Likelihood of "radio using" extraterrestrial life...a different approach

We know that science has been listening for “signals” from space…to try to confirm if there is other intelligent life out there…
The usual argument goes that, given the number of stars, even a remote likelihood of habitable planets would mean quite thousands of potentially habitable worlds. A point I will readily concede.

However - -

I got to thinking about how many millions / billions of species have lived and died on planet earth and only one of those millions evolved to use radio or attempt to leave the planet.

Given that, what is the real likelihood that another planet developed life that would likewise use radio???

This may not be the best forum for this - but seemed kind of philosophical to me…



"FLYING saucer buffs have long cherished the belief that extraterrestrials from an advanced civilization landed in South America centuries ago and left a contingent of scientists behind. Their job was to infiltrate our species and subtly feed us their ideas to bring our earthbound civilization technologically up to par. Physicists scoff at such a notion: no flying saucers ever landed in South America. They landed in Hungary. "

That is the first paragraph from a NYT Book Review of a biography of Leo Szilard, PhD. It is three pages long, delineating how there were many Hungarian scientists who greatly influenced American science. One such area was the Manhattan Project, and strangely, the name of Leo Szilard, one of its most notorious and brilliant contributors is oddly absent from the roster, despite his work there and other brilliances he flashed on the American scene. The review ends thus:

As for Szilard’s obscurity, I have my own theory. Perhaps he was under orders not to draw attention to himself. Fermi believed that there had to be other earthlike planets that would develop superintelligent beings who would then explore other parts of the universe. “And so,” he concluded, “they should have arrived here by now, so where are they?”

“They are among us,” Szilard replied, “but they call themselves Hungarians.”

(Psssssttttt… Dont’ tell Zoltan Cobalt!)

GENIUS IN THE SHADOWS A Biography of Leo Szilard: The Man Behind the Bomb. By William Lanouette with Bela Silard. Illustrated. 587 pp. New York: A Robert Stewart Book/ Charles Scribner’s Sons. $35.

It seems to me , its how you look at things. weather you see the glass half full or half empty. Personally i feel they are out there. I also feel they know and love our Lord Jesus. They might not call him Jesus , he is one of them just as he is one of us.

Good observation, especially about what’s in a name. Wokd here on Earth, too, yes?

Btw, I’m a realist: the glass is always full, only proportionally with whatever.

In 1961 Frank Drake came up with a probabilistic equation. I am sure you’ll find it on the internet (Drake Equation).
One of the big question marks was the number of habitable planets out there. Over the last decade we got some good idea on that point.
One of the remaining big questions is: How easily does life get started? Another one is the question of developing higher intelligence.

Also, there may be other possible means of detection in addition to radio:

Nice! :thumbsup:

You’re welcome. When I get to researching this stuff, there are so many links and I stumble upon even cooler stuff! :smiley: Then I want to print them all out so I can read them with a highlighter and keep them in my notebook for my sci-fi novel research . . . I’m going to run out of paper! :eek:

Cool! Sounds like fun. My Dad wrote a sci fi novel.


I’m not much of a researcher - just occasionally get these thoughts or insights etc…nice to know that others have tackled these things too…

I know what you mean about links…Sometimes I’ll get started on something and in a blink 3 or 4 hours are gone…


Ive wondered about this too, I think we just assume other races living in other dimensions and/or other planets will use the same types of technology as we do, its a bit odd to think this way actually!

Id say its more probable extraterrestrial civilizations will have a much different method for communicating with each other (similar to our radio signals), its highly possible they cant even recognize or receive our radio signals.

Furthermore, I even suspect their physics and mathematics will be much different, again, we just assume math is universal, we dont know for sure, maybe on their planet, they can prove 2+2=5?

Just saying, anything is possible and its likely our 2 civilizations share nothing in common along these lines.


This is a very useful point! We tend to be a race of “centrists,” if you will, in the sense of arrogantly thinking “I” or “we” are the center and reason for everything. While this is necessarily subjectively so, and the argument can be made that that is all there is, in the realm of commonality, it is a counter productive stance. We were geocentric, we are often ethnocentric, Lord knows many are egocentric psychologically, or metaphysically haven’t transcended ego itself. And of course, as seen on many threads here, a lot are heterocentric, and thus lose or destroy much of great value.

As to other ways of communicating, there was a woman in our book club yesterday (we are discussing Gina Cerminara’s …handbook for religious sanity, a sub title many consider oxymoronic) who described a special talent her daughter has. Her daughter can tell from a distance, that is from outside the house out in a field behind a barn, if the TV in the house is on or off. Her score is 100%, and she was shocked to find out that other people couldn’t do that. So as with many talents and states of awareness likely much more common than we could think, or even imagine, say like synesthesia, there might be races who take senses we don’t acknowledge as perfectly normal. I mean, how do dogs know that their masters have decided to return home from some random place at a random time? We are a species that takes its private and excruciatingly limited private thought field as having a totally 1/1 relationship with reality. And that is from a species that can perceive less than 1% of the EM spectrum.
Maybe as humans we are like a large spectrum of the American population: Many are yelling “WE are #1!!!” while on all the measures of education, social competence, and other such, our nation is anywhere from 17th to 47th on the scales of international measures.

I would say that mathematics is truly universal - it’s the only thing which can give us absolutes. Science doesn’t give us absolute truth, not to mention philosophy.
Yes, 2+2 will always and everywhere be =4, and 17 will always be a prime number. That’s the equivalent to an axiom in geometry.

Projecting a giant triangle with squares attached (Pythagorean theorem) was once suggested for communicating to aliens that there is intelligent life on this planet.

Right which means they may very well not use radios, androids etc. They would know the technology though. Which means they are “NOT” intentionally communicating with us.

So I would say sending signals up is a large waste of time and money. And apparently they “whoever” they are have no desire to involve themselves with our cultural progress. Least I haven’t heard of any aggressive acts. I don’t see where anyone “intentionally” attempted to advance our progress either.

I think we would be doing well to find micro organisms for example beneath the surface or Mars. Or possibly discover a planet-moon with a like atmosphere to earth. These are real possibilities.

However, should intelligent life exist, they would guard the safety of earth for sure if it has anything to do with their own, and the math may very well play a role here.

Does the Drake’s equation takes in consideration that we have WATER :slight_smile: and OIL :wink: and they are in the right places and not the other way around :thumbsup:?

If they have water and not oil, they might definitely be ahead of us…

Don’t you think their technology might have been stuck in the middle ages ?

They whoever "they"may be would have exceeded the universal speed limit to arrive here. Which means they can and do interchange mass for pure energy. Which means they are familiar with “all” our math to this point. It would be elementary to them. About equal to a first grader printing the alphabet. And that would be giving us the benefit of the doubt.

Which also means there is nothing we could do to stop hostile advances. And it would be foolish and egotistical to believe otherwise.

The mutilated cows is something to think about. Why would they care about what we were feeling about this in relation to progress?

I mean hey, we have no issue experimenting with, mice, and primates and humans for that matter. Why should their research alarm us? What the heck, alien stem cell research if they abduct a few humans. Not like we haven’t done worse.

There experiments are not for us, its for “them”, and to study us as we study insects or whatever. Genetic mutation is to understand the parameters and possibility. Not to create inferior species, nor to create superior species. merely to understand.

And the crop circles, the idea they are “attempting” to communicate is beyond conceivable. That’s another stretch of the imagination disregarding logic.

Now it could well be they are entertaining us and encouraging us and telling us “we are here”. But beyond that it would be speculation. Its speculation all this isn’t within the realm of ourselves also.

For example perhaps the math of one crop-art may be the resolution to travel to pluto. But no further. Another may explain your passage to the rest of the Universe. Another may explain how we should be atoning like we are suppose to be doing and not worrying about how to get to them, when God already has that part covered. But if they told us that, then what be left for us to learn?

I have been thinking, and if you take the evidence as true, there must be something, but it is possible to be a lie if you think how the evidence build up: practically there is no direct evidence. Might be somebody who wants to play “extraterrestrials” later when the scientific level will permit it? Yep, the masons might want it. This is something tricky.

No, if there is something material, then they might have been from a different planet, another intelligent being.But the wish-washy way in which they are almost invisible but inaccessible points to something unclear. With their assumed technology, if they do not want to be seen, then nobody would have seen them. There is nothing for them to be busy with to justify heavy traffic. They should have had samples of everything 50 years ago. All they need is to watch the tv or read from the internet. This way is not consistent and again is something tricky.

Maybe they are some hypothetical fallen angels from which we are protected for now, lurking around waiting for their time? Even for this case our protection will fail only for those who sin. Again something tricky.

Conclusion: something tricky somehow, will have to see how.

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