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SETI search shows no signs of intell. life


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#91    SurgeTechnologies

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 03:25 PM

Mah... If it could happen on this planet it could happen anywhere else.. life that is..

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#92    seeder

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 13 April 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

I must admit that I have always looked at the Drake Equation as a waste of time: an attempt to link an illusion of precion to something where precision is impossible.  One can even question whether or not he has adequately captured all the variables.


As said already, Drakes EQ is a set of assumptions and has its critics..

Criticism

Criticism of the Drake equation follows mostly from the observation that several terms in the equation are largely or entirely based on conjecture. Thus the equation cannot be used to draw firm conclusions of any kind. As Michael Crichton, a science fiction author, stated in a 2003 lecture at Caltech:[37]

The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. [...] As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless...

Another objection is that the very form of the Drake equation assumes that civilizations arise and then die out within their original solar systems. If interstellar colonization is possible, then this assumption is invalid, and the equations of population dynamics would apply instead.[38]

One reply to such criticisms[39] is that even though the Drake equation currently involves speculation about unmeasured parameters, it was not meant to be science, but intended as a way to stimulate dialogue on these topics. Then the focus becomes how to proceed experimentally. Indeed, Drake originally formulated the equation merely as an agenda for discussion at the Green Bank conference.[40]

http://en.wikipedia....ation#Criticism


Over and above all that tho, SETI and its ambitions, while all good and positive, have barely scratched the surface of the search. When you think, that there are more planets and stars than every single grain of sand on all the beaches of the world, and then some...(try to picture that), then our searches and the distance they travel probably equate to half a teaspoon or less of the same sand. In fact probably lots less...

Heres a good read:

Why The SETI Project Is Doomed To Fail: A Radio Engineer's Perspective On The Project And Its Prospects

Lets begin by examining the basics, for those of you with a non-technical background. For a radio circuit to be established, it is necessary to generate a signal, transmit that signal through space, recieve that signal in a reciever sensitive enough to perceive that signal amidst the "noise" (self-generated interference) that every receiver generates, or the radio noise that comes from natural cosmic sources (or, in some cases, man-made noise). That noise has to be overcome by making the signal strong enough to overpower the inherent noise of the receiver, which is the result of the laws of physics and can be minimized to some degree, but not eliminated. Additionally, the farther the signal travels through space, the more of it is lost through spreading out - a problem called "path loss." It is why distant headlights are more faint than close ones. So a communications circuit, whether man made or one being conducted with extraterrestrials, has to overcome these two problems - receiver noise and path loss.

http://www.bidstrup.com/seti.htm


and just to rain on the parade.. (or offer alternative views)


Aliens can't hear us, says astronomer! Fainter broadcasting signals and digital switchover mean Earth will soon be undetectable to extraterrestrials

Human beings are making it harder for extraterrestrials to pick up our broadcasts and make contact, the world's leading expert on the search for alien life warned yesterday.

At a special meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Seti), the US astronomer Frank Drake – who has been seeking radio signals from alien civilisations for almost 50 years – told scientists that earthlings were making it less likely they would be heard in space.

Astronomers assumed that a standard technique for any alien intelligence trying to pinpoint other civilisations in the galaxy would involve seeking signals from TV, radio and radar broadcasts, Drake told the meeting at the Royal Society in London.

Scientists on Earth have been using this method, without success so far, to find evidence of intelligent aliens. The theory is that elsewhere in the galaxy other civilisations would probably be doing the same.

An example of this interstellar eavesdropping is dramatised in the Jodie Foster film Contact. Based on a novel by the US astronomer Carl Sagan, it tells the story of an alien civilisation that makes contact after picking up TV broadcasts from Earth.

"The trouble is that we are making ourselves more and more difficult to be heard," said Dr Drake. "We are broadcasting in much more efficient ways today and are making our signals fainter and fainter."

http://www.guardian....r-us-astronomer



.

Edited by seeder, 13 April 2013 - 03:52 PM.

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#93    badeskov

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:37 PM

View Postseeder, on 13 April 2013 - 03:50 PM, said:

As said already, Drakes EQ is a set of assumptions and has its critics..

Criticism

Criticism of the Drake equation follows mostly from the observation that several terms in the equation are largely or entirely based on conjecture. Thus the equation cannot be used to draw firm conclusions of any kind. As Michael Crichton, a science fiction author, stated in a 2003 lecture at Caltech:[37]

The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. [...] As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless...

Another objection is that the very form of the Drake equation assumes that civilizations arise and then die out within their original solar systems. If interstellar colonization is possible, then this assumption is invalid, and the equations of population dynamics would apply instead.[38]

One reply to such criticisms[39] is that even though the Drake equation currently involves speculation about unmeasured parameters, it was not meant to be science, but intended as a way to stimulate dialogue on these topics. Then the focus becomes how to proceed experimentally. Indeed, Drake originally formulated the equation merely as an agenda for discussion at the Green Bank conference.[40]

http://en.wikipedia....ation#Criticism


Over and above all that tho, SETI and its ambitions, while all good and positive, have barely scratched the surface of the search. When you think, that there are more planets and stars than every single grain of sand on all the beaches of the world, and then some...(try to picture that), then our searches and the distance they travel probably equate to half a teaspoon or less of the same sand. In fact probably lots less...

Heres a good read:

Why The SETI Project Is Doomed To Fail: A Radio Engineer's Perspective On The Project And Its Prospects

Lets begin by examining the basics, for those of you with a non-technical background. For a radio circuit to be established, it is necessary to generate a signal, transmit that signal through space, recieve that signal in a reciever sensitive enough to perceive that signal amidst the "noise" (self-generated interference) that every receiver generates, or the radio noise that comes from natural cosmic sources (or, in some cases, man-made noise). That noise has to be overcome by making the signal strong enough to overpower the inherent noise of the receiver, which is the result of the laws of physics and can be minimized to some degree, but not eliminated. Additionally, the farther the signal travels through space, the more of it is lost through spreading out - a problem called "path loss." It is why distant headlights are more faint than close ones. So a communications circuit, whether man made or one being conducted with extraterrestrials, has to overcome these two problems - receiver noise and path loss.

http://www.bidstrup.com/seti.htm


and just to rain on the parade.. (or offer alternative views)


Aliens can't hear us, says astronomer! Fainter broadcasting signals and digital switchover mean Earth will soon be undetectable to extraterrestrials

Human beings are making it harder for extraterrestrials to pick up our broadcasts and make contact, the world's leading expert on the search for alien life warned yesterday.

At a special meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Seti), the US astronomer Frank Drake – who has been seeking radio signals from alien civilisations for almost 50 years – told scientists that earthlings were making it less likely they would be heard in space.

Astronomers assumed that a standard technique for any alien intelligence trying to pinpoint other civilisations in the galaxy would involve seeking signals from TV, radio and radar broadcasts, Drake told the meeting at the Royal Society in London.

Scientists on Earth have been using this method, without success so far, to find evidence of intelligent aliens. The theory is that elsewhere in the galaxy other civilisations would probably be doing the same.

An example of this interstellar eavesdropping is dramatised in the Jodie Foster film Contact. Based on a novel by the US astronomer Carl Sagan, it tells the story of an alien civilisation that makes contact after picking up TV broadcasts from Earth.

"The trouble is that we are making ourselves more and more difficult to be heard," said Dr Drake. "We are broadcasting in much more efficient ways today and are making our signals fainter and fainter."

http://www.guardian....r-us-astronomer



.

I would like to add my sad two cents to this. In my honest opinion, one cannot critique the Drake equation unless one has an issue with the number of factors in it. It is merely a probability equation. What one can critique is the values put into it. Just like one can't really critique a mortgage calculator, whereas one can critique the numbers entered into it.

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#94    DONTEATUS

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:04 PM

View Postbadeskov, on 13 April 2013 - 09:37 PM, said:

I would like to add my sad two cents to this. In my honest opinion, one cannot critique the Drake equation unless one has an issue with the number of factors in it. It is merely a probability equation. What one can critique is the values put into it. Just like one can't really critique a mortgage calculator, whereas one can critique the numbers entered into it.

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#95    Occams Razor

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:32 PM

Quote

Actually, to the best of my knowledge Drake's equation suggests no such thing. Drake's equation is merely a probability spelled out and whatever it suggests is solely based on the numbers stuffed into it. Numbers we can currently only offer guesses towards.

True, Drakes "equation" is an estimate based on probability, based on Drakes personal opinion. But the figure of 10,000 civilizations is what Drake comes up with himself when he 'stuffs in' his figures.



Quote

Yes and no. Given that electromagnetic radiation is, to the best of our knowledge, one of the most efficient means to do radar and long distance communications over spans where it is not viable to put down different infra-structures (optical fibers, for instance), we should still expect they would radiate in certain wavelength bands. However, that is not to say that we can detect them. Our TV/radio broadcasts are essentially drowned out in noise by the time they leave the Solar system Some high power emitters such as the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) should be detecable out to a couple of hundred light years, but as they are frequency hopping and doing all kinds of other tricks to avoid jamming, I am sure ET would be rather annoyed trying to home in on it.
  

Yes, BMEWS is a UHF "frequency hopping" radar system, but the spectrum of the hopping is quite narrow, I believe it's no more than 500khz. This sort of bandwidth on a 425mhz signal is nothing really, this frequency hopping and the patterns in the pulse width and repetition rate would still indicate a synthetic signal generated by a device, which is all that's required when looking for a technologically advanced alien species. I doubt the BMEWS signals would be detectable at a couple of hundred light years though. The sort of thing that is far more likely to be noticed by ET's version of SETI is the 3 terawatt ERP radar from Aricebo used for planetary surface mapping.



Quote

All radio emissions would follow the inverse square law, meaning that the power at a given distance would Pz ~ P0/zs. In other words, each time distance is increased by a factor of 10, the power that can be detected is reduced by a factor of 100. Thus it does not take long before any signal is buried in back ground noise.

True, but SETI have heard what they consider good candidate signals in the past.



Quote

Agreed, they have some pretty good equipment, but I am actually not surprised that they have not detected anything yet.

Indeed, especially when you consider they only looked at each of the 86 extra solar planets for 5 minutes each, and they only looked at frequencies within the "water hole"...  between 1.4 and 1.7ghz. I think this suggests that what they're really hoping for is an alien species that want's to be detected and is radiating a high power beacon in the "water hole" between the hydrogen and hydroxyl spikes in the microwave noise floor. The beacon would also have to be radiated in the galactic plane, a loud deliberate shout hello. Any aliens doing the same sort of search are not going to see the BMEWS transmissions, in fact they're going to see what we're seeing, nothing. Their equipment could of course be a lot better, they could be looking at a much larger chunk of radio spectrum, one that could include the 425mhz BMEWS transmissions, and their signal processing could be orders of magnitude better than ours.





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