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Hope! SETI brings us hope.

By gworley ·
Man needs to know if we are alone in this universe. My belief that we aren't is good enough. We need proof. SETI is a very good program to search for life elese where.

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Does it?

by stress junkie In reply to Hope! SETI brings us hop ...

"Man needs to know if we are alone in this universe."

Why is that? If you said that we would like to know then I would agree. When you say that we need to know then I ask why. We've gotten along well enough up to now without knowing. Are we going to die off if we don't find out? I don't believe that the word "need" is correct.

"My belief that we aren't is good enough."

I think you meant to say ISN'T good enough. Otherwise you are contradicting yourself.

"We need proof."

Why?

"SETI is a very good program to search for life elese where."

Is it really? I disagree. Even if a signal exists the SETI project has few resources to detect it.

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I think it is useful to use an analogy to describe what I think of SETI. This analogy helps us to visualize the huge size of the search area and the miniscule size of the search target and the limits on the tools being used to perform the search.

If we imagine that the signal that SETI is trying to detect is a wine bottle cork and the Universe is the Pacific Ocean then the following conditions describe the SETI project:

There may be a cork floating around in the Pacific Ocean now.

There may have been a cork floating in the ocean at one time but not now.

There may one day be a cork floating in the ocean but not in the past and not now.

There may never have been nor ever will be a cork floating in the ocean.

The SETI project is trying to find a wine bottle cork floating in the ocean.

The project just has a single engine private aircraft to perform its search. This limits how far it can fly and how much ocean it can cover.

Even if there is a cork in the ocean and even if the aircraft passes right over it they may still fail to see the cork because it is simply so difficult to see a cork floating in the ocean.

I suppose we should have something like SETI just to cover our bases. It doesn't do any harm. If people want to help SETI then that's a good thing. If SETI does find something then the people who helped will have cause to be proud of their efforts. I doubt that any good will ever come of it though. I believe that there must be thousands or millions of planets with life. Many of those could have intelligent life. I just don't think that SETI will find them.

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wow man...

by jck In reply to Does it?

put the fork in the cow before it's grilled...

"Even if a signal exists the SETI project has few resources to detect it."

I thought SETI not only had timesharing screensavers on 10,000s of PCs worldwide utilizing idle processor time to decode information...but, that they also had not only access to other facilities equipments but also had billions of dollars of their own.

hmmm...I'd like to have few resources in my wallet...then I could afford a life!!!

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by TonytheTiger In reply to wow man...

I think it's something like 4 million computers, but the data all comes from one radiotelescope. Not only are they searching for a needle in a haystack, they don't know how big the haystack is, nor what the needle looks like if it's there.

If "they" are out there, I think it is far more likely that they'll find us than we find them.

Then again, maybe they already have... and are now hiding!

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Exactly

by stress junkie In reply to

The Universe is so huge the radio spectrum is so wide that it is impossible to cover all of the possibilities. Plus there may have been a detectable signal thousands of years ago, or there may be a detectable signal thousands of years from now, but not now. We just don't know.

I added the following thoughts to my original post:

I believe that there must be intelligent life on other planets. SETI doesn't do any harm so if people want to support it then that's a fine thing. I just don't think that SETI will find anything.

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nope

by ITgirli In reply to Hope! SETI brings us hop ...

We have better luck in finding proof of life elsewhere by examining our own planet.

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A misquote

by DMambo In reply to Hope! SETI brings us hop ...

I think it was Carl Sagan who I will paraphrase here:

If we're not alone in the universe, that's a pretty scary thought. If we are alone, that's pretty scary, too.

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My opinion

by M_a_r_k In reply to Hope! SETI brings us hop ...

I think we have some extra-terrestials lurking around in some of these TR iscussions. I won't go so far as to call them intelligent, though. haha

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IF YOU MUST SEARCH

by mjd420nova In reply to My opinion

If you must search, by ALL means search. It will
come to no avail. The space --time barrier
is unbreachable now or at any time here or in the future. Face facts and the logic. We are
indeed alone in this part of the universe. There
are indeed planets with life of some kind out
there in another part of our universe that
have yet to understand or figure a way to
cross the barrier of space - time - understanding
SEARCH SEARCH and keep on searching we pray
for and answer!!!

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by TonytheTiger In reply to IF YOU MUST SEARCH

Every past generation has faced barriers they thought were unbreachable, but subsequent generations breached them. I see no reason to think the current generation is any different.

"If we knew everything, we'd know we knew everything, and since we don't, we don't."

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I think its man's nature to explore

by AV . In reply to Hope! SETI brings us hop ...

If we never look, we'll never find out. Whether its a futile project or not, its still one more step towards finding out the truth one day.

SETI is an interesting project and its good because regular people can participate in it by donating their idle computer power. Its exciting, I think. You say hopeful. I look at it as part of the space program.

Baby steps, but we'll get there. You never know unless you try. What will we do though if we do find life? Uh-oh. We can't even deal with each other.

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