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Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 04-23-2008 14:26 Edit Quote

Thread inspired by one of the slashdot articles

I commented:

quote:
Assuming that it is impossible to travel faster than light and nearest habitable planets are hundreds to thousands of lightyears away. Why would aliens waste their time coming here? I can give you one very good reason: colonization. If they came, it would be the beginning of the end for us. They don't need to fly thousands of years through space to 'study' or 'meet' us. They would come out of necessity. One possible reason could be that their planet has been exhausted or has become inhabitable for another reason.

Hoping to find friends from desperate aliens is just wishful thinking. Would we save a primitive alien civilization in it's entirety in the same situation? No. We would preserve it but not save it. We would drive it into reservations like the Americans (or should we call them illegal immigrants) did with Native Americans.



quote:
A colony ship in theory could sustain life over several generations (+ what about suspended animation) so traveling for over a 1000 years is no problem. A real planet could still be needed for 'normal' life, expansion and for it's natural resources.



dumdidum ... thoughts?

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 04-23-2008 18:16 Edit Quote

What if they don't have to travel hundreds of thousands (or millions) of light-years? What if they're not even from this plane of reality? What if they only need traverse the boundaries between our universe and theirs?

What if they've already colonized Earth? What if they're us? o.O

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-23-2008 21:43 Edit Quote

I suspect that the speed of light barrier is just that - a barrier.

Not the ultimate one, however.

I firmly believe that there are ways to get around it, so that interstellar travel is not a question of many years to journey relatively short distances (measured on an interstellar scale here).

I believe that Science Fiction (today's science fiction, is tomorrow's science fact ) portrays a huge amount of different possibilities alone. And one needs to keep in mind just how young Science really is as a studied and used human tool.

As for the chance of there being life among the incredible vast and unbelievably populated heavens, I would say just from a statistics point of view, that it is with a very high probability that there is life out there. The real question then is, is it intelligent, and how scientifically advanced is it?

This is aside from the question, is it even life? What if it is a machine or non-living intelligence? One that does not see time like we do, nor is it affected by it like we are - then journeying at light speed is not a barrier anymore, of course.

I firmly believe that there is intelligent life out there. I believe that there is lots of it, in fact. Probably organized into groups, that interact with one another, if not just for the normal economic reasons, then for others.

So why have we not been contacted already?

Well, assuming that we haven't (and by that, I mean they didn't just pop out over the skies and announce themselves, obviously), there are probably very good reasons for this. One that I can immediately think of, is to do a little excercise - examine the human species from OUTSIDE of the human species itself, as a whole.

Imagine that you are an outsider, you have superior technology, probably superior advancement in most areas, and you are examining the prospects of contacting the Human Race. Let us also say that you are not from a warlike species (otherwise I believe the results would already have been noticed, as controlling the spacial room around a planet gives one unprecidented power over those that are landbound below ).

What do you think contact on a wide, public scale would result in?

What would you, as a totally different species, get in return for revealing yourselves on a wide, public scale to the Human Race?

When viewed like that, I think it is rather obvious that any intelligence species considering contacting the Human Race (for whatever purpose - perhaps to get the mining rights for the Asteroid Belt, or Jupiter, or Saturn, perhaps other planets in the Solar System?) would not reveal themselves on a wide, public scale. Instead, they would deal only with those that they would feel would be necessary to do so. And that, in this case, means governments.

And probably only certain governments, those with the ability to actually detect such endeavors such as Asteroid Mining, etc.

So has contact already occurred?

I believe that it has. I even believe that there is proof of it, but of course I cannot provide anyone with it.

In any regards, it is a fascinating subject, and one that I really like.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 04-24-2008 01:45 Edit Quote

I don't agree with most of what you said but this thing I have the biggest issues with:

quote:

WebShaman said:
I firmly believe that there are ways to get around it



One can only hope. One can't believe because there is no basis whatsoever for believing that anything can move faster than light.

I believe that there is a high probability for extraterrestrial life and some of the instances may be a few million years behind or ahead of us in development. I also believe that if they possess the ability of interstellar travel then they would first use up all their least expensive options such as terraforming planets and colonizing neighboring star-systems.

Would we humans build a huge and infinitely expensive ship capable of interstellar travel and sustaining life for thousands of years and send it on it's way (with people on it) into the void in hopes of finding another inhabitable planet? (and then making contact with it's inhabitants?) Maybe I'm pushing my theory a little bit too much here but seriously ... what kind of motivation would we need? Would we want that ship to return or at least send word? In maybe double the time it took for it to get there? Would we find the risk of finding or not finding intelligent life practical for a 4000 years long project?

A fleet of robotic reconnaissance ships sent in all directions sounds much more likely. Even then it would take thousands of years for the reply to reach us. Still it sounds like something we would do in dire need.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-24-2008 09:44 Edit Quote

Well, you are, of course, welcome to disagree with me.

This, however, is somewhat erroneous - One can't believe because there is no basis whatsoever for believing that anything can move faster than light.

Not exactly true - the speed of light is not as constant as one would believe. It tends to depend on the medium that it travels through. So change the medium, and who knows what the real speed of light truly is? What happens if we leave the defines of this Physical Universe for a moment? What is the speed of light in a wormhole, or in a black hole?

Also, we have already been able to teleport things - so in essence, they were moved faster than the speed of light from one point to another.

Also, as one knows, the shortest distance is a straight line between two points. When there are ways to make the way "shorter", well, then one can get around the speed of light if there is a shorter distance to travel to get from point A to point B (otherwise normally known as "warping space").

You really do need to keep in mind that Science as a Human Tool is very, very young. Although one might be tempted to think that we know alot about the Physical Universe, the opposite is true - we know very little.

quote:
A fleet of robotic reconnaissance ships sent in all directions sounds much more likely. Even then it would take thousands of years for the reply to reach us. Still it sounds like something we would do in dire need.



Again, you are assuming that everything is going to be dictated by your limit - the speed of light. Give the Human Race a bit more credit here, and expand your mind. I sincerely doubt that sending out a fleet of robotic recon ships in all directions limited by the speed of light would be smart - it is enough to perhaps explore the Solar System, but not interstellar space. I can imagine that such a fleet is created, sent out, only to be rapidly overtaken and outdistanced by the advances in propulsion/drives in the next couple hundred years!

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles


(Edited by WebShaman on 04-24-2008 09:47)

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 04-24-2008 13:15 Edit Quote
quote:

WebShaman said:
Again, you are assuming that everything is going to be dictated by your limit - the speed of light.



That's the most reasonable assumption, yes :P

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 04-24-2008 17:34 Edit Quote
quote:

WebShaman said:

I believe that it has. I even believe that there is proof of it, but of course I cannot provide anyone with it.


This caught my eye... Could you extend a little bit perhaps? It sounds interesting

quote:

WebShaman said:

Also, as one knows, the shortest distance is a straight line between two points. When there are ways to make the way "shorter", well, then one can get around the speed of light if there is a shorter distance to travel to get from point A to point B (otherwise normally known as "warping space").


Yes, in other words, making point A and point B meet in a single point

This is a very interesting discussion indeed.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 00:54 Edit Quote

I am not sure if older threads that included my rather wordy and lengthy experience are still around.

As such, I will give you the short version.

As I was in the Air Force back in the 80's, me and a buddy from the IT were screwing around on a nightshift, just seeing what we could get into - and we got into big trouble doing it.

Now, the stuff we accessed may not have been "real" - with the military, it is hard to say sometimes. Military truth and facts are like an onion - there are layers within layers, and often enough, if one peels away enough layers, there is nothing at the center at all.

But it sure looked real, and the coronor's reports did as well. Whatever it was that was in the pics, it was not what one would identify as a natural living thing. It was suggested in the report that the creature had been "artifically created" - because it did not have sexual organs, or any type of complex systems at all. In fact, it seemed good for only specific purposes - like guiding a vessel, for instance.

Now, I have no evidence that I can offer anyone - I rather suspect that if I did, I probably would not have gotten off with the hard spanking that I did. Just this rather odd story.

It is enough for me, however.

quote:
Yes, in other words, making point A and point B meet in a single point



Yes, that would be the absolutely shortest distance, wouldn't it? I am not sure if such a technology would be able to hit it perfectly, however. Therefore, I left the margin for error in there, and just suggested instead that one could shorten the distance to be travelled.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: The Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 00:59 Edit Quote
quote:

Arthurio said:

quote:WebShaman said:Again, you are assuming that everything is going to be dictated by your limit - the speed of light.That's the most reasonable assumption, yes :P



I disagree vehemently that it is the most reasonable assumption, precisely for the reason that I outlined. A breakthrough in propulsion/drive/travel technology alone would make such an endeavor obsolete.

Not to mention the logistics of trying to create something reasonable to travel on/in at the speed of light for interstellar travel (and more likely, it would not be at the speed of light, but near it, which is even worse).

The dubious "returns" are not worth the amount of effort required here. The solar system, yes. But not interstellar space.

We are effectively "trapped" in our solar system until we find a better solution than travelling at (or near) the speed of light.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 10:57 Edit Quote

Thanks for the info WS -- very interesting stuff indeed. Somehow I don't find it difficult to believe you...

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 13:14 Edit Quote

About the propulsion thing, I wonder if we'll ever move asteroids off of their natural orbit using light/energy beams in order to better slingshot deep space probes.

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 14:49 Edit Quote
quote:

WebShaman said:

Also, we have already been able to teleport things - so in essence, they were moved faster than the speed of light from one point to another.



Were they?

I don't recall - and have not been able to find now - anything that references the actual speed of the event.
I certainly have not seen anything that indicates that the speed of light was exceeded during the experiment, or in any of the previous experiments in teleportation.

I do agree that assuming the speed of light will not be exceeded is *not* the most reasonable assumption...but from what I have been able to read, our experiments in teleportation have not furthered that goal at all.

NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 17:46 Edit Quote

I remember an experiment of a few years ago... and I think this may be it....

quote:
Earlier this year, a team of physicists made a microwave beam travel 7% faster than light speed. Last year, they announced that they had even slowed light down to almost a crawl.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/841690.stm


And don't forget the theoretical...

http://www.mkaku.org/articles/

___________________________________________________________________________
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Here and There
Insane since: Jul 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2008 20:17 Edit Quote

Funny, I never thought of the Speed of Light as a barrier... but a goal. Folding Space or wormholes have always been interesting if a bit more quantum then my mind can absorb.

On the propulsion thing... they (those afore mentioned geeks) have been researching Sci Fi novels for possible solutions. Ion drives, solar sails, anit-matter/matter systems... anything they have read.

On Ion Drives

And This Article on Various theores regarding space propulsion systems.

Just remember... Today's geeks are tomorrow's inventers... I hope they read Asimov, Rodenbury, and Poul Anderson, among the long, long list of others.

GD

(Edited by GrythusDraconis on 04-25-2008 20:18)

jade
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: houston, tx usa
Insane since: Mar 2003

IP logged posted posted 04-28-2008 17:36 Edit Quote

What about it being travel but in other dimensions or other times or a different universe or universes related to time???


I am no science buff, but in a meeting I went to I spoke with a friend, a deacon who is an aerospace engineer and has been with the NASA shuttle program since its inception so he is a pretty smart in science matters...He was telling us about a scientific breakthrough regarding a finding in the search for the origin(s) of the universe. If I remember correctly it was a math equation that enabled the mathematicians to go further only by adding dimension(s) Has anyone heard of this? Or explain it better. I know there is a book about it.

He explained that if we were a dot on a computer we would only be in one-dimensional plane and could not understand what it is to be multi dimensional. With the new math equation we are at the beginning stages of being able learn a way to jump out of the computer and see the origin only I believe if we entered it in a different realm that could lead to other realms. I think he explained to picture the universe as a big circle and we are in the middle of the circle. In order for us to go the distance and go further towards the end the circle if we calculate in more dimensions we can get to the origin.

I dont see know his email or I would ask him what the name of the book is.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 04-28-2008 17:37 Edit Quote
quote:
...there is no basis whatsoever for believing that anything can move faster than light.



Hmmm...

It has been demonstrated that some things appear to break the universal speed limit, but it's still a very large step from quantum tunneling experiments and generating a super-light waveform, to sending spacemen to distant stars and back in time for a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich.

While it is still true that nothing with mass has been accelerated near to light velocities (or teleported), scientists are learning by degrees that the rules of the universe are 'bendable'. Science is still very, very young. Each leap of faith that leads to new discovery seems to be more daunting (and ridiculous) than the last, but the steadfast belief that nothing is impossible is what drove ingenius humans to use fire, harness electricity, fly around the world, and ultimately, to split the atom.

Black holes were nothing but a crazy (intricately, precisely, mathematically deduced) idea for many years before someone looked at an increasingly more detailed picture of our galaxy one day and said "what the flying blue f*** is that thing in the middle!?"

I'm thoroughly in Webshaman's camp with this one; I absolutely believe that there will be ways of circum-navigating the obstacles we perceive today (if we don't wipe ourselves out beforehand). You shouldn't think of it as 'breaking the speed of light' so much as, perhaps, finding a back-road around it. With the stuff of yesterday's sci-fi becoming today's theoretical science (and maybe even tomorrow's scientific fact), is it so far fetched to imagine that we might one day, force open the mouth of a wormhole? How about stepping outside of the influences of this universe altogether, and warping from place to place?

If we (or humanity's greatest scientists) can imagine it, it's most-likely possible. If it's possible, then we may one day achieve it. If we can do it, it has probably already been done. What's the betting that Earth isn't just another fish-tank in some great aquarium, to be gawped-at by passers-by to whom inter-stellar travel is barely an inconvenience..?



Of course, as the energies involved in such science are unimaginably immense, one wonders if a race incapable of managing even the meagre resources of its own planet will ever see the stars at anything but an extreme distance...
_____

(Edited by White Hawk on 04-28-2008 18:12)

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-28-2008 18:11 Edit Quote

jade: Sound like string theory to me.

I mentionned The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality both by Brian Greene before, but they are REALLY good. Technical but not too much. I think. My biggest struggle reading them was that these were the first entire books I read in English.

If you want to take a shortcut, search on youtube and google videos for the documentary/program on "The Elegant Universe" that was aired on Nova, and watch Brian Greene's talk at TED.


... haven't got around to read Brief history of time, yet.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 04-28-2008 20:48 Edit Quote

Ooh, I love string theory. Now there's something bloomin' hard to fathom, but undeniably compelling:

Imagining the Tenth Dimension!

(Edited by White Hawk on 04-28-2008 20:49)

whatsupdoc
Obsessive-Compulsive (I) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Nov 2010

IP logged posted posted 11-19-2010 14:46 Edit Quote

the speed of light might be a single barrier but lest look at other possibilities that we have to travel farther than our solar system, none, so it all comes down to the light in helping us to move, if you rely on wormholes you do not where you are going and you could end up anywhere. so the purpose of traveling is missing there.



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