SETI: Run by charlatans or fools?

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

  1. brucep Valued Senior Member

    I'm hoping Klaatu comes back and reiterates the 'alien philosophy' that we need to get our shit together as a race. "Klaatu barada nikto".
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Attack your character????Gee you are thin skinned and touchy, along with the hypocritic, sanctimonious and arrogant tags.

    Nup the baggage definitely rests with you as others have noted.
    And as I have said, along with already giving you the benefits, SETI will continue to work for mankind in its great search, along with all the other inevitable space missions, despite the cynics.
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Ahh yeah, one of the great Sci/Fi movies...

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    [Michael Renny and Patricia Neil
    Ranks number two in my opnion behind 2001: A Space Odyssey,
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Interesting flick considering the Ban the Bomb movement was just taking root. As for sci fi it was a pretty simple, just one all-powerful robot and, apart from wasting a few skeptics with its death ray, there was no need for large scale violence since merely stopping the flow of energy was enough of a demonstration of power. And of course the use of freeze-frame was simple low-tech way of making it a modern morality play. That and Charlton Heston's portrayal of the rational tough-guy alien, and his determination to send this message to the robot, commanding it to do his will even as he lay mortally wounded.
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    Yes. As a statement of fact, you have attacked my character from the start of our interaction. Which wouldn't be much of a problem if you had anything of value to add.

    Others? Is there a mouse in your pocket?

    You haven't listed my any benefits of the SETI program. Did I miss something? Show me where you've done this.

    You mean realists?
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    No, its been answered many times, by a few posters, you just fail to accept them as advantages.....
    It's not an advantage knowing our place in the Universe, or knowing we are not alone????
    I did mention "brain dead"in my post somewhere I'm sure.
    I'm also sure life exists elsewhere, but also realising the strict mainstream attitude is "We don't Know ", I am enthusiastic enough to be of the same opinion as the reputable people of SETI in wanting to get that final verification on the issue. That's human least for scientists.
    If you see the need to interprete that enthusiasm, as some sort of religious dogma, then I feel sorry for you.

    And the inference that a fickle general public in knowing ETL does exist, would soon lose interest anyway, is somewhat of a furphy. The Apollo program consisted of going to the Moon continually....same old, same old sort of thing, at least in the eyes of that fickle public. SETI, if it does find evidence of life, then assures many more questions will need be asked, both of the nature of the origin of the signal, and its senders, and of course ourselves.
    There job would be actually never ending.
    The direct effect on society is mainly in the philosophical area, similar to the discovery that the Earth is not the center of the solar system, or the galaxy, or the Universe.
    Again, if you are of the opinion that confirmation of life off this planet would not profoundly change the way we think, then all I can say in the nicest possible way, is I don't really believe you.

    But don't let it worry you too much. As I have also said, it will continue with many reputable scientists supporting it.
    If you are concerned about the dollars it has cost you, then again, you should look at all government handouts and see where it does rank.
    I have supported SETI vigorously, and will continue to do so to the best of my ability.
    Your irrational diatribe will not change that, just as the never ending diatribe from some religious fanatics, will never deter scientists and others at the coal face of improving knowledge of oursleves and the Universe around us.
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Just to add to the previous post, when we talk of the fickle general public, doesn't that apply to their waning attitudes on all of science.
    Do they continually run around discussing heart transplants, or the latest Mars probe long after its landed, or computer power and the list gos on and on and on.
    That does not mean though that these science research projects need to stop.....The fickle public is driven by the fickle press, who in turn drives the fickle public..........
    But all branches of scientific research continue on regardless, benefiting that same fickle public and fickle press....

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    Get my drift???
  11. Balerion Banned Banned

    It's not that I haven't accepted them, it's that you haven't listed any. No one has. Is it really that hard to show me where you listed these items? Apparently they're all over the place, so just pick on and list it here.

    In and of itself? I can't think of any. That doesn't mean there aren't any, of course. Tell you what: Why don't you just go ahead and tell me what the benefit of knowing we are not alone is?

    (and knowing we are not alone is not the same thing as knowing our place, for the record)

    Self-diagnosing again? I thought we agreed you'd wait for the nurse next time.

    And for the umpteenth time: What is the benefit, exactly, of changing that "I don't know" to "Yes?" In what way does that change our society for the better?

    Scientists can usually spell, so you probably shouldn't put yourself in that category until you've at least learned how to use a spell-checker.

    And it should go without saying that "I'm enthusiastic" isn't any sort of an answer to the question of "What are the benefits of SETI research?"

    That must be directed at someone else, since I never inferred such a thing. What I said was that we already strongly suspect that intelligent life exists elsewhere. The inference being that the conformation of such wouldn't be all that earth-shattering. I mean, it would be cool, sure, but that's about it.

    Apples and oranges. There were tangible benefits to the Apollo program, both in terms of consumer technologies and economic growth, not to mention more scientists being developed by our school system. And lest we forget the real driving force behind our space program: Russia.

    I'm sure Shostak and his thief buddies would love that. As to the nature of the signal, that doesn't seem to be something we are even capable of determining. There could theoretically be thousands of signals received that we can't decipher. But even if we could, what are we supposed to do with them? How in the hell does one go about answering any of those questions you mention above?

    We already don't think of ourselves as the center of anything. (Thought it's virtually impossible that intelligent life lives within the Solar System) But hey, at least you provided an answer. And if that's the best you got, then yes, I reject that as reason enough to keep funding SETI.

    And in the nicest way possible, I would respond that I don't really care if you believe me. My position is that we already--all of us--assume that life exists elsewhere, intelligent life. We are starting to get a grasp on just how big the universe is, and nobody in their right mind believes that we're the only ones.

    I don't consider Seth Shostak to be reputable. He's outright lied about contact--or he's genuinely out of his mind. In either case, that's not what I'd consider reputable.

    I consider SETI to be a government handout, so that's precisely where I'd expect to find it listed.

  12. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From my Post #50.
    Nobody posting here seems to realize the seriousness of the problems implied by the above. Perhaps they are ignoring the above because they have either no clue relating to the technological problems or no idea of how to overcome the problems assuming they are aware of those problems.

    The problem of signal degradation is serious, but might be overcome with some future technology (hard to imagine how, but maybe).

    The far more serious problem is predicting the exact position of an orbiting target circa 4 light years from the transmitter. Even more serious is the problem of directing a signal precisely enough to avoid missing the target 4 light years away.

    It seems difficult to avoid missing a planet 4 light years away from the transmitter. The SETI folks are hoping that the transmitters will not miss the SETI receivers, smaller targets than our planet.

    The above relates to transmitters on Proxima Centauri. For a more distant transmitter, the directional precison problem is much worse.
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    SETI is up and going as it has been for a while now...guess what??? Your diatribe nonsense, paranoia and pessimism will not make a scrap of difference.

    Enjoy it...It'll be around for a while yet!!

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  14. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Come on Id. It was Michael Rennie. They could come back again and Gort the robot could make an example of the tea party wing of the GOP. We could get a first hand look at the ray gun. My favorite part is when Klaatu visits the science prof at the local university and easily solves the equation on his board. Kinda like what Leslie Winkle did to Sheldon.
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

    And neither will all of their listening, unfortunately.
  16. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, Dino, but I believe you are straining at a gnat. Don't forget that a transmitted signal leaves it's point of origin as an ever-expanding cone. By the time it's traveled 4 LY it would most likely cover the entire solar system of Proxima Centauri,
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    He's already been informed of that at least twice from memory...
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    That's neither here nor there, as everyone has admitted.........The point you so cynically avoid, is that [1] It's science, [2] They continue to listen, [3] They are learning while listening, [4] Honing their precision and methodology as well and [5] of course the chances that some discovery will be made.

    All in all, great innovative and Imaginative work, that will pay dividends in the long haul.
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Ahh yeah, Sam Jaffe's [alias professor Barnhart] equations!!!

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  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    If you did have a neuron or two sparking in that otherwise dead brain, I could begin to tell you.
    Actually arguing with your diatribe is as silly as some of the pseudoscience pushers we have had of late.......

    Oh, I don't, and never have...I just agree on most things with the mainstream view. But you concentrate on the spelling and question marks and dots and dashes and whatever other pedantic red herrings that gets you off.

    Again, your mindset has you not accepting then anyway, but rest assured, the benefits are real as you know.

    SETI also has benefits that you would see if a couple more neurons started flashing upstairs.

    Thats quite easy to say when you are sitting in an an armchair, incognito, throwing unsupported brickbats and out right lies and no one knows you, isn't it?
    Seth Shostack, Carl Sagan, Jill Tarter and all the others, are all reputable people, with far more decency, and Innovation in their little finger then you could ever dream of. But certainly easy targets for the more grubby members of the human race.
    At least they are out there, achieving advances that grubs quickly and greedily latch onto without a second thought as to how and where the technology came from.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member



    We conclude that skepticism regarding SETI is at best unfounded and at worst can seriously damage the long-term prospects of humanity. If ETIs exist, no matter whether friendly or adversarial (or even beyond such simple distinctions), they are relevant for our future. To neglect this is contrary to the basic tenets of transhumanism. To appreciate this, it is only sufficient to imagine the consequences of SETI success for any aspect of transhumanist interests; and then to affirm that such a success can only be achieved without trying if they come to us, which would obviously mean that we are hopelessly lagging in the race for Galactic colonization.

    We find a streak of very subtle anthropocentrism hidden in the usual understanding of the “Great Filter” (as expressed by Hanson’s quote above). Seemingly, we are led into a dilemma: either we are optimists about extraterrestrial life and SETI or we are optimists about our particular (human/posthuman) future. We find the dilemma false and a bit hypocritical, like all man-as-the-measure-of-all-things argument from Protagoras to this day. We can have both of the alternatives above; we can be optimists about life and intelligence in general. And only future astrobiological research can persuasively show to which degree our optimism in both directions is justified.

    As all who have ever tackled this question agree, investments in SETI are invariably a minuscule fraction of any civilization’s scientific investments. Even the cost of the most ambitious SETI projects imagined so far (like CYCLOPS; see Oliver 1973) is negligible in comparison to such endeavors generally regarded as desirable and worthwhile like the development of artificial intelligence, setting up efficient defense against impacts, or building O’Neill colonies (not to mention more ambitious projects, like terraforming or uplifting of stellar matter[15]). Thus, there is no real economic excuse for neglecting this field, as well as the general astrobiological enterprise, once prejudices and fallacious arguments are rejected. At least this argument applies as long as it is really necessary to influence public opinion at large to support this type of scientific research; it is to be hoped that in future rich societies such research could be performed by individuals even if the majority still continues to consider them irrelevant or even undesirable.

    Of course, all this pertains to a long-term view. No theoretical model can guarantee the success of SETI on short timescales, certainly not on the scale of a present-day human lifetime. But, a healthy admixture of long-term views and long-term planning seems inescapable if we wish to leave to our descendants a prospect of living under billion suns of the Milky Way,

  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    In summing we could logically say, as remote as that chance is, taking into account the barriers of numbers involved, Universal extent, time and distance, "You have got to be in it to win it" !!!!!!!!!
  23. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

    i don't think SETI is government funded. and wiki agrees...

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