesn’t think so and honestly, I am no Hawking but I would strongly disagree. His premises are that we might encounter a savage, barbaric, warmongering race but isn’t that stance a bit human??

On the contrary, we might encounter a race that lives up to better values. Imagine the repercussions?

Incredible advancements in space and earthly technology, medical research, societal concepts that could transform the way we live, the way we see life and the way we think.

In conclusion to this opening statement, I will let Theodore Hesburgh of the University of Notre-Dame have the final words:

We must, all of us, consider the outcome of the search. That search, we believe, is feasible; its outcome is truly important either way. Dare we begin? For us who write here, that question has step-by-step become instead: Dare we delay?

Source 1

Source 2

Mon bon ami Beezzer, the floor is yours.

posted on May, 4 2013 @ 02:57 PM
We send pictures, formulae, messages, music. We send them in the hopes that someone out there will hear.

Lets look at the practicality of the situation.

Is there intelligent life out there?

Most assuredly.

But what kind of intelligence?

We send out a myriad of information, but what assurance do we have that they have the tech to decipher our data?

The odds of intelligent life out there is good.

But what are the odds that the intelligent life has the technological capability and is at a comparable level to our own to interpret the data?

It is presumptuous to think that life out there will be carbon based, bipedal, with funny eyebrows, (ala Star Trek).

It is impractical to assume otherwise.

Now should we listen for patterns in the cosmos? Why not? We do it already, yet we haven't been able to interpret anything yet.

We could be listening to alien Shakespeare or their version of math, but we can't interpret it.

We know whales sing, but what are they saying?
We know dolphins talk, but what do they say?
Insects communicate with light and colour and pheromones, but we still can't talk to them.

It is presumptuous to think we'd be able to have a nice chat with an alien species.

I now turn it back to you, SonoftheSun.

Thank you for your patience in my reply.

posted on May, 6 2013 @ 08:08 AM
June 28th 2011

At a June 27 press conference, Russian astronomer Andrei Finkelstein said that extraterrestrials definitely exist, and that we're likely to find them within two decades.

Many factors are clued in to make such an assumption.

1 – 50 years have passed since we started to listen in. The technology has greatly improved; our trials and errors have been fine tuned. The messages that are sent nowadays depict – without a doubt – that the transmitter (us) is intelligent.

2 – We’ve gone from beaming to very narrow bands of the galaxy to a much broader range. We’ve found 1000 exoplanets thus far and will be enlarging this number to a million within the next two decades.

3 – Finkelstein’s numbers are based on the fact that if there are any civilization out there that has been transmitting OR listening for the last twenty years, either we will pick up their signals or they will pick up ours.

Those numbers are peer reviewed and accepted by most astronomers.

But what happens if it doesn’t occur?

Those numbers are going to skyrocket between now and 2050, expanding the search to close to 100 million exoplanets.

I wish to remind everyone at this point that there are (as far as we know so far) close to a prospected one billion exoplanets, just in our galaxy.

If there is life out there – which is an assumption for this debate – we will find it. No doubt.

The real question – and the real motive of this debate – is:

Is it irresponsible to try to communicate with them or them with us, based on the assumption that we will eventually find life out there.

As I mentioned in the opening post, scientists like Hawking think that it might be a dangerous move. As I mentioned in the opening post, other scientists tend to think the opposite.

Let’s not forget that every time we take a look up to the stars, we take a deep look in the Universe’s past. Some of the stars we see have exploded thousands or even millions of years ago.

Chances are that a civilization out there might have sent transmissions towards us hundreds or thousands of years ago and are simply waiting for a reply.

My opponent has been steady in his rebuttal that a civilization out there might not decipher our message, based on the fact that they might not understand it or interpret it or have the intelligence to decipher it. I strongly disagree.

Seth Shostak, the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. states and I quote:

Intelligent aliens probably do have heads and appendages, though. "Having a head seems to be a good thing. Lots of organisms have heads and it seems to be a very efficient model. Having appendages is also important," Shostak said. "If they were dolphins then they wouldn't build radio transmitters.

I would also add whales to that definition.

There is also the fact that life out there has more chances of being more evolved than us than the opposite, considering that we are in our childhood, space wise and compared to other sectors of the Universe.

Not only would another species understand our signal but they would most surely answer. Our math is simple (primary numbers), our maps from where we are is easy to recognize; pictures shows bipedal life and odds are that a civilisation out there are most probably bipedal as well. Any civilisation out there would know right away that there is another intelligent life form out there besides their own. See Source below.

The challenge is on our side, really, as it might take us quite a long time to decipher what they’d send us.

If we would discover a more advanced species, chances are that they would be more advanced technologically, morally and spiritually. Warmongering species or an environment irresponsible species most probably would have died away a long time ago as – let’s face it - this might be our fate as well, before anyone finds us.

An advanced civilisation has much more chances of being more evolved that us medically, technologically and morally.

Finding such a species could literally be the difference between fundamentally changing the way we live or face eventual extinction, either from wars between ourselves or destroying our environment.

Imagine the leap of knowledge that would be at hand...

Cures to debilitating, chronic or teminal illnesses, space travel and transport technology, cleaner energy, a different way of understanding life in the Universe, ways of returning our planet to a more stable state, a different basis for living as a society are just a few concepts that could be awaiting us.

Is it irresponsible to try and communicate with distant aliens?

Heck no.


Beezzer, back to you.

edit on 5/6/13 by Hefficide because: added link

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 03:48 AM
"Trying to communicate with distant aliens is irresponsible."

Have any of you ever gone to a foreign country and committed a faux pas just because you were unfamiliar with the culture?

Have any of you ever gone to another part of whatever country you live in and commit a faux pas just because you were unfamiliar with some customs?

Have any of you ever gone to a relatives house and commit a faux pas just because you were unfamiliar with their personal customs?

We've discussed the technological issues, let me now just close with the idea that if, just if, they did have the tech to translate, . . . . .

How would they interpret?

A smile is a show of teeth and can be misinterpreted as aggression.
A sneer and a lift of a chin, while exposing the throat, could be misinterpreted as submission.

We don't have "babble fish" (Douglas Adams).
We don't have "Universal translators" (Star Trek).

We are assuming appendages, a head, phalanges, torso. . . .

We are assuming equal or greater technology. . . . .

We are assuming peaceful societies. . . .

We should now "assume" that our cultural, verbal, non-verbal, physical communication will be translated, interpreted correctly?

We can't even do it on our own planet! We can't even do it in our own neighborhoods, our own villages, our own towns, our own countries!

Perhaps that is why we haven't made contact. Because the other cultures are aware that it may be irresponsible to do so without extensive study. (and probes?

Maybe there are tons of planets out there teeming with life, but even they know that it would be irresponsible to just open the door and say "Howdy!"

(Maybe they say, "Howdy" by destroying a planetary moon and turning half the population into small squids)

I woul like to take this time and thank my opponent, staff, and ATS for the oppourtunity to debate.

posted on May, 18 2013 @ 09:33 AM
Dear readers,

As we are about to conclude on this fascinating issue, I would like to take this opportunity to once more thank Beezzer for accepting this debate and expressing his opinion on the topic with top notch class. It has been an honor.

For the sake of this debate, which is still highly speculative, let us say that life out there – which we are about to find as I explained in the previous posts – would have some of our traits, being found in some distant goldilocks zone, where life would have evolved similar to us with a constant display of carbon based form, water, gravity and DNA, as we did and as anyone would find out by searching a bit into scientific essays. Highly speculative, yet highly probable.

If we were to find such life, what would the best move be? Avoid or initiate contact?

Trying to communicate with distant aliens is a smart move

Conclusion and Impacts

Finding distant alien life and starting communications would alter the way we live, the way we think, forever.

The very first deep impact would be on our world’s religions. “God has created us in his image” would no longer be a possibility. Jesus having died on the cross to save us from our sins would no longer have any meaning. Would he have died for all life in the Universe as well? Profound ideology changes would take effect. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other forms of God worshipping would have to be reconsidered. We would not be unique anymore.

The second impact would be on society in and of itself. Race and color would no longer matter, we would be humans, mankind as finding distant alien life and starting to communicate would most definitely unite us, as a global race. It would be Us and Them. No doubt.

Imagine for a second, the long term process that would follow. Wars would no longer have any meaning. Starvation would most probably be eradicated. Our need to conquer would transcend to a need to stick together, re-educating ourselves at the most basic levels, using our deep senses of compassion and love.

Our political arenas would have to get a serious rehash. Governments would probably still be needed as we do believe in hierarchical venues but the way we envision it would forever be transformed.

Our society (as of the late centuries) has been dealing with individuality, cocooning, shaping our future with egotistical tendencies but this could be all about to fall. Thinking as a group has always been more rewarding than thinking as egoistical individuals. Our strength has always been in numbers. Brainstorming is pretty hard to achieve alone. Finding distant alien life and starting to communicate would put all of us in a position of Mankind, the group, the all of us, the whole.

A distant alien society would have more chances of benefitting us than the opposite.

A race ahead of us a few hundred thousand years would have technological data that could alter the way we live through medical processes that, let’s be honest, we could only possibly dream of nowadays.

A race ahead of us a few hundred thousand years could have the means to prolong life through biogenetics that are so advanced that we could possibly start living for hundreds of perhaps thousands of years before death would make the strike.

A race ahead of us a few hundred thousand years ahead of us could show us the right way in governing ourselves, without the corruption, the cover ups, the corporation and banking scams. Think of the possibilities...

Trying to understand a different civilisation than ours would lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, as a race, undoubtedly.

A deeper understanding of ourselves would lead us to a deeper understanding of our planet, our bio diversity and our bio ecology, undoubtedly.

A deeper understanding of life as we know it. If there is to be an end of the world in the near future, I would easily stand up to proclaim that life as we know it is indeed about to end. Through finding distant alien life and starting communication.

In conclusion, I will say that this could very well be the next step in our evolution.

And I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Thank you for reading.



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