• You still have a chance to win a Celestron Telescope! Click here to learn more!

Why fails SETI? - Why the Fermi paradox?

Oct 30, 2019
1
2
10
Well I am no scientist but even for me it is obvious why SETI in more than 50 years did not detect any intelligent radio signal and why Fermi was asking “Where is anybody”?

I think they were and they still are simply looking in the wrong direction. Why would any advanced intelligent civilization use radio waves or light waves for their communication? Only because our scientists think, it is the fastest way of communication? Oh come on, 300 years ago we used smoke signals, 200 years ago we used Morse codes and the electric telegraph, since 100 years we use radio waves. An intelligent civilization might be thousands or even millions of years ahead of us and our scientists really think they use radio waves?

Radio waves are fast, but even a radio signal needs about 15-25 minutes to reach Mars, 70-80 minutes to reach Saturn and approx. 4 hours to reach Pluto. And that’s the time it needs for any communication only within our solar system, a radio message to our closest star Alpha Centauri would take already more than 4 years.

Now imagine an interstellar travelling spaceship which is in trouble and needs urgent help. They are at one end of our galaxy and their home planet is located at the other end of the galaxy. Now would they send a radio message like “Houston, we have a problem” they would have to wait around 200,000 years for an answer. Not exactly very efficient and helpful right?

So what kind of communication might they use? Well, the only possible answer is: something which is instant, something we yet have to discover and therefore we are still not able to detect.

Maybe in some thousand years the human brain will evolve so far that we are capable of Telepathy which would be an instant form of communication. A communication form based on Quantum mechanics, where two particles interact instantaneously regardless how far they are apart might be another way of an instant communication. But I guess they would use something we still can´t even imagine.

Well forgive me if my thoughts sound naive or even stupid, but as I mentioned, I am no scientist and I personally think projects like SETI and Breakthrough Listen simply take the wrong approach to detect intelligent life which for sure must be anywhere out there.
 
Oct 23, 2019
37
14
35
The answer is probably much simpler. Either there are no other technologically advanced civilizations out there or, rather than wast energy with general broadcasts they use tight focused beams at the highest frequency the intervening interstellar medium will allow. Either way we our listening posts will come up empty.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
An assumption made in this discussion about intelligent life communicating and we on Earth detecting, concerns the origin of life in the universe. Where did life come from? Does life evolve via what I call, spontaneous combustion from non-living matter? The dominant form of matter in the universe we see in astronomy is plasma, e.g. stars and hot gases. We also have some 4,000 or more exoplanets documented but no signs of E.T. phoning home from those locations.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
Here's my layman's take on things. Number one, we call ourselves "intelligent" life, but how intelligent are we really? Just because we have language, the ability to reason and can build things, and even travel to our own Moon does not mean we have a superior intelligence. We remain the same killing machines we were tens of thousands of years ago when we fought for a particular habitat to reside. Not much has changed in the ensuing years. We are still only a blink away from self annihilation, not so intelligent imo.

I have little doubt that in the vastness of the Universe there are BILLIONS of planets that have some form of "intelligent" life and there may be millions of far more intelligence than ours. Regardless of that conclusion they (as well as us) are all faced with the same problem. We are all designed only to propagate the planet we are born to. No matter how much we evolve, all other parts of the Universe will probably always remain inhospitable to our survival. This may well be the case for any other intelligent life form that shares this Universe with us.

Even to be able to communicate with another life form that is hundreds, thousands or millions of light years away is improbable at best and impossible more likely. What we do know is that we are the superior species on this inconsequential little ball of dirt flying through space. And it will probably remain this way until we either become extinct through our own doing or due to some cataclysmic event.

If there were a vastly superior species out there that somehow found a way to not only find us but to visit our little planet, they might decide to pillage us and our resources in the same way we have done to each other and our planet for the last 50,000 years. I tend to agree with Hawking there. Better we not be discovered before we wipe ourselves out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rod

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
If the universe has the same Periodic Table of the Elements and same chemical laws operating like we see in our solar system and as remote starlight via spectroscopy demonstrates, why would alien life be radically different? jayh, you also said "I have little doubt that in the vastness of the Universe there are BILLIONS of planets that have some form of "intelligent" life and there may be millions of far more intelligence than ours."

Today we have 4135 confirmed exoplanets, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia Question - how many of the confirmed 4135 exoplanets today are shown to have *intelligent life*? In 1980 or 1990, I could never ask a question like this. I can today.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
If the universe has the same Periodic Table of the Elements and same chemical laws operating like we see in our solar system and as remote starlight via spectroscopy demonstrates, why would alien life be radically different? jayh, you also said "I have little doubt that in the vastness of the Universe there are BILLIONS of planets that have some form of "intelligent" life and there may be millions of far more intelligence than ours."

Today we have 4135 confirmed exoplanets, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia Question - how many of the confirmed 4135 exoplanets today are shown to have *intelligent life*? In 1980 or 1990, I could never ask a question like this. I can today.

I'll let you know as soon as I get back. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: rod
Nov 27, 2019
27
7
35
Everyone else uses (spooky action at a distance) to communicate.
We are just to backwards right now to do that.

NASA is working on that form of communication So maybe we will be able to listen one day.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
Everyone else uses (spooky action at a distance) to communicate.
We are just to backwards right now to do that.

NASA is working on that form of communication So maybe we will be able to listen one day.
For the present, we have the confirmed 4135 exoplanets at the site I referenced, my canonical reference site. No indications of E.T. phoning home from those locations at this time :)
 
Nov 27, 2019
27
7
35
For the present, we have the confirmed 4135 exoplanets at the site I referenced, my canonical reference site. No indications of E.T. phoning home from those locations at this time :)
Probably 4135 looking in the wrong places :)
Earth without a moon would have just very basic life as it's tilt randomly changes.
I think the importance of a moon or being a moon of a bigger planet is severely underestimated .

Cyano bacteria and other basic life can't phone so maybe most of the 4135 have some form of very basic life but no more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rod

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
Probably 4135 looking in the wrong places :)
Earth without a moon would have just very basic life as it's tilt randomly changes.
I think the importance of a moon or being a moon of a bigger planet is severely underestimated .

Cyano bacteria and other basic life can't phone so maybe most of the 4135 have some form of very basic life but no more.
Okay. At the moment - none have been verified as having any type of life. 1559 of these 4135 exoplanets, their semi-major axis <=0.20 a.u. from their parent star. They orbit much closer than Mercury does to our Sun and commonly exhibit extreme temperatures like hot jupiters.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
We haven't scratched the surface on what's out there in the Universe. Let's see - with billions upon billions of galaxies, and each one having billions of stars, how many exoplanets might there be and how many might have conditions that are ideal for life to form there? I think a billion is a good guess for starters and that may be a very conservative estimate. And of those how many could have some form of intelligent life. A few million or more. There may even be several doppelgangers of us out there.

Somehow in our egocentric mindset we think we might the the boss race in this vast Universe we inhabit. To me that's highly doubtful. We are small, frail creatures who have only been around a blink of time so far. A million years from now and we may just have been a minute blip of a memory in the evolution of the Big U!
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
I come from the view of the scientific method, a good example is the hard work of the heliocentric solar system astronomers vs. the geocentric astronomers. It took a long time to falsify and overthrow the geocentric universe teaching. So far, the claims of life (intelligent or otherwise) spread across the universe does not rise to that level of rigorous testing and verification - my thinking.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
I'm not so sure our greatest scientific minds (limited as they may be) can unravel this puzzle so easily. I prefer to use a more Empirical way of thinking. If even one in a billion stars had an exoplanet that would support life, then how many like that would there be in the vastness of the Universe? We live in an infinite Universe with infinite possibilities! Some "being" somewhere might be sharing similar thoughts to mine right now a million light years away.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
I'm not so sure our greatest scientific minds (limited as they may be) can unravel this puzzle so easily. I prefer to use a more Empirical way of thinking. If even one in a billion stars had an exoplanet that would support life, then how many like that would there be in the vastness of the Universe? We live in an infinite Universe with infinite possibilities! Some "being" somewhere might be sharing similar thoughts to mine right now a million light years away.
jayh, how do you know you live in an *infinite Universe*? Presently telescopes cannot see beyond the CMBR and verify if the model you present is accurate and correct. Currently we have the open vs. flat universe models. The Big Bang model has z numbers (redshifts) assigned to remote objects but those objects actually exist much farther away than the z number conversion shows for Earth viewers today (distance in light-years reported). Such objects are not observable beyond the CMBR, thus not empirically verified.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
I'm sorry but I don't know what the CMBR is. I do know that the vastness of the Universe is still beyond our limited comprehension though. That's 'infinite" enough for me.

Obviously I'm not a "scientist," but I believe in science and the scientific method, and the amazing properties of the Universe that we have already discovered. Real magic to me is the ability to transmit pictures of live events through space and have them end up on a screen in our living room. Or carry a small device in our hand that will enable us to communicate with someone on the other side of the planet, and transmit images though these devices. That's all magical to me and would have been unheard of, unnatural and possibly dangerous less than 100 years ago. People are still alive who have seen all this transpire during their lifetimes.

That said, I like to think that my brain (tested twice at over 140 IQ) is just as good as the brain of any scientist and my ability to think is equal to theirs. I look at things through the same eyes as they do and wonder why. When I look at the Universe I see one living entity that we are a small part of. Our planet is like an electron and our solar system is merely an atom in the entity that is the Universe. That's my hypothesis. Now, test that.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: rod

rod

Oct 22, 2019
183
14
85
I'm sorry but I don't know what the CMBR is. I do know that the vastness of the Universe is still beyond our limited comprehension though. That's 'infinite" enough for me.

Obviously I'm not a "scientist," but I believe in science and the scientific method, and the amazing properties of the Universe that we have already discovered. Real magic to me is the ability to transmit pictures of live events through space and have them end up on a screen in our living room. Or carry a small device in our hand that will enable us to communicate with someone on the other side of the planet, and transmit images though these devices. That's all magical to me and would have been unheard of, unnatural and possibly dangerous less than 100 years ago. People are still alive who have seen all this transpire during their lifetimes.

That said, I like to think that my brain (tested twice at over 140 IQ) is just as good as the brain of any scientist and my ability to think is equal to theirs. I look at things through the same eyes as they do and wonder why. When I look at the Universe I see one living entity that we are a small part of. Our planet is like an atom in the entity that is the Universe. That's my hypothesis. Now, test that.
jayh, *That's my hypothesis. Now, test that." Okay, glad to see the model presented for the infinite universe is an hypothesis. The CMBR is the cosmic microwave background radiation that currently limits direct, telescope observations from Earth for a more distant, and perhaps infinite universe.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
jayh, *That's my hypothesis. Now, test that." Okay, glad to see the model presented for the infinite universe is an hypothesis. The CMBR is the cosmic microwave background radiation that currently limits direct, telescope observations from Earth for a more distant, and perhaps infinite universe.
Thank you. Sounds like the Universe is curved and warped. I said my last part incorrectly and have now changed it. I see the earth as similar to an electron and our solar system an atom in the Living Entity that is the Universe.

Can you imagine living on an electron of an atom inside our body and wondering what it is we are part of? For all we know that is the case right now with each one of us. We could have infinitely small microscopic life forms existing inside of us, millions of them in civilizations of their own. We are their "God" so to speak. Crazy huh. Circles inside of circles inside of circles and so on. Universes inside of universes inside of universes etc.
 
Last edited:
Oct 21, 2019
95
18
35
I'm not so sure our greatest scientific minds (limited as they may be) can unravel this puzzle so easily. I prefer to use a more Empirical way of thinking. If even one in a billion stars had an exoplanet that would support life, then how many like that would there be in the vastness of the Universe? We live in an infinite Universe with infinite possibilities! Some "being" somewhere might be sharing similar thoughts to mine right now a million light years away.
If we lived in an infinite Universe, there would be an infinite number of possibilities. We don’t, so there aren’t. At best, the limits of the Observable Universe limit us to the possibilities within that limit.

I always thought that the Drake Equation was particularly useless since it is based upon a series of unprovable assumptions, each of which reduces the viability of the result.

The speed of light being the limit of the transfer of information AFAWK, the various reasons why we have not been contacted by, or AFAWK have not contacted, intelligent alien beings, is rather obvious. Considering the short time span of our ability to send or receive messages, and considering the vast distances, it would be astonishing if we ever received a radio message from another species.
The factors may include, but may not be limited to:
The original signal strength.
The degradation of the signal strength being reduced by the square of the distance.
The possible directions of the source of the signal being increased by the square of the distance.
The millions of possible signal frequencies.
The chances of species development of the technologies of sender relative to that of the receiver.
The political climate and restrictions of both the sender and receiver.
Whether or not the PTB choose to reveal to the masses the fact that they received a signal.
 
Dec 1, 2019
7
3
15
I tend to agree with all of this. Though there may well be Intelligent life elsewhere in the known Universe, the chances of us ever being in contact with them are slim to none, for all the reasons listed above.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts