Invisible Extraterrestrials? World-Leading Physicist Says "They Could Exist in Forms We Can't Conceive"
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February 23, 2010

Invisible Extraterrestrials? World-Leading Physicist Says "They Could Exist in Forms We Can't Conceive"

GOOGLEEARTH The intriguing remark was made by Lord Martin Rees, a leading cosmologist and astrophysicist who is the president of Britain’s Royal Society and astronomer to the Queen of England. Rees, who last month hosted the National Science Academy’s first conference on the possibility of alien life, said he believes the existence of extra terrestrial life may be beyond human understanding.

“They could be staring us in the face and we just don’t recognize them. The problem is that we’re looking for something very much like us, assuming that they at least have something like the same mathematics and technology."


“I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive. Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.” 

During the conference entitled ‘The Detection of Extra-terrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society’, Rees asked whether the discovery of aliens would cause terror or delight on earth, the Telegraph reported.

However, Frank Drake, the founder of SETI and Drake's Equation, told the conference that satellite TV and the “digital revolution” was making humanity invisible to aliens by cutting the transmission of TV and radio signals into space. The earth is currently surrounded by a 50 light year-wide “shell” of radiation from analogue TV, radio and radar transmissions. According to Drake, digital TV signals would look like white noise to a race of observing aliens.

Although the signals have spread far enough to reach many nearby star systems, they are rapidly vanishing in the wake of digital technology, said Drake. In the 1960s, Drake spearheaded the conversion of the Arecibo Observatory to a radio astronomy center. As a researcher, Drake was involved in the early work on pulsars. Drake also designed the Pioneer plaque with Carl Sagan in 1972, the first physical message sent into space. The plaque was designed to be understandable by extraterrestrials should they encounter it.

Milan Cirkovic of the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade, points out that the median age of terrestrial planets in the Milky Way is about 1.8 gigayears (one billion years) greater than the age of the Earth and the Solar System, which means that the median age of technological civilizations should be greater than the age of human civilization by the same amount. The vastness of this interval indicates that one or more processes must suppress observability of extraterrestrial communities.

Since at this point, there is no direct and/or widely apparent evidence that extraterrestrial life exists, it likely means one of the following:

We are (A) the first intelligent beings ever to become capable of making our presence known, and leaving our planet. At this point, there are no other life forms out there as advanced as us. Or perhaps extraterrestrial life does exists, but for some reason extraterrestrial life is so very rare and so very far away we’ll never make contact anyway—making extraterrestrial life nonexistent in a practical sense at least.

Or is it (B) that many advanced civilizations have existed before us, but without exception, they have for some unknown reason, existed and/or expanded in such a way that they are completely undetectable by our instruments.

Or is it (C) There have been others, but they have all run into some sort of “cosmic roadblock” that eventually destroys them, or at least prevents their expansion beyond a small area.

Since Earth’s placement in space and time appears to be unremarkably random, proposition “A” seems fairly unlikely. Assuming humans evolved like other forms of life into our present state due to natural selection, then there's really nothing all that mystical, special or remarkable about our development as a species either. Due to the shear numbers, there are almost certainly other planets capable of supporting at least some form of life. If that is so, then for Earthlings to be the very first species ever to make a noticeable mark on the universe, from a statistical perspective, is incredibly unlikely.

For proposition “B” to be correct would defy all logic. If potentially thousands, or even millions of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the known universe, then why would all of them, without exception, choose to expand or exist in such a way that they are completely undetectable? It’s conceivable that some might, or perhaps even the majority, but for all of them to be completely undetectable civilizations does not seem likely either.

Proposition C in some ways, appears to be more likely than A or B. If “survival of the fittest” follows similar pathways on other worlds, then our own “civilized” nature could be somewhat typical of extraterrestrial civilizations that have, or do, exist. Somehow, we all get to the point where we end up killing ourselves in a natural course of technological development and thereby self-inflict our own “cosmic roadblock”.

Casey Kazan via The Telegraph

Comments

"They Could Exist in Forms We Can't Conceive"
one giant step toward beleiving in God and angles.

Khodran, what type of angles DON'T you believe in? there's a right, acute, and obtuse angle =P if anything, it leads to the possibility of the so called god and angels, just happening to be aliens themselves...

["They Could Exist in Forms We Can't Conceive"
one giant step toward beleiving in God and angles.]

Therefore start praying for and worshipping life forms we can't conceive, instead of focussing on real world? Is that your point?

It's like reading this article all 4 months or so. It feels like this article has been reposted like 6 times now. With the possibilities of extraterrestrial contact A,B,C. It's interesting, though.
And yes I do think it's of course possible that aliens exist we cannot conceive or step in contact with. The universe is so infinitely big and anything is possible.

Your "world" is going to come to a screeching halt when you die.

well OF COURSE they dont want to let other civilizations know about them, ...everyone bloody knows that if 1 advanced civilization tells the universe where they are, a 2nd advanced civilization, will come along and go "hmmmm oh rilly?" take THAT!
and smash them.

we happen to be a civilization, unlikely advanced in the universe, but so fuc*ing crazy sounding from all the TV and radio signals that everyone avoids this solar system like its
Bizarro world.

obviously...

Based on humans, Possibility C is the most likely of the 3.

If the universe is constantly expanding, aren't we constantly getting farther away from everything else?

Singularity Much?

http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/jamais-cascio/open-future/singularity-scenarios

To be able to detect another civilization they would have to be at the same technological level as we are in terms of broadcasting radio/TV signals. For us the broadcast signals will have an active window of about two hundred years, the same will likely be the case with any ET out there - making the chances of detection slim to none.

Or D) The aliens exist, are detectable by our tests, but we either haven't interpreted that data appropriately or haven't scanned that exact region.

The writer's logic assumes we're completely astute and thorough investigators of the universe. We're not infallible is the best premise to start with!

Well at least this explain why "out of the blue" "THEY" decided that we all had to switch to digital signals. Sure the "company line" was blah blah better pictures, no ghosts, blah blah..I dont believeit. I would rather have ghostm then NO PICTURE.

I thought analog was fine, but then they wrote a law. It made no sense. Now it does.

Helloooooooooooooo they're calle djinns

Why does a "cosmic roadblock" mean that "we end up killing ourselves in a natural course of technological development"? Isn't it conceivable that the roadblock is simply apathy towards expansion into space?

@Khodran
I didn't know it wasn't common to believe in angles.

Duly noted.

blku oomnt vriou

take me to your leader nerds.

Apparently Frank Drake has never looked at the carrier for DTV, because the carrier sticks out as man-made.

I think they send messages via crop circles - and no, it's not two bored guys who create them overnight.

If we think we are cloaking our presence in the Universe by switching to digital signals, we must be kidding ourselves as a species. They will come looking for us, wondering what happened when they no longer receive our signals. Get ready. Or not.

'Collective Awareness', 'Collective Lucidity' and 'Collective Cognition' spring to my mind.
The pinnacle of that collective is defined by the peek of achievement or awareness that has been achieved...
As a collective of global life forms, if we achieve a Mars Shot sending a man to Mars it generates momentum for the ideology of the rest, a social carrier wave if you will. Lifting the bar. So in our lifetime as contributors to our collective consciousness in space exploration, each new milestone lifts us further off this rock we call Earth.
Picking up on Qrius... With our current technology, We humans have space telescopes that can see millions of light years into the past. We can almost see planets around near by stars... not to long before that. In 100 years we will probably be able to do that.. So what if another civilization already can see planets and planet surfaces around distant planets? They can see detail... Crop Circles are meant to be seen from the air... or space... So what's stopping an ET from sending messages back to home planet by drawing them on the blackboard for their homework to look at? notice how they primarily happen in the northern hemisphere in a particular time frame of months..... line of sight perhaps?

Extension of C. It's not possible, or requires far too much energy/effort, to travel/communicate through vast distances of space.

Whether alien exists or not, there's that WALL!

Why is the universe expanding? A boy crumbles up a piece of paper into a ball and fires it up. As it is burning, the flame catches on his fingers, he throws it at a wall. "WOW!" he screams. The sparkles flying all over. Some brightly lit and explode while others slowly dim and disappear within a second. At the impact, everything is pushed against the wall; therefore, the universe is expanding FAST in ONE DIRECTION. What is the paper made out of? I'm sure it contains a variety of biological and chemical substances; such as iron, oxygen, hydrogen, and whatever and even my own DNA. Imagine one of those flying ashes is a galaxy and so forth... now you can picture how the universe and planet Earth are formed. The living thing on that planet calls him GOD, but doesn't really know he exists based on "seeing is believing". He doesn't know he created such a living thing. If he did, what would he have done when those sparkles last only for a few seconds? Dark matter? Unknown to us, but the materials that made the paper. Dark Energy? His strength, his curiosity, his boredom, his courage and all of whatever takes to crumble up a piece of paper into a ball, to fire it up and to throw it at the wall (the impact pushes the universe as we know in one direction). Black hole? every size of explosion has its own size of black hole. Why the orbit? In the atomic level, everything has its orbital for neutrons, protons and electrons.

It's proposition A. We are alone! But, there is that Wall!

cosmos is filled with life, but technologically adnvanced entelegance is as rare and smale is a few seconds of 4.5 bilion years.

Refer back to Shaikh Cral Sagan calculation.


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