Will 2020 Be the Year We Find Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life?

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Article by Leonard David                            November 26, 2019                        (space.com)

• So far, astronomers have found more than 4,000 exoplanets and more are being discovered, suggesting that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet. Space.com asked top SETI experts whether they will detect life elsewhere in the galaxy or even intelligent extraterrestrials?

• In searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak relies on detecting narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light from nearby star systems. If there are 10,000 extraterrestrial societies broadcasting radio signals in the galaxy, then he estimates that SETI will need to examine 10 million star systems to find one. That will take at least two more decades.

• But with the new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California that is scheduled for 2020, SETI will be able to search for laser technosignatures, which may improve their chances. Says Shostak, “[O]ne can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

• Michael Michaud, author of the book: Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials, says that improvements to search technologies could boost the odds of success. But there are still vast areas of the galaxy that we are not looking at. In searching for chemical technosignatures, we’ll most likely find simple life forms before finding a technological civilization.

• If SETI did find evidence of life in the galaxy, Michaud thinks the news will leak quickly. How should they announce the discovery? “[G]overnmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” says Michaud. Premade plans for such an announcement are unlikely because agency personnel won’t be able to get past the “giggle factor”, thinking that it is all just too absurd.

• Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, which is affiliated with SETI, said, “I think this is going to be a long-term project. I estimate a very small probability of success (of finding extraterrestrial life) in any given year.” Nevertheless, “The Breakthrough Initiatives is committed to full and immediate disclosure of any and all results,” said Worden.

• Steven Dick, an astrobiology scholar and author of the book: Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact, says despite the work by Breakthrough Listen and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), there’s no reason to think 2020 would be the year for discovery. “[A]ll these things combine to increase the chances over the next decade of finding extraterrestrial intelligence. I would caution, though, that any discovery will be an extended process, consisting of detection and interpretation before any understanding is achieved,” said Dick. “I see the search advancing incrementally next year, but with an accelerating possibility that life will be discovered in the near future.” “One thing that is certain is that we are getting a better handle on the issues of societal impact, should such a discovery be made.”

• Douglas Vakoch, president of the SETI-affiliated nonprofit Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), notes that “We are right now on the verge of finding out whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.” We scan with available technologies: Earth-based observatories, space-based telescopes, and even craft that travel to other planets and moons in our solar system. “It all depends on how plentiful intelligent extraterrestrials are. If one in 10,000 star systems is home to an advanced civilization trying to make contact, then …the news we’re not alone in the universe could well come in 2020,” Vakoch says.

• “As the next generation of space telescopes is launched, we will increase our chances of detecting signs of life through changes to the atmospheres of planets that orbit other stars, giving us millions of targets in our search for even simple life in the cosmos,” says Vakoch. But we probably won’t have “definitive proof” until after 2020 when NASA launches the James Webb Space Telescope, or 2028 when the European Space Agency starts its Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, or ARIEL, to study the atmospheres of exoplanets for potential signs of life.

• “[D]on’t hold your breath for discovery by 2020,” says Vakoch. Humans cannot control whether or not there is life elsewhere in the universe. “Either it’s there or it’s not.” “To be human is to live with uncertainty.” “If we demand guarantees before we begin searching, then we are guaranteed to find nothing. But if we are willing to commit to the search in the coming year and long afterwards, even without knowing we will succeed, then we are sure to discover that there is at least one civilization in the universe that has the passion and the determination to understand its place in the cosmos — and that civilization is us.”

[Editor’s Note]   Seth Shostak and his band of idiots at SETI make their living by covering up the widespread existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life all around us, on behalf of their puppet masters, the Deep State elite. Are they liars or are they being fooled themselves? If they are half the scientists they claim to be, they must know the truth. Therefore, they are the very face of the Deep State lying to the public. They are reprehensible. They talk in scientific terms about the new technologies that they employ in their phony search to find a needle in a haystack. But they insist that it will take years, and probably lifetimes before they find a microbe on a distant exoplanet. Then they add platitudes of what a grand discovery it will be if they ever find life in the universe besides humanity. But make no mistake. Their job is to never find life beyond the Earth, and they have gotten very good at it.

 

In the past three decades, scientists have found more than 4,000 exoplanets. And the discoveries will keep rolling in; observations suggest that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet on average.

                  Seth Shostak

Given a convergence of ground- and space-based capability, artificial intelligence/machine learning research and other tools, are we on the verge of identifying what is universally possible for life — or perhaps even confirming the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence?

Is 2020 the celestial payoff year, in which objects of interest are found to offer “technosignatures,” indicators of technology developed by advanced civilizations?

Space.com asked top SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) experts about what next year may signal regarding detecting other starfolk.

Michael Michaud

Gaining speed
“Well, despite being the widely celebrated 100-year anniversary of the election of Warren G. Harding, 2020 will not likely gain fame as the year we first discover extraterrestrial life,” said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

The search for intelligent beings elsewhere, Shostak said, is largely conducted by checking out nearby star systems for either narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light. And those might succeed at any time, he told Space.com.

“But one should remember that this type of search is gaining speed in an exponential fashion, and that particular technical fact allows a crude estimate of when SETI might pay off. If we take — for lack of a better estimate — Frank Drake’s opinion that there might be 10,000 broadcasting societies in the Milky Way, then we clearly have to examine at least one [million] – 10 million stellar systems to have a reasonable chance of tripping across one. That goal will be reached in the next two decades, but certainly not in 2020,” Shostak said.

             Pete Worden

Improved searches

But there are still reasons for intelligent-alien hunters to be excited and optimistic about the coming year. Multiple existing projects will either be expanded or improved in 2020, Shostak said. For example, the SETI Institute will get new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, and both the SETI Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, will conduct new searches for possible laser technosignatures.

“And, of course, there’s always the unexpected,” Shostak said. “In 1996, the biggest science story of the year was the claim that fossilized Martian microbes had been found in a meteorite. No one really saw that coming. So one can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

Previous predictions

“I am skeptical about picking a specific year for the first discovery. Previous predictions of success have been wrong,” said Michael Michaud, author of the thought-provoking book “Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials” (Copernicus, 2007).

“I and others have observed that the continued improvement of our search technologies and strategies could boost the odds for success,” Michaud said, noting that the primary focus of SETI remains on radio signals. “However, we still don’t cover all frequencies, all skies, all of the time. Other types of searches have failed, too, such as looking for laser signals or Dyson spheres [ET mega-engineering projects]. Those campaigns usually have limited funding and often don’t last long.”

                   Steven Dick

A new possibility has arisen because of exoplanet discoveries, Michaud said: “In some cases, astronomers now can look for chemical evidence of life in planetary atmospheres. It is conceivable that we will find simple forms of life before we find signals from a technological civilization.”

     Douglas Vakoch

Prevailing opinion

If astronomers do someday confirm a SETI detection, how should they announce the discovery? It is an old question that has been answered in several ways.

“The prevailing opinion among radio astronomers has been that the news will leak quickly. If that is correct, scientific and governmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” Michaud said.

“It remains possible that the sophisticated monitoring capabilities of intelligence agencies might be the first to detect hard evidence,” Michaud said. “One might think that the government would have a plan to deal with such an event.”

But, Michaud said that his own experience suggests that such plans are unlikely to be drawn up due to a “giggle factor” and would be forgotten as officials rotated out of their positions. He previously represented the U.S. Department of State in interagency discussions of national space policy.

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Do We Need a Special Language to Talk to Extraterrestrials?

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November 5, 2019           (wired.com)

• In May 2018, from a radar facility in Tromsø, Norway, ‘Sónar Calling’ trained its antennas on a potentially habitable exoplanet located 12 light years from Earth called GJ237b. Sónar Calling is an interstellar messaging project by the nonprofit METI International, or ‘Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence’ which began in 2017 (as the sister organization to SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).

• The Sónar Calling messaging project has sent two transmissions to potential cosmic cousins. Both messages, each sent over the course of three days, have consisted of a selection of short songs and a primer on how to interpret the contents. The second broadcast was notable for sending an extraterrestrial language devised by physicists Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumas in the late 1990s.

• Dutil and Dumas’ “language” is based on a communication system known as “Lincos”, a mathematical format developed by Dutch mathematician Hans Freudenthal in 1960. The ‘primer’ begins by introducing ET to numerals and basic arithmetic, and then progresses to more complex topics like human biology and the planets in our solar system. This mathematical language has been sent into space twice before in 1999 and 2003.

• Many mathematicians believe that math is a constant in the fabric of reality. Math isn’t something that humans created so much as it is something that the human mind discovered. Still, Lincos rests on the assumption that an ET is “human-like in its mental state”. If ET does in fact think like a human, does that alien also have some kind of human-like language? Early artificial intelligence researcher Marvin Minsky argues that ET is likely to have language because language is an ideal solution to fundamental problems faced by any intelligent species including constraints on time, energy, and resources.

• A deeper question is whether ET’s language will be similar to our own. Noam Chomsky has argued that universal grammar is a structure common to all human languages on earth. Brain imaging studies have shown that the structure of human language manifests in our neural brain activity. So if extraterrestrials do have a language similar to earth languages, it might imply that they also have a functionally equivalent neurobiology.

• Astrobiologist Charles Cockell compares the likelihood of biological similarities between humans and extraterrestrial beings with the similarities between humans and other animals here in earth. Cellular life arises from the same four nucleotides to create the structure of an eye or a wing. Universal biological similarities puts constraints on the trajectory of evolution tempered with adaptations to conditions on their home world. It is therefore reasonable to assume that extraterrestrial evolution might arrive at similar solutions to common issues, such as evolving a brain capable of recursive languages.

• If that’s the case, then the best way to communicate may not be designing artificial languages, but sending ET a set of encyclopedias. If ET has developed its own artificial intelligence, it could potentially decipher the structure of a natural language message. Aliens will still need some kind of language to connect some language symbols to their meaning. But as on earth, the best way to start an interstellar conversation might simply be by saying “hello.”

[Editor’s Note]   A lot of assumptions were made to get to the theory that extraterrestrial beings may have similar language skills, and therefore similar neurobiology as humans on earth. This strikes me as a lot of scientific gibberish meant to assure the average mind-controlled human that smart scientists are working day and night to unlock the mystery of whether there may be other intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe. What other organization commonly uses this modality…. hmmm… oh yes! SETI. This sounds a lot like what SETI does to make people believe they are earnestly searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, when they and their Deep State handlers know for a fact that intelligent extraterrestrials exist all around us and regularly interact with our elite. According to these ‘deep thinkers’, a major obstacle is how we might communicate with these advanced beings. Have they ever heard of telepathy which requires no spoken language, and which virtually everyone who has had an encounter with an alien being has reported?

 

In May 2018, a radar facility in Tromsø, Norway, trained its antennas on GJ237b, a potentially habitable exoplanet located 12 light years from Earth. Over the course of three days, the radar broadcast a message toward the planet in the hopes that there might be something, or someone, there to receive it. Each message consisted of a selection of short songs and a primer on how to interpret the contents.

                Stephane Dumas
                  Yvan Dutil

This was the second iteration of Sónar Calling GJ273b, an interstellar messaging project by the nonprofit METI International that began in 2017. Although both transmissions were billed as a “music lesson for aliens,” the second broadcast was notable for rehabilitating an extraterrestrial language developed by the physicists Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumas in the late 1990s.

This custom symbolic system begins by introducing ET to numerals, and then progresses to more complex topics like human biology and the planets in our solar system. An earlier version of the language was first sent into space in 1999 and again in 2003 as part of the Cosmic Call messages—a crowd-sourced interstellar messaging project that marked the first serious attempt at interstellar communication since Carl Sagan and Frank Drake sent the Arecibo message into space 25 years earlier.

All of these formal messaging attempts have taken basically the same approach: Teach numerals and basic arithmetic first. But as some recent insights in neurolinguistics suggest, it might not be the best way to greet our alien neighbors.

        Charles Cockell

The world’s first interstellar communication system, the lingua cosmica, or Lincos, set the tone for all subsequent attempts by placing

Marvin Minsky

basic math at its core. Designed by the Dutch mathematician Hans Freudenthal in 1960, Lincos inspired several other mathematicians and scientists to try their hand at designing extraterrestrial languages. Each system is ultimately an attempt at solving a remarkably complex problem: How do you communicate with an intelligent entity you know nothing about?

The question gets at the nature of intelligence itself. Humans are the only species on Earth endowed with advanced mathematical ability and a fully fledged faculty of language, but are these hallmarks of intelligence or human idiosyncrasies? Is there an aspect of intelligence that is truly universal?

Scientists and mathematicians have grappled with these questions for centuries. As the Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner once observed, mathematics is “unreasonably effective” at describing the natural universe, which has led a significant contingent of mathematicians to conclude that math is baked into the fabric of reality. From this perspective, mathematics isn’t something produced by the human mind so much as something the human mind discovers.

Most interstellar communication systems were designed around this conclusion. The goal isn’t to teach ETs about addition and subtraction—presumably they know as much if they can build a telescope to receive the message. Instead, these systems teach ETs about the way we code numbers as symbols. Then they can build up to more complex ideas.

It’s an elegant solution to a difficult problem, but Lincos still rests on the assumption that an ET is “human-like in its mental state,” as Freudenthal once conceded. But if ET does in fact think like a human, does that alien also have some kind of human-like language?

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Aliens Could ‘Invade’ Our Solar System Using Tiny Robots and We Might Not Even Notice

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Article by Jasper Hamill October 22, 2019 (metro.co.uk)

• Zaza Osmanov of the Free University of Tbilisi, Georgia has written a paper which discusses ‘extraterrestrial micro replicators’ called Von-Neumann probes that are capable of reproducing themselves. Osmanov theorizes that an alien civilization could ‘invade’ our solar system using tiny ‘micro-robots’ which astronomers would probably fail to spot unless they knew exactly what to look for.

• It’s entirely possible, says Osmanov, that extraterrestrial beings could unleash a massive squadron of undetected microscopic probes across the entire galaxy, through clouds of interstellar gas which exist between star systems. Osmanov imagines that if the tiny mechanical probes landed on a rocky planet, it would have the resources needed to continuously reproduce the energy and resource-efficient micro-robots.

• Osmanov believes that ‘detection (of swarms of these micro-robots) is quite realistic’ as the machines’ luminosity ‘might reach enormous values’ to be visible to Earth astronomers. But if we are unable to spot them, this may fall under the ‘Fermi Paradox’ as we wonder why we have not been able to detect other galactic civilizations.

• Nick Longrich, a senior lecturer in palaeontology and evolutionary biology at the University of Bath, England, has said that the evolution of complex intelligent life on Earth (from a primordial soup) is so spectacularly unlikely it may have happened just once in the entire universe. Said Longrich, “Our (human) evolution may have been like winning the lottery … only far less likely. …The universe is astonishingly vast.” But even if habitable worlds are rare, there are still enough of them out there to suggest that there is also life out there.

• According to evolutionary theory, says Longrich, ‘Humans couldn’t evolve until fish evolved bones that let them crawl onto land. Bones couldn’t evolve until complex animals appeared. Complex animals needed complex cells, and complex cells needed oxygen, made by photosynthesis. None of this happens without the evolution of life, a singular event among singular events. … All organisms come from a single ancestor; as far as we can tell, life only happened once.” The odds of evolving intelligence become one in 10 million. “[O]ur evolution wasn’t like winning the lottery. It was like winning the lottery again, and again, and again.”

• “[I]ntelligence will evolve on just 1 in 100 trillion habitable worlds.” Reasons Longrich. “If habitable worlds are rare, then we might be the only intelligent life in the galaxy, or even the visible universe.” “And yet, we’re here. That must count for something, right? If evolution gets lucky one in 100 trillion times, what are the odds we happen to be on a planet where it happened?”

• “Intelligence seems to depend on a chain of improbable events. But given the vast number of planets, then like an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters to write Hamlet, it’s bound to evolve somewhere. The improbable result was us.”

[Editor’s Note]  Mainstream scientists and astronomers have not “found” any other galactic civilizations because they are actively trying NOT to find any other civilizations, as they exist throughout this universe. So they get these ‘scientists’ from Deep State-controlled universities to talk about Fermi’s paradox and the long odds of life happening on the earth, and longer odds that it has occurred on other planets, to make us believe that we are the only intelligent life in the galaxy. But wouldn’t the odds dramatically increase if other more ancient intelligent beings were assisting in our human development, or even creating it over hundreds of millions of years? And what if these extraterrestrial beings were still here, controlling and manipulating the human species on earth? This is the reality that the Deep State and its elite masters want to keep secret.

 

Here on Earth, you know a country has been conquered when loads of tanks, attacks helicopters and burly great soldiers roll into town.

But aliens could ‘invade’ our solar system using tiny ‘micro-robots’ which astronomers would probably fail to spot unless they knew exactly what to look for.

                         Zaza Osmanov

A new study has revealed that it’s entirely possible an extraterrestrial civilisation has unleashed a massive squadron of microscopic probes which have spread out across the galaxy undetected.

Zaza Osmanov of the Free University of Tbilisi in Georgia has written a paper which discusses ‘extraterrestrial micro replicators’ called Von-Neumann probes that are capable of reproducing themselves.

Currently, the search for alien intelligence is focused on discovering huge ‘megastructures’ such as Dyson Spheres – hypothetical giant power stations built around stars to harvest their energy.

Osmanov suggested that advanced civilisations might actually build tiny machines to explore the galaxy and calculated how they would spread through a cloud of interstellar gas – the name for great billows of gas which exist between star systems.

                  Nick Longrich

‘The total number of probes might increase extremely rapidly ”invading” the whole region of an interstellar cloud,’ he wrote.

When we think of aliens invading a star system, it’s often assumed they would land on a planet and begin munching up its resources while enslaving or slaughtering its unfortunate inhabitants.

This approach might actually be counterproductive because it requires more energy and effort than unleashing swarms of robots.

‘Extraterrestrials would prefer to use micro-robots than large-scale macro probe,’ Osmanov continued.

‘Still there is a possibility to make the process of reproduction efficient but for that, the probes need to land on rocky planets.

‘This compared to the continuous process of replication of microdevices in interstellar clouds seems to be less efficient because landing on a planet and fleeing from it require special manoeuvring.’

Thankfully, if a horde of robots colonised a cloud in the Milky Way we would probably notice them.

Osmanov said ‘detection is quite realistic’ because the machines’ luminosity ‘might reach enormous values’, meaning they would give off enough light to be visible.

He wrote: ‘If one detects a strange object with extremely high values of luminosity increment, that might be a good sign to place the object in the list of extraterrestrial Von-Neumann probe candidates.’

The apparent contradiction between the likelihood of aliens existing in our gigantic universe and our inability to find them is called the Fermi Paradox.

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