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  #21  
Old 09 November 2018, 03:52 PM
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Jaded Harvard scientists say interstellar object may be a probe sent by "alien civilization

A pair of Harvard scientists say a massive, fast-moving visitor to our solar system may have been a probe sent by an alien civilization. Most astronomers believe Oumuamua – Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout" – is a comet or an asteroid, except a half a mile long. But there are things about its behavior they can't quite explain. Enter two Harvard scientists with an idea even they admit is a little out there, reports CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oumuamu...-civilization/
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  #22  
Old 09 November 2018, 04:11 PM
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The Emperor Ming:
Quote:
Every thousand years, I test each life system in the Universe. I visit it with mysteries, earthquakes, unpredicted eclipses, strange craters in the wilderness... If these are taken as natural, I judge that system ignorant and harmless - I spare it. But if the Hand of Ming is recognized in these events, I judge that system dangerous to us. I call upon the great god Dyzan, and for his greater glory...

... and for our mutual pleasure...

I destroy it utterly.
Ix-nay on the aliens-ay!
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  #23  
Old 09 November 2018, 04:55 PM
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I see NOTHING, Colonel Hogan, I hear NOTHING!
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  #24  
Old 09 November 2018, 05:48 PM
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Clearly, we need to build a wall around Earth to prevent these aliens from coming here.
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  #25  
Old 12 November 2018, 09:29 AM
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I don't get how some scientists keep insisting the likelihood is "very very low". Yes, it's OK that (or if) it is not aliens but that's not what science is about. It's about being able to say it's OK that don't know yet and won't know until we have more information about interstellar wanderers or aliens or both. We have now seen exactly one.
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  #26  
Old 12 November 2018, 01:20 PM
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I think they are saying the likelihood is very, very low because there is very little if no evidence that it has anything to do with alien intelligence. Therefor the likelihood is very, very low because it is an extraordinary claim and there is no extraordinary proof.
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  #27  
Old 12 November 2018, 10:05 PM
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It's not a claim. It's a hypothesis. There is little evidence for or against it. (There isn't very good evidence that the object was natural either.)

I don't know on what basis you may say that it's an extraordinary hypothesis or that this object is not extraordinary. The extraordinariness of the object is part of what's argued in the paper. We have no idea if alien life is extraordinary. We have good reason to expect it exists in many place around the galaxy or universe.

We simply don't know what it was and probably never will and that's OK. There are lots of hypotheses and there's no reason to put a probability on a phenomenon for which we have so little data.
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  #28  
Old 12 November 2018, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
It's not a claim. It's a hypothesis.
So is intelligent design, and if you’re suggestive enough, the evidence against might as well be the evidence for, so *shrug*.

So far, the random space debris we do know about well enough to point to a source/cause/origin/whatever for is either natural or it's man made. It is true that we do not have any prior confirmed transtellar objects to speak to from a statistical standpoint, but from a "here’s what we understand about nature, the observed universe, and what’s been detected to date" standpoint, I think it’s safe to say that it is more likely random/natural space debris than it is anything intelligently designed. To the point that it’s a very low probability for design.

Most matter in the solar system—almost all, like, to the point that man made objects are negligible—is the result of natural processes. Just on its face, it seems safe to assume that is most probably the case for matter transiting between star systems as well. Absent evidence to the contrary.

Last edited by ASL; 12 November 2018 at 11:16 PM.
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  #29  
Old 13 November 2018, 04:11 AM
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Intelligent Design proposes some kind of designer of all life. I hardly think that is an apt comparison to a space probe, which we have observed plenty even though so far they've all been our own. We don't know how many there are out there in the galaxy but we know that number is definitively not zero.

The SETI program has been criticised in the same way. Why should we look for life signals when the chances are so slim? Because we don't know if the chances are slim or not. It is wrong to assign probabilities without knowledge. The Drake Equation uses the little knowledge we do have, and some assumptions, to try to get a range of probabilities. That's not what the critics have done here as far as I can tell. Aliens=farfetched is not a scientifically supported reaction to these hypotheses.

This is more like an unknown signal from space. If it resembled other signals thought to have a natural origin, yes, it would be reasonable to say the probability is low. But it doesn't. On the other hand, it's the only interstellar object we've ever observed so we simply don't know if it's an oddly shaped natural object or something else.

My point is it's OK - it is scientifically sound - to say we don't know! In the case of Intelligent Design and, well, biology including its origins, we do know quite a bit. We don't know much if anything about interstellar objects.
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  #30  
Old 25 December 2018, 11:52 PM
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Default Space How the Oumuamua mystery shook up the search for space aliens

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Last year, an enigmatic object named Oumuamua startled astronomers when it came streaking past the sun, giving humanity its first close-up look at an object from beyond our solar system. This year, the interstellar visitor did something even more remarkable: It made it respectable to talk about alien spaceships.
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science...ens-ncna950991
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  #31  
Old 26 December 2018, 12:07 AM
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I don't think that a couple of people breathlessly speculating counts as making it respectable.
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  #32  
Old 26 December 2018, 01:59 AM
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I don't think it should have been not respectable in the first place.

It seems to me that it's a matter of how one talks about alien spaceships.

If Loeb were saying 'this odd object is definitely an alien spaceship' -- I agree that would be absurd. We didn't manage to get a good enough look at it to tell any such thing.

But the article reads to me as if what's being said is more like 'this object is odd enough that, in addition to considering the probability that it's a natural object, we can't entirely rule out the possibility that it's the result of some alien technology'.

And it doesn't seem to me that we got a good enough look at it to rule out that possibility, either. It's a real shame we didn't somehow manage to notice it in time to get some sort of camera out there.

It's a very large universe with a whole lot of stuff in it. It seems to me rather more likely that we aren't the only creatures in it making things than that we are. That doesn't of course make it particularly likely that any specific object was deliberately made -- but to flat out say that we mustn't even consider the possibility doesn't seem to me to be good science.
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  #33  
Old 26 December 2018, 08:36 AM
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Whether or not any one thinks it's respectable is really beside the point. Respected researchers published it in several respected publications and it's been discussed as a serious (if, some say, unlikely) possibility in several others. Anyone who wants to diss it can do the same. I think it's notable that so far few if any have really made a dent in their principal findings. Now, that doesn't say anything about aliens or light sails but it does mean no one knows yet. I think scientists and ordinary people should be OK with that. (If not, that's fine too, of course.)

These strange extraterrestrial signals have so far come in two types: Quickly and plausibly identified or taking a decade or two of new discoveries and thinking before a likely candidate arises. None of those likely candidates (after more is known) have so far have turned out to be likely from alien life but I don't think that will last forever if our own life form is able to stick around a bit (like a century or so) longer. I think there's still enough data for others to add to the discussion one way or the other and perhaps some other phenomenon or something not yet noticed will solve its mysteries and maybe the answer will be that it was likely this was our first signal from out there.
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  #34  
Old 02 February 2019, 12:40 PM
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Default NASA Astronomer Has a Potential Explanation For Strange Interstellar Object Oumuamua

An interesting possible explanation for much of the weirdness. Still very cool. (I mean, literally. Cold, that is.)
https://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-as...bject-oumuamua
Quote:
The study comes from famed astronomer Dr. Zdenek Sekanina of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who suggests that 'Oumuamua is the remnant of an interstellar comet that shattered before making its closest pass to the Sun (perihelion), leaving behind a cigar-shaped rocky fragment.
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