Tag: Sara Seager

What Scientists Could Learn From Alien Hunters

 

February 10, 2020                           (wired.com)

• Astrobiologists use telescopes to seek biochemical evidence of microbes on other planets. SETI scientists use telescopes to look for intelligent beings’ technological signatures. Then there are those who believe that intelligent extraterrestrials are here, now, buzzing the skies of planet Earth. The respective members of these three groups of ‘alien hunters’ do not necessarily get along with one another. Their interactions demonstrate a concept that sociologists call “boundary-work”, e.g.: building fences and enforcing ideas about who counts as a scientist, and who doesn’t. This ‘boundary’, however, is subjectively based on social mores, social fears, and politics.

• People who find themselves on the outside of mainstream science often foster a sense of antagonism. But the line of demarcation as to what is ‘outside’ of mainstream science shifts with time. Science’s ideas about which ET-seeking methods are valid and which are ‘fringey’ have changed over the past few decades.

• In the early years, astrobiologists and SETI – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, worked together. ‘Perhaps those microbes on a far-off planet evolved and built radio transmitters.’ But then their respective disciplines parted ways. In order to study the conditions of life on other planets, astrobiologists tend to study conditions on this planet – drilling into frozen lakes, doing lab experiments, studying geological evolution, researching our genetics. They use this data to determine which exoplanets have the best chance for evolving life forms. SETI, on the other hand, search for electromagnetic transmissions and signatures of technologies that are not yet understood.

• In the early 1970s, NASA and the National Academy of Sciences considered SETI an important component of the search for extraterrestrial lifeforms. Then politicians such as Senator Richard Proxmire denounced SETI as a wasteful, useless, and futile endeavor. Congressional funding of SETI’s ‘High-Resolution Microwave Survey’ in the early 1990s was cut-off in 1993. The National Science Foundation banned SETI projects from its funding portfolio. Grant opportunities dried up. NASA and mainstream astrobiologists began to distance themselves from SETI.

• In the 2000s, SETI turned to private investors like Paul Allen and Yuri Milner and became associated with searching for ‘little green men’ and UFOs. The mainstream considered SETI ‘laughable pseudo-research’ outside the bounds of proper science. At the same time, astrobiology became a “legitimate” science. Astrobiologist Sara Seager told Congress in 2013, “We’re not looking for aliens or searching for UFOs. We’re using standard astronomy.”

• But SETI scientists have been clawing their way back to legitimacy. In April 2018, Congress directed NASA to start including searches for “technosignatures” in its broader search for life beyond Earth. The House Appropriations Committee is deciding whether SETI’s work will be sanctioned in the 2020s.

• One thing that both “legitimate” astrobiologists and SETI have in common is that they both consider ufology silly. They keep their distance from anyone who believes in UFOs or an extraterrestrial presence. But for someone at SETI who imagines light-years-away microbes growing into sentient beings that broadcast radio waves and beam lasers, is it that much harder to imagine these beings traveling here to Earth?

• Mainstream academic researchers claim that virtually no hard UFO data exists beyond personal accounts. Ufology doesn’t explain how or why alien spaceships could or would come all the way here. Then there are the standard variety of banal explanations for bogus UFO sightings. Ufology is not science in the way SETI researchers do science.

• Greg Eghigian, a Penn State researcher, points out that “From the early-1950s through the 1970s, a number of academics took the study of UFOs seriously and regularly engaged with ufologists.” Back then the military had official UFO research programs, even though their conclusions usually amounted to “nothing to see here.” Those programs ended. The Air Force-sponsored 1968 ‘Condon Report’ concluded that studying UFOs was a waste of time, and UFO research was consigned to the fringes.

• In 1983, Thomas F. Gieryn published his paper: “Boundary-Work and the Demarcation of Science from Non-Science.” When researchers do ‘boundary-work’, they create and maintain lines around who qualifies as a scientist and who doesn’t, and what is and what is not science. In so doing, they bestow legitimacy onto themselves and deny it to others. But this can backfire on them. When the public perceives scientists arbitrarily establishing exclusive scientific authority, people themselves feel alienated, fostering conspiracy theories about the mainstream scientists’ true motives.

• Similar to anti-vaccination activists, GMO no-goers, and people who say climate change has nothing to do with people, many ufologists have decided that scholars and politicians are at best, narrow-minded or, at worst, engaged in a deliberate attempt to hide information.

• Psychologist Stuart Appelle wrote that ufology “is not simply rejected as a legitimate discipline, it is categorically dismissed.” Rejection suggests a conclusion based on close examination and careful reflection. But dismissal is a judgment that close examination is not warranted at all, which is not very scientific. This silencing is a form of ‘social stigmatization’.

• Adam Dodd, a communications instructor at the University of Queensland (in Australia) sees mainstream scientists’ dismissal of the UFO phenomenon as ‘saving face’ in order to maintain their reputation among their own peers. An example of this is when Stephen Hawking concluded that the absence of any evidence of aliens essentially equates with evidence of the absence of aliens. And therefore, for a ‘true scientist’, UFOs and aliens are not worthy of consideration.

• This ‘boundary-work’ by mainstream scientists is both frustrating and patronizing to UFO researchers who find themselves outside of the mainstream fence. They suspect a mainstream agenda is being formed against them. Ufologists become mistrustful of so-called ‘experts’, while the mainstream regards UFO followers as ‘cranks’. So they each band together to create an ‘us versus them’ scenario, and keep their distance from each other. Scientists cannot afford the professional consequences of being associated with fringe ufologists. As a consequence, science probably loses out on the ‘kernels of truth’ in the nut bin.

• The thing that both sides generally have in common is the desire to get to the truth. But with the elitist scientists’ blanket denial of all that is lumped together as ‘fringe conspiracy theories’, these ‘hard science’ practitioners also tend to ignore cultural knowledge, emotional knowledge, spiritual knowledge, and personal knowledge. Their plodding and myopic focus on hard science may slow the rate of scientific achievement.

• Today, mainstream science seems to be more willing to embrace SETI. In 2014, SETI astronomer Jill Tarter received radio astronomy’s highest honor, the Janksy Lectureship award. And this is slowly expanding into the field of ufology. The chair of the Harvard astronomy department has publically suggested that the ‘asteroid’ Oumuamua could be a visiting spaceship.

• A NASA scientist notes that both SETI and ufology are about ‘finding the signal in the noise’. There may be ‘signals’, however small, that indicate a phenomena associated with UFOs that cannot be explained or denied that should be taken into consideration. Rather than dismissing the research of a particular ‘fringe’ group outright, scientists might listen. If so, the reaction by the fringe might be to consider mainstream ‘expert’ analysis more. There can be important truths revealed from both sides of the spectrum.

 

Aliens—hypothetical beings from outer space—fall into roughly three categories. They could be far-away microbes or other creatures that don’t use technology humans can detect; they could be far-away creatures that use technology earthlings can identify; or they could be creatures that have used technology to come to Earth.

         Senator Richard Proxmire
          Sara Seager

Each of these categories has a different branch of research dedicated to it, and each one is probably less likely than the last to actually find something: Astrobiologists use telescopes to seek biochemical evidence of microbes on other planets. SETI scientists, on the other hand, use telescopes to look for hints of intelligent beings’ technological signatures as they beam through the cosmos. Investigating the idea that aliens have traveled here and have skimmed the air with spaceships, meanwhile, is the province of pseudoscientists. Or so the narrative goes.

Although these three groups have a common goal—answering the question “Are we alone?”—they don’t always get along. Their interactions demonstrate a concept that sociologists call “boundary-work”: designing and building fences around Legitimate Science, and enforcing ideas about who counts as a scientist, who doesn’t, and why. Those fences are supposed to defend science’s honor, demonstrate scientists’ objectivity, and uphold the profession’s standards. That’s good! We want that! But the fence posts also demarcate a boundary that isn’t objective but is, in fact, a function of time, location, culture, social mores, social fears, and politics. The enforcement of this sometimes-shifting boundary can send people who find

     Greg Eghigian

themselves on the outside further away from mainstream science, fostering a sense of antagonism and slighted outsiderism. The history of hunting aliens is a good way to understand those unintended consequences of boundary-work in other disciplines. Because even though none of the groups actually knows, or has gained access to, whatever ET truth is out there, science’s ideas about which ET-seeking methods are valid and which are fringey have changed over the past few decades.

Astrobiology v. SETI

   Thomas F. Gieryn

In the early years of astrobiology and SETI, the two groups worked more side by side than they later would. After all, they just existed at different locations on a spectrum: Maybe microbes arose on a far-off planet, and maybe those microbes evolved and built radio transmitters. Astrobiology technically just means the study of life in the universe. But that encompasses a lot: Astrobiologists look into questions like how life started, how it evolved, and what environments can support it. To study these questions, scientists can gather data on this planet, drilling into frozen lakes, doing lab experiments involving the chemistry of early Earth, studying geological evolution on Mars, or gaining a better understanding of genetics to get a better sense of what alternatives might exist to our own DNA. They also investigate what life might look like on another world, whether it has existed on other solar-system planets, and how to pick out a habitable or perhaps inhabited exoplanet from astronomical data.

         Stuart Appelle

SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, falls logically within the scope of astrobiology. But this search, usually for electromagnetic transmissions, is more speculative, since it deals less explicitly with the kinds of chemistry, geology, physics, and biology we can observe in the solar system—and so perhaps beyond—and instead seeks signatures of technology whose nature we don’t yet, and may never, know.

          Adam Dodd

Still, NASA initially supported both sorts of searches (although it called astrobiology “exobiology”). The venerable National Academy of Sciences, in its 1972 recommendations for the search for life beyond the solar system, listed SETI as an important component of exobiology, stating that “SETI investigations are among the most far-reaching efforts underway in exobiology today.” Trouble bubbled up between the groups, though, after SETI became the object of political ire. The search for smart aliens had already proven to be a favorite football for politicians, a frequent contender for cancelation—because of the low probability of success, the speculation required, and the money that they said could be better spent on Earth. For instance, in 1978, Senator Richard Proxmire awarded the nascent project his infamous Golden Fleece Award, for wasting government funds on what he considered a useless, futile endeavor. In the early 1990s, NASA finally began its first SETI observations, part of the project that had been on the drawing board when Proxmire mocked it: then called the High-Resolution Microwave Survey. But the year after the survey began, in 1993, Congress shut down the program.

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Finding ET Could Take Long Time – Scientist Reveals Why This is Good

Listen to “e168 Finding ET Could Take Long Time – Scientist Reveals Why This is Good” on Spreaker.

Article by Sean Martin                           November 8, 2019                             (express.co.uk)

• Sara Seager is an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the deputy science director of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The TESS space telescope uses an array of wide-field cameras to survey 85 percent of the sky to study the mass, size, density, and orbit of exoplanets, and telltale brightness dips potentially indicating planetary “transits” across its star. By analyzing data from TESS, scientists will determine which distant planets they should focus on in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

• Breakthrough Listen and the Berkeley SETI Research Center recently announced they are partnering with NASA to use its TESS space telescope to assist SETI in its search for exoplanets that may harbor extraterrestrial intelligence (see previous ExoArticle). Said Ms Seager, “We are very enthusiastic about joining the Breakthrough Listen SETI search.”

• Findings such as other earth-like exoplanets, evidence of the past existence of water on Mars, and habitable moons in our solar system suggest conditions for life are not unique to our planet. However, there is yet to be any concrete evidence of the existence of aliens. But scientists believe it will come. But when the discovery of other life in the galaxy does come, it is likely to be a gradual process. Speaking on a panel at the (70th annual) International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC (October 21-25, 2019), Ms Seager stated, “[W]hen alien life is found, it will …[be] a painstaking process where study after study will have to confirm alien existence.” “[N]ot like the little green humanoids arriving here on earth scaring everybody.” “It’s probably going to take a long time,” which will help humanity process the concept of extraterrestrial life. Ms Seager concluded: “Out of all the exoplanet endeavors (in the world) only SETI holds the promise for identifying signs of intelligent life.”

[Editor’s Note]  Let’s see. An astronomer at MIT with the most advanced technology in the world at her disposal, is saying that there is no evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life beyond this planet. But when it happens, it will be a long and painstaking process of discovery. Sounds suspicious. Ah! Of course. They are being assisted by the Deep State puppet show known as SETI. Now it makes sense. Just more disinformation intended to assure the public that there is no such thing as UFOs and extraterrestrial beings visiting the planet, all evidence to the contrary.

Ms Seager says that the process of discovering extraterrestrial life will be very long. What exactly does she mean? Her line of thought probably goes something like this: First, SETI will one day announce the great discovery of an exoplanet with unmistakable signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. Then we’ll spend fifty years sending signals back and forth. Language “experts” will spend another fifty years formulating some sort of communication with them. Then we’ll decide on a mid-point between our planets where our representatives can meet, and set out for a hundred year journey to that rendezvous. Under this presumption, it would take a thousand years or so before we would be technologically able to visit each other’s planet. Yes, given Newtonian physics and this myopic perspective, it certainly would take a looooong time.

But this planet has been visited by various extraterrestrial groups for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of years, influencing each stage of life and civilization. A hundred years ago we reached a level of technology that caught the attention of the various ET groups that operate in the background today. With the detonation of the first atomic bomb, both benevolent and negative ET groups began working with world military leaders and governments, and several of them met with President Eisenhower during the 1950’s. The new shadow government killed JFK to prevent him from disclosing all of this to the public, and then set up a secret cultural exchange program between Eben beings from the planet Serpo and American astronauts who went to Serpo in the early 1960’s and returned in the mid-1970’s. The world’s wealthy elite allied themselves with a group of negative ET beings in return for advanced technology that would allow them to create several secret space programs. Mind-controlled Deep State operatives were charged with maintaining this secrecy by any means. Mass mind control is the most common method.

People believe what has been drilled into them since birth. Their cognitive dissonance won’t allow them to contemplate anything except the agreed upon “scientific” narrative, as promulgated by the Deep State education system. Since humans “evolved” unassisted from a primordial soup under unique circumstances, these brain-washed scientists and academics like to point out the tremendously long odds of there being any other intelligent life in the universe. Surely there can only be a minimum of other intelligent beings that also developed by accident and happen to be at our level of technological skill at this same moment in time – if any. And as this universe is so vast, it would be a miracle that the two or three intelligent civilizations in the universe happened to find one another. And if we ever did meet an alien being, it would be so different from humans that we might not be able to effectively communicate with it, or even recognize it. The message from our most educated scientists is that the odds of humans ever finding another extraterrestrial civilization is so impossible, that for the average person its not worth even thinking about. … ‘Move along. There’s nothing to see here. Move along.’

The reality is that our universe is teeming with life. Virtually every star system in the galaxy is home to an extraterrestrial civilization. Here in our particular cluster of 52 stars, most of these civilizations are human-like, according to Corey Goode, and they are all watching and waiting to see if our time has finally come. Will we wake up to this deception that has stolen our reality, and join with our human cousins in the Galactic Federation? Will we overthrow the elite cabal and embark upon a new era of humanity on earth, with instant access to the advanced technologies that can solve our existing societal and environmental problems, and make it possible for us to expand our presence into the galaxy as we are meant to do?

 

The possibility of extraterrestrial life has intrigued humanity for centuries, but recent discoveries seem to prove that we are edging closer to the discovery. Findings such as Earth-like exoplanets, the past existence of water on Mars and habitable moons in our solar system suggest conditions for life are not unique to our planet. However, there is yet to be any concrete evidence of the existence of aliens, but scientists believe it will come.

                     Sara Seager

But when that discovery does come, it is unlikely to be instantaneous, but rather a gradual process.

Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who focuses on detecting exoplanets, said when alien life is found, it will not be how the movies depict it where extraterrestrials invade Earth, but a painstaking process where study after study will have to confirm alien existence.

Speaking on a panel at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, Ms Seager said: “It’s probably something that’s going to be a slow discovery, not like the little green humanoids arriving here on Earth scaring everybody.

“It’s probably going to take a long time.”

Ms Seager said the slow discovery will help humanity process the concept of extraterrestrial life.

Ms Seager is also NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) deputy science director.

Just a few weeks ago, Breakthrough Listen, an organisation which scans the stars in the hope of finding alien signals, bosses said they will collaborate with scientists on TESS – which looks for planets outside the solar system.

By analysing data from TESS scientists will be able to determine which distant planets they should focus on in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

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NASA Teams Up With Major Alien Hunting Group As They Up the Search For Extraterrestrials

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Article by Sean Martin                       October 23, 2019                              (express.co.uk)

• On October 23rd at the 70th annual International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC, the SETI initiative known as ‘Breakthrough Listen’ announced that it is partnering with NASA to use its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to search for exoplanets in the galaxy. Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives Dr Pete Worden said, “It’s exciting that the world’s most powerful SETI search, with our partner facilities across the globe, will be collaborating with the TESS team and our most capable planet-hunting machine.” “We’re looking forward to working together as we try to answer one of the most profound questions about our place in the Universe: Are we alone?”

• Using an array of wide-field cameras to survey 85 percent of the sky, the TESS space satellite identifies telltale brightness dips that indicate planets crossing in front of its star to allow it to study the mass, size, density and orbit of small planets, including rocky planets in the habitable zones of their host stars. Using this data, TESS scientists will be able to determine which distant planets that the Breakthrough Listen team should focus on in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Says TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager, “Out of all the exoplanet endeavours only SETI holds the promise for identifying signs of intelligent life.”

• The technique for finding exoplanets by identifying dips in luminosity of a star allowed the Kepler space telescope to discover Boyajian’s Star in 2015 by the online astronomers known as ‘Planet Hunters’. Astronomers speculated that this dip in luminosity might be due to an artificial ‘megastructure’ or ‘Dyson Sphere’ partially constructed around the star to harbor its energy. But Dr Andrew Siemion, leader of the Breakthrough Listen science team at the University of California, now says that “dust particles in orbit around the star are responsible for the dimming”.

[Editor’s Note]   The top tier leadership of both SETI – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and NASA know that we have a secret space program that interacts with a variety of extraterrestrial beings and civilizations within our own solar system and throughout the galaxy. This ‘partnership’ between them is just a show to make people believe that astronomers and scientists are hard at work searching for alien civilizations on distant exoplanets, but despite their best efforts they have not found any. The reason is because both SETI and NASA exist to do the bidding of the uber-elite and their attack dog, the Deep State, who want to maintain its 70-year history of covering up the extraterrestrial presence and hiding the truth from the rest of the people on this planet.

 

Breakthrough Listen, an organisation which scans the stars in the hope of finding alien signals, has announced it will be

           Dr Pete Worden

teaming up with NASA in the hunt for aliens. Making the announcement at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC, Breakthrough Listen bosses said they will collaborate with scientists on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) – which looks for planets outside the solar system. Together, the teams hope to answer the age-old question: Are we alone?

        Sara Seager

By analysing data from TESS scientists will be able to determine which distant planets they should focus on in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

The space telescope uses an array of wide-field cameras to perform a survey of 85 percent of the sky.

TESS is capable of studying the mass, size, density and orbit of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky planets in the habitable zones of their host stars.

The satellite works by searching for telltale brightness dips potentially indicating planetary “transits” — the passages of orbiting worlds across their parent stars’ faces.

          Dr Andrew Siemion

Dr Pete Worden, Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, said: “It’s exciting that the world’s most powerful SETI search, with our partner facilities across the globe, will be collaborating with the TESS team and our most capable planet-hunting machine.

“We’re looking forward to working together as we try to answer one of the most profound questions about our place in the Universe: Are we alone?”

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