Exoplanets Extraterrestrial life

Renewed Search for ET – $100M Initiative

Spread the love

Today, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announced a $100M initiative to seek extraterrestrial life, injecting renewed energy (and funds) into the hunt for life (specifically, intelligent life) beyond our fair planet.

Although this has been a decades-long area of research and interest, with the SETI institute playing perhaps the most important role in recent years, this new initiative promises to engage many more researchers and to create “the most ambitious and robust SETI program yet performed.” Observations should begin as early as 2016. The introductory video is available here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/national/health-science/breakthrough-initiatives-introduces-new-search-for-extraterrestrial-life/2015/07/20/d0d7a1b2-2eed-11e5-818f-a242f28e7022_video.html

Additional information is available in several locations, including here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-and-yuri-milner-announce-100m-initiative-to-seek-extraterrestrial-intelligence/

http://www.ucolick.org/news/initiative-apf.html

12 Replies to “Renewed Search for ET – $100M Initiative

  1. 1
    leodp says:

    “We believe life rose spontaneously here on earth” — Stephen Hawking

    Why?

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    Stephen Hawking is the most overrated and overhyped “scientist” (apologies to real scientists) alive. But that’s nothing compared to some of the others who came before him, e.g., Darwin.

  3. 3
    Peter says:

    Here’s an idea. List all the inventors in the last 1000 years in the world. The most influential inventor off all times, Thomas Crapper, immediately comes to mind as a outstanding representative of this list. Civilization could never have developed if it were not for his inventions in advanced toiletry mechanics. Now try to image what the world would be like without these inventors. There would be no detectable intelligent life from space.

    Now it seems to me that we have no reason to expect such a history of inventive geniuses on other planets. There may be a few, or many; but to have such a continuous succession of brilliance is most unlikely. The entire universe may be teaming with undetectable life for the want of the capabilities like those of Mr. Crapper.

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    Leodp: Why?

    Because he’s pissed at God. Or the idea of God.

    He used to mock his ex-wife’s faith even as she prayed for his recovery.

    I can’t say I blame him, really.

    He’s free to believe any old thing he wants.

    But he should not be surprised if people are not bowled over his utterances of faith.

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Recent image from Ceres:
    http://t.co/OdY5Y6AkCT

    Zoom in on the “structure” in the upper left quadrant and the “face” on the mound in the lower right. Fun stuff:)

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    EA:

    That raises the issue of the great silence i/l/o the ladder of factors in the Drake Eqn.

    UD Glossary:

    Drake Equation — in 1960, Frank Drake developed a speculative model for producing an educated guess of the number of extra-terrestrial civilizations in our galaxy that we may make contact with, N:

    N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L, where:

    R* –> estimated rate of new star formation (in a galaxy “similar” to ours)

    fp –> est. fraction of these with planets

    ne –> est. fraction of these suitable for life

    fl –> est. fraction of these that actually form life

    fi –> est. fraction of these where intelligent life (so, civilization) emerges

    fc –> est. fraction of civilizations that are detectable at inter-stellar ranges

    L –> est. length of time such civilizations are detectable

    As “estimated” highlights, each factor is at best an educated guess, and this leads into an ongoing debate.

    The equations, however, remains valuable for those interested in the design issue, as it sets up a context in which we may discuss the requisite factors, hurdles and available causal forces for getting to a universe that may have planetary systems that could/does bear civilizations that are significantly comparable to ours (starting with our own world), and thus that would become detectable at long range by signals and/or by active and enduring colonization of space.

    In turn, that leads to an integrated discussion of the many linked cosmological fine-tuning, Goldilocks zone, complex, functional information and origin of consciousness and conscience issues that are deeply connected to the points raised by the findings of cosmological and biological Intelligent Design theory.

    Contrast, the issue that ours is a privileged planet.

    KF

  7. 7
    Virgil Cain says:

    The Drake equation has been superseded by the Rare Earth equation which has been superseded by the Privileged Planet equation.

  8. 8
    Tom Robbins says:

    I think we should continue searching for intelligent life on this planet first… my own opinion, there is no life but on this earth – I know, it’s audacious, but I have no dog in this fight, I just don’t think we will ever make any contact with any other life-form – I don’t think that is how our construct of reality works, and I think their is a religious overtone to the search – a false one but people wanting to live forever with alien tech.. I think it is more like a simulation/creation – everything in a sim is ruled by math, same with us – what an incredible 4D work of art we are – BTW I think Hawking is off the rails, talking about doomsday of AI (not global warming interestingly enough – which is pure garbage), and now desperately searching for ET..I feel sad for him, I really do..as in the end, we either have his materialism, or the reality of mind as primary… I guess, sort of, what you believe is what you are…. I love Christ, my savior, my kinsman redeemer – the real one, not the one who has been dragged across the fields of the TV evangelist or the hateful atheists…. look around at the state of the world, we are fallen, terribly so. If one does not think they need redemption, then why are they looking to the stars for the same?

  9. 9

    KF at 6:

    N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L x ev(l)
    The missing factor in the Drake Equation is ‘ev(l)’ – the probability estimate of life evolving in the first place.

    If ev(l) is zero or close to it, then N in zero or extremely small, and the prospect of a funding payoff is nil.

    If ev(l) is one or close to it, then N is close to or at ‘certainty’ which is what the Materialist asserts anyway.

    Thus the Drake Equation is a somewhat worthless gambit to whet appetites. Let’s not confuse it with a legitimate ‘equation.’

  10. 10
    Eric Anderson says:

    ayearningforpublius

    Let’s not confuse it with a legitimate ‘equation.’

    Absolutely correct.

    I don’t mind the Drake Equation as a tool to get people thinking about the various factors, but to pretend that it provides any kind of answer — by virtue of being an “equation” — would certainly be mistaken.

    You are also quite correct that, for those approaching the question of extraterrestrial life from a naturalistic standpoint, they must factor in the probability of (a) life arising through purely naturalistic means, and (b) that life evolving to intelligent lifeforms willing and able to communicate across deep space.

    Since both of those are effectively nil, on purely naturalistic capabilities, the Drake Equation effectively collapses to zero.

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    “Tiny Blue Dot” used to imply insignificance.

    But these days, more and more, it implies a freakishly special place. But just wait until the “Cosmic Alignment” evidence is digested. Wow.

  12. 12
    ppolish says:

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/nasa-planet-could-earth-2-0-174706315.html

    “Capable of sustaining human life”

    Um no, I don’t think so. First, human traveling for a million years under zero gravity would evolve into homo nil gravitas. Second, at a size 60% bigger than Earth, the homo nil gravitas would not be able to get up out of their seats upon landing. Gravity would crush their wimpy bones so it goes.

Leave a Reply