SETI To Make Contact Within 25 Years

markrkingston1

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
418
Likes
287
Points
79
Location
London, England
Now we know that we can't accelerate past c
We know no such thing. To make such an assumption is hubristic.

In this context, we only know that our current understanding of physics does not allow us to to do it and that we cannot currently see a feasible way of doing it. But to extrapolate that current lack of knowledge into saying that it is utterly impossible to accelerate an object to greater that light speed[1] is both unscientific and short-sighted.

We simply do not know enough, not even remotely enough, to realistically make a claim that "we can't accelerate past c", other than in the limited context of current knowledge.

In 200 years time the situation might be worse, not better. Wormhole travel might even be slower than travel in normal space (as Greg Egan has suggested).
<shrug> Who knows. It's the future. We don't know what we don't know.



Footnote:-
1: Or perhaps find some other way to move an object that results in a net displacement that would otherwise have required greater than light speed travel.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,047
Likes
9,144
Points
279
We know no such thing. To make such an assumption is hubristic.

In this context, we only know that our current understanding of physics does not allow us to to do it and that we cannot currently see a feasible way of doing it. But to extrapolate that current lack of knowledge into saying that it is utterly impossible to accelerate an object to greater that light speed[1] is both unscientific and short-sighted.

We simply do not know enough, not even remotely enough, to realistically make a claim that "we can't accelerate past c", other than in the limited context of current knowledge.
But, and it should be stated, it may not be possible and then all speculation about such interstellar travel, seeded by hand-wavy sci-fi talk of 'warping' and 'jump gates', et al, becomes just a wish.
 

markrkingston1

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
418
Likes
287
Points
79
Location
London, England
But, and it should be stated, it may not be possible and then all speculation about such interstellar travel, seeded by hand-wavy sci-fi talk of 'warping' and 'jump gates', et al, becomes just a wish.
I agree.

But what of it?

All aspects of the future are a wish. Nothing (in terms of discovery and technology) is real unless or until we make it real.

The key thing, of course, is not to count something out as a possibility unless you know that it is truly impossible and, currently, we definitely know no such thing.
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
1,997
Likes
1,485
Points
159
..I imagine that's where our technological advances will continue to take us further, rather than giving us interstellar capability. ..

When it becomes as common place to get on a craft to Mars as it is to take a normal air travel flight then we may want to think about the 'long haul' business.

Let's get to Mars first.

INT21.
I just doubt there's much value in travelling somewhere so distant and impractical to reach as, for example, Proxima Centauri, when there's unlikely to be anything there we can't find within the Solar System. Obviously we'll send probes when it's fairly cheap, knowing we'll get no data from them for many years. But, basically, if we develop the tech to travel to other star systems, we'll also likely have the tech to expand and colonise the empty space between our own system's planets, as well as its other planets, and for that matter the more uninhabitable parts of Earth (mountain tops, deserts, the surfaces and perhaps even depths of oceans). I suppose I see a Solar System of the future as being far more vibrant and varied.
 

markrkingston1

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
418
Likes
287
Points
79
Location
London, England
No, we do know that we can't accelerate past c. To do so would require more than infinite energy.
<sigh> No, we know no such thing. Really, we simply do not have adequate knowledge to make such an absolute statement.

Such claims of ultimate knowledge are, as I said, hubristic. In effect, by making such a statement you are attempting to predict the entirety of future human discovery and knowledge. No sensible person does that. (Hint: Too many humans, including scientists, suffer from extreme hubris).

All that anyone can honestly or scientifically say as things currently stand is that (a) we currently know of no practical way to accelerate past light speed and (b) our current understanding of physics indicates that it is probably impossible in any practical way.

But it would be foolish to erroneously extrapolate from true and valid statements (a) and (b) above to an absolute statement such as "we do know that we can't accelerate past c", which is simply untrue as things stand.

In short, "knowing" is not the same as "as far as we can tell based upon best current theory" and the two things should never be conflated.

If we want to travel faster than c we will need to do it without acceleration.
Sure, see also my footnote in #362.

But the possibility of other ways to create the net displacement within a certain timeframe that faster than light travel would otherwise have provided does not mean that we know things that we most certainly do not know for sure, other than on a current theoretical basis. I do not dismiss the significance or meaning of "theory" in scientific terms; indeed, I am pointing out what theory means in practice.
 
Last edited:

Naughty_Felid

No longer interesting
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
5,475
Likes
5,389
Points
294
I just doubt there's much value in travelling somewhere so distant and impractical to reach as, for example, Proxima Centauri, when there's unlikely to be anything there we can't find within the Solar System. Obviously we'll send probes when it's fairly cheap, knowing we'll get no data from them for many years. But, basically, if we develop the tech to travel to other star systems, we'll also likely have the tech to expand and colonise the empty space between our own system's planets, as well as its other planets, and for that matter the more uninhabitable parts of Earth (mountain tops, deserts, the surfaces and perhaps even depths of oceans). I suppose I see a Solar System of the future as being far more vibrant and varied.

Sadly I don't reckon we'll be doing much interstellar exploring. We've done enough damage to the climate for that to occupy us for hundreds of years.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,896
Likes
861
Points
129
eburacum said:
No, we do know that we can't accelerate past c. To do so would require more than infinite energy.
markrkingston1 said:
<sigh> No, we know no such thing. Really, we simply do not have adequate knowledge to make such an absolute statement.
Sorry, but this is simply bollocks. It is literally impossible to accelerate past c; get used to it. If you want to go faster than light you need to use a different paradigm, such as modification of the space-time metric, which does not involve acceleration.
 

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
5,759
Likes
2,314
Points
234
Good point that. Turn the sail round and make sure you're pointed at star?
Given the timescales involved, it probably wouldn't seem too much bother to land at the destination planet, mine it for resources then build another beam.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,360
Likes
16,598
Points
284
Location
Eblana
And if we do make contact, here's an Alien Whisperer; shades of Arrival. Laurence Doyle has a porpoise in life.

When astrophysicist Laurance Doyle was six, his father presented him with a map of the solar system and said, “The stars are other people’s suns.” The line sparked Doyle’s interest in space, and he’s been studying outer worlds ever since.

In the past, Doyle has worked on discovering exoplanets with NASA’s Kepler mission. Today, he’s leading a project that could be equally groundbreaking: building a framework for understanding alien languages.

Since 1987, Doyle has worked at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, where he is a principal investigator on an assignment to imagine how another intelligent civilization might communicate. Of course, there are no known alien languages available to study today — if they even exist in the first place — so Doyle is using intelligent animal languages as a guidepost. To do this, Doyle and his colleagues have collected a range of sounds made by dolphins and humpback whales. They currently have 180,000 dolphin whistles that they use to analyze the sea creatures’ syntax, the same way a linguist would for human sounds.

Unlike other intelligent animals, like monkeys, Doyle says, “humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins depend upon signals that are acoustic,” whereas other creatures can also rely on body language cues. “Therefore, we can obtain and classify the different units of their signaling systems and [be] sure that we’re getting all of them, because humpback whales generally don’t gesture or smile.”

https://medium.com/s/space-time/meet-the-alien-whisperer-43a25abfbb5e
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
3,594
Likes
2,360
Points
154
.. so Doyle is using intelligent animal languages as a guidepost. To do this, Doyle and his colleagues have collected a range of sounds made by dolphins and humpback whales. ..

But this isn't really relevant as whales etc can't communicate outside of their own medium; the sea. And these creature do no have any symbolic form of communication. Or a written language . All things that an intelligent alien on another planet who has constructed a viable inter planetary communication will already have.

INT21.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,360
Likes
16,598
Points
284
Location
Eblana
.. so Doyle is using intelligent animal languages as a guidepost. To do this, Doyle and his colleagues have collected a range of sounds made by dolphins and humpback whales. ..

But this isn't really relevant as whales etc can't communicate outside of their own medium; the sea. And these creature do no have any symbolic form of communication. Or a written language . All things that an intelligent alien on another planet who has constructed a viable inter planetary communication will already have.

INT21.
Remember Star Trek IV ...
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
3,594
Likes
2,360
Points
154
...Remember Star Trek IV . ...

No, I'm not a Star Trek fan
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,360
Likes
16,598
Points
284
Location
Eblana
...Remember Star Trek IV . ...

No, I'm not a Star Trek fan
In 2286, an enormous cylindrical probe moves through space, sending out an indecipherable signal and disabling the power of every ship it passes. As it takes up orbit around Earth, its signal disables the global power grid and generates planetary storms, creating catastrophic, sun-blocking cloud cover. Starfleet Command sends out a planetary distress call and warns all space-faring vessels not to approach Earth. ...

Receiving Starfleet's warning, Spock determines that the probe's signal matches the song of extinct humpback whales, and that the object will continue to wreak havoc until its call is answered. The crew uses their ship to travel back in time via a slingshot maneuver around the Sun, planning to return with a whale to answer the alien signal. ...

After saving the whales from poachers and transporting them aboard, the crew returns with Gillian to their own time. On approaching Earth, the Bounty loses power due to the alien probe, and crash-lands into the waters of San Francisco Bay. Once released from near-drowning, the whales respond to the probe's signal, causing the object to reverse its effects on Earth and return to the depths of space. ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_IV:_The_Voyage_Home
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
3,052
Likes
4,856
Points
184
Sadly I don't reckon we'll be doing much interstellar exploring. We've done enough damage to the climate for that to occupy us for hundreds of years.
Nope, and after all the sensible things Markrkingston1 has said about hubris.

Describe one thing that (we believe) is happening with regard to climate that hasn’t happened before, faster or worse, yet without human intervention.

maximus otter
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
3,594
Likes
2,360
Points
154
...Describe one thing that (we believe) is happening with regard to climate that hasn’t happened before, faster or worse, yet without human intervention. ..

How about 200 years of human emissions from industrial progress ?

INT21.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
3,052
Likes
4,856
Points
184
...Describe one thing that (we believe) is happening with regard to climate that hasn’t happened before, faster or worse, yet without human intervention. ..

How about 200 years of human emissions from industrial progress ?

INT21.
Reread the question.

maximus otter
 

INT21

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
3,594
Likes
2,360
Points
154
Point taken.

But the difference between now and the past appears to be human intervention. So referring back to volcanoes etc is a misdirection at best.
There doesn't appear to be a 'hockey stick' in the ancient core records.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
2,896
Likes
861
Points
129
There has never been a time in the past when buried kerogen products (oil, natural gas and coal) have been mined in such quantities.
Or at all.
So we are in uncharted territory with regards to the climate. Note that the rate of volcanic activity is unchanged, so is irrelevant to this discussion.
 
Top