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I hope that the existence of sentient life is not dependent on us, because we are messing it up terribly, and will probably cause our own extinction at some point (and maybe some point not too far off).
Humanity has been on the brink of causing our own extinction for the entirety of recorded history if you believe some doomsayer or another. Oddly enough, such apocalyptic predications have never quite panned out.
 

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But if it had, we wouldn't know about it, would we?
No. You are right in suggesting some sort of survivorship bias here; still, it seems knowing the world is ending whilst everyone else does not is a remarkably attractive proposition to humans given the obvious consequences of being right. I for one would need some solid evidence that the world is ending to believe the world is ending but many seem to believe it on a whim and then add some years to the date when it doesn't pan out (see: Jehovah Witnesses).
 

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I figure that any aliens who were sufficiently advanced to get here would be so far ahead of us that either:
(i) they might demolish the Earth to make way for a hyper-space bypass, not regarding us as sufficiently sentient to cause problems for their planning rules, or
(ii) they might recognise us as worth saving, and keep us in some sort of zoo.

One trashy film I watched (Species) did have an interesting premise, though. This was that in order to invade a planet in another solar system you send it a message about how to do some science, hoping that there is someone at the other end foolish enough to do it. The result of following the instructions in the message is an invader! Scary. :eek: I reckon we are at the point that if this happened someone would be stupid enough to do it.

Another stupid thing to do would be to send a probe out with information about Earth. Oh, whoops, we've already done that.

The thing that puzzles me is that we have never found any convincing evidence of life on other stars by detecting electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use. We spew out loads of the stuff, but we don't see any coming back. The universe has so many stars in it that I can't imagine we are unique, but why is there no evidence? Strange.
 

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. . . The thing that puzzles me is that we have never found any convincing evidence of life on other stars by detecting electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use. We spew out loads of the stuff, but we don't see any coming back. The universe has so many stars in it that I can't imagine we are unique, but why is there no evidence? Strange.
Two answers might be that it is a very big place to search, and we don't really know what we are looking for.
 

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Two answers might be that it is a very big place to search, and we don't really know what we are looking for.
Yeah. I think we have a tendency to think that other "intelligent" life would generate patterns of electro-magnetic radiation that we would recognise as the result of the activity of a life form. Quite likely any such life might be so different from us that we wouldn't recognise the radiation as providing any such evidence.
 

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Yeah. I think we have a tendency to think that other "intelligent" life would generate patterns of electro-magnetic radiation that we would recognise as the result of the activity of a life form. Quite likely any such life might be so different from us that we wouldn't recognise the radiation as providing any such evidence.
One key sign of intelligent life would probably be that they did not create online forums where just anyone could post whatever thoughts happened to pop into their heads (assuming that they have heads).
 

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Two answers might be that it is a very big place to search, and we don't really know what we are looking for.
That's right. Even if there is an old and very stable technical civilization within a few thousand light years of us (quite improbable to be so close if you subscribe to the Rare Earth hypothesis), they will likely realize that they're thousands of years out of sync with us (in time and space). Not only would it take thousands of years to get here, but they know that our young civilization will be very very different in those few thousand years!

On the other hand it's quite convincing to conclude that only a few million years is required for a species with large armadas of ships to completely explore this galaxy. A million years is a long time, but it's just a blip in galaxies which require 200 or 300 million years merely to rotate only once.

So, are they here already? How would we know? Does the pack of wolves in Alaska understand anything about the men shooting at them from a plane? Or the high-powered rifle - or the plane? Or the airport it came from, etc. etc.?
 

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Regarding life on Venus, here is a still from the 1968 film "Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women" wherein astronauts land on Venus and encounter these Venusians. I, for one, would welcome them with open arms. My kinda alien civilization...va va VOOM!

Gesture Wig Happy Barbie Fun


And to keep my post on point, the two that wrote that Vox article are idiots of the first magnitude.
 

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Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi, Wagner
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Face it, we're alone folks.
 
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. . . The thing that puzzles me is that we have never found any convincing evidence of life on other stars by detecting electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use. We spew out loads of the stuff, but we don't see any coming back. The universe has so many stars in it that I can't imagine we are unique, but why is there no evidence? Strange.
It's possible that as civilizations advance, the technologies evolve through stages of stuff. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, civilizations emit "electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use", then move on.

I'd say that it's very likely that there are no civilizations that are at the exact point at which we've arrived technology-wise. And even if they did, the closest star is - what - several light years away, so when we see their LIGHT, we are seeing light that originated four to eight years ago.

But The Milky Way galaxy is 105,700 light years across . . . If we were to detect "electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use" from a star on the other side of the Milky Way, it means that THAT civilization is where we are NOW, 26,000 years ago, which means their technology is 26,000 years ahead of ours NOW.

And that's just THIS galaxy. Scientists think that there are probably between 100 billion and 200 billion galaxies out there.

The closest known galaxy to us is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, at 236,000,000,000,000,000 km (25,000 light years) from the Sun. The Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy is the next closest , at 662,000,000,000,000,000 km (70,000 light years) from the Sun.

The Phoenix Dwarf Galaxy is 1.44 million light years away, an unfathomably large distance . . .
 

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It's possible that as civilizations advance, the technologies evolve through stages of stuff. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, civilizations emit "electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use", then move on.

I'd say that it's very likely that there are no civilizations that are at the exact point at which we've arrived technology-wise. And even if they did, the closest star is - what - several light years away, so when we see their LIGHT, we are seeing light that originated four to eight years ago.

But The Milky Way galaxy is 105,700 light years across . . . If we were to detect "electro-magnetic radiation with signs of intelligent use" from a star on the other side of the Milky Way, it means that THAT civilization is where we are NOW, 26,000 years ago, which means their technology is 26,000 years ahead of ours NOW.

And that's just THIS galaxy. Scientists think that there are probably between 100 billion and 200 billion galaxies out there.

The closest known galaxy to us is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, at 236,000,000,000,000,000 km (25,000 light years) from the Sun. The Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy is the next closest , at 662,000,000,000,000,000 km (70,000 light years) from the Sun.

The Phoenix Dwarf Galaxy is 1.44 million light years away, an unfathomably large distance . . .
Many of your points are reasons why I think we should keep as quiet as possible.
 

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And in terms of intelligent life, even we don't necessarily qualify.
If a civilization 26,000 years more advanced than us were to visit us, would they even recognize that we are a sentient species with a civilization? Or would they view us (if they noticed us at all) as we view ants or salmon or pigeons or fungi?
 

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Face it, we're alone folks.
I would bet that we are 'alone', but there are millions (most of them more advamced than us) out there. It's something to ponder..

Looking at what we've learned, we needed a survivable location in our galaxy and for our planet and our star and our planets - and abundances and conditions of long-term stability due to the moon and our long-term active core, favorable tectonics and the Carbon Cycle and lucky happenstances (extinctions) of our very long evolution.

I played around with an updated version of the Drake equation.
Drum roll please...
One planet or moon with a manipulative intelligence like ours (not whales for example) in every 10 average-sized galaxies. So, they're likely very far away, but there are millions in the universe!, separated by 10s of millions of years and light years.
 
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