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 Post subject: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:09 pm 
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buck private
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Have read zillions of SciFi books with aliens, seen bunches of movies with aliens Ok, where are they in real life?
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Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?

BY EDWARD K. WATSON SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 CHAT 128 COMMENTS

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(Getty Images)

Ever since I was a child, I presumed the universe would be teeming with alien life. Star Wars and Star Trek reinforced this belief, and I yearned for the day when we would meet and communicate with other intelligent beings.

But as every potential alien discovery turned out to be natural, and our initial assumptions about the chance that life can naturally emerge from non-living materials turned out to be wildly optimistic, perhaps it is time to honestly reappraise the likelihood of us ever detecting, let alone communicating with other technologically intelligent extraterrestrial species.

In this vast universe, there appear to be around one septillion stars (one trillion trillion stars [1 × 1024]) spread out across trillions of galaxies, vastly more numerous than all the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. If there is only one planet for every ten stars, then there are 100 billion trillion planets in the visible universe.


Given how enormous the universe is and how many planets exist, where is everybody? Even if we assume only one planet in a thousand is Earth-like; and only one in a thousand of those developed life, and only one in a thousand of those developed intelligence; and only one in a thousand intelligent species developed space travel and exploited their stellar neighborhoods by creating megastructures; there should be at least a hundred billion intelligent species who’ve developed megastructures that are visible across the universe.

And yet, we find nothing, no matter how hard we look. Every possible discovery of aliens has been proven to be either natural or man-made. There are no Kardashev Type III civilizations. There are no detectable Type II civilizations. At the very least, we should’ve observed or encountered one instance of non-biological extraterrestrial intelligence, like a sentient robotic probe, since the bar for their creation and spread throughout the cosmos is vastly lower than the development of megastructures.
(Continued)
https://pjmedia.com/faith/2017/09/06/ex ... ls-part-1/
Don't expect me to explain his figures, it's alien to me. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:37 pm 
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Well, in the first place, the enormous numbers he refers to are all pretty much irrelevant for at least the next 1,000 or perhaps even 5,000 years. Within 1,000 years we could have the closest stars to us explored and utilized in some way. If we find life on any planets in that region of our galaxy (say out to 30 light years distant, which if memory serves equals around 200 stars) then it must be one of three types: (a) advanced but without any interest in making contact and with "signatures" that were either hidden or which we just couldn't detect; (b) at about the same stage as we are (which would seem to be an enormously fortuitous possibility); (c) less advanced, which could mean everything from "~1000 years before industrialization to cyanobacteria."

Beyond that close neighborhood, the only type of E.T. that matters are advanced, and even if they are "Kardashev 3" that doesn't necessarily mean they have somehow managed to travel across space-time faster than light can. There could be two or three "Kardashev 3" civilizations on the opposite side of the Milky Way (or at least a fairly sizeable arc on the far side) that we might NEVER be able to observe. Observing them will depend on whether we breach the light-speed barrier, and if we do, how fast . . . Well, that isn't entirely true. Given enough time, good solid space travel technology, good robotics, good artificial intelligence, and good cryogenics (as well as willing popsicle passengers) we could eventually colonize the entire galaxy . . . even beyond it. But we are talking time scales on the order of hundreds of thousands of years, millions in order to truly explore/colonize the entire galaxy with maximum speeds in the 0.1 to 0.3 c ballpark.

The key thing is that: the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Species that have reached Kardashev 3 are more or less Godlike to us, and even if they did not have "warp drives" they may well have the capacity to extend their knowledge and influence over vast tracts of the galaxy, and they may also be either indistinguishable to us from natural forces or merely choose not to reveal themselves. If you can create a Dyson sphere then that means you can "hide" stars, and if you can do that, then you can hide your entire civilization from distant ape-people whose versions of "science" are more like "magic."

These are all just possibilities. We have no idea.

The other possibility (about which we have no idea) is that we really are alone in the galaxy. In my opinion a lot of the probabilistic logic that refers to the sheer number of stars and concludes that "life must be inevitable" is deeply flawed.

In the first place, everything outside the Milky Way is effectively moot. Our detection capabilities are not sufficient to detect the energy signature of Kardashev 2's from that distance, and Kardashev 3s may choose not to be detectable. Our detection capabilities are largely insufficient for detecting Kardashev 2's here in the Milky Way, and not merely as a result of obstruction produced by the central cluster.

Every other galaxy in the universe could be teeming with life at all levels of development, and it would effectively be completely moot for at least millions of years, and quite possibly forever. Andromeda is 2.5 MILLION light years away. It takes LIGHT 2,537,000 years to travel between our two galaxies. Even if we achieve the speed of light (which is likely impossible) it is still a 2.5 million year journey! At our present best speeds (which are far less than 0.01% of the speed of light) it is likely billions of years to get to Andromeda, and the two galaxies will have already merged into one before you even get there! :lol:

Wormholes, or something like that MIGHT make instantaneous traveling to any point in space-time possible, but again, that is likely impossible.

M class stars that form at just the right period in the lifespan of a galaxy that is just the right galaxy (long lived ones that are sufficiently big, and with a diverse variety of stars and most important, peripheral regions that are safe from the hazards of regions that are densely populated with stars and nebulae, and in just the right zone in such a "just right" galaxy, and with just the right mixture of chemical elements in the dust cloud are probably far more rare than anyone has estimated. Ours might well be the ONLY star in the entire Milky Way which formed within the range of tolerance to allow for the formation of a planet like Earth. I'm speculating when I say that because, at this point, I've never seen anyone define that range of tolerance in anything other than an anecdotal fashion. Part of the reason for that is that, we are trapped on Earth. Even if we were only "trapped" in our solar system, our perspective on the galaxy would still be quite limited and uninformed. We do not know enough about how stars form because we have virtually no up close and personal information about nebulae: meaning samples collected from them. Remote sensing can only go so far, and thus their models of star formation are still quite elementary and modeling of the precise sequence of neighborhood effects that are necessary to lead to a nebulae like the one that that formed into Sol. What we really want to know is: how often in a galaxy of the size and structure of ours have nebulae that are within the tolerance to form an "Earth like" planet formed, but to my knowledge, there is at present no sound empirical basis on which to examine this question. Much of the evidence we would need is completely dark and invisible to our primitive remote sensing technologies.

The other factor that has to be taken into consideration is that: not everywhere in the Milk Way would be "safe" for an Earth-like bearing nebula/star to form, so many regions where it COULD occur might not occur because of various interference from other factors in that neighborhood. For example, some astronomers theorize that it is pretty much impossible for Earth like conditions to arise in much of the central region of the galaxy and in many of the more densely packed arms of the galaxy too.

So even just to get clouds of dust that are within the range of possibility to form an Sol-Earth-like analogue might be a low probability but it is even lower because of "harmful" neighborhood effects that are thought to prevail through much of the galaxy.

end part 1

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Last edited by Anthropoid on Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Part 2

Assuming a sufficiently "quiet neighborhood," and a local history of star birth-death that provided just the right mix to create a nebula within the range of possible to form a Sol-Earth system, there are seemingly infinite small factors that can at any point "go awry" and cause the incredibly complex sequence of events that led to an organically friendly Earth to fail much less the incredibly complex sequence of events that led to the first life, let alone the incredibly complex sequence of events that led to the emergence of aerobic and eukaryotic life.

If the chances that a "Sol-potential" nebula are only 1 in 10,000, and the chances of a "Sol-potential" nebula forming into a "Sol-like system (with an Earth-like planet of some sort) are only 1 in 10,000, and the chances that necessary sequence of events to allow that Earth-like planet to be capable of sustaining life (much less "sparking it") are only 1 in 10,000 . . . well I'm not even sure how to calculate that probability. I suppose 10,000 x 10,000 x 10,000 ? That works out be 1 in 10^12 which if memory serves is 1 in a trillion. Given there are only between 100 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, the existence of the Sol-Earth sanctuary might just be the greatest stroke of "luck" that ever occurred in all of the past 14 billion years of the Universe's history!

Andromeda has a trillion stars though, so there is a "real" chance for at least ONE solar system to make it to the "life could evolve here" stage (based on the totally "pulled out of my ass" numbers I used). But see, that is the thing. Me pulling those numbers out is just as good as anyone an offer. Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking and every other Big Brain on the planet have no better idea than anyone else (though admittedly perhaps slightly better than ME! :lol: ) for the simple reason: we have yet to travel outside of our solar system, much less document the intergalactic medium in anything more than the most preliminary fashion. I have never seen any astronomer attempt to provide probability estimates for the things I described above in anything more than just an anecdotal fashion because we simply do not have the data to do in with greater precision or rigor.

Even if "solar systems with planets that COULD sustain the emergence of life" are common, we still have an incredibly tiny eye of the needle to pass through in order to get life going and thence thriving and diversifying, much less showing the sort of incredibly tenacity and propensity to diverge as life on Earth.

It is also worth noting: "life" has probably been on Earth for most of its history. Recent studies of pre-Cambrian rocks suggest the presence of cyanobacteria as early as the first billion years. With Earth at 4.6 billion and life reasonably well established at 3.46 billion (and possibly as old as 3.8 billion) years, it is thus remarkably that the Cambrian, the period when life began to "explode" in quantity and diversity on Earth did not occur until 0.5 billion (500,000,000) years ago. Thus, it is quite possible that "life" on Earth was little more than bacteria--effectively indistinguishable from "mud" to the naked eye! for 3+ billion years!

The fact that the Cambrian explosion was that delayed suggests that, what has happened on Earth during the past 500 million years, and especially the last 50 million with the emergence of the mammals, was NEVER inevitable. Why the Cambrian happened when it did is thus the $64 quadrillion question, because in order to estimate the probability than any of those 1 in a trillion solar systems described above which get to the point of "being able to sustain the emergence and divergence of life," we'd also need to be able to know how probable it is that that life stays at the bacteria stage permanently versus that it does what it did on Earth and "explodes" into incredible diversity.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:40 am 
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No way of knowing.

Pulling the figures for The Great Filter equations from their ass, some smartguys calculated that the average distance between simultaneously existing sentient species could be 2,700 light-years.

If the numbers were a little bit different it could just as well be 27 light-years or 27 million light-years.

We just don't know yet. We'll know when we bump into someone.


@Anthropoid, it was *quite* the set of circumstances that led to sentient life here.

For example, dinosaurs and insects could never develop sentience here. Egg hatching creatures simply can't pack enough energy into the eggs, developing a brain requires immense amounts of energy.
Secondly, to develop a civilization your species needs to be social. Oh and preferably carnivores or omnivores unless you just happen to have really, really fleshy protein rich plants all over the place..

Even within our branch of mammals our ancestors initially had the jaw bone's muscles restricting the growth of the head, limiting the size of brain until some freaks mutated an unusually weak jaw muscle - these folks became our ancestors. Also with weak jaws they had to get smarter since they were more picky about what they could eat.

You could easily have a paradise planet live through it's habitability for billions of years without any sentient life ever emerging.

This also means that we could easily eventually run into a planet with lush jungles and all kinds of stupid critters with no owners around.

And then there's also the "well, all the cave-aliens were *already* dead when we got there.. so anyway.. we'll claim the planet".

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:26 am 
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Yup.

We are in effect, analagous to a species of "sentient amoeba" with some very limited capacity to gaze out into the world beyond our petry dish. But with an extremely distorted and limited view of that universe, and perhaps even intrinsic cognitive deficiencies that make our full understanding of it nearly impossible.

Fucking Dark Matter and Dark Energy are arguably the single two most important factors in cosmology, but we didn't even have a clue about such things until the 1920s, and we still don't have much more than a faint clue of what these "things" are. They are both essentially "X variables" that have to be plugged in to much of the existing models for explaining the universe, because without them, the universe just does not make sense AT ALL. There are some observational studies that can be made sense of with reference to something like "Dark Matter," but beyond that, we have no empirical observations of it. It is really quite remarkable, because in some sense it mirrors the notions of an "inscrutable creator!" :mrgreen:

But that is where I draw the line. Beyond our observational or perceptual capacities, anything could be, but that is not for a scientist to worry about because science is strictly concerned with the observable. I can neither argue against nor for religion in general, though I can certainly argue against very inaccurate or fallacious literal interpretations of scriptures which simply do not concur with what we can observe about the universe.

Intelligent design? Could be, but the thing is: we have no way of knowing for certain and much like the amoeba is literally incapable of truly comprehending the humans who made its petri dish and the lab beyond, we may well be incapable of comprehending whatever is "responsible for it all." And it may well be that NOTHING is responsible for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Probably saw the posts from Nero and Pamak and turned around and left.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Quote:
At the very least, we should’ve observed or encountered one instance of non-biological extraterrestrial


That's a flawed statement. It leaves out civilization longevity and distance from Earth. If radio-emission civs are on the average 2000 light years apart and if they last on average for 200 years, it's going to require a massively fortunate coincidence for one civilization to have been listening and one to have been transmitting in a way that allows a signal to be heard.

Humans are fully capable of comprehending everything that can be detected, and fully capable of imagining anything that can be mathematically modeled.

As for god, well, humans have been listening for that signal for at least 50,000 years and so far no signal has been detected. So the signal for the existence of any god has been tested far more thoroughly than signals for the existence of advanced tech extraterrestrial civilizations. If extraterrestrial civilizations can be discounted by that author's standards then he should also dismiss any claims about the existence of god. If not, he's full of shite.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:59 am 
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mdiehl wrote:
Quote:
At the very least, we should’ve observed or encountered one instance of non-biological extraterrestrial


That's a flawed statement. It leaves out civilization longevity and distance from Earth. If radio-emission civs are on the average 2000 light years apart and if they last on average for 200 years, it's going to require a massively fortunate coincidence for one civilization to have been listening and one to have been transmitting in a way that allows a signal to be heard.

Humans are fully capable of comprehending everything that can be detected, and fully capable of imagining anything that can be mathematically modeled.

As for god, well, humans have been listening for that signal for at least 50,000 years and so far no signal has been detected. So the signal for the existence of any god has been tested far more thoroughly than signals for the existence of advanced tech extraterrestrial civilizations. If extraterrestrial civilizations can be discounted by that author's standards then he should also dismiss any claims about the existence of god. If not, he's full of shite.


Due to inverse square law you need a fuckload and then some of energy to carry a radio signal over 2,000 light-years. And what if there's a beacon 8,000 light-years away? A lot more yet and the signal only indeed lasts as long as it was being sent and is a temporary effect, a very short lived unless somehow someone managed to find a way to keep sending a message for millions of years..


Anthropoid wrote:
Yup.

We are in effect, analagous to a species of "sentient amoeba" with some very limited capacity to gaze out into the world beyond our petry dish. But with an extremely distorted and limited view of that universe, and perhaps even intrinsic cognitive deficiencies that make our full understanding of it nearly impossible.

Fucking Dark Matter and Dark Energy are arguably the single two most important factors in cosmology, but we didn't even have a clue about such things until the 1920s, and we still don't have much more than a faint clue of what these "things" are. They are both essentially "X variables" that have to be plugged in to much of the existing models for explaining the universe, because without them, the universe just does not make sense AT ALL. There are some observational studies that can be made sense of with reference to something like "Dark Matter," but beyond that, we have no empirical observations of it. It is really quite remarkable, because in some sense it mirrors the notions of an "inscrutable creator!" :mrgreen:

But that is where I draw the line. Beyond our observational or perceptual capacities, anything could be, but that is not for a scientist to worry about because science is strictly concerned with the observable. I can neither argue against nor for religion in general, though I can certainly argue against very inaccurate or fallacious literal interpretations of scriptures which simply do not concur with what we can observe about the universe.

Intelligent design? Could be, but the thing is: we have no way of knowing for certain and much like the amoeba is literally incapable of truly comprehending the humans who made its petri dish and the lab beyond, we may well be incapable of comprehending whatever is "responsible for it all." And it may well be that NOTHING is responsible for it.


Our species suffers from many cognitive and intelligence problems. Imho our three greatest problems are the vast range of our intellectual capacities reaching from complete retards to the extremely rare genius, our difficulty of maintaining this 'intellectual focus' - you get tired and revert back to thinking in stupid ways or outright ignore good evidence because you were tired and on your way to a party or whatever. Finally, our human communication is incredibly slow and inefficient and simply because it is so slow a lot of good messages are misunderstood and rejected and don't have time to be conveyed to the other person. And so many of us don't have the mental capacity to stick around until the end of the message. Just crafting a good piece of communication is itself an art and difficult as hell.

With these challenges we're doing reasonably well but obviously we ought to make away with our worst weaknesses if we are about to stay around for any extended duration.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:23 pm 
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The human mind is evolved to deal with our environment of evolutionary adaptedness quite well. Language, math, empiricism, probability theory, physics, chemistry, evolutionary theory . . . all that stuff came later.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Are All the Extraterrestrials?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:27 pm 
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There's also the 'Big Bang'!

When I was young Hubble's 'Steady State' theory was popular, by the late '50s the Big Bang was top dog.

With the Steady State everything wasn't move away from each other, now with the Big Bang it is and how am I going to meet aliens with them running from me. Besides that how am I to get out of this cabbage patch with those distances growing every second? :roll:



Bring back the steady state!

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