Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 23 Jun '08 15:48
    if we had proof that that life existed on other planets, do you think the governments will keep it secret?
  2. 23 Jun '08 16:07
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if we had proof that that life existed on other planets, do you think the governments will keep it secret?
    I don't think the scientists want to keep it secret.

    We're talking about bacterial life here, aren't we?
    Not about some kind of nearby high technological civilisation...?
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jun '08 17:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I don't think the scientists want to keep it secret.

    We're talking about bacterial life here, aren't we?
    Not about some kind of nearby high technological civilisation...?
    It already seems more than likely we won't be finding much of the latter.
    Our radio telescopes can pick up OUR civilization if we were on the other side of our galaxy. The fact that we don't indicates they must be few and far between in both space and time. Like a pulse of indisputable noise from a civilization that lasts for 10,000 years can go by many times in the galaxy and we could miss it by two hours and never know about it. The galaxy is about 100,000 LY across so for the above case there could be ten such pulses and we could miss every one, a pulse of radio noise lasting 10,000 years each. Ships passing by in the night forever unaware of one another. So I don't think we have a WHOLE lot to worry about there.
    The thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if, in hindsight, the world was better off NOT knowing these ''high and mighty" civilizations who might think of us as dinner....
    But that's a bit off topic. If a microbe was found on Mars for instance, only the church would be upset.
    If a techno civilization were found, and close, it would not surprise me to find governments not only suppressing it but co-operating in suppressing it for fear of being in last place when any technological gems were handed out. Can you imagine the spook games they would play? Sounds like a good theme for a sci fi book, eh.
  4. 23 Jun '08 18:04
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It already seems more than likely we won't be finding much of the latter.
    Our radio telescopes can pick up OUR civilization if we were on the other side of our galaxy. The fact that we don't indicates they must be few and far between in both space and time. Like a pulse of indisputable noise from a civilization that lasts for 10,000 years can go by many ti ...[text shortened]... ff NOT knowing these ''high and mighty" civilizations who might think of us as dinner....
    Our technological civilisation has been sending radio transmisions in some 100 years. Another technological civilisation perhaps been there for thousands of years, abandoned the crude radioband, sending in neutrino radiation, or gravitation radiation instead. (Pure speculations of course.) Star Trek people use subspace transmissions, because radio band is so slow (only the speed of light). We are now talking about an advance technology of cours, of a type our own infant technological civilisation doesn't not yet posess.

    I've read Carl Sagans book "Contact" where the other end educates us in technology. Very interesting book. He hints that there are a message vowen into the decimal expansion in the pi constant. Authors can do that.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jun '08 19:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Our technological civilisation has been sending radio transmisions in some 100 years. Another technological civilisation perhaps been there for thousands of years, abandoned the crude radioband, sending in neutrino radiation, or gravitation radiation instead. (Pure speculations of course.) Star Trek people use subspace transmissions, because radio band is here are a message vowen into the decimal expansion in the pi constant. Authors can do that.
    It seems likely we will not be using radio waves some time into the future because of better means whatever they turn out to be. I suspect though, whatever means it turns out to be, can be detected by the right sensors at LY distances. Here at my company we are advancing the art of getting more and more information down a optical fiber. I now test a laser modulator pumping 40 Gigahertz down a single fiber over a distance of 60 Km, and we are developing one that will send 1000 Gigahertz down the fiber. (1 Terabit/second), so there is also the possibility the signals can disappear completely, all hidden within fibers. That still leaves machinery, which if run by electricity, will still make radio noise. I think it's that and not the communications technique that will give away a civilization. Unless they are totally paranoid and take really big steps to eliminate any radio emissions from machinery.
    There still may be leftover Infrared emissions from heat sources that can't be masked, even if they go totally underground. There could be IR coming off a planet that should not have that much heat associated with it, detectable by the truly huge IR telescopes in space 100 years from now, maybe scopes kilometers wide, maybe arrays of such scopes, built by self-replicating machines where humans just sit back and watch the signals come in with no further monetary input. Wouldn't that be a vision,eh.
    That doesn't even count the type I, II, and III civilizations manipulating larger and larger amounts of energy, like us at type I, using a large amount of energy but based on a planet, and type II using the output of a whole star and type III, the output of clusters of stars or whole galaxies. That kind of blatant use of energy I think will be ruled out or detected within the next 50 years due to our advancing detection technologies being able to discriminate between large natural energy sources and large designed energy sources.
  6. 24 Jun '08 03:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if we had proof that that life existed on other planets, do you think the governments will keep it secret?
    Only until they figure out a way to tax it!

    We would'nt want life here on earth thinking that it is possible to exist tax free now do you? That might start are revolution or something.
  7. 24 Jun '08 04:59
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if we had proof that that life existed on other planets, do you think the governments will keep it secret?
    They might try--but they would fail.
  8. 24 Jun '08 06:28
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if we had proof that that life existed on other planets, do you think the governments will keep it secret?
    Do you think the governments - all of them - would suddenly be able to cooperate well enough to keep it a secret?

    Richard
  9. 24 Jun '08 06:44
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Do you think the governments - all of them - would suddenly be able to cooperate well enough to keep it a secret?

    Richard
    Much more importantly, do you think that the 'government' would be the first to know?

    Your assumption seems to be that governments would either share the information with other governments or that the information would be so readily available that more than one government would find out.

    I am not sure that co-operation is needed to keep a secret.

    I suspect that the first to know or suspect the existence of extraterrestrial life would be scientists and a lot of them do not require government approval before publishing their findings.
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    24 Jun '08 06:49
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Much more importantly, do you think that the 'government' would be the first to know?

    Your assumption seems to be that governments would either share the information with other governments or that the information would be so readily available that more than one government would find out.

    I am not sure that co-operation is needed to keep a secret.
    ...[text shortened]... entists and a lot of them do not require government approval before publishing their findings.
    Unless the proported aliens landed on the whitehouse lawn, scientists, astronomers, would be the first to know and they would have no problem calling up all their pals to verify the findings and then spread the news to universities first, get the first papers in, etc., by then the governments would have no chance of hiding the knowledge behind a spook corridor. Can you imagine the feeding frenzy these governments would go through trying to control them and suck off as much technology as possible to make sure THEIR country would be the first to get the new planet busters and stealth robots.
  11. 24 Jun '08 10:41
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Unless the proported aliens landed on the whitehouse lawn, scientists, astronomers, would be the first to know and they would have no problem calling up all their pals to verify the findings and then spread the news to universities first, get the first papers in, etc., by then the governments would have no chance of hiding the knowledge behind a spook corri ...[text shortened]... to make sure THEIR country would be the first to get the new planet busters and stealth robots.
    What you mustn't forget is that the arms industry is not about governments wanting new arms its about arms manufacturers wanting to sell their goods. So it would not be so much governments competing for weapons tech, but rather arms companies competing for the patents etc.
    What would be more important is whether the aliens have some new energy source - or merely a better version of one we've got such as more efficient solar power or better nuclear energy. That would have the big oil corporations all worried and trying to get their hands on it.
  12. 24 Jun '08 11:54
    You repeat the word "governement". What governement?
    I think I know what your answer will be. So I ask again: Why this governement in particular? The world is full of governements? Space research is all over the world? Why be so US-centric?

    What if a space craft full of aliens landed on the square in Beijing, Moscow or Rio de Janeiro? Or why not in my backyard? Does this make any difference in the question? Or the answers?

    Why would the aliens land in a country who takes arms, in a land with triggerhappy presidents, whenever something happens? I wouldn't...
  13. 24 Jun '08 12:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas

    Why would the aliens land in a country who takes arms, in a land with triggerhappy presidents, whenever something happens? I wouldn't...[/b]
    My guess would be that because (for better or worse) the lone superpower on the planet is the USA . If I came all that distance to communicate, I'd want to talk to the head honcho, the big cheese, the top dog, the BMOC. ...
  14. 24 Jun '08 12:45
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    My guess would be that because (for better or worse) the lone superpower on the planet is the USA . If I came all that distance to communicate, I'd want to talk to the head honcho, the big cheese, the top dog, the BMOC. ...
    If you enter a unknown town, do you seek up the local Hells Angel farm? Or do you go to a more peaceful place?

    I would, as an interplanetary alien, not go to the #1 military place in the planet with largest concentration of nuclear arms, no way. Unless I wanted to disarm them to make the Earth a more peaceful place. (There are other places I wouldn't go to either...)

    If they landed in my backyard, I would invite them to a nice good cup of coffee and a friendly conversation. None of these you cannot get at the White House.
  15. 24 Jun '08 12:55
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    My guess would be that because (for better or worse) the lone superpower on the planet is the USA . If I came all that distance to communicate, I'd want to talk to the head honcho, the big cheese, the top dog, the BMOC. ...
    Any sensible alien would want to communicate with the scientists not the politicians. If they did want to communicate politically they would probably go to the UN (if they new enough about earth politics.).