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Archive for Monday, May 10, 2010

E.T. expert optimistic that we are not alone

An alien hunter gave a presentation on the Kansas University campus during the weekend about the scientific search for aliens. He believes we will find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe within the next few decades.

May 10, 2010

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Have you ever wondered whether there’s intelligent life beyond our planet? A guest speaker who addressed a crowd at Kansas University on Sunday night believes there is.

Seth Shostak is a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute. He also hosts a weekly radio show called “Are We Alone?”

The free event at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union included a slideshow presentation on the astronomer’s theories and findings regarding extraterrestrial life.

When asked how he responds when people suggest he’s joking, he said, “They might think it’s a joke. They could have thought the same thing of Chris Columbus if he walked around the bars of Spain in 1491, and said, ‘You know, I’m going to cross the ocean. Who knows what I’ll find. It might be interesting.’”

Shostak has published approximately 50 research papers in professional journals on the subject of intelligent life in outer space. His most recent publication is a book called “Confessions of an Alien Hunter.”

He said about his work, “That is what this is, it’s exploration. There’s good reason to believe there may be cosmic company. I’m optimistic we will find something within a few decades.”

Shostak recently appeared as a guest on “Larry King Live” and “The Colbert Report.”

Comments

75x55 3 years, 11 months ago

Show me how any Point A can be brought physically closer to Point B, in terms of interstellar travel? Without resorting to wild-*ss physics theories that are more the grist of science fiction fluffery, that is.

Technology hasn't ever brought a Point A closer to Point B - what makes you think it can?

Not likely. Well, actually, way beyond not likely.

Modern engineers are easily dumbfounded, as they consistently underestimate the intelligence of their ancient predecessors.

Your last question is insufficient - given I already gave the framework for the answer. I suspect that you don't accept my given assumption about the nature of truth.

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whatthehell 3 years, 11 months ago

What?

Any discussion about what is possible or impossible regarding interstellar travel makes no sense. To call it impossible is basing your assumption on known facts and technologies. Consider any modern technology you like from the perspective of human beings mere centuries ago...even electricity was unthinkable. Also, look around at so many examples of engineering feats of Egyptians and Central/South American cultures (to name just two or three) ... pyramids and drawings in the landscape that are literally unbelievable. Modern engineers are dumbfounded by the precision of these things. There is literally no explanation for what technology they may have possessed.

What modern faith system do you think would survive indisputable evidence of ET?

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75x55 3 years, 11 months ago

"it would completely upend certain faith systems that don't recognize the existence of anyone outside of this planet"

Would it? Really? Perhaps some, certainly not the one based in reality and truth.

"The only logical way to believe "we are alone" would to be completely engulfed by religious beliefs that require FAITH in what has been taught for many centuries."

Well now, if we're going to abide by 'logical thought' (for once), that would make for an interesting conversation. However, given that the extremely unlikely (near impossible) nature of any sort of interstellar travel ("it's just too durn fur to go!") - and barring fantasies of warp drives and worm holes - what does it really matter anyway?

Ain't no ET's coming to save us from ourselves, and ain't no one getting off this rock alive.

Yet we're bound and determined to blow vast sums and copious resources in the effort to try and find this elusive life on some other rock - to what end? Haven't heard any reason better than "just because...".

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whatthehell 3 years, 11 months ago

It seems to me that it would be totally and completely arrogant to think that this little planet in this solar system, in this galaxy is the only one capable of supporting life. The only logical way to believe "we are alone" would to be completely engulfed by religious beliefs that require FAITH in what has been taught for many centuries.

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whatthehell 3 years, 11 months ago

Leave it to Tom to try and turn this into a political discussion...

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oldtimer39 3 years, 11 months ago

I think it's interesting how the "crazy" people in this discussion are those who believe our lack of understanding about the universe allows for the possibility of intelligent life outside of Earth, and how vehement the self-proclaimed "sane" people are that it's just not possible.

Some would call that a reaction born out of fear. And not fear of "little green men" or anything like that; more so a fear that if we did discover we aren't alone in the universe, it would completely upend certain faith systems that don't recognize the existence of anyone outside of this planet (or the Middle East, depending on your favorite book).

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BigPrune 3 years, 11 months ago

Is it true this scientist is a devout atheist?

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mavrick848 3 years, 11 months ago

This is just my opinion but I believe since we haven't heard or gotten signals the past decades, its a possibility we might be the only intelligent life in the Galaxy not the Universe. if we did gain contact from another civilization why is the government with holding such information? from what i understand this country is based on for the people by the people, the people hold the most power and the government i'm sure knows this so I think we have the right to know whats going on out there instead of covering things up.

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phoggyjay 3 years, 11 months ago

Anyone know of any good links to see videos of UFO's. Always looking for new ones.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 11 months ago

If we can end up with Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house and potentially third in line to the presidency, and Obama as president, I'm willing to now believe practically anything.

May god bless.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 11 months ago

Mankind, on earth, is the example for all other intelligent life in the universe, of what not to do to each other...

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John Spencer 3 years, 11 months ago

"Have you ever wondered whether there’s intelligent life beyond our planet?"

Reading many of the comments about articles on this web site makes me wonder about intelligent life here on this planet!

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melott 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course, anyone who had been there would know that the discussion was about the possibility of receiving radio signals.

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75x55 3 years, 11 months ago

'Oh, these just HAS to be intelligent life out there.....'

No, actually, there doesn't. "Building blocks" and elements don't just come together and form intelligent, highly-ordered life forms. That assumption is based upon an active denial of the horrifying alternative.

Another fine myth propagated by those that diminish the completely incomprehensible existence of this world.

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tange 3 years, 11 months ago

".... There is some belief that the magnitude of this energy may make interstellar travel impossible. It is reported that at the 2008 Joint Propulsion Conference, where future space propulsion challenges were discussed and debated, a conclusion was reached that it is improbable that humans will ever explore beyond the Solar System. Brice N. Cassenti, an associate professor with the Department of Engineering and Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stated “At least 100 times the total energy output of the entire world would be required for the voyage (to Alpha Centauri)...."

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oldtimer39 3 years, 11 months ago

It's a fact that the essential elements and building blocks needed for life to develop on Earth exist outside of Earth. Which means that it's possible the same evolutionary processes that happened on this planet are happening (or have happened) on countless other planets throughout the universe.

Additionally, with as many stars as there are in the universe, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Earth is the only one perfectly suited for the development of intelligent life. But considering what we know about Earth (small rocky planet with water, atmosphere, certain proximity from a certain kind of star) our technology simply isn't advanced enough to detect those kinds of planets yet, and for that I reason I don't think we'll make "contact" with intelligent life within 30 years.

Finally, I imagine these kinds of conversations were fairly commonplace prior to the age of exploration when most folks were certain that if you sailed too close to the horizon, you'd fall off the earth. If history has shown us anything, it's that a closed mind inevitably leads to being remembered as a fool.

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beatrice 3 years, 11 months ago

gop wants to know, how someone can be an expert in something that we have no knowledge of and possibly doesn't exist?

Good question. Ask a priest.

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SLOPOKE 3 years, 11 months ago

I have always wondered why the leaders of all counties,(people of knowledge?) are picking up the pace of the nuclear arms race when we already have enough nuc's to blow this planet back to its birth place..We are already armed well enough to handel any problems of the earthly type. They must know much more than the populas,what is it that is driving our leaders to this madness????

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 11 months ago

What a waste of talent ... this guy should be buffing my car.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course we are not alone. Obama is running military RC-12Q flights in violation the Posse Comitatus Act. Hell, they can suck up all kinds of electronic data.

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inklines 3 years, 11 months ago

If there are aliens out there they are probably avoiding earth. We can't even seem to live peacefully with people from different cultures on our own planet.

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RoeDapple 3 years, 11 months ago

easy to do gop! Self declaration! I am an expert on bigfoot. There, I said it so it must be true

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gop 3 years, 11 months ago

How can someone be an expert on something that we have no knowledge of and quite possibly doesn't exist? Can you say con-man?

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autie 3 years, 11 months ago

I reckon I'll run into Wylie Coyote before a meet a man from outer space.

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Liberty275 3 years, 11 months ago

The odds that we are the only sentient beings in the universe are absurdly(to the nth power) against us. Even a hick like me can understand that. OTOH, it's an admirable thing to devote your life to proving the theory instead of just accepting it like I do. Kudos Mr Shostak. Keep up the good work. One word of advice, don't get the attention of the aliens that want "to serve man".

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