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Shocka! No intelligent life signal from Gliese 581

green space alien

From “‘No signal’ from targeted ET hunt” (BBC News, June 1, 2012), we learn,

The hunt for other intelligent civilisations has a new technique in its arsenal, but its first use has turned up no signs of alien broadcasts.

Australian astronomers used “very long baseline interferometry” to examine Gliese 581, a star known to host planets in its “habitable zone”.

The hunt for aliens is fundamentally a vast numbers game, so the team’s result should come as no surprise.

No, but what if there is more to finding life than finding a super-Earth (= a rocky planet much bigger than Earth in the habitable zone)?

SETI’s chief astronomer Seth Shostak tells us,

“The fact that we look at one star system and don’t find a signal doesn’t tell you that there’s no intelligent life.”

No, but some of us can;t help wondering, when does the weight of the evidence kick in?

Online report here.

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5 Responses to Shocka! No intelligent life signal from Gliese 581

  1. Meh, a few down, 50 trillion to go. I’m in full support of ID, but it seems a little silly to be claiming victory in this inconsequential game so soon.

  2. No one is claiming victory, but rather pointing out that it is not as simple as they make it sound. Isnt this the star of which the discoverer Steven Vogt said the chances of finding life was100 per cent?

    The chances of life evolving are so close to zero that it is hard for me to think that it could evolve anywhere. At this point everything we know supports Intelligence as the source of life. Of course, there is no scientific proof either way, but the evidence clearly supports ID.

  3. Yes, thanks, tjguy, that’s the point. Not that there couldn’t be life out there, but that we should not be surprised if it is few and far between.

    Too much of the material purveyed to the public relies on stuff like “There’s just gotta be lots of life out there because there are so many planets.”

    Fallacy. There may be very few planets suited to supporting the complexities of life. That’s where the evidence points, and also what we should expect, from what we know about life.

    Nothing to stop us looking, of course, but maybe with a more realistic sense of the venture.

    It’s even possible that greater realism would improve our luck. That often happens.

  4. Again, if “we” really want to find other intelligent living organisms “The Privileged Planet” has told “us” exactly what to look for- as in the type of star and all the factors that are required for intelligent living organisms to exist.

    So first find those factors and then aim and listen…

  5. This is NOT “the first time”. The SETI believers have been listening to Space for more than 40 years and have CONSISTENTLY found 0.0 signs of intelligent signals.

    Any rational analysis of the data would conclude that there simply are no signals out there. But the Saganites are a Religious group: there MUST be Life in Space. So again, facts don’t matter.

    Focusing a receiving antenna on a specific star, which has probably been covered in hundreds of previous SETI reception attempts, is a stunt, not Science.

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