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If Seti found evidence of alien life,

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:10 PM


'In a sense, we've run that experiment,' says Seth Shostak, chief alien hunter at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

After a day off recovering from jet lag, which I somehow end up spending whizzing up and down the hills of San Francisco on a Segway, I head off down Highway 101 to Mountain View to record the first interview in my Little Atoms road trip. I'm meeting Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Seti Institute and presenter of their excellent Big Picture Science radio show and podcast.

Seth is the public face of Seti, he's the SETI GUY. At least that's what it says on his car registration plate. Seti is an abbreviation of Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, and that's what Seth does. He's a full-time alien hunter.


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#2    Lcvec


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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:27 PM

I'm not sure it would be completely fine if we found intelligent alien life, at least for the religious groups. I agree that a conspiracy sounds like nonsense though, even if some people do go crazy over it, the findings would come up sooner or later so why spend so much money and time hiding it?

#3    bison


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:14 AM

View PostLcvec, on 21 May 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:

I'm not sure it would be completely fine if we found intelligent alien life, at least for the religious groups. I agree that a conspiracy sounds like nonsense though, even if some people do go crazy over it, the findings would come up sooner or later so why spend so much money and time hiding it?
  A conspiracy to conceal the discovery of an extraterrestrial radio signal very probably wouldn't work, even if governments wanted to try it. In the process of confirming any signal heard, the news would go out fairly quickly to radio observatories all over the world. Before the governments even knew of the signal, the news would be all over the scientific community.   Just try and keep a bunch of academics  quiet  about such a momentous discovery!  Remember the 'close call' Dr. Seth Shostak spoke about in the article, where they thought they might have finally found the real thing for the space of about a day? Even news of that leaked out in a few hours.
*****In any case there wouldn't be any obvious reason for governments to try to conceal such a signal.  A signal out of the void from a civilization hundreds of light years away probably wouldn't  seem particularly threatening, at least initially.  It could turn out to be a problem, of course, perhaps even a very big one, but that would depend on what sort of information the signal contained. Depending on the strength of the signal,  It might take quite a while to build equipment good enough to extract a message, rather than just detect the bare existence of an obviously intelligent signal. There might also be considerable delays as the message was deciphered and interpreted.

*****One can imagine governments and conservative religious institutions watching that process with some degree of unease. A bad reaction by the conservative religious has been considered in speculative fiction, including Dr. Carl Sagan's novel 'Contact'. If someone believes that Earth is unique in all the universe; subject to a creators special favor, then the very existence of more technically advanced race of beings not so favored or 'saved' could be very disturbing to them. So, too, could be the news that such a species endorses a more advanced form of the science we practice, which itself is rejected in many respects by such persons.

Edited by bison, 22 May 2012 - 02:16 AM.

#4    nephilim12


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

what you mean is actual face-up contact and interaction, because the evidence since dawn of time, right from the stone age and days of cave paintings seem to prove that there have been sightings of beings with high technology who were capable of flight in machines.
But such sightings can at best be dismissed as 'mass illusion of a collective conscience.'
SETI is fully aware of all these encounters, cave paintings, rock sculptures, paintings in the sistine chapel in the Vatican, depicting advanced flying machines, etc.
What they want is a face-up 'Hello, i'm Zorg from the constellation Orion' to make it official. Hard, recorded, photographed, filmed, undeniable PROOF.
As far as public reaction is concerned, i'm sure most people would not be able to handle the truth and there would be a total breakdown of all established norms and beliefs, in short total chaos.
Now while people have a right to know, the responsibility of ensuring order also rests with the administration.
And except in the case of an invasion or serious disruption in normal life like an unwarranted attack on aircraft, we DON'T NEED to know since there seems to be no malicious intent from all of the recorded alleged encounters.
In fact, I heard a lot of stories of humans shooting at UFO's. So it would seem they have more to fear from us than we from them.

#5    chainsawcam


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

They wouldn't be allowed to tell the sheeple!

#6    Sean Creaney

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:59 PM

The news of Alien life wouldnt be surprising to christians . " I have other sheep who are not of this flock "  ,  "There are many rooms in my fathers kingdom , I am going to prepare one for you "  . " I am the bright morning star , I will give you the bright morning star "
If the Earth were a Sun , together with our Sun , is there a Planet that would be lit by them constantly .

#7    Timonthy



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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:24 PM

Probably very similar to now.

There would still be believers, skeptics, conspiracy theorists and probably not a lot would change for a long while.

I'd be happy ;)

#8    King Fluffs

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

We'd buy 'em donuts.

#9    OverSword


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

I would go crazy.  I'd murder and loot before finaly offing myself in a most public firey death!

#10    BorisIWantToKnow


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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

Well it depends what kind of signal it would be. If they get a direct message: " We're aliens, hi we're from outer space", the reactions would be similar of an exploding H-bomb in the press :D.

Edited by BorisIWantToKnow, 22 May 2012 - 09:17 PM.

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:21 AM

THe biggest Four letter Word in our dictionary is " IF "  or was that "Fnnn" ? no way Seti is going to ever give up though !

This is a Work in Progress!

#12    cjr3285


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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:40 AM

It would be doubted. People would dismiss the evidence as hoaxed, and any, and all, evidence would be said to be fabricated to bring the institution publicity.  The only way people would believe in alien proof is if they landed here.  Well, if E.T. is intelligent then they would know better than to land here at this time with all the world events occurring.

#13    csspwns


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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:03 AM

did the WOW signal count as from aliens?

#14    scheming_dreaming


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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:35 AM

everybody would assume there was some giant coverup going on...same as now

#15    badeskov


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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:39 AM

View Postcsspwns, on 23 May 2012 - 02:03 AM, said:

did the WOW signal count as from aliens?

It is denoted as having unknown origin. There was not enough time to eliminate/verify terrestrial origins, so we simply do not know - unfortunately.


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