Why Are Aliens Not Communicating With Us?
It is time for some Xenology discussion again. In this article we deal with the mystery of the great alien silence. Why are extraterrestrials not communicating with us?
Many prominent scientists have debated the extraterrestrial issue, speculating about the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy and the possibility of contact in the future. Some have been optimistic, while others argued that the “great silence” indicates that Earth is most likely the first and only abode of technical civilization in the Milky Way.
The second group proposes the so-called Uniqueness Hypothesis, but we will concentrate on “Contact Optimists”, such as Carl Sagan and other scientists who attempted to assign extraterrestrial motivations why these alien beings might refrain from colonizing, exploring or even communicating with the cosmic neighbors.
In this case we focus on the “communication scenario” and look at some valid arguments that cold explain why we have not been able to receive an extraterrestrial message despite our attempts to achieve contact. We are trying to contact an intelligent technological species that is willing to reply to our message.
It is essential to define what is meant by “intelligence”. As far as we are concerned, the only intelligence we have come across is of Earthly kind. Extraterrestrial intelligence can be entirely different, very alien indeed. In his paper, the “Great Silence”: the Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life”, Glen David Brin mentions a number of factors that can prevent alien contact. For example, we must consider the emergence of a technological culture.
“There have been many suggested scenarios describing how an intelligent species might fail to develop a technological culture. Certain species “might achieve speech, agriculture, even analytical ability sufficient to dominate their environments, and never need or acquire the vigorous ambition that drives us.” Another factor we must consider is the homeworld lifespan of technological species.
“The mean lifetime of technological species is crucial in determining the cross- section of interaction with them. Von Hoerner demonstrated that if only one in a hundred ETIS survive an initial crisis of survival and settled down into long maturity, the population of the Galaxy at equilibrium would be dominated by such older races. ” A technologically advanced species could pass through a crisis of survival upon the discovery of for example weapons of mass destruction.
Of course we must not forget that aliens might deliberately want to avoid contact with us. “Members of a galactic radio club might choose not to contact “beginners”, because this would vitiate the novices’ usefulness as eventual members of the network. Making us consumers too early would spoil us as information providers, whose unique experience would add richness to galactic culture.
It is also possible we have bad search strategies. Perhaps we are looking for our intergalactic neighbors in the wrong places or in the wrong way.”Much of the SETI debate has been over which radio frequencies would be used by an ETIS radio hotline. Still the consensus regarding the “water hole” frequencies might be in error. Traffic carried by narrow coherent beams might be undetectable from Earth for instance.
Carl Sagan explained the “apparent absence of interstellar radio traffic by pointing out how New Guinea natives once communicated across large valleys with tom-toms while totally unaware of radio waves filing the air around d them. ” Sagan’s point was that “sufficiently advanced species might use unknown means of communication more efficient than radio.
ETIS may transmit only at intervals or at narrow angles. If so, astronomical events might serve as markers to them, supernovae in the time domain, or flare stars in spatial orientation, suggesting that there might be some special search strategy for SETI to use, if we can only figure it out.”
The fascinating and at the same time scary possibility is thay we might receive an extraterrestrial transmission today, tomorrow, in a hundred years or maybe …. never… Source: Message To Eagle