The aliens are silent because they're dead

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The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:00 pm

The aliens are silent because they're dead
Science Daily
The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens. But life on other planets would likely be brief and become extinct very quickly, say astrobiologists. In research aiming to understand how life might develop, the scientists realized new life would commonly die out due to runaway heating or cooling on their fledgling planets.

...
One way or the other, we're all alone. :)
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:05 pm

Astrobiology. How is that a fucking thing? Fledgling planet? Who wrote that and why didn't his editor kick his ass.

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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by DrMatt » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:44 pm

Space is big
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by ed » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:05 pm

Rob Lister wrote:Astrobiology. How is that a fucking thing? Fledgling planet? Who wrote that and why didn't his editor kick his ass.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by hammegk » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:22 pm

Whoosh

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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by hammegk » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:22 pm

Whoosh

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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:36 pm

Well I'm sure a lot of them are dead because even here we've had several mass extinctions in the history of life on earth and it may well be that we've been comparatively lucky in those. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs could have been bigger after all. Or there could have been some other sort of event that would kill not just 90% of species but all of them (perhaps microbes excepted).

But I lean towards the explanation, two-fold really, that intelligent life is much rarer than life. A planet could be brimming with life but lack anything like us which would produce radio signals. The second part of the two-part explanation is that it may be harder than we think to detect intelligent aliens even if they do exist. I doubt they would be intentionally beaming signals in our direction, trying to alert us to their presence, and if not, it may be very difficult to detect them with current technology.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Doctor X » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:20 am

On a planet, at the same time as the Earth, life evolved and developed intelligence, communication, Spray Cheese, et cetera.

This planet is one million light years away.

There is the problem.

It is all relative. . . .

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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:38 am

Exactly. And a million light years is actually rather close on the scale of the universe.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by whitefork » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:50 am

they're silent because they can't have nice things
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by sparks » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:14 am

Not nice: A force of physics.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Witness » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:33 am

sparks wrote:Not nice: A force of physics.
And what a force!

Image

But I think the aliens just keep silent because they first listened in on our radio & TV programs.

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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Doctor X » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:34 am

Image

--J.D.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by gnome » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:22 pm

I recall some prominent scientist and cynic mulling over Drake's equation once proposed that each civilization might only broadcast detectable signals for 50 years before succumbing to nuclear war or some other self-inflicted calamity.

Interestingly, I think they turned out to be almost right for a different reason--probably no more than a certain number of years before a civilization would switch to local broadcasts that don't bleed out. So aside from intentional broadcasts intended to be picked up from space, there is a "window" of detectability that further reduces the chance of discovering intelligent life via radio teloscopy. (is that a word?)

I imagine each new intelligent civilization "pinging" that bubble as it emerges, and if it's rare enough all might go unnoticed in a short (less than astronomical) listening timeframe.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:29 pm

Back on track? Thanks, gnome.

Drake's equation has too many ass pulls as inputs to be anything other than a statement of faith.

There's a lot of wishful thinking going on among cosmologists et al. It's really to old "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" argument, dressed up to look nice.

IMO "We're all alone" should be the default assumption barring strong evidence to the contrary. And after 50 or more years of serious scientists really looking, the absence of evidence is a positive argument not just a measure of our ignorance.

Still, it would not force me to modify my philosophy if the aliens did show up.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:34 pm

When exactly did we start being detectable (never mind deliberate pinging)? 1920?

96 years. Or 48 years for an electromagnetic round trip.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by sparks » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:34 pm

No. '38. Television broadcast of the Olympic games. From...Germany.

Further, do your maths again AA. If it were '38, that'd be 78 years one way and a round trip of 156. If they responded today via EM at the speed of light, we won't get it until 2094. :)
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:37 pm

You mistake what I'm doing with the math.

No more than 48 light years away if they had responded and we got the message.

It doesn't have to be TV. Radio will do.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by sparks » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:44 pm

It does have to be tv as the '38 broadcast was the only thing with sufficient power (and this assumes they have equivalent reception capabilities to us...) to be received. If their reception capability is way better, then all bets are off.
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Re: The aliens are silent because they're dead

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:47 pm

sparks wrote:It does have to be tv as the '38 broadcast was the only thing with sufficient power (and this assumes they have equivalent reception capabilities to us...) to be received. If their reception capability is way better, then all bets are off.
OK.

So my calculation would be 39 light years etc.

But I figured plain radio (or even just wireless telegraph) would be easier to decode than a TV signal (assuming one picks it up in the first place).
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