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SETI and Predictions of Contact

  1. profile image0
    mbuggiehposted 3 years ago

    "It is not hyperbolic to suggest that scientists could very well discover extraterrestrial intelligence within 2 decades' time or less, given resources to conduct the search" says Seth Shostak---a senior astronomer with the SETI Institute during testimony to a  21 May 2014 hearing held by the House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

    Shostak cited---in support of his claim, the "increasing power of digital electronics to find and sort out radio and other signals, and other work related to exoplanets and astrobiology."

    For more information: http://news.yahoo.com/well-alien-life-l … 44513.html

    What is your reaction to Shostak's claim?

    1. syzygyastro profile image79
      syzygyastroposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      It is entirely possible that aliens have already visited Earth repeatedly throughout its history. Life on Earth was seeded from space early on and is responsible for all the atmospheric changes from about 4 billion years to the present. In the beginning, Earth was the twin of Venus in almost every respect; same atmosphere, same barometric pressure, similar surface temperatures. Yet Earth developed to what it is today, while Venus remains close to what is was so long ago. I wonder if Aliens have been responsible in some way in terraforming Earth.

      There seems little doubt that we will encounter alien life in the not so distant future and there are indications that we have already detected life. As for civilizations, that may be some time away. We may be able to find their signals, then we will have to decode them, but getting there is impossible with today's technology. Further, communication is ruled out as the further we are separated from them, the longer any dialogue will take. In fact, dialogue may be more in the form of instructive messages rather than two way exchanges.

      Our radio signals have now penetrated well into the local group of stars. If they have advanced civilizations listening in, they already are learning about us. I wonder what they think of our mass murdering ways and what to do about us if and when the visit us or if we stumble upon them in the future.

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for your comment. It is much-appreciated!

        As for our ways: I suspect all intelligent life is replete with good and bad, with productive and destructive forces and people. Humans are no more mass murderers as a group than we are perfectly altruistic beings. The same, I strongly suspect, would be true of alien life as well.

  2. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    I don't think there is any sensible way to predict when we might find something in an unknown form, at an unknown location in the universe, that we aren't even sure exists.

  3. bBerean profile image60
    bBereanposted 3 years ago

    Please describe the minimum data, or communication that would likely qualify among the scientific community as solid evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence.  What at minimum would be convincing enough to command worldwide headlines upon discovery?

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like a question for Seth Shostak, but I suspect any signal not know to be random and/or associated with signals of objects that populate the universe; computation algorithms representative of mathematical language (again rather than randomness), etc.

      1. bBerean profile image60
        bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you.  I guess I was wondering what volume of such data would be required, if an isolated signal, for it not to be written off as an anomaly of natural origin?

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          I suspect that even one signal or one computation IF demonstrably not of "natural" origins would be sufficient.

          This, of course, brings us to the so-called "Wow Signal" of 1977 and why it was not or has not been taken as evidence of something.

          For more information:

          http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-l … 130524.htm

          http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/c … ow-signal/

          1. bBerean profile image60
            bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks for the interesting links.  I do recall that.

            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              You are very welcome!