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#76 2008-05-25 04:52:29

Gregori
Member
From: Baile Atha Cliath, Eireann
Registered: 2008-01-13
Posts: 297

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

Hmmm, Think of this example:

Native Americans didn't really advance much in terms of technology over thousands of years!! They're cultures evolved and became more complex etc etc

I doubt anybody wouldn't consider them intelligent life!

Its very plausible that intelligent Alien speices may have taken a different route to western society on Earth. They may well be tribes of hunter-gatherers going around for a very long time.. Maybe they're still in a medievil state..

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#77 2008-05-25 05:45:59

nickname
Member
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 354

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

Gregori,

It's very possible that most intelligent beings in the universe never develop radio technology or any technology similar to ours.

When you think about it our line from tribes to radio wasn't a straight forward one and we could easily still be in medieval mode ourselves.

Another thought is...
What if our form of technology is a dead end.
We just believe that we are on some expanding technology and think we understand most of everything, but our technology is very primitive and bias and at some point we discover that.

We could spend many thousands of years only to discover that everything we knew was wrong simply because we took a wrong path to knowledge with our odd form of technology.

I'm pretty sure everything we know is pretty wrong anyway. smile
That statement seems to be more evident in the last 10 years as most of what we thought we knew rock solid seems to be wrong, or so far from what we thought we are perplexed to define how we could have been wrong.


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#78 2008-05-25 09:37:39

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

“Native Americans didn't really advance much in terms of technology over thousands of years!!”

I don’t think it merits any exclamation points, let alone two. But, since there are also two errors in the statement, perhaps it does warrant!!s

One could, with equal invalidity, say "Homo Sapiens didn't really advance much in terms of technology for 15,000 years--from about 20,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago."

I’m told that the politically correct word these days, at least in the Southwest United States, is “American Indian,” although people really prefer that you refer to them by their tribal name, e.g., Hopi, Navajo, Apache, Tohono O’odham, etc.  But American Indians recognize the limitations of White people and let it all pass.

Understanding the technology differences between the New World and the Old requires some understanding of the antecedent conditions.  I’ll try to summarize in a few paragraphs:

The New World was colonized about 14,000 years ago by a very small number of people (no more than a few hundred, perhaps, less than a hundred) from somewhere in Eastern Asia.  Thomas Jefferson theorized that the American Indians came from “somewhere in Eastern Asia a long time ago.”  Although we’ve accumulated a huge body of evidence about this subject (“the greatest mystery in archaeology”), our theory of origin today isn’t a lot different from Jefferson’s of more than two centuries ago.  A lesson in humility.

There may have been some colonization as much as 25,000 years ago or even earlier, and some groups may have migrated subsequent to the initial colonization, perhaps as recently as 6,000 years ago.  But the evidence for any of this is very sketchy and unreliable—while possible, don’t bet the farm on it just yet.  Such possibilities are not significant to this discussion. 

The colonization took place before the invention of agriculture, architecture or writing, when the population of the world was 4 or 5 million.  For about 13,000 years there was almost no contact between the Old and New Worlds. This group of, at most, a few hundred people proceeded to colonize an area of 45 million square kilometers—the last great human colonization, which may hold important lessons for anyone contemplating the colonization of a New World.  Mars, perhaps.

The people of the New World, isolated for 130 centuries, independently invented
> agriculture about 6,000 years ago--4,000 years after the Asians.  Today a third of the world’s food supply comes from crops invented by American Indians—potato, corn, squash, pumpkin, chocolate.   
> irrigation about 6,000 years ago—about 2,000 years after the Asians
> domestication of animals about 5,000 years ago—5,000 years after the Asians.  Domestication of beasts of burden faced the problem that most mega-fauna had gone extinct in the New World.
> architecture about 2,400 years ago—3,000 years after the Asians.  The exact dates depend on what you mean by architecture.
> writing about 2,200 years ago--3,000 years after the Asians.

My hypothesis would be that the colonization of the New World with such a very small founding population and near complete isolation for 13 millennia reset technological development.  The subsequent independent development by American Indians of similar technologies, suggests that technological development is a likely outcome of human, and perhaps, any intelligent presence.

Bob

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#79 2008-05-25 10:00:19

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

Actually, the Allen Telescope Array will hopefuly answer the question of whether or not we have neighbours emitting TV signals in under ten years... After all, it can do all the work SETI has done until now in under two weeks!

Just a problem if we assume a technological evolution parallel to our own: our detectability in the radio specturm is going to dissapear as we move from analog tv emission to digital, since the signal uses much less energy. Therefore, any species more advanced and efficient than us or less developed is either invisible or very hard to pick up in the radio sectrum.

The thing is we're just listening. If everybody else were doing the same, there's no way we would detect each other, unless we develop analog tv emissions (wich are the only thing that we have emitted succeptible of being picked up at a reasonable distance) at the exact time (lightspeed lag taken into account).


Rune. The probability that we are the only sentient race ever to be evolved in a universe so vast is so small as to be negligible.


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#80 2008-05-25 11:21:31

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

The Square Kilometer Array (www.skatelescope.org) will be able to detect Earth-like radio leakage at a distance of several hundred to a few thousand light years. 

Earth has at least two other sources of detectable radio emmissions besides TV:
>  The various missile defense radars that have been deployed and operated since the 1950s, and are continuing to be developed, deployed and operated.
>  The 22 publicly acknowledged deliberate transmissions to nearby stars.

We're not just listening.

Another possibility is that, if bases and especially if colonies, are developed on the Moon, Mars and other places, there will be greatly increased radio transmissions of all kinds between these bodies, between them and numerous spacecraft and satellites, and between the spacecraft and satellites.  For instance, one can be sure that entertainment (live sports, political events, current news, etc.) will be broadcast to various outposts on a 24/7 basis.

Signals already traveling interplanetary distances could well have leakage that could be detected by sophisticated  entities at interstellar distances.

Still another possibility is that, as we become aware of the existence of nearby life bearing planets, some group on Earth will deliberately signal directly to them.

Civilizations have used increasing amounts of energy in total and per capita terms for thousands of years.  It’s easy to see how this trend might continue for quite some time.

Bob

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#81 2008-05-25 13:06:24

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

Sure, but if we continue to become more and more energy-efficient, it may very well be that we need to signal intentionally. For example, laser transmissions would we very economical in terms of energy use (and multipurpose too!), but hard to pick up if you're not the object being signaled.

Just saying that maybe we need to star shouting instead of just listening. In case we want to be found in the first place, of course. Same goes for the little fuzzy aliens.


Rune. Oh no! Alien attack in a few centuries! Run for your lives!


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#82 2008-05-25 13:10:27

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

>  The 22 publicly acknowledged deliberate transmissions to nearby stars.

Sorry bob, didn't see that. Still, 22 stars seems pretty lame if you really expect any practical result... and I didn't knew radar carried that far, by the way.


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#83 2008-05-25 18:45:18

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Why No Contact Yet ?

Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars sweep out a large fraction of the local horizon resulting in by far the most intense signals that leak from Earth to a large fraction of the sky.  If an external observer used equipment comparable to the 305-m diameter dish at Arecibo such radars could be detected as far away as 15 light years.

The SETI Institute’s Allan Array, once it is completed, could detect such radars out to about 1,000 light years.  The Square Kilometre Array could go out to several thousand light years.

If the aliens have a similarly sized antenna at their end, they could pick up the Arecibo radar at 320 light-years in 8 seconds (roughly how much time it would take for the beamed signal to sweep across their planet as a consequence of Earth's rotation.) The Arecibo radar is turned on for the equivalent of about 70 days a year.

Bob

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