Probability Alien Life Watching Us Cannot be Determined

Discussion in 'Science' started by FlamingLib, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    The probability of alien life existing is unknown. That also entails the probability of alien life existing that is observing us is also unknown, and there are reasons to think we might be under observation.

    For hundreds of millions of years now, any alien life within, say, a thousand light years with a decent sized telescope would have determined we're an interesting planet that warrants further study: we orbit a stable main-sequence star with a nice percentage of heavy elements, we're in the "goldilocks zone" for liquid water, and our atmosphere has tell-tale biosignatures.

    So, anyone think they're watching us? Or maybe already here?
     
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  2. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    The probability of life elsewhere in the universe is greater than the probability that our planet is the only one with life in the universe.

    Assuming that this alien life has had both the technology and reason to look for "goldilocks zone" planets the problem comes with the 1000 light years part. What they would be observing of our planet now would be the Dark Ages. They could probably detect a vegetation footprint on Earth but not much else. It will be another 1000 years before we set off atomic explosions, light up the dark side of the planet and push out radio signals.

    Granted they might be closer than 1000 light years but it would still be at least a couple of hundred. There is also the fact that unless they have some kind of full time monitoring system of every goldilocks planet they could easily miss what we are doing.

    In essence we are a needle in a universe sized haystack in terms of the space-time continuum.

    If they are advanced enough to have the full time capability of observing all goldilocks planets then we are in trouble if they are already here. As the inferior civilization we won't survive physical contact with a superior one.
     
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  3. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    I find it likely that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, I find it extremely unlikely it has noted a small planet in an uninteresting pinpoint of an uninteresting galaxy with trillions of pinpoints amongst billions of galaxies at the one moment amongst billions of moments that anything of interest can be heard or seen. Basically unless there happens to be someone with a big a $$ telescope or receiver with a couple hundred light years of Earth they will have no idea we are even here until we are gone.

    And by the way....they sure as heII would not fly around at night with their lights on.
     
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  4. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    Vegetation alone would likely make us an interesting planet worthy of maybe a probe or two. We'll be doing the same thing in a fairly short amount of time.

    True.

    Yes, but that wouldn't require tremendous resources or full-time monitoring.

    It's not that hard to discover interesting nearby planets. We've already done so. So long as we're spit-balling, let's assume an alien civ just 100 years ahead of us technologically. They wouldn't have much trouble zeroing in on stars like our sun and observing the planets in those systems.

    Debatable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  5. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    They would probably have to be a thousand LY or closer, true. How many technologically advanced alien civs are within a thousand LY's of us? Unknown.

    Probably not. I would assume some probe billions of miles out that wakes up ever once and awhile, makes observations, and sends the report back to the home system.
     
  6. Liberty Monkey

    Liberty Monkey Well-Known Member

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    I believe life is literally everywhere in the universe and not rare at all in any way, where it can exist it does. I'm convinced Mars at least did have life if not actually on going life and that when we explore the solar system we will find other examples. Possible common DNA (With life on earth coming from these extra terrestrial sources through meteor/comet strikes)

    Intelligent life though a lot more rare.... especially on this forum! Boom boom.

    I very much doubt intelligent life is watching us at best maybe there's an Alien Nasa gazing up at us debating if this obscure star with orbiting planets 1000 light years away could support life.

    There's a lot of reasons including distances between stars, speed of light, strength of signal that could actually be useful. Radio waves also adhere to the inverse square law like light waves. This does not bode well for interstellar distances.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  7. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    For an alien civ just a bit ahead of us on the tech curve, it would be fairly trivial to send probes to planets at sub-light speeds and wait for the information to come in. I would be extremely surprised if an alien civ didn't want to know what's going on in the neighborhood, just for defensive purposes.
     
  8. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    If they are at 1000 light years they have about 900 yrs to wait for our signal.
     
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  9. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Time is the problem here....Both the time for signal travel and the time a species or civilization exists. we need to be here at the same time they are calculating for light speed. If we heard a message today we would need them to still be there in a thousand years and another thousand to hear the return message and need to remember we sent in in two thousand years to hear their reply.
     
  10. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    Why would they have to wait for a signal from us? I'm assuming any nearby technologically sophisticated aliens would simply send probes to keep an eye on planets where it's known life exists, and the probes send updates back to the home system. That wouldn't require much in the way of resources.
     
  11. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Time exists for probes as well as biological life. It changes nothing.
     
  12. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    I don't get your point. Yes, any aliens observing us are going to have to wait for the signals of their probes to get back to them. That is trivially obvious.
     
  13. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    Also, there exists the possibility there are probes watching us which have A.I.'s that have been programmed to do certain things, should certain thresholds on our part be crossed. How would you go about determining whether such probes exist or not? With our limited knowledge, I don't see how a probability calculus is even possible.
     
  14. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Okay...to simplify. Any signal sent from Earth would take 1000 yrs. at the speed of light to go 1000 light years, Humans have been broadcasting for less than 100 years leaving at least 900 for minimal transit of signal. Once the aliens do receive the signal and figure out what it says as well as how to reply it will take another thousand years to get it back to earth. Judging by history our species will either no longer use radio or be extinct....the same applies for them. This assumes best case scenario which is seldom the reality in anything.
     
  15. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Any probe is unlikely to be visible to us in the first place being nanotech or cloaked so speculation as to how to see it is rather pointless and arbitrary mental masturbation.
     
  16. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    This should be posted in the Conspiracy section, not the science section.
     
  17. FlamingLib

    FlamingLib Active Member

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    In order to be a conspiracy, the probability of the claim would have to be extremely low. How are you determining the probability?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  18. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    That's neither a definition or description of a conspiracy.
     
  19. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    This is one reason why SETI is facing very long odds...how to find 'others' who might only exist a few hundred years in time frames of 1000's, millions or billions of years? But I'm 100% to continue a reasonable level of effort of SETI...
     
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  20. One Mind

    One Mind Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Right, probably would not fly around at night with their lights on, unless of course, it is a signature of a propulsion system, which has been mentioned by people who believe that have seen these things.

    Yet the military has recorded objects and interacted with them, and so there is that fact. And it is a verifiable fact. So what do the skeptics have to do to reject these interactions? Harder to do it when instruments, state of the art picks them up as experienced military pilots observe these things. What are they? And how can they move about, defying what we know of physics, currently? Not illusion, unless military grade instruments can pick up an illusion, and pilots also observe them. Illusions that appear to be solid, and react to radar and other instruments. And can out fly any earth aircraft, in spades.

    Supernatural beings? Gods? Demigods? Angels? We don't have a clue. But something is there, and that is a fact.
     

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