Search for extraterrestrial life is growing

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rdale

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I heard a neat analogy in one of Rob Bell's recent tours... He said that we'd never know if an alien existed let alone tried to communicate with us. Think about an ant standing next to the land where an expressway was being built. How would you tell the ant what was happening, and what it was going to be used for?
 

iMONITOR

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I've often thought it was very naive of us to assume aliens would use a form of radio to communicate, just because we do. Radio to aliens might be as primitive as smoke signals, or beating on logs, is to us.
 
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N_Jay

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That is why the really smart people involved in these endeavors have used the laws of physics (the best constants we have) to define the methods of communications which are likely to be successful.

What do you propose that would be so much better than RADIO, that it not only supplants radio as a primary form of communication, but actually removes all traces of the use of RF energy?
 

iMONITOR

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What do you propose that would be so much better than RADIO, that it not only supplants radio as a primary form of communication, but actually removes all traces of the use of RF energy?

That's a loaded question! Considering the method for communication could be something mankind is not familiar with, the possibilities could be endless!
 

KC1UA

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Well I certainly hope they're more advanced than we are. Texting while operating a starship could result in a most disastrous accident.
 

rdale

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Texting while operating a starship could result in a most disastrous accident.
It shouldn't be a problem - the Intergalactic Confederacy banned texting while traveling at light speed, so since they took all that time in making the law you know everyone will stop what they've done for years and start obeying ;)
 
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N_Jay

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That's a loaded question! Considering the method for communication could be something mankind is not familiar with, the possibilities could be endless!
While the possibilities are endless, the probabilities can be evaluated.
 

DPD1

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Unfortunately, some recent studies have indicated that signals may not reach nearly as far in space as they once thought. The whole idea of signals going on forever seems much less likely today. Which isn't a big surprise when you really think about it.
 
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N_Jay

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Unfortunately, some recent studies have indicated that signals may not reach nearly as far in space as they once thought. The whole idea of signals going on forever seems much less likely today. Which isn't a big surprise when you really think about it.
Link?

Radio propagation is well understood, and well proven by our deep space probes to date.
 
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N_Jay

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Only if you discount our understanding of physics, or
discount the stability of the laws of physics.
 

mdulrich

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So we should put our search on hold until we discover this superior form of communications that is already being used by ants? :D

Mike
 

iMONITOR

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Based on the laws of Physics.

Those laws do not change with "understandings".
So you're close minded to the possibility that an alien life form could exist and function in a totally different way then you're familiar with? Think outside the box. An alien life form might be in the form of a liquid, gas, or maybe in an element not yet discovered by man.
 

texasemt13

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Well considering that the "space" between us is filled with all sorts of particles (From H+ mostly up to, at highest mass, Fe2+) it is very likely that our signals don't propagate as we think. But we also analyze the signals we receive (not just transmit) so we can tell how "space" effects signals to a point.

What I don't think we can account for yet (as it's really hard to "pin down") is dark matter and dark energy. We still don't know ways to really examine this, especially in such low pressure and low temperature, or as in the case with stars, high temperature and high pressure.

I would say that radio would be a very likely source, considering everything gives off radio waves (where radio is really a misnomer here- electromagnetic waves would be a better one)- except dark matter.

Thanks for the article.
 
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N_Jay

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So you're close minded to the possibility that an alien life form could exist and function in a totally different way then you're familiar with? Think outside the box. An alien life form might be in the form of a liquid, gas, or maybe in an element not yet discovered by man.
No, I am not "Closed Minded" to possibilities. I am just respectfully minded to the probabilities involved.

We have already created elements outside the naturally existing ones. We have studied them and fairly well understand the physical principles involved. We also understand a great deal about "life". There is much more to learn, but to "believe" that these life forms could work outside the realm of physics as we know it is fairly far down the probability curve.
 

DPD1

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Link?

Radio propagation is well understood, and well proven by our deep space probes to date.
Can't find it now, but there was a couple articles online, and they also talked about it on a science show a while back. I think it was Universe or something like that.

As far as existing technology and theoretical technology... I personally think that if there was a highly evolved way to travel or communicate through the vast distances, we should have at least stumbled onto a pretty solid theory of it by now. Even if it took insane amounts of power that are mechanically beyond our reach, we could still test the theory fairly well. But I don't believe there has been anything yet. And one could assume that with the high odds of life being out there, that at least some of them would have stumbled onto it by now as well. So if there is anything better than what is already known, it would appear to not be that great a leap. I know comparisons are always made to the "flat earth" scenario. But we have come a very long way since then. I find it hard to believe that there is some amazing way to overcome the distance, without so much as a hint of theory yet or anything. Theory a little more substantial than just relativity. Which really does more to shoot down the chances than anything.
 

datainmotion

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Because I would fall into the "factless dreamer" category, I would say science, much like religion, helps us feel like we actually know quite a bit about the universe around us. It gives us a sense of security and stability that most humans need and want.

As we progress as a species, we may stumble onto a factual premise now and again much like a blind squirrel will eventually stumble onto a nut, but mostly I believe we, as a species, need and demand "order" to fit our definition of order.

"Factless Dreamer" copyright 2009 N_Jay
 
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