SETI: Run by charlatans or fools?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Dinosaur, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Therein lies your problem....You deride real scientific endeavours, but support pseudoscientific rubbish.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Pete It's not rocket surgery Registered Senior Member

    Do you?
    I think that most SETI advocates expect that the whole experiment will have a null result.

    Expecting a null result does not make them charlatans.
    Haven't you ever done something because of what might happen, rather than because of what you expect will happen?

    Consider someone wearing a seatbelt, not because they expect to be in an accident, but because they could be.
    Consider a doctor who CTs the neck of someone who fell off a roof, not because they expect them to have cracked their spine, but because they could have.
    Consider someone who makes a bet on a horse at long odds, not because they expect that horse to win, but because it might win.
    Consider a scientist exploring a novel idea, not because they expect it to be true, but because it could be.
    Consider an amateur astronomer searching for new comets, not because they expect to find one, but because they might.
    Consider a program searching for extraterrestrial signals, not because they expect to find some, but because they might.

    Which of these are charlatans, and why?
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. pmb Banned Banned

    My my! That was beautifully stated, Pete! Bravo!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Mazulu Banned Banned

    SETI inspires the public, and it's privately funded. So more power to them.
  8. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    No, but clearly you don't either otherwise you'd be posting quotes from SETI researchers that tell us what they are expecting instead of guessing.
    Perhaps. Are you aware of any species who have sent such signals?
    Er - not if it is directional! You are contradicting yourself (or just don't know what you are talking about).
    They certainly know our location, they just don't know if we are here; They can see our sun.
    That's so basic you really should know it before posting a thread like this.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  9. Mazulu Banned Banned

    Does anyone know what the minimal requirements are for life to evolve? You need water, volcanic activity (allows mixing of carbocaceous meteorites that strike the given planet). You need a good solid rocky planet within the Goldy Locks zone. You're gonna need to protect all the little organisms from the radiation of space (things like Van Allen belts and ozone). What other necessary requirements are there? Do you need a certain kind of moon (to move the tides and allow for good mixing)?
  10. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    I assume you mean what are the requirements for life to start - and that answer would be no.

    We don't event know that. Those are assumptions of what it took for life to develop on earth.

  11. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    I am still hopeful that we will find life elsewhere in the solar system!

    I'd say odds are about 50/50 that we will find evidence of life elsewhere in the solar system in my lifetime (50+ years).

    And I expect odds better than 50/50 that life will be discovered elsewhere in the galaxy in that time.

    But I don't expect active contact.
  12. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    It is certainly possible we will find life in the solar system. So far our sample size for planets that have life is n=1. The sample size of planets that we have completely investigated for life is also n=1. Pretty crappy statistics to make a prediction.
  13. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Paddoboy: You or some other poster are correct. I did start a similar Thread a year os more ago. SETI is still in existence & I still think it is a waste of financial & human resources

    You base your opinion on merely the vast number of stars/galaxies without any serious analysis.
    You make no analysis of the conditions required for the existence of a technological culture. Note the following requirements.

    A planet must be in the habitable region of its solar system. Ours has nine planets & only one has any life.

    The solar system must be in the habitable region of its galaxy.

    Geology & archeology of the Earth support the notion that it takes billions of years for life to occur, given the other necessary conditions. That is a long time for a planet to have a stable orbit.

    The Neandertals seemed to have as much potential as Homo Sapiens, yet they went extinct.

    The dinosaurs existed for over 100 million years & the last of them were not much (if any) more intelligent than the first ones. Intelligence is more likely to be a lucky fluke rather than an evolutionary inevitability.

    Given the above, it seems likely that many galaxies would have no technological cultures & few would have more than one. While my analysis of the history of the Earth is pessimistic relating to the number of technological cultures, it is optomistic relating to the number of planets with life.

    Next, assume that there is one technological culture in our galaxy & they used the energy of a nova to send an electromagnetic signal that did not degrade by the time it got to us. They would still be required to send that signal precisely in our direction. Consider scientists on Earth trying to send a signal to a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri (circa 4 light years from us).

    We are orbiting Sol & they are orbiting Proxima Centauri.

    We must predict their exact position at the time the signal gets there.

    We must send our signal precisely to that predicted position. Over a distance of circa 4 light years, an extremely small error in direction would result in missing the target.

    The folks running SETI are surely smart enough to be aware of what I have described,

    What makes them think that they can expect to receive a signal? Given the above remarks, are there any Posters here who expect SETI to receive a signal?
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Not at all. It seems more likely that you base your negative approach on the exact conditions required for life [as we know it] without any regards to the astronomical numbers involved, [more stars in the observable Universe, then grains of sands on all the beaches] and the stuff of life being everywhere we look. And that is strictly confined to life as we know it, and of course just the observable Universe.

    Sure they are smart...much smarter then you or me. But they also realise that as remote as chances are that we may detect a signal, the confirmation of such a project would be a mankind changing event.
    Science is all about taking chances.​
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    A couple of more points worth considering....To say Earth is the only planet we know has life within our solar system, is 100% wrong.
    We maybe the only planet with advanced lifeforms, but we have plenty of exploration to do yet....The Oceans of Europa and Enceladus just to name two possibilities.
    And habitable regions of any stellar system will change....planets can migrate over large periods of time, and stars also change as they use up fuel. eg: When our Sun becomes a WD, the habitable zone will vary to what it is now.
  16. Balerion Banned Banned

    Their cause isn't ignoble, but I tend to think the SETI guys lean more towards scam artists than idiots. Their "predictions" for receiving a signal are ludicrous.

    Uh, what? Did I miss an announcement?
  17. Mazulu Banned Banned

    He's saying that there might be life hidden somewhere else in the solar system. Maybe Europa has organic slime monsters.
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

    The way he phrased it made it sound as if we knew there was life elsewhere in the solar system.
  19. Mazulu Banned Banned

    100% certainty of anything is hard to come by. You could discover that you really did have an afterlife and a soul. Then you might be in the unfortunate position of wanting to measure it, to prove it to the world, but you lack a physical body to measure anything. I hope you get to experience that (an afterlife).
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    What predictions???

    I didn't say there was life anywhere else in the solar system. I was contradicting the silly inference that there is not life anywhere else.
    We have yet to explore the Oceans of Europa and Enceladus.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, it's pretty obvious what I said.
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

    Ease up on the question marks, kiddo. One will suffice. I assumed you had some knowledge of SETI. That was my mistake.

    Seth Shostak, who is basically the SETI boss, predicts we will have contact within 20 years. These predictions are all based on fanciful assumptions that likely have no basis in reality. Do I need to Google this for you, or can I trust you to handle it yourself?

    Yes, you did. That may not be what you meant, but it is what you said:

    I'm not an English teacher, but the gist of this sentence is that we know there is life elsewhere within our solar system.
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Great post....Funny that none of the critics has addressed it as yet.

Share This Page