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Astronomer: Finding ET could be a long process

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From Elizabeth Howell, at Space.com:

Would it be easy to determine if the source of a mysterious radio signal was aliens? Probably not. A new paper argues that contact with extraterrestrials will likely be discovered through a prolonged, incremental process rather than an instantaneous eureka-like moment. Eureka — what the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes allegedly said when he cracked a tough science problem about water displacement — tends to be the exception in science rather than the rule.

Cirkovic said in an email that the community involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) should instead be prepared for a process that would take a very long time. It may take decades as the SETI community looks at all the reasons aliens might not be the source of a mysterious signal. More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue For one thing, a signal may not have been intended for us. If ever decoded, it could just be one side of a nasty let-it-all-hang-out dispute between neighbours.

See also: Astronomer: Why the search for aliens is a good thing

But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?


How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

A reasonable post ET. You're fooling no one.:) rvb8
Hey just watch Stan Romanek on Netflix. There's one scene in which he claims an alien beam of light came down and took out his surveillance camera and yet the light pattern on the ground looked just like it came from big regular manmade flashlight. You would think aliens with the technology to get here would have something better than that. But anyway there are countries who are opening up their UFO files. And there are many credible witnesses. But no one can say if there are ETs on board or if it is just some advanced human technology. As for receiving signals, well, we are only hoping ETs would be transmitting something in a fashion we can receive. We have to go/ start with what we know and what we have available. Then we move on from there ET
ET !? Actually, he posts here quite a bit. Although it is hard to gauge his super intelligent alien wisdom, I must admit.:) rvb8
There they go again. How many times one can repeat this: Talk to Steven Spielberg, who dealt with ET in the early 1980s. :) Dionisio
Long process = larger budget and larger departmental workforce. If a powerful civilization wants us to know they exist, they can read our signals and send us signals we understand. If an advanced civilization is communicating among its various imperial galaxies and DOESN'T want foreigners to recognize the communication, it will mask the signals as meaningless randomness or predictable orbital patterns. Steganography. So the search is futile. We haven't picked up obvious signals in a form we can understand. This doesn't tell us about existence; it only tells us that nobody cares. polistra

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