Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stuck up aliens give Earth the cold shoulder





We are all alone.  Or we are an astronomic rarity.
Or E.T. just doesn't care.

At least that's what mathematician Thomas Hair says.  He has recently presented a paper that asserts through mathematical evidence that aliens should have contacted us by now.  Hair operates from what he terms a "conservative" premise in that even if they traveled at 1% of the speed of light, even a distant civilization should have visited us long before now.  As he puts it:

"They've either passed us by, or they stay around their home star systems and contemplate their navels."

Yeah.  Good one, Tom.

It just seems faulty to base a conclusion like this on the absence of (proven) alien contact.  After all, isn't one of the main arguments from SETI that interstellar travel is at best impractical and at worst impossible?   "Can't get here from there?"  That alone should negate the presence of (proven) visitors.  On the other hand, someone of Hair's way of thinking might point to SETI's lack of success in detecting an alien signal as further evidence that humanity is all alone in the cosmos.

Still, Hair does make a few solid points in the linked interview:

“Any ancient civilization is probably not biological. They don’t need a place like Earth. They don’t need to come here and steal our water. There’s plenty of it out in the outer solar system where the gravity is not so great and they can just take all they want.”

Yeah?  Then if these civilizations have already gone through their Singularity...as I am inferring from the use of "not biological"...wouldn't they have the technology to mask their presence from us?

Anyway, Hair points to the fact that NASA has discovered over 100 extrasolar planets just using the telescope technology we presently have.  An advanced civilization should have no trouble detecting us.
“I’m sure they’d be able to detect if this planet had life on it. Just the CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in our atmosphere would give us away,” he said.

This just doesn't sit right with me and not because I believe in an extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs.  I'll be honest, the more I read, the less I have any idea what the hell they are so you can spare me any kind of preoration on the subject.  It is the idea that we are all alone in this universe that I find to be ridiculous.  However, this does not negate Hair's alternate proposal that aliens are ignoring us or simply don't see us as worth their time.

After all, would you?



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1 comment:

  1. To whomever tried to leave that last comment:
    Learn to write entire words and to place them in complete sentences and I might post your comment. See here: http://strangehorizons.blogspot.com/2012/01/comments-policy.html
    Ask mommy or daddy for help with the big words.

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