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Still Waters

What's Taking E.T. So Long to Find Us?

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Mathematically speaking, ET would have found us by now -- if he exists -- so we’re being consciously avoided for some reason, a new study concludes.

“We’re either alone, or they’re out there and leave us alone,” mathematician Thomas Hair, with Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, told Discovery News.

Hair, who presented his research at the Mathematical Association of America in Boston earlier this month, based his approximation of what he considered to be extremely conservative estimates for how long it would take a society to muster up the resources and technological know-how to leave its home world and travel to another star. Even at the relatively sedate pace of 1 percent of light-speed, the aliens would arrive at their nearest neighbor star in about 500 years.

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Why are there only two options? We're either alone or they're leaving us alone? Why can't a third possibility be that they aren't as advanced as we believe them to be? We automatically assume that any other beings in the universe are far more advanced than we are, but we have no proof of that. A fourth possibility could be that they just don't care whether or not they are alone in the universe.

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I don't really buy into the premise that an Alien civilazation would ony stick around each new solar system for 500 years at a time, but I agree with Hair that there is nothing here in the way of resources on Earth that Aliens would need that they can't get much more easily elsewhere. There is no reason for Aliens to come here except out of curiousity to learn about life on Earth just as 'we' ourselves are very curious about Alien Life, it's just curiousity on our part we don't look for them because we want their resources.

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What a great big truckload of drivel. Didn't this ludicruous argument come up before? I suppose this Prof. Hair does know how big this one galaxy, let alone the whole Universe, is, does he? But he's concluded that, just because he doesn't believe that we, on this one planet out of, almost certainly, millions (if the theory that every single star might have at least one Planet is right), haven't heard from another civilisation yet, that means they don't exist anywhere? Where do these people get their qualfications from? Something they clicked on from Google Ads?

* The more I read that story, the dafter it gets. "Any ancient civilization is probably not biological."? What on earth is that supposed to mean? They're disembodied intelligences? How does he conclude that that's probably the case?

"Whatever the reason we're being ignored, there is no chance ET, if he exists, does not know we are here, Hair said, pointing to telescopes, such as NASA's Kepler observatory, which can detect planets around other stars." Again, I'm sorry? We've recently been able to deduce that there are most probably planets around nearby stars from observing gravitational wobbles and so on, but I don't think we've been able to actually look at them yet, let alone tell if there's likely to be any civilisations on them. What is this guy on? And what kind of a name is Professor Hair anyway?

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How do they know we are being ignored? Maybe they are already here

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How do they know we are being ignored? Maybe they are already here

that's the thing. The good Prof. Hair(!) seems to be one of the "well, why haven't they landed on the White House Lawn" school.

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I don't really buy into the premise that an Alien civilazation would ony stick around each new solar system for 500 years at a time, but I agree with Hair that there is nothing here in the way of resources on Earth that Aliens would need that they can't get much more easily elsewhere. There is no reason for Aliens to come here except out of curiousity to learn about life on Earth just as 'we' ourselves are very curious about Alien Life, it's just curiousity on our part we don't look for them because we want their resources.

I dont quite agree with that. There is actually 1 thing on our planet that aliens may want. That being us. They may want us for either some sort of food or possibly slave labor. Granted that may be unlikely but still a possiblity.

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The galaxy is pretty big, if these guys haven't noticed... So if there is, say, only one civilization that had space traveling capabilities, and they were on the other end of the galaxy.. then unless they have faster-than-light travel, it would take billions of years to get here? Actually, even the nearest solar system is far, far away..

An other idea is that there are hundreds of thousands of other civilizations out there, but ours is the most advanced in our galaxy.

Is that possible? Yeah.

Is it likely..? I don't know..

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Yes; entirely the wrong question to ask and one that indicates a degree of naivety.

Better questions:

"Why are the more evolved not trying to integrate with us"? Answer - the human race is mad and savage.

"Why are we attracting apparently malevolent species"? Answer - like attracts like; behave like animals you become animals and are vulnerable to animal treatment.

Sad but so simple really.

Edited by zoser

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The galaxy is pretty big, if these guys haven't noticed... So if there is, say, only one civilization that had space traveling capabilities, and they were on the other end of the galaxy.. then unless they have faster-than-light travel, it would take billions of years to get here? Actually, even the nearest solar system is far, far away..

They lost me at "Mathematically speaking..." since their math leaves them no doubt that the universe is crammed full of advanced space-traveling civilizations everywhere.

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How do they know we are being ignored? Maybe they are already here

Yes. Maybe they are waiting until our space program reaches the capability of warp speed before making first contact.

They don't feel the need to contact us yet.

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Just remember what Jeff Goldbloom said in Jurassic Park " Life Finds a Way"

We may just be at the very begining of this time line of contact !

Its all very possible ,and also its possible the E.T is waiting for us to Grow Up !

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What a great big truckload of drivel. Didn't this ludicruous argument come up before? I suppose this Prof. Hair does know how big this one galaxy, let alone the whole Universe, is, does he? But he's concluded that, just because he doesn't believe that we, on this one planet out of, almost certainly, millions (if the theory that every single star might have at least one Planet is right), haven't heard from another civilisation yet, that means they don't exist anywhere? Where do these people get their qualfications from? Something they clicked on from Google Ads?

* The more I read that story, the dafter it gets. "Any ancient civilization is probably not biological."? What on earth is that supposed to mean? They're disembodied intelligences? How does he conclude that that's probably the case?

"Whatever the reason we're being ignored, there is no chance ET, if he exists, does not know we are here, Hair said, pointing to telescopes, such as NASA's Kepler observatory, which can detect planets around other stars." Again, I'm sorry? We've recently been able to deduce that there are most probably planets around nearby stars from observing gravitational wobbles and so on, but I don't think we've been able to actually look at them yet, let alone tell if there's likely to be any civilisations on them. What is this guy on? And what kind of a name is Professor Hair anyway?

Good post :tu:

I agree , they seem to presume a hell of a lot .

They are presuming that Alien life exists without any real proof , they are presuming that if it does exist that they are way more advanced than us , why would this be ? How can they even state this when we can't even confirm that planets out of our solar system can sustain life . I’m not doubting that out of the millions of billions of stars that there would be habitable planets and possible life but we can't say for certain until our space travel or telescope capability improve out of sight ...literally .

BTW Professor Hair sounds like an alias !

Tip

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Just remember what Jeff Goldbloom said in Jurassic Park " Life Finds a Way"

We may just be at the very begining of this time line of contact !

Its all very possible ,and also its possible the E.T is waiting for us to Grow Up !

Sorry dude that does't want to be eaten - its Jeff Goldblum , yeah I know :rofl:

TiP.

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What a great big truckload of drivel. Didn't this ludicruous argument come up before? I suppose this Prof. Hair does know how big this one galaxy, let alone the whole Universe, is, does he?

Well I assume that they do since what Hedman and Hair have done is taken a Model of the Galaxy and introduced an algorithm to represent an "emergent civilization" colonises the nearest star, then the algorithm allows for the daughter colony a one in four chance of colonising it's nearest star and so fourth.

But he's concluded that, just because he doesn't believe that we, on this one planet out of, almost certainly, millions (if the theory that every single star might have at least one Planet is right), haven't heard from another civilisation yet, that means they don't exist anywhere? Where do these people get their qualfications from? Something they clicked on from Google Ads?

Surely you mean hundreds of Billions, not millions? But no, what they are saying is that based on the lowest assumptions in their algorithm the Galaxy is still more or less completely colonised after 250 million years.

* The more I read that story, the dafter it gets. "Any ancient civilization is probably not biological."? What on earth is that supposed to mean? They're disembodied intelligences? How does he conclude that that's probably the case?

Who knows? But that said, we've developed artificial organs over the last few decades, imagine what we can be like or do in 100 Million years from now.

"Whatever the reason we're being ignored, there is no chance ET, if he exists, does not know we are here, Hair said, pointing to telescopes, such as NASA's Kepler observatory, which can detect planets around other stars." Again, I'm sorry? We've recently been able to deduce that there are most probably planets around nearby stars from observing gravitational wobbles and so on, but I don't think we've been able to actually look at them yet, let alone tell if there's likely to be any civilisations on them. What is this guy on? And what kind of a name is Professor Hair anyway?

Actually Kepler is directly observing extrasolar planets as they transit their Stars. The next generation of Space telescopes should have the technology to block out Starlight and allow us to photograph exoplanets.

Here is the abstract.

http://jointmathematicsmeetings.org/amsmtgs/2138_abstracts/1077-90-2299.pdf

While short this is a better article than that presented in the OP.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/01/extraterrestrial-intelligence

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What's taking ET so long? Distance would be my guess. Perhaps the technology of warp drive (or any other way around the vast distances involved) is impossible to achieve...distance then becomes a major factor.

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What's taking ET so long? Distance would be my guess. Perhaps the technology of warp drive (or any other way around the vast distances involved) is impossible to achieve...distance then becomes a major factor.

The algorithm used only proposes travel speeds of 0.1 - 0.25 c. The lower number is something we are probably going to be able to achieve in the not so distant future.

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Maybe they already have ?

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Even if we're able to develop the ability to travel approaching light speed there's still the problem of time dilation. So basically, even if we can create engines that are powerful enough to reach other stars in our galaxy (within 40 or so years) there's still the problem regarding time. Explorers would find when returning to Earth that thousands of years would have elapsed during their absence. I suspect not too many would be willing to volunteer for such a trip. Any ETs would probably face similar problems with interstellar travel as well.

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Even if we're able to develop the ability to travel approaching light speed there's still the problem of time dilation. So basically, even if we can create engines that are powerful enough to reach other stars in our galaxy (within 40 or so years) there's still the problem regarding time. Explorers would find when returning to Earth that thousands of years would have elapsed during their absence. I suspect not too many would be willing to volunteer for such a trip. Any ETs would probably face similar problems with interstellar travel as well.

Of course Time Dilation is a blessing if the intention is to travel to point B and stay there as per the Paper that was discussed at MAA and here in this thread. But that isn't even really a factor at 0.1 - 0.25 c.

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What's taking ET so long? Distance would be my guess. Perhaps the technology of warp drive (or any other way around the vast distances involved) is impossible to achieve...distance then becomes a major factor.

Distance and technology is a major factor. But maybe intelligence is stopping them from coming, assuming they are out there. Could they be waiting until such a time that if they did show themselves, we would welcome them, rather than shoot them out of the sky or cut them up to see how they worked? I have no doubt that we would also try to steal their technology, using any method necessary. It is possible that all these unexplainable aircraft that are seen (UFO's) are just scouting craft piloted by robots. keeping an eye on us until the time is right, which, I'm afraid, wont be for some considerable time.

This is just a thought. . Not necessarily what I believe :)

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Explorers would find when returning to Earth that thousands of years would have elapsed during their absence. I suspect not too many would be willing to volunteer for such a trip.

I think lots of people actually would volunteer. Just imagine how many times and how many people in prehistory must have virtually done just that in order for Homo Sapiens to have colonized the Planet. This must have happened countless times with untold numbers of individuals and families in prehistory and we are the descendants of this legacy.

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Interesting article here from Universe Today.

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Even if we're able to develop the ability to travel approaching light speed there's still the problem of time dilation. So basically, even if we can create engines that are powerful enough to reach other stars in our galaxy (within 40 or so years) there's still the problem regarding time. Explorers would find when returning to Earth that thousands of years would have elapsed during their absence. I suspect not too many would be willing to volunteer for such a trip. Any ETs would probably face similar problems with interstellar travel as well.

There are plenty of soldiers that volunteer for high risk missions and designed their life around the willingness to take on missions others never would...no family, no close friends, the military is their life. The idea of long time changes would not be as big a deal to a person without a family to leave behind, and there are surprisingly high numbers of those around.

For the opportunity to cross the galaxy, I think people would give up far more than anyone would ever guess.

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For the opportunity to cross the galaxy, I think people would give up far more than anyone would ever guess.

Perhaps so, but even with advancements in technology (like that proposed in the Universe Today article) such travel would most likely have to be generational. It's a long, long way to the stars.

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