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Thread: Episode 24:The Fermi Paradox: Where Are All the Aliens?

  1. #1
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    Post Episode 24:The Fermi Paradox: Where Are All the Aliens?

    We live in a mind bogglingly big Universe filled with countless stars. We know intelligent life evolved here on Earth. It must be common across the Universe, right? But if there's life out there, how come we haven't been visited by aliens yet? Why haven't we even picked up signals from alien television stations? Where's all the life?<br />&nbsp;<br /><br />
    <a href="http://media.libsyn.com/media/astronomycast/AstroCast-070219.mp3"><strong> Episode 24: Fermi Paradox (16.3 MB)</strong></a><br />&nbsp;<br />

    Read the full blog entry

  2. #2
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    hmm,

    Fazer and Pamela, I found this episode to be your most specutlative. Even more so than last week. Even though there was very little astronomy envolved in this discussion, I never the less have enjoyed the show notes. I have to do a little research to understand Dr. Hawkings Lecture but I get the general idea and this is what helps me to educate myself for almost free

    Thanks Larry

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    How about we may be alone in the universe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    How about we may be alone in the universe?
    (see attachment)

    ... Yeah... Maybe.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Hubble_Ultra_Deep_Field.jpg 
Views:	127 
Size:	105.6 KB 
ID:	4738  

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    My view is that we ought to do everything we can to mask our presence in the universe until we understand the nature of any with whom we might come in contact, as if we were in the role of the Vulcans exercising the Prime Directive. We are too easily exploitable, as a species, as we have demonstrated on ourselves all too often. We are probably smart enough to be useful, but not so much so as to avoid being used. Moreover, one might logically postulate that a sentient technologically capable civilization would want to do the same.

    I find this song useful:
    http://www.jonathancoulton.com/mp3/C...Beta-Prime.mp3

    I have long held that Star Trek is very instructive in informing people about the perils of space exploration. While it is fraught with extreme danger, it is part of what drives us. Allowing ourselves to do it (to go into space), to do to the rest of our galaxy what we have done to our planet, is an unsettling question because I do NOT think we have earned the right to be messing around our solar system, let alone the galaxy. (I guess that is the "Q" in me.)

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    (My first post got wiped out)

    Exposing our presence in space can be very dangerous. We do not have the tools, communicatively or technologically, to defend ourselves against hostile "aliens". Thus, we must do everything we can to shield ourselves from leaking indications of our existence.

    I find the following song, "Chiron Beta Prime" at http://www.jonathancoulton.com/songs to be fun, and instructive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LucasVB View Post
    (see attachment)

    ... Yeah... Maybe.
    Is that the famous Deep Space star field from Hubble?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Is that the famous Deep Space star field from Hubble?
    Yes, that's the Hubble Ultra Deep Field.

    And those are not just stars, they're GALAXIES!

    The Universe is a big, big, BIG place.

  9. #9
    How about aliens already here, communicating with gouvernments, but hiding until the general population is "ready". Conspiracy!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, I think that the alien technology would not be the same as ours and we could just miss the message they are sending as they may miss ours. Just hand a 8-track tape to kid and he wouldn't know what it is for unless you tell him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etherdog View Post
    Exposing our presence in space can be very dangerous. We do not have the tools, communicatively or technologically, to defend ourselves against hostile "aliens". Thus, we must do everything we can to shield ourselves from leaking indications of our existence.
    Unless you're not paranoid.

    I think that assuming that all aliens are hostile is about as fallacious as claiming that all aliens are peaceful. If they're able to come all the way to here easily enough to fight us, there's nothing they can really take from us.

    What, slaves? Robots and genetic engineering.
    Minerals, metals, and other resources? There's other, unpopulated worlds out there that are better for strip mining.

    What else are there that they'd want to come in to attack us for no other reason than because Hollywood claims that they do?

    If they want our ideas, they'll find it better to gain it through diplomacy.

    If it's habitable worlds, you can't convince me that if they can accomplish easy interstellar travel, that they can't find some worlds to terraform. Plus, it assumes that they can live on our world with no problem.

    Like I said, I'm not paranoid.

  11. #11
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    OMG,

    Since the nearest star is something like 4 light years away and most are much farther away I think it's safe to assume any culture that can actually get here intact is probably too advanced too be fooled by our trying to hide our location. We've got satellits, unmanned planetary probes garbage on the moon the ISS and tons of space junk in orbit.

    It seems to me that due to the vastness of the Galaxy any intellegen entities advanced enough to communicat with us or travel here are too far away or are entirely uninterested in us.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by llarry View Post
    It seems to me that due to the vastness of the Galaxy any intellegen entities advanced enough to communicat with us or travel here are too far away or are entirely uninterested in us.
    Or maybe they just don't feel like contacting us, for whatever reason. Maybe we're part of a science experiment, and they want to predict what we can (or can't) do.

    Speculation is fun, but it's hard to really come up with anything concrete.

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    Does Area 51 has any connection to these aliens?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himanshu Raj View Post
    Does Area 51 has any connection to these aliens?
    Of course it does! Haven't you seen Independence Day? That's also the place where they staged the moon hoax and plotted 9-11.

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    Not long ago I watched Carl Sagan’s Cosmos’ Episode 12 – Encyclopaedie Galactica, where Sagan treats both the topics of the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox. I think he did this quite convincingly and I suggest everyone interest in this topic should watch it someday. Nevertheless I am not as optimistic as Sagan about the possibilities of alien life in the universe. Of course, space is a vast place, beyond human imagination. So there surely must be some alien life out there, but why should it be intelligent life? I would be happy, if they will find some alien microbes on Mars or somewhere else; this would be one of the greatest discoveries in human history. Besides that, there are quite intelligent beings on earth, which are not human: apes, whales, dolphins. The existence of intelligent life does not necessarily demand the evolvement of technology or space exploration. Only if the given natural conditions are forcing a species to develop in this matter, it will do so. The way humans cope with life is only one of an endless set of different ways of doing so. There might be other technological civilizations, but from an evolutionary perspective, there simply is no need for them to exist.

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    Here's a thought.

    When your loved-ones are not near you, are you alone?

    If you go to see a movie by yourself, are you?

    The point is perspective.

    We are a lonely planet. There may have been, or still is, or will be other life out there.

    Or not.

    The facts are, that is highly unlikely we will ever cross paths, and that is assuming that our paths can even cross. Maybe our nearest intelligent radio-wave using kin evolved and destroyed themselves a short million years ago, and we hadn't developed the satellites in time to catch their transmissions before they raced past us.

    It's like fishing.

    You have to use the right bait for the right fish at the right time.

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    Speed of Light?

    When I was listening to the podcast, i noticed that much of the "transportation" that would be used by the aliens seems a bit faulty. If the other intelligent life forms were to conquer the Milky Way in a few million years, would that not require them to travel faster than the speed of light?

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    Great Show!

    This is the first time I've posted on these boards. I just wanted Fraser & Pamela to know that this episode was great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonMan86 View Post
    When I was listening to the podcast, i noticed that much of the "transportation" that would be used by the aliens seems a bit faulty. If the other intelligent life forms were to conquer the Milky Way in a few million years, would that not require them to travel faster than the speed of light?
    The Milky Way is only 100,000 light years across. So explorers would need to travel at 10% the speed of light to get across the galaxy in a million years. Remember, its exponential exploration. You get to a planet, send probes to all the nearby stars, rinse repeat.

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    "The universe is just trying to kill us everyday in new and interesting ways."

    That part of the podcast made me laugh. I'm thinking of adding that to my signature. Though it was all speculation, I thought it was a really interesting show. Great job, once again.

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    The enhanced version was missing the closing music (and normal accompanying monologue). I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, so I just thought I would mention it.

    (I wasn't really sure where to post this: there didn't seem to be a thread dedicated to feedback.)

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    Life is??

    It's my guess "life" is going to surprise us all. I believe there is life in our solar system. The life in our solar system may not be able to fire a death ray and kill us all, but it might be able to infect us like the small pox and Ebola to the Aztecs. Beyond that, I believe it's more of a needle in a haystack. I'll be long dead by the time we run into anything out of our solar system, but I don't believe it will all be what we defined as life. The only thing I have to say about what kind of "life" we will run into, just remember we almost proportionally made up of the same thing as our planet. Just think of what mysteries those hot Jupiters could be holding.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricNau View Post
    The enhanced version was missing the closing music (and normal accompanying monologue). I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, so I just thought I would mention it.

    (I wasn't really sure where to post this: there didn't seem to be a thread dedicated to feedback.)
    Thanks for the note, Eric. I can't replicate the issue - I just downloaded the enhanced version and my computer was playing the ending music. Try downloading it again but if you're still having issues, feel free to email us at info@astronomycast.com

    -Rebecca
    Astronomy Cast Student Worker

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    mp4a and rss

    Great show!! Listen to it all the time.

    When I enter "http://www.astronomycast.com/podcast.xml" for my rss feed address I get the mp3 version of the show downloaded each time.

    Do you have a different address to get the mp4a versions each time??

    thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jovogt View Post
    Great show!! Listen to it all the time.

    When I enter "http://www.astronomycast.com/podcast.xml" for my rss feed address I get the mp3 version of the show downloaded each time.

    Do you have a different address to get the mp4a versions each time??

    thanks!
    Jovogt,

    Currently, we're not putting the enhanced version into the feed directly. We'd like to get some feedback from people before we make a switch. Watch for a switch in the next few weeks.

    In the mean time, if you go back to the Astronomy Cast episodes on the homepage you'll see links for m4a for each episode.

    -Rebecca
    Astronomy Cast Student Worker

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    I agree with the more cautious approach in regards to being so keen to make ourselves heard within our stellar neighborhood and beyond. Someone once described it as "shouting out in the jungle". Could be good and might possibly be a big mistake.

    Reasons why we havent heard anything yet:

    1)We are only now just entering an "intelligence evolution" type stage of the universe and we may be part of the first batch within our galaxy, and hence this is why we dont hear anything yet. Remember we've only just been leaking radio waves not a hundred years, so the farthest our signals could have reached would be a v small sample of stars and planetary systems - and thats assuming our signals wont have become so weak or distorted by stellar/cosmic noise that they are missed.

    2) Zoo theory: They know we are here but they are keeping us away from Galactic commnity because of philosophical/cultural reasons.

    3) We are in fact aliens, seeded on this far away planet x time ago. I know thats far out but it would explain some things like our sudden evolution into intelligent species. In this case, we should expect a visit or signal soon from our parent species. Or perhaps they destoryed themselves somehow in the intevening millions of years and never made it back here to see how their seed had developed. Believe it or not, with bioengineering and dna splicing, this idea is not that crazy.

    Oh well just some fun speculation

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    Just a small notice - Transcript for this episode is wrong - same as for Drake equation
    http://www.astronomycast.com/transcr...transcript.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by lebesgue View Post
    Just a small notice - Transcript for this episode is wrong - same as for Drake equation
    http://www.astronomycast.com/transcr...transcript.pdf
    Thanks Lebesgue. Sorry about the typo. I've fixed it now.

    Rebecca
    Astronomy Cast student worker

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    Quote Originally Posted by lebesgue View Post
    Just a small notice - Transcript for this episode is wrong - same as for Drake equation
    http://www.astronomycast.com/transcr...transcript.pdf
    Welcome to the forum, Lebesgue!

  30. #30

    I agree with Fraser

    Almost in a scary way with one difference.

    I believe. "LIFE IS EXTREMELY RARE BUT COMMON"

    I believe Life itself is Extremely rare in that it takes a great deal of lottery type
    of odds to find conditions so perfect that life can brew.

    But.........

    When Life DOES brew. It tends to flourish if the conditions are sustainable.

    In the words from Jurasic Park. "Life finds a way"
    Last edited by spent; 2007-Feb-27 at 05:15 AM.

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