SETI: Run by charlatans or fools?

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

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    That's just plain bull shit, and an opinion held only by yourself and the dinosaur.
    Like I said, the other day, those involved, and those that were involved have more character, decency and respectibility in their little finger then any arm chair critic does in their whole being.
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  3. Pete It's not rocket surgery Registered Senior Member

    Cite please. The brief search I performed on the opinions of SETI scientists regarding their chances of success revealed more that were pessimistic than optimistic.

    Drake was the most optimistic I found, and I think it's not unreasonable that he is honest in his optimism.
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    I did so earlier in this thread. Look up Seth Shostak's predictions.
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Show us again.

    And what's wrong with predictions anyway??? Probably predictions based on optimism, nothing at all wrong with that.
    Carl Sagan was another.......
    While there is a non zero chance we will pick up signals, it's worth the time and effort and money.
    Afterall, it would confirm mankinds greatest question. Ánd that is what science is all about.
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    researcher Seth Shostak bets that we will find extraterrestrial life in the next twenty-four years, or he'll buy you a cup of coffee. At TEDxSanJoseCA, he explains why new technologies and the laws of probability make the breakthrough so likely -- and forecasts how the discovery of civilizations far more advanced than ours might affect us here on Earth. (Filmed at TEDxSanJoseCA.)

    A nice video talk also by Seth, on why he thinks we will find ETL within 20 years.
    Optimistic??? yep, sure, so was Madam Curie.
  9. DrSwampGas Registered Member


    From the viewpoint of international relations theory, the world at that time was in a condition of "anarchy" in which no superior power existed over and above nation states. Given the development of nuclear weapons, this type of "realism" had literally reached a dead end, for it seemed very unlikely that civilization could survive another world war.

    Klaatu offers one answer to this old problem, a new international order in which a world government would punish any aggressor with total destruction. This was supposed to be the original role of the United Nations, if it had been given control over all nuclear weapons as originally planned. This was being seriously discussed in 1945-46, but naturally the U.S. was reluctant to give up its temporary monopoly on nuclear weapons while the Soviet Union was building its own bomb and reluctant to agree to international control. In the end, the UN was unable to carry out its primary mission to prevent future wars of aggression.

    Of course, by the time this movie was made in 1951, there was a hot war going on in Korea involving China, Russia and the U.S., with a very real danger of escalation to nuclear war. This was a dire situation--very dangerous--and the prospects for any type of international control of nuclear weapons seemed hopeless.
  10. wellwisher Banned Banned

    I think SETI represents how a show of science can created an illusion of science. If I postulated the existence of purple matter (between dark and light matter) and could get funding to build a huge reactor/accelerator facility, that high tech monument would make my claim appear more valid, compared to the same theory without the circus atmosphere. People will just assume, they would not be spending all that money if it was not considered true. But it could be a case of the right connections, or what is needed to further an agenda.

    Let us look at this as scientists:

    The idea of life and intelligent life elsewhere in the universe seems reasonable, even to me, based on the theories and inferences of science. But we have yet to find anything, beyond the precursors of life (such as animo acids), bringing some doubt to the blind faith many people have. On the other hand, some religions assume that humans are the only physical and intelligent life in the universe, and as of now, this side is winning the faith game, even with science being the referee and collecting the data.

    I am not saying one or the other position is true, but the religious assumption of only earthlings, is the supported conclusion so far, if objectivity to 100% of the hard data is important to anyone. Science has to conclude based on the available data, not faith or politics.

    I would guess, the atheists need to keep doubling down. to get the data to go their way, or they will be accused of blind faith, not bound to hard evidence. This would open them up to the claim of being a faith based religion.

    Science has not spent this much time, money, tech and top lev3l manpower trying to prove the existence of God, and that is called a done deal, based on zero positive results collected so far. I would suggest we give the atheist faith a count down to the year 2020, where if the results do not change, atheism has to renounce its faith, or has to come under separation of church and state. Or is the dual standard in effect? It can be funded by the private sector through atheist church donations.

    I do belief in other life elsewhere, but that is with the heart and gut. Science has to be based on the mind with data, with all the data so far consistent with claims of religion. Should that religious claim be elevated to science, since it now has years of 100% data support? Or is the dual standard in effect?
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    I also believe in life elswhere. Why do you believe in life elsewhere?
    Because there are a near infinite number of other stars, with a near infinite number of other planets?
    Because the Universe is thought to be at least near infinite in extent, if not infinite?
    Because the stuff of life has been observed everywhere we look?
    With those obviously extra large numbers involved, why would it be "blind faith"to believe in other ETL and even Intelligent life?

    In my opinion to believe we are it, is to believe we/Earth holds some sort of privileged position, which could be construed to also envisage a creator of sorts.
    Yes, there is perhaps a non zero chance that life only exists on one planet, in one solar system, in one galaxy, in the whole Universe.
    But when we look at the data known, of more stars in the Universe then all the grains of sands on all the beaches in all the world, [and the stuff of life being sprinkled throughout] I see it as a rather logical scientific conclusion to accept that the chances overwhelmingly support the existence of life at all levels of evolution, even some beyond our own.
    Of course though, it is just as logical to realise that two other scientific facts, make any contact between species extremely difficult.
    Those facts are of course time and distance.

    Most logical scientists accept the BB/Inflationary model of Universal evolution, and the principles and predictions of SR/GR and the evolution of life.
    All these scientific theories are set in concrete, but scientific theories they remain.
    The theory that life exists elsewhere [for the reasons given] are also in my opinion, set in concrete.
    There is a non zero chance that all are wrong, [perhaps less then 0.001%] but the overwhelmingly much larger chance that they are all correct.

    If that's faith, then I have it!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
    Max Planck:
  12. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Pete: The Drake equation is no more than organized guesswork
    I do not think it has a term for the habitable zone of a galaxy.

    A better estimate of the existence & number of ET’s could be made based on analysis of the history of our solar system & the Earth.

    Others: To recap some remarks I made in previous posts, consider the possibility of picking up a sign from a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, assuming that ET’s there were actually trying to signal the third planet of Sol.

    ET is orbiting Centauri & we are orbiting Sol.

    Unless the signal was sent in a very precise direction, it would likely miss the Earth.

    Even if they had very precise knowledge of our solar system, including the parameters of our orbit, it would be a formidable task to direct a signal precisely enough to hit rather than miss the Earth.

    Our receivers are incredibly smaller than the Earth.​

    The above assumes an ET circa 4 light years away. At greater distances the problems are even more formidable. I think the next closest star (Bernard’s?) is circa 8 light years away.

    BTW: A Poster here suggested a signal propagated as an expanding cone of radiation. The strength of such a signal would obey an inverse square law & would not be strong enough to be picked up by our receivers after traveling 4 or more light years.

    Consider signals such as our radio/TV transmissions intended for reception by people on our own planet. There is no reason for them to be powerful enough to be detectable at interstellar distances. Yet that seems to be what the SETI folks are expecting.
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps they know more then you do?
  14. wellwisher Banned Banned

    If one uses logical inference, based on what we know of science, the universe, and life on earth, life elsewhere, seems very likely. For example, water, critical to life, is the second most abundant molecule in the universe.

    But the hard data stemming from those seeking direct evidence, instead of circumstantial evidence, does not reflect the conclusion from this natural logic. Rather their direct data seems to support what some religions believe, which is, the earth is unique to life. That religion science premise assumes they will not find anything, which has held up for years, no matter how much they spent. The science winner is unanimous so far.

    The point I was making is what is called "faith" and religion has the full support of the hard evidence. On the other hand, what is reasonably inferred from science, and called hard science, appears to have zero direct data after a few double downs.

    I also asked should the religious theory of life unique to earth, which has stood the test of direct data collection, be confirmed as proven science? And should zero direct data support side of the coin, but plenty of faith, now be called faith and religion?
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Yep.....The near infinite numbers involved and near infinite extent of the Universe, make the probability of life elsewhere, near certain, in the view of many astronomers/cosmologists.

    But other than the numbers data I keep harping on, plus the stuff of life being everywhere, [which supports the affirmative opinion], there is as yet no other evidence either way...Again time and distance stand in the way of finding that direct evidence.

    What data supports the possibility of life being unique to Earth?
    There is none....The limited available data is evident in the known numbers involved and the extent of the Universe, and both of those point to the likelyhood of life being relatively plentiful.
  16. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    PaddoBoy:The history of the Earth suggests that the following is valid.
  17. wellwisher Banned Banned

    There is a difference between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence. Large footprints in the snow might be circumstantial evidence of big foot. It can also be circumstantial evidence for other theories. This is not the same as a video of big foot making the foot print. The former needs faith, while the later does not require faith, since the hard evidence does not need to be spun with faith. The likelihood of other life seems reasonable, but to date it is based on circumstantial evidence. SETI is trying to gain direct data that can't be spun to suit belief systems.

    I believe there is life elsewhere, but the lack of direct evidence backs the opposite claim. If you claim no life elsewhere, that means your expectation is nothing will be found, which has been the case. A lot of large foot prints in the snow does not conclusively prove big foot, but this may be enough to maintain our faith even if direct data is lacking. This is how religion works.

    If I think I saw a miracle in a hospital, this could be called circumstantial evidence of god. It is a foot print in the snow. Science would expect direct proof, except in the SETI case. The side backed by hard data right does not get any credit, but is placed secondary to footprints in the snow.
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    No it certainly does not. The lack of hard evidence just supports the reality of time and distances that I have continually harped on.
    Absence of hard evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

    Plus of course I see nothing wrong in faith in science to a degree.
    We have faith [and evidence] that the assumptions of homegenity and Isotropy of the Universe is correct.
    Likewise the vast majority of cosmologists have faith that ETI exists elsewhere based on size and extent.

    Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
    Max Planck
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I know! It's a problem with scientists in general. All those NASA types lying about the possibility of finding life on Mars just to receive more money. And medical researchers lying about potential stem cell cures just to grab more cash. And researchers looking into nuclear fusion? Lying about the possibilities just to line their pockets with your hard-earned dollars.

    Good to see someone stand up to all those mendacious ivory-tower types.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Exactly! and coupled up with all those conspiracies, about faked Lunar landings, and 9/11, it's one big fat illusion!
    The whole world is an illusion!!
  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    PaddoBoy: From my Post #169
    Your response to Post #169.
    Check the rest of my Post #169 & tell me what they could possibly know that I do not know.

    Might they have some reason to believe that the inverse square law does not apply to radiation not due to a precisely directed signal? Id est: A signal radiated as a cone.

    Do they have some reason to believe that a technological culture would have reason to create a directed interstellar signal strong enough to be detectable at distances of 4 or more light years?

    If they did generate such a signal what reason would they have to believe that it would hit some planet at the precise place where receiving equipment was active?

    As described in my Post #169, it would be a formidable task to send a directed signal to Earth over interstellar distances if they knew of our solar system & the precise parameters of our orbit. It would be miraculous if such a directed signal happened by chance to be in exactly aligned with our SETI receivers.

    From your Post #175
    Rare is correct: Perhaps some galaxies not having any & very few having more than one. I gave some cogent reasons to support such a frequency of Technological cultures.

    Now given that technological cultures are rare, what are the chances of getting a signal from one of them which is precisely directed so as to be aligned with a SETI receiver? Note that it would be a formidable task to send such a precisely directed signal if they knew of our solar system & our orbital parameters.
  23. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Sure, why not? See:
    Nonsense. You vastly over-estimate the precision required.

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