4 Reasons ET would absolutely know we’re here
…and one reason why we might not know that they know.
In a recent article on Forbes.com contributor Bruce Dorminey suggested that if, indeed, advanced technological societies exist elsewhere in the universe they would certainly be aware of the planet Earth and it’s inhabitants.
In his article, titled “5 Reasons E.T. Would Already Know We’re Here” Dorminey actually gives four reasons why ET would certainly know of our existance. His final point, actually, endeavors to answer the following question posed by Enrico Fermi: if a highly technologically advanced race of ETs is out there, somewhere, why the heck aren’t they here? And the answer to this question, Dorminey suggests, may be fairly simple. Perhaps they are here, and, we simply don’t know.
Further, Dorminey obvserves that while the SETI organization’s search for extraterrestrial radio signals has failed to turn up anything in 50 years (SETI is an acronymn for “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”) the universe is an awfully big place. The fact that we have yet to find them, quite simply, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. He essentially echoes the sentiments of many by offering the idea that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. While SETI has yet to find a radio signal from eminating from another technically advanced, alien planet Dorminey says that it’s still “premature to think that we have cornered the Milky Way’s market on intelligence”.
Dorminey hits upon some very good points, even if his list could have been organized a bit better. So below is his list, edited just a bit, along with his explanation for why we might not know that we’ve already been visited.
Four reasons ET would know we’re here:
- The “I Love Lucy” Argument.
Earth has been sending out radio signals for a long time, now. An alien society would only need to possess a radio telescope on a par with a crude, earthly radio telescope of the 1960’s to be picking up old episodes of “I Love Lucy”. And such signals could travel as far as 60 light years. Recent discoveries would indicate that a myriad of star systems, many with earth-sized planets, exist in close enough proximity to pick up such signals.
- “Earth, you’ve got to hide your life away!”
Putting a new spin on that old Beatles tune, the planet Earth has a bio-signature that would presumably be easily sniffed out by an advanced alien race. Prior to having it’s funding cut, NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Life Finder (LF) spacecraft were being designed to go about finding extraterrestrial life by looking at things like the presence of photosynthesis and animal respiration on nearby planets. The technology to perform these tasks had been designed, and, was being refined before the program was dropped.
Dorminey reminds us that within a mere fifty years of Sputnik we are, already, capable of using space-based spectroscopy to look for life on other earthlike worlds. Further, if an alien civilization had a relativeley modest headstart on earthlings – for instance, 10,000 years – an alien search for terrestrial intelligence (an ASTI program) would possess capabilities a thousand times more efficient.
- Why would advanced, alien life forms be couch potatoes..?
There’s no reason to believe that an intelligent life form from another planet would be any less driven to explore the universe than mankind, itself. Intelligence leads to inquisitiveness, and, inevitably to exploration. Arguments that aliens would not be inclined to go out and surf the space-time continuum in search of new knowledge and new worlds is completely counterintuitive. Why did Columbus risk his life to reach the New World? Why did the early astronauts and cosmonauts put their lives on the line to explore space? Again, because wherever you find intelligence you will find curiosity. To explore, and to discover, are natural outgrowths of higher intelligence.
- Plain and simple: they probably can get here from there……
One of the most common arguments against visiting aliens is that they simply could not traverse the vast distances of space. Using conventional propulsion systems and adhering to the physics which we currently understand, such journeys would take hundreds or thousands of years. And the problem with all of this is clear: a more advanced civilization could have learned to manipulate, or bend, certain physical laws. They may have learned how to circumvent the speed of light. In an article on Forbes.com, from 2012, former NASA physicist Marc Millis stated “inferences from the expansion rate after the Big Bang suggest that spacetime can indeed expand faster than objects within spacetime can move.” Millis predicts that humans might achieve Faster-than-light travel as soon as 2300.
Finally, Mr. Fermi – maybe they are here….
Technologically, our own stealth bomber, which saw fruition a mere 75 years after the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight, can render itself virtually undetectable on radar. And research is already underway on atmospheric cloaking technology to make aircraft optically-invisible as well.
Thus, if E.T. is merely 1,000 years ahead of us, surely they would have much more advanced cloaking mechanisms that would allow them to operate within our geo-sphere with impunity. The end result would be somewhat akin to using a one-way mirror at a primate zoo.