Author Topic: General SETI Thread  (Read 13738 times)

Offline dror

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 556
  • Israel
  • Liked: 128
  • Likes Given: 353
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #80 on: 01/01/2018 03:03 PM »
What is 'Zoo Theory'?

Quote
Aliens exist, but they are hiding and purposefully trying to avoid contact with humans, says the "Zoo Theory". The thesis is an attempt to explain why humans have yet to meet or interact with intelligent life outside the planet.

I think there are 2 possibilities we can look too, with "Zoo Theory" being one of them.  The other would be that space (or specifically interstellar) travel is extremely hard.  Then again our instruments might be considered "short ranged" but neither are we blind.

I will put my cards on the deck by saying I believe Zoo Theory is the answer to the seeming galactic silence. That we are observed from afar but deemed far too primitive to communicate with.
You used the correct term there since supporting such a theory is no different than any other religions beliefe.
The lack of evidence can support whatever crazy idea you can think of. You might as well belive that the aliens are shy or that they are tiny or godlike. Whatever .
"If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal. "
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1618
  • Likes Given: 2913
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #81 on: 01/01/2018 03:15 PM »
Itís circular.
Donít you at least see the irony in what this theory is suggesting? Explain away the reason why there are no aliens by saying they are hiding from us. It seems like a means for perpetual funding & justification of the (non) science of SETI

HNY to you nonetheless

Of course itís circular. Reality is often imperfect.

HNY

I'm not sure you understood what he meant.  He was saying you are using a circular argument.  It goes as follows:

...
#1:  "We've looked!  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"

 ...ad infinitum...

THAT is circular logic.  By definition, it cannot prove anything.  All it can do is attempt the impossible task of proving a negative, which just gets you into a circular argument...

The world being imperfect has nothing to do with applying circular logic.  The person applying the circular logic is the imperfect portion of this calculation, I hate to say...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
General SETI Thread
« Reply #82 on: 01/01/2018 03:59 PM »
Itís circular.
Donít you at least see the irony in what this theory is suggesting? Explain away the reason why there are no aliens by saying they are hiding from us. It seems like a means for perpetual funding & justification of the (non) science of SETI

HNY to you nonetheless

Of course itís circular. Reality is often imperfect.

HNY

I'm not sure you understood what he meant.  He was saying you are using a circular argument.  It goes as follows:

...
#1:  "We've looked!  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"
#2:  "They must be hiding!  Look harder!"
#1:  "We looked harder.  We can't find them!"

 ...ad infinitum...

THAT is circular logic.  By definition, it cannot prove anything.  All it can do is attempt the impossible task of proving a negative, which just gets you into a circular argument...

The world being imperfect has nothing to do with applying circular logic.  The person applying the circular logic is the imperfect portion of this calculation, I hate to say...

I tell you what rather than sneering at my honesty in at least declaring a position on this. Why donít some of you be less cowardly and actually declare a position. Shouting from the sidelines has always been a lot easier than actually taking part.

No wonder people from SETI donít stick their heads above the parapet when the people in the peanut galleries are too busy throwing peanuts.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 04:02 PM by Star One »

Online RotoSequence

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 823
  • Liked: 587
  • Likes Given: 797
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #83 on: 01/01/2018 07:59 PM »
THAT is circular logic.  By definition, it cannot prove anything.  All it can do is attempt the impossible task of proving a negative, which just gets you into a circular argument...

The world being imperfect has nothing to do with applying circular logic.  The person applying the circular logic is the imperfect portion of this calculation, I hate to say...

We don't have a circular logic problem. We have a seemingly reasonable assertion, and missing evidence - much like the dark days of Exoplanetology (the Sun is one of countless stars in the universe, therefor there must be countless planets - but we haven't found any). 

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but we still haven't seen any aliens. There are two forks in the road to resolving this conundrum:

One, we're not looking hard enough, because barring exceptionalism, the Earth is one of countless planets in the universe, and it has life on it; therefor, we can't be alone out there.

Two, absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and thus, through logical fallacy, we are clearly alone in the universe.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 08:09 PM by RotoSequence »

Online mme

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Santa Barbara, CA, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster
  • Liked: 1323
  • Likes Given: 3464
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #84 on: 01/01/2018 08:25 PM »
Itís circular.
Donít you at least see the irony in what this theory is suggesting? Explain away the reason why there are no aliens by saying they are hiding from us. It seems like a means for perpetual funding & justification of the (non) science of SETI

HNY to you nonetheless
My understanding is that SETI is not government funded, Senator Richard Bryan saw to that. In my mind the Zoo Hypothesis presumes too much, but that does not invalidate curiosity about the possibility of other intelligent life in the universe.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #85 on: 01/01/2018 10:04 PM »
THAT is circular logic.  By definition, it cannot prove anything.  All it can do is attempt the impossible task of proving a negative, which just gets you into a circular argument...

The world being imperfect has nothing to do with applying circular logic.  The person applying the circular logic is the imperfect portion of this calculation, I hate to say...

We don't have a circular logic problem. We have a seemingly reasonable assertion, and missing evidence - much like the dark days of Exoplanetology (the Sun is one of countless stars in the universe, therefor there must be countless planets - but we haven't found any). 

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but we still haven't seen any aliens. There are two forks in the road to resolving this conundrum:

One, we're not looking hard enough, because barring exceptionalism, the Earth is one of countless planets in the universe, and it has life on it; therefor, we can't be alone out there.

Two, absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and thus, through logical fallacy, we are clearly alone in the universe.

Itís possible that if things like Neutron Star mergers are far more common than theorised that much of the universe has been sterilised of life. And we are just lucky for now.

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1618
  • Likes Given: 2913
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #86 on: 01/01/2018 10:21 PM »
I tell you what rather than sneering at my honesty in at least declaring a position on this. Why donít some of you be less cowardly and actually declare a position. Shouting from the sidelines has always been a lot easier than actually taking part.

No wonder people from SETI donít stick their heads above the parapet when the people in the peanut galleries are too busy throwing peanuts.

I will tell you my position, as I have in the past.

Belief is nothing.  Proof is everything.

It sounds to me like you don't believe that is taking a position.  If you can't tell what position I am taking, that's your problem, not mine.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
General SETI Thread
« Reply #87 on: 01/01/2018 10:55 PM »
I tell you what rather than sneering at my honesty in at least declaring a position on this. Why donít some of you be less cowardly and actually declare a position. Shouting from the sidelines has always been a lot easier than actually taking part.

No wonder people from SETI donít stick their heads above the parapet when the people in the peanut galleries are too busy throwing peanuts.

I will tell you my position, as I have in the past.

Belief is nothing.  Proof is everything.

It sounds to me like you don't believe that is taking a position.  If you can't tell what position I am taking, that's your problem, not mine.

Because that position is a facile one of hiding behind a position that makes it sound like a  allegory for religious belief, when itís nothing of the sort. If youíre incapable of seeing why it isnít thatís not my problem.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 11:03 PM by Star One »

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1618
  • Likes Given: 2913
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #88 on: 01/02/2018 12:01 AM »
"Belief is nothing.  Proof is everything"  That is as succinctly as I could phrase the basis of the scientific method.

The fact that you keep claiming the scientific method is "facile" just because it requires proof before acceptance weakens your position incredibly.  As much as there is a lot of room for rational discussion in this area, it simply becomes absurd when the scientific method is seen as the wrong way of looking at the issue.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
General SETI Thread
« Reply #89 on: 01/02/2018 10:37 AM »
"Belief is nothing.  Proof is everything"  That is as succinctly as I could phrase the basis of the scientific method.

The fact that you keep claiming the scientific method is "facile" just because it requires proof before acceptance weakens your position incredibly.  As much as there is a lot of room for rational discussion in this area, it simply becomes absurd when the scientific method is seen as the wrong way of looking at the issue.

Where have I said the scientific method is facile. What I am saying is facile is your personal interpretation of zoo theory, and your general understanding of this topic with your ridiculous comparison of SETI to a religion.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 10:40 AM by Star One »

Offline sghill

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1319
  • United States
  • Liked: 1445
  • Likes Given: 2056
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #90 on: 01/02/2018 11:57 AM »
Enough with the trolling please.
Bring the thunder Elon!

Online RotoSequence

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 823
  • Liked: 587
  • Likes Given: 797
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #91 on: 01/02/2018 12:11 PM »
Man alive I am terrible at inductive reasoning in the morning  :o

It remains inconceivable to many people that humans could be alone in the universe. Our searches, to date, have investigated a tiny fraction of all the possible places to look.

We'll find them, or we won't. In the grand scheme of things, we haven't looked very hard at all yet!  :D
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 12:12 PM by RotoSequence »

Online tea monster

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 302
  • Across the Universe
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 44
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #92 on: 01/02/2018 12:47 PM »
We've barely looked at all. If we build a large enough space telescope, we can run the spectra of nearby worlds to check for oxygen, nitrogen, methane, etc. That will give us something more conclusive as to what the state of play is in the local area for earthlike planets, and possibly, life itself.

As to intelligent life, it could be that they are using a different method of communication to ourselves that we have yet to master. We could be like a South Sea Islander, climbing to the top of his atoll with a conch shell to his ear, listening for signs of life, while radio waves from cities on the other side of the globe course through and around him.

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #93 on: 01/05/2018 10:54 PM »
Man alive I am terrible at inductive reasoning in the morning  :o

It remains inconceivable to many people that humans could be alone in the universe. Our searches, to date, have investigated a tiny fraction of all the possible places to look.

We'll find them, or we won't. In the grand scheme of things, we haven't looked very hard at all yet!  :D

Well with two trillion galaxies in the universe thereís a lot of places to look

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
General SETI Thread
« Reply #94 on: 01/07/2018 08:13 PM »
Further to the above thereís no need for faith in believing in a reasonable chance for other intelligent life you only have to rely on the maths of probability and the sheer number of galaxies, stars, planets and probably moons out there.
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 08:14 PM by Star One »

Online M.E.T.

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
  • Liked: 199
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #95 on: 01/07/2018 10:01 PM »
Further to the above thereís no need for faith in believing in a reasonable chance for other intelligent life you only have to rely on the maths of probability and the sheer number of galaxies, stars, planets and probably moons out there.

Isn't that just the Drake equation paraphrased without the detail? And since the probabilities of a number of the variables in the Drake equation are frankly unknown to us at this point, it is not that difficult to get a result of "1" intelligent civilization, by just playing with one or two of the numbers.

I happen to believe in a version of the Rare Earth Hypothesis. I think Earth is far more special than the adherents of the mediocrity principle would like to accept. Whether it is rare enough to result in an answer of "1" to the Drake equation, that I can't say. But an answer of 1 per galaxy, or 1 every hundred or thousand or million galaxies, is certainly not impossible.

In which case the closest intelligent civilization might be millions of light years away, in a galaxy far, far away.
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 10:02 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
General SETI Thread
« Reply #96 on: 01/07/2018 10:11 PM »
Further to the above thereís no need for faith in believing in a reasonable chance for other intelligent life you only have to rely on the maths of probability and the sheer number of galaxies, stars, planets and probably moons out there.

Isn't that just the Drake equation paraphrased without the detail? And since the probabilities of a number of the variables in the Drake equation are frankly unknown to us at this point, it is not that difficult to get a result of "1" intelligent civilization, by just playing with one or two of the numbers.

I happen to believe in a version of the Rare Earth Hypothesis. I think Earth is far more special than the adherents of the mediocrity principle would like to accept. Whether it is rare enough to result in an answer of "1" to the Drake equation, that I can't say. But an answer of 1 per galaxy, or 1 every hundred or thousand or million galaxies, is certainly not impossible.

In which case the closest intelligent civilization might be millions of light years away, in a galaxy far, far away.

The problem with rare Earth theory is it assumes that to get intelligent life you have to have a planet like the Earth. I think it says more about the arrogance of our own belief that somehow we are unique than anything useful about the actual reality of the universe. Itís more probable that life occurs in a great variety of different conditions.

The problem with humans is we expect to find things similar to us when thereís no evidence that other intelligent life would be anything at all like us. Using one data point as a basis to extrapolate a way of looking for life is a rubbish way of going about things when you think about it. And probably why we will continue to struggle to find life.
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 10:13 PM by Star One »

Online RotoSequence

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 823
  • Liked: 587
  • Likes Given: 797
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #97 on: 01/07/2018 10:48 PM »
About five billion species are estimated to have existed on Earth at some point in time. Our current evidence shows that only one species has created technology and civilization. Life in the universe may be relatively common, but our own data shows that intelligence and civilization are a rather uncommon occurrence. This is one of the terms in the Drake Equation, the odds have to be spectacularly low for us humans to be truly alone in the universe. "Too far away to ever detect another civilization?" That's not an unrealistic outcome.

Offline deruch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1724
  • California
  • Liked: 1288
  • Likes Given: 1906
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #98 on: 01/08/2018 02:25 AM »
Bringing over from the Boyajian's star thread:
The hubris is strong with the anti-ETI crowd again I see.
If thinking the universe can do weird, unexpected stuff without aliens is hubris... guilty

In seriousness though, I'm not "anti-ET". I'm firmly in the camp that says we aren't special, they are probably out there and we should keep our eyes and minds open. However, in the history of astronomy a lot more stuff that started out as weird and unexplained turned out to be dust than aliens. Absent specific data pointing to ET, I'll continue to expect most astronomical puzzles to have natural explanations. (edit for emphasis: This doesn't mean we shouldn't look, it just means we shouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be natural)

For this star, I've never seen anything that specifically favors of ET. It's weird and unexplained, sure, but nothing about the weirdness favors an artificial origin. If the light curve matched simple geometric shapes or blinked out prime numbers or something like that it would be different story, but in reality it looks like the kind of chaotic noisy stuff nature does all the time.

IMO the whole perception that it might be aliens mostly stemmed from misunderstanding. Wright's original mega-structure paper that kicked the hype off basically asked "Does this unexplained light curve fit ideas about what advanced aliens could build?" and concluded didn't fit particularly well, though limited data and the flexibility of "aliens" prevents ruling them out. Unfortunately in the press and popular opinion "astronomer examines whether it could be aliens" turned into "astronomers think it could be aliens!"
No need to be"anti ET"...  Just need to require specific evidence
.


Current ET arguments are "by elimination". They say that since there isn't a simple conclusive natural explanation yet, and if we tailor a sufficiently advanced alien capability around the observation, then we have a credible case for ET.

This kind of logic can be used to "explain" anything in the universe, and can be equally "successful" in arguing for all sorts of gods as well.  "It's too complex to have occured naturally".

I personally would want extraordinary evidence for the existence of specific aliens, not just an observation that's hard to explain.

Why would you require extraordinary evidence?

Iíd thought youíd need the same level of evidence as any other natural phenomena, unless somehow you donít think other intelligent life is a natural development in the universe.

You canít just move around the goalposts to suit yourself.

IMO, 3 reasons to want extraordinary evidence.  First, is due to prior plausibility.  While I think that the general plausibility for there to be other ETI elsewhere in the Universe is fairly high, the plausibility that it is responsible for any particular new signal/observation is very, very low.  This is mostly a function of our general ignorance of the Universe and how everything in it works.  For all we have learned, we still just don't know that much.  Which means that we are all the time discovering new natural phenomena and as a result, the likelihood that any new observation is a result of a natural phenomenon is quite high.  This boils down to, If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.  Which is good advice unless you happen to be on the African Savanna.  We know that the dispersion/density of any advanced ET in the universe is not high enough to make their presence trivially obvious in our region of space.  So, as far as we can tell, we're not in the Serengeti.  Ergo, while still possible, zebras remain a bad first guess.

The second reason is that arguments for ET causing some specific phenomenon are, as meekgee pointed out, by elimination (based on our ignorance) and generally tend to border on being unfalsifiable.  Since a sufficiently advanced technology is essentially indistinguishable from magic to us (paraphrasing Clarke), ETs can have "magic" powers to overcome any challenge.  It reminds me of discussing radiometric dating with a Christian who claims the world is only 6,000 years old.  Their argument eventually reverts to, Well, God has the power to arbitrarily alter the ratios of elements/isotropes in a way that would mislead us or He can arbitrarily change the length of half-lives so that we get the wrong answer.  Which, I suppose, is true if there is such a God but I have no reason to believe it to have actually happened regardless of God's existence.  In this discussion, ET causes remain possible but why a civilization capable of affecting X, and causing Y phenomenon should only be noticeable by this one mechanism usually relies on special pleading. 

Third is that humans are biological chauvanists.  We seem to have an innate desire to see ourselves in everything else.  We anthropomorphize pretty much everything.  We do it in religion.  When we study other animals.  Heck, even in astronomy.  Just look at the discovery of canals on Mars.  This tendency's distortive effects has a long history of misleading us in many areas of scientific study.  So, when we find something new we can't yet explain, I'm not surprised to find that the idea that it might be caused by ETI is so appealing.  But, because of that very fact, I believe we need to be on guard against our natural inclinations.  So, requiring extraordinary evidence to support ET involvement is warranted.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • UK
  • Liked: 1382
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: General SETI Thread
« Reply #99 on: 01/08/2018 07:31 PM »
Now this is an intriguing theory.

Are Alien Civilizations Technologically Advanced?

Quote
Based on our own experience, we expect that civilizations much older than ours will be scientifically savvy and hence technologically advanced. But it is also possible that a simpler lifestyle rather than scientific prosperity has dominated the political landscape on other planets, leading to old civilizations that are nevertheless technologically primitive.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/are-alien-civilizations-technologically-advanced/#

Tags: