Is anybody out there? Neil deGrasse Tyson and former SETI Institute director Jill Tarter search for ET, with the help of comic co-host Michael Ian Black, SETI’s Seth Shostak, neuroscientist Lori Marino, Mona Chalabi, and Bill Nye.NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, commercial, free, welcome to start on your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide. Dartle begin right now, all I needed rest, your personal Africa tonight we're talking about the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Are they out there if they are? Where are they? Are we listening those questions and more
tonight. So let's do this, as you know, I never do this alone. I can meet cohorts tonight, Michael in Black, welcomed this before continuing to do this, my pleasure, where I'm boldly going where a lot of people have gone, and this is the show on the search for aliens- and I got one of the world's experts on it- sets drastic Well, can you give us a senior astronomer, the City Institute Mountain view? How how long have you been lookin for alien goes way back any minister, number by training, and this is just using this, techniques. We uses study galaxies to train eavesdrop on aliens. What's mainstream science. I think that it is to begin with there. You know, there's the big effort by NASA and the space agents.
He's defined. Nearby life like on Mars is on the moons of Jupiter and sat on those This is, we might find life. If I live there, you need a microscope to seek, as can be bacteria but Seti where you're lookin, for you no life thinking, Let me cite the conversation that goes back to nineteen. Sixty is not necessarily a very new idea. It's just that. Today we have much better equipment. There was a jump in consumers and for the search for alien intelligence. After a particular movie hit the screens check out this clip That's of course a clip from the movie contact. So there's a film adaptation of Carl Sagan, one thousand nine hundred and eighty five novel, and we saw their Jodie Foster playing the lead character. Ellie our way,
hearing, a signal coming through the radio telescope converted into sound and once they decoded it, they found that it was a sequence of prime numbers, wait a few converting it to sound said he. Why not make it sound a little nicer than wall wall? You never converted to sound. Actually, you never do, but in addition to the film yeah, but it's it's basically video wave light that you are analyzing. If you converted into Michael. What you would here is the same as he would hear by turning on your kitchen, false it would just be white. Noise are very interesting, and so they sent this prime numbers I think, in the novel they sent digital pie, but the same idea here. So it's injury. For me: is Carl Sagan who was not himself professionally a novelist? to gather raw data too. Assemble the story that he ultimately composed and
There were rumours that Jody fosters character was based on a real person that Carl Sagan New and you wonder, minded had been Jill tartar, one of the co founders of the city and let's go to my interview with the former head of Seti Jill Tartar check it out It's me rumour that the lead car of counter Ellie our way, my them. I, like you a little bit so I was back at Coronel and Karl said Carl Sagan go, I'm sorry, Carl Sagan said come on we're having a cocktail party night come on up the house and when I got there, he and his wife and ruin took me aside, and they said Quarles writing a science fiction book and- and
said. Well, you might think you recognize someone in the book, but I think you'll like her. I said: ok, what are as long as she doesn't. Eight ice cream comes for lunch, nobody's gonna. Think it's me because at that time, that was something that I was quite noted for. Everyone tease me about, Ok, so in the carpet not eat patron concerns did so couldn't possibly a bit knew everybody is but she was a strong female character in a male male dominated world, trying to get her ideas out there trying to make the discovery. Tat. Woman who dense when I die of Just how long have you known Jus I've no Jill? Let me think about it almost forty years. I would you agree with this sense that there's overlap in the UK Absolutely there's overlap, I have to say Sagan, I think Prob.
We made an amalgam of females, animals that he knew I've heard other female astronomers. I know I was the prototype what people vying for, a sting all want to be the prototype. Luna he's dead. So there's no, you can ask somebody doesn't say my preserved in fact, but I think that Jill, to me, it's you, ok that the movie, I think, honestly it in an honest manner, tries to portray issues that would arise upon the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence dealing with the religious consequences. Philosophical consequences, I'm impressed by how much the film explore this, the fall out of the contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, and I don't think you're institute- has
branch of itself. Thinking about this well, I think you're largely right, but not entirely, that we had a fellow on staff who is actually trained in psychology, because what most interesting things about the whole city. Enterprise is not you know the, knowledge. I mean. That's interesting, of course, are even the Stromme. You know where you going to point your antenna. It's all that that's something we worry about day to day, but what the public is very interested in his supposed to pose next Wednesday. You know find a signal Tuesday. These things happen and giving them they usually have you pick up a signal, the first class. As it would even tell us. A lot of Americans are not even commits. We would tell them because it was a NASA project. Up until ninety? Ninety three and in Congress killed it but you're still in business, where you get your money, donation, private, money, private man? Ok,
interested by the way in the movie contact. The same thing has actually government got pulled by the net, the natural so I'll. Take you back don't start my ears? Twenty two dollars. You know what make it last give me back to my interview with Jill tartar. She began life coin the term brown dwarf, because she was active in the lifecycle of stars and that's a kind of star that she figured must exist and we should look for them inside Ask her about her decision to throw away her career for promising career. Four for brown doors and searching for aliens with checking for millennia. We ve been asking the priests and the philosophers. What should we believe about life beyond earth? Suddenly there were some tools: radio telescopes camp
there's scientists and engineers could get in this game and the priest of locked and the philosophers were not asking what happens if a star fills for being too long so the these two questions are very different in their magnitude or in their relevance to pop culture. As I walking down the street as as a postal working browned worse always felt a little bit. Why should the public be paying me to do this fun stuff, but once I started because one for NASA. That's that's tax based sources, absolute, ok, but once I I'm working on sunny cut this question everybody's interested in, and so it was fantastic to be privileged to try and answer this whole question. How inevitable in your judgment is what we call intelligence, given the formation of life on our planet that's a question that we don't have an answer to, but there are us several schools of thought that say a predator pray really
ship evolution, airily will ratchet up. Intelligence as you don't want to get eaten. I think that's a good thing. Do you want to eat something, so you have an arms race, that's right between the two of you, so predator pray. Why does it matter to anything? Well if, as a piece of pray you get order to elude the predator? You do well if the predator doesn't get its act together and get smarter, yet they're gonna get hungry and starve. So it really does smart begets smarter, begets smarter, perhaps, that's a theory. It seems to have worked on this planet and it doesn't have to be her postmortem We have strong. You are house power. How how powerful is your bite?
but if you are small and weak and pray, it really does help you to get smarter to avoid those big teeth. Consular cannot fight them. Plus big teeth with brains is surely better than just be teeth. I'm guessing LISA, Don't work that way here all right. So so, then you have this inevitably of intelligence that I prefer sized completely sensible. But you said there are other schools of thought, other camps yeah. We look at whales right, and we look over there logical time and we try and say should be billions. Hundreds of millions of hundreds of millions of Europeans. Are these things getting smarter at least? Are their brains getting bigger? and we can actually see both directions? Yes, a lot of them got bigger,
brains and apparently smarter, but some of them actually went the other way. So it doesn't always have to go in one direction. Ok All branches? Don't always have to go in a smart direction. You just need some, branches thing on the smart direction, that's all you, ok so this gives people confidence that we find a planet with life. Wait long enough to be something there that has intellectual capacity it'll give them. It gives an expectation what gives you the confidence that life could be out there. Well the number planets in the milky way. It's like a trillion now most the number planets in the milky way. It's like a trillion now. Most of them are work. Let us be clear: we starting with at least a hundred billion stars, you counting a trillion planets in orbit collectively around these hundred billion hours. That's a lot of planetary pleasure. It is, and it turns out maybe one in five stars actually has a planet that I have oceans and atmosphere the kind of place you would build condos in recent months.
There has been a lot of news about the planet around proximate century proximate, be in the alpha century, star system important because That's the nearest star system to the sun. So will you guys when for joy, when this happened or not well, it's great to know that there is, planet in a might even be an earth like plan and we don't know much about it, but it's more like its size could be rocky and could be rocky and its also the right distance from proximate Centauri, which is the name of the star so that that temperatures there under some reasonable assumptions might be. Just is a true
give as they are here on the EAST coast, Goldilocks yeah, so that makes it interesting, and you know there might be life there. That may not be life there, but one thing you can say is that that plan it will be in the textbooks forever because it will always be the closest, maybe earth like planted to us. You can run the numbers on how long it would take to get there. Yes, our fastest probes ever aimed at proximate, be. I think I got forty thousand years there's just this consistent with what, you got well. I just took the new horizons: spacecraft that one family getting along the polluter amateur, approximately. What he's any five thousand? Seventy five thousand out forty thousand years in a middle seed, seventy five thousand years and mentally and spray same right. The point is: if its thirty five thousand years and a generation is thirty, five years thousand generations. So if you were to send people on this journey by conventional methods, and you want living humans. On the other side, there, to be really fertile people and
stay in this flow, four thousand generations. That's not realistic! So the fact that its closest to us is kind of meaningless, given the life expectancy of our species of individuals and creasy. Well, yes, but on the other hand, there are plans to send something to this star system You know using really powerful lasers and, if you're willing to send something. Besides, I don't over dollar a silver dollars, maybe your your iphone or something that guy, if you're willing to just send that two proximate entire, we'll get it there and twenty thirty forty years, if you build this giant laser The trouble is, I know laser if gives sends momentum to it from light pressure right you haven't, sale with things you don't got strings to a big sale and hit this with its laser and kicks adapter high speed, ok get there in less time, but who still didn't go there not be sending a telescope there you're? Not so it's just that it is an exercise in can I some of my hardware junk in the atmosphere, so the plan worth it.
So there's already been some thinking on how to actually search for aliens occupying Other work we'll get to up and start returns, have guns secret for you I'm gonna consider singing all of the ads on this shell. There's just one and where to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last star, talk and sub where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen? The star talk ad free you, can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never we're here: another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying:
we're talking about the scientific search for alien intelligence, featuring my interview with city cofounder, Jill tartar. Let's how much of the galaxy have we actually searched for like see? because I every time amount, the street someone says we ve looked at me, found any? Are we alone and I'm trying to find a way to tell them, not likely alone, but they know we ve been looking for. So how do you? How do you deal with this? So I try and tell people about all the different ways you might have to look to get it right, all the frequencies, be at the right time. Looking at the right place, English has to come together right now that,
big volume that you need to search through set that equal to the volume of the earth oceans. All that water, so but have we sampled in the last fifty years, one twelve out, glass, snuff, lot, and so, if you were looking for fish in the ocean are any fish in their social? Here's a glass, I'm gonna, scoop up a glass and I'm gonna look at and there are inefficient there. Can you claim that there are no fish in the ocean you'd be stupid to do here for cited stupid- is stupid in the first place, normal education to Eu Shortsighted, you be you'll be inexcusably egocentric better, and so it's the fact that the it's hard to comprehend how big the searches, so you can't understand how little window
How ever exponentials will save us, because Our ability to search me technology computing, exponential growth of storage, retrieval of information all at started. Her gets faster and better all the time and all the good stuff at the end right, it's really getting fast. As from next we might get a garbage, paled water, swimming pool, swearing, of water and a minute hooker and then a lake and then very soon an ocean. So, Sir, how do you calculate the likelihood of finding intelligent right out there? It's very simple thing it say look how many societies are out there in our own galaxy that are broadcasting signals are going, our bodies, as we see it here. One is a thousand, isn't a million, because I can see
my dear, where the otter spent a lot of time. Looking for you, for you give your verbal version of the Drake equation right now, we can put up to drink equation just so we have it. So this is an organization probabilities. Basically, for me, the most interesting terms in this equation are the efforts and the extra fractions of all star that would have planets the f some hours, the fracture stars, could have life the efforts of eyes, the fraction of planets that have intelligent life. Can I guess he can, I guess the t s of tea time, now can obtain the four areas borders will give you our support for the efforts of tea is the fraction of all that we could computer. That has technology because you can you can everything all set me up. You just told me whatever is hit, because you can have Intelligent civilizations out there with no technology makes people. Could we try to communicate with earth in the roman times and there clearly tell us what they are talking of aliens them.
You'll telescope, setting up triangles on the ground and lighting them on fire squares. Since a bit like asking how many students are there at Stanford University right, you could say well, what's the rate of admitting freshmen And how long do they? You know, maybe two thousand a year, and how long do they stay there? On average? Four years so therefore thousand students, its thing here. How then do new societies arise and they will multiply that by at the end of the equation, which is the average. The time of an intelligent civilization before they do? Something terrible and which we have no idea what that would be no, but we don't have very meant very much about a lot of the terms in the Drake equation, so you can't really computed very well. Are you can do say? Well kind of organizes the problem? Ok, so what is the best estimate now from how many civilizations there might be in the galaxy, where best estimates mean Carl Sagan himself out there were millions right. There are plenty of people, I think there's one and worry it and find Drake who came up
this equation back a nineteen sixty one. He says ten thousand so there's there are some signals that exist in the record books right, and to see That means that the Israelis have already tried to contact us in nineteen. Seventy seven, the Ohio State University had a big radio telescope. It's been turned to sink into a golf. Now but one morning, and if one of the astronomers Gabby me Jerry aim and he comes in and he looks at the last night's observing, which is all printed out on paper. That's the way! Computers used to work and he's going to this paper remember paper finds, is big signal and here with a magic Marquis rights wow next to it. So that's become is the wireless signal now they're big question Could this have been the aliens trying to get in touch with Ohio and The answer is, we don't know the answer, because that instrument automatically looked again said
these seconds wait a little over a minute later and didn't find this signal. People have continued to look what we ve been looking for and we haven't it either. So what are you conclude from that? It could be that the aid broadcast once and then went on vacation that could be, but you would never call that science, if you don't find another time, but you can't repeat it so it's so I just want and how about the Kepler object that had this weird eclipsing material. Orbit around the host star, yes K. I see aid for six twenty eight fifty two controls off the tongue is asked on this STAR: that's quite far away she's almost fifteen hundred light years away. That's pretty far from those stars, and it is seen, as you know, you Kepler, measured its bright over the course of years really- and you know star some change their brightness very much, but this one suddenly dipped in brightness by more than a fifth twenty two points very unusual. The sun never does have, thank goodness gay. It wasn't because it was a play
going in front of it that would never dim it that much. So the question is: what was it and one suggestion made maybe semi seriously was well made me there's a civilization there and they build some Astro Engineering project which is blocking some the light. And they taken that energy and feeding their planet with, for example, they could be doing that so called Dyson Sphere, yeah, yeah. Ok, so now just keep it in the list. Here, a few months ago, Russians made an announcement of possible a radio signal that could represent intelligent life. Indeed, the Russians back in twenty four Dean had used a began Kennedy and they found a signal coming from the star HD sixteen for five, ninety five, another wonderfully name star that stars known to him. Planets and they thought. Maybe this is it, but they did make any noise about it? They didn't tell people that's a strong indication that they themselves thought it might be interference. But somebody wrote a blog about this, and so you know
for a week, the media went nuts about this star. We try to check out this signal. The Berkeley people try to check out this signal, no signal. Russians were kind of force. To announce. Look think it was a military, satellite, okay, so but basically contaminated signal that met masqueraded to those who were gullible as alien intelligence. Trying to talk to that get here, something I was wonder which many all this time listening and seems to be less. I'm transmitting, would seem unfair to me that we require alien intelligence to send signals to us when we are not doing the same back to them. I had to ask our listener: in chief Jill Tartar Why is it that we are always listening and not playing our? dubious role by also sending singles out to others who might want to find us with But she said when the youngest kids on the block and we're not
very good at hundreds or thousands or ten thousand near plans, and if you're gonna transmit you, Do it for a long time, because your signal, if you transmit for a year, is gonna go on by the receiver in here, and they have to be looking at you exactly the right way, exactly the right time, if they're going to catch that. So transmission is a long term strategy. But if we listen first, you might get a signal that was already transmitter and in fact it would be more like a conversation that you can have today with Shakespeare or the ancient Romans Vana hi. How are you I'm yes, a rural, slow to weigh conversation, information transfer, if its ever going to happen, going to be one dimensional through time they will transmit. A lot of information or ultimately, we rail transport is a lot of course, not witty rapporteur
so you do today, snapping Somerset, to set what you're taken on active, Seti grinding signal. You agree with Joe, I presume. Well I tell you, I think it's actually worth doing this idea, not just listening, but having a broadcast experience. There are people who think dangerous right, I dont- think its named risen, Stephen Hawking, one of those people. Yes, he is You know well every time because you're giving away the fact that we're here and then you're, tombstone reads was responsible for the destruction of our bomber. So what's it seems to me is the eye and said he stands for intelligence. And we're all operating on the assumption that we even know what tolerance is and that we somehow have it perfectly defined for this exercised. When we come back, we will or what it means to be unfortunate,
God thought the american dream that voting right, we're talking about search for alien intelligence, and I ask my colleagues astrophysicist Jill Tartar, how we even defined the intelligence that we're looking for in the first place, but check it out. Given the challenges we have in our species, even defining intelligence among ourselves Who are we to say that we even know intelligence if we found it somewhere else. Well, for you to say, I'm gonna tell you that the intelligence that I would find has the ability to build and operate a transmitter of some kind. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to find them, so there could be planets out there that are inhabited by intelligent dolphins, whales, these kinds of creatures. I don't
way to find the little have a possible firms to make stuff that's right and they live in the water. It's hard to have a fire made. Meddling transmitter like that but live in the water, that's right enough. Places underwater hunted right right so by that definition, most of human history, where we ve had what we call civilization, you would not have called intelligent absolutely. So I think it is yet another word because its misleading a well, we have the Romans were intelligent, but they did have radio telescopes to transmit to space and we often say it's a misnomer. It should be the search for extra. Invented the term legit ground dwarf. Why can't you invent a new word, because the Russians already got there c e t I am Seti in Russian, the sea for communication or as see as a Cyrillic S or study it was there before I go
so the communication with extraterrestrial intelligence ass. What started there you go Are you go? I Joseph Europe, you not searching for alien intelligence, you're searching for ailing communicators. Will you right, exactly you actually looking for the signals, so this this ought to tell you what the aliens might look like because if they live under water than not making machines and so not looking for aquatic intelligence, presumably no, I don't think so. You're right I mean you know it's really hard to to build high tech stuff underwater. I don't know I don't so it's the search for thumbs, essential in the end, as well as little as possible farm Europe this right. So if, if this the argument here may be that since we on the cusp of inventing artificial intelligence that could be self, invent new machines without our help.
Maybe you're searching for artificial intelligence, but ultimately, I think are actually, I think, is much more likely if we pick up a signal that it's not come. From some saw squishy gray guy with big eyeballs right, did it from some machine just looking at timescale. We invent a radio one hundred years ago, radio waves, radio, waves, communication right and, and we will probably invent thinking machines by twenty fifty. If you talk to people in the artificial intelligence, beers right and if you hey. How long will it be before we have a computer that can write the great american novel just, for example, and those eight twenty, fifty nine they we want- maybe it's twenty one, fifty everything done matter, because it's that mean, you invent radium within a few centuries, you invented your successors that's what we're doing in this century reinventing our successors and they will invent air successors, not us at which point some of them get up, leave it go at. One knows what they do, but if you pick up a signal, the dominant
intelligence in the cosmos is probably machines anyhow and that's where I figure the single becoming from so that work is that the borg- maybe maybe but Borg, is still, but it's it's a communal life that, in your case, it still individuals well, who knows- and I can't like that idea knows it could just be a swarm, intelligent, swore. That's right, that's right, so we can actually expand our definition of intelligence beginning now, because we ve got neural It is Marino standing by live on video call for that very purpose How are you going tribunal in store for you, you international prominence by you, sort of non invasive research into dolphin and whale brains? So how do you? How do you think-
about this whole landscape of intelligence as it applies to setting or order to life on earth and general. Well, I think about it. Guarantees May I come out from the other end. Instead of looking for extra terrestrial technology, I see the landscape of intelligence and I don't think we can have life without intelligence. So you have expanded out general concept of intelligence. To include lifeforms that previously no one would have added to the list right right exactly but from a biologist point of view, from an evolutionary point of view. Are you happy with them, because it turns out that Billy? You know something like the human brain didn't just pop up. It evolved and it said within a whole nest of other species on the planet. Earth
What's your evidence, your best evidence, the dolphins are truly intelligent, but if you're, a definition of organs is really really broad. Then the obvious answer is yes, but should I should we ask that question how intelligent or dolphins? Well, you know so far to know how to wear the put them. But let me say this that they had the second largest size, brain extra, modern humans. They use brains, their brains are filling out, but when you look at their behavior, you see their behaviour you're better than other times tabled. So I want to know. Knowing you times table is pretty upper more thick or anthropocentric rather way of putting it. They probably know things that we don't. One of my favorite quotes from
can I haven't? We have to read it it's of interest to note that, while some dolphins are reported to have learned English up to fifty words used in occur context. No human being has ever been reported, to have learned dolphin ease. Well, you know that's absolutely the case we ve been trying for decades now. I can't figure it out and I think it's because it's very complex, but also is probably very different? So we really don't even know how to be sure if we cannot even communicate with, another highly intelligent species on earth. Why any of these Seti people have any confidence at all that we're going to communicate with intelligence on another planet, with whom we have no dna in common, have you thought about that worry? I don't think that
people are searching for life in the wrong way? The searching for a particular type of signal that we have the capability to pick up right now, but I think you have to appreciate the fact that you know if we don't get a signal that doesn't mean there is intelligence out there occurred, show here, just like you for we're piping in I'm glad to know that somebody such as you exists today, to give animals their fighting chance to show up on our intelligent scale. Thank you. Coming up, former co founder of this Eddie Institute Jill Tartar will show a story about a times actually saw when Startalk returns.
The Rothe report Ray we're talking about the scientific search for early fishermen. Interview with the former director of that search effort, Doktor Jill Tartar, let's check You must get no and emails written male people telling do that they saw you have and they want your validation of it may come. They show up at the office with their video cameras and their this and there that long and set it up and c c c. Yet I see cobweb floating in and out of focus on Europe's security camera, It's crazy! This whole idea that ufos have anything. To do with alien spacecraft,
when there are no data, no evidence to back it up. Shore, people's Ethan the sky, sure their science that we dont yet understand, but that the link between seeing something and an alien spacecraft- that's just not there now We know you don't just covering it. That's right, Accessing EU efforts are currently is free to use experience because I'm a sceptic, praying So my husband and I fly a small airplane, we're flying to our home airport at night. Suddenly, a bright light at two o clock position, a big bright light as if the headline of another airplane was flow. Doctors, bad situation. I am so we call the tower and we say what do you see it? Our two o clock position? Well, what's the traffic the towers
don't have any traffic anywhere near you we're? What did you say? I gotta bogey, two o clock. Assuming that call struck on those sorts of military terms, American, we watched it long enough to see a hole in the clouds you didn't know. Clouds were there and we didn't know that there was a little hole in them for what The moon was shining and finally, the whole opened up and we could see and understand what we ve been seen But yes, people move things all the time and they don't necessarily a tribute them to the correct The way that's a lot of people, they think ufos. The public visits are the same thing. So what's wonder there? Can well. I think that most people who were into the you have all phenomena and by the way that's not us our percentage. It's one third of the public, one third of the public thinks there's
That's what I want. I wonder there. Ten thousand twenty thousand sightings reported per year in the? U S, oh that's a lie. So you know there's a lot of people out there who just hoping that we may contact with aliens sometime someday and always wanted like how many people that is in and how little preoccupied with, and so we need data. In any time we need data. We need Mona Mode can, I get some data. Please remove Mona Chubby Geezer dated journalist. We call you that at four guardian the newspaper and ever New York Office and she's. I didn't even know what do we matter? That is such a thing as a data journalist, so more what kind of data we have for us on on aliens so willing public involvement in this off and, unlike some other scientific questions, actually when it comes to extra terrestrial intelligence, alot of people try to point
this for themselves. So since nineteen, seventy four, the national you ethical- you if I reporting sense authority, has existed and they ve tallied up over a hundred thousand reports of ufos. But, as you said, actually there Link between ufos and aliens is misleading at best, but it isn't optimism here is one project to detect intelligence that things be offering. Some promise is good. Ethnicity, I'm just like sets a city. I projects they use radio teddy. Rights, to listen out for radio signals from space to study at home, in psychological, this cooling sector, you so much Given a city, I'm no risk of saying Sdr by accident as well, which is quite good so that these could sexier home and just like sets sexy project that he's radio telescopes list now for radio signals in space. But doing that requires eight Hon of computer power rights, they also volunteers, to give them access to their own homes. Peters, to really really uptake. I am able to process all of that data. So, for one point: six we're just
clear: the common dear you're home computer, while its otherwise doing nothing right with your permission, gives Europe and, with your permission and its in sleep motors, thing, and so you might as well put it to use what else? you haven't dinner, while, while you computer happens to still be on exactly to the first point of its coin, which is why the University of California Beckley has done this rights, not just all about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and in that way it's kind of Pinochet sex, because one point: six million people in two hundred and thirty three different countries have signed up when you could argue that we should really be this dance. The enthusiasm sewing in countries like France. Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand governments have transparent programmes that allow people to find out about the such. Eighty- maybe if the U S, government, did the saying that would be a pretty cool thing. Until then. The search continues, thanks in part to an active citizen, volunteer group and the fact that that's opened
the public in a way, that's not embarrassing, and there is some measure of the enthusiasm that the public has for the search absolutely, and so this kind of computing power. It's mostly parallel processing right does you have all Peters doing this simultaneously and you won't be able to do it unless you were able to harness that many competes? Ok, so that sets encouraging that people care in that in those numbers which set, I think as well beyond the numbers of people say they were abducted or otherwise come up with suspicious reports. So I'm just trying to account for the fact that we do have genuine interest in people's needs. Weighing whether we are alone in the universe. I think so and there have been also show that eighty percent of the population of that country believes that they're out there. So it's hard not to be interested in something that you think is out there and that might be as clever as your next door. Has that number goin up over time. It hasn't changed much to be really honest, we'll take your Mona. Thank once again.
Red Mona jollity tonight we're talking about listening to the skies for a chance to make contact with an alien? civilization and right now, it's time for cosmic query, wary call from the internet and all about soda through life in the universe and when I can't from handed over to this guy okay. So let's do it David Hamilton, my guys, port Eureka? Would it be more likely that any intention The signal we detect is simply an echo of life now long gone. How could we tell the difference and if we couldn't can we still claim we aren't alone yeah? Well, look people ask that you pick up a signal. It took. You know who knows how many years to get here, maybe they're gone what maybe they are gone, but you know what the time it takes for a signal to get it. Might be tens hundreds, thousands of years, the? U S, posts,
This might give me a letter from my aunt and tomorrow, and maybe my aunt has died and she sent that letter it's possible, but the lifetime of ants is pretty long compared to the functioning of postal service. So this is our she still around. I think that if we pick up a signal yeah- maybe it's a hundred year old signal, but I'd like to think that they haven't self destructive. In the last but I think it's a good course because ultimately does it matter. I mean we're receiving this signal that answers a fundamental question. I think this is an important point, because we ve talked about the fact that may There are different kinds of intelligence and maybe we'll never understand the signal I think that's pretty likely actually but the matter, because what you ve learned is that what's happened on this planet, as happened in many other places. The next day. North New Orleans Louisiana. Could we send entangled particles to an extraterrestrial intelligence to communicate with them in real time where you could send a particles? But the facts are that
quantum entanglement very appealing, but it doesn't allow faster than light communication. Despite what many people think physics allow you to send information faster than the speed of light, unless our Einstein is wrong and he's never been shown to be wrong? Sorry right, even when he was wrong, he was right when you talk about the cosmos Yes, exactly your constant, he put it in his equations, which would represent kind of negative gravity in the universe and turn out. It wasn't necessary to be in his equation for the universe to expand, which he discovered a few years later after Hubble discovered and expanding universe, he said is the biggest mistake, biggest blunder of his life, and then we would find the cosmic logical, constant in the actual universe called dark energy, and so I can
that Einstein's biggest blunder was saying that that was his big equant zoning it was wrong. He was right. That's how you your bad ass. Yet next James quarters Pentonville Arkansas if Seti discovered extraterrestrial intelligence. How long would it take to share the discovery to the public in what is the process involved with making it, but I would say the end of a second did you tell them president it the president to know. First, no, I look we don't have a call this new start with this William? We have had false arms and ninety ninety seven, a false alarm that for most of the day, looked like the real deal and I kept waiting for that I'm gonna call the White House the call somebody to call the only people. Call the New York Times and the facts are that they were calling with hours of us finding the signal so. This notion that the government is somehow in control, and now this is not the case. The government is not that high funds,
looking at what the question? we ve been my interview with thirty five, this, my colleague and friend, astrophysicist Jill Tartar, and in this last clip Jill shared with us some parting thoughts about the search for aliens and what that means in the cosmic perspective, let's check it up. I galaxies an billion years old we ve had to apology for a hundred years technology to do this. To do this, yes, and so any, their technology out their statistically speaking, is gone to be older than we are so
as the young kids on the block as the new comers, we should listen first, when we grow up, then we should take on the job of transmitting respond, when two thousand up thousands tens of thousands of years, when we can maintain ourselves as a sustainable, stable, popular care. Who knows what do I? What I think that's what this all about. I think, in fact, that reason to do so, because it requires you to think outside this planet to have a bigger cosmic, effective and to understand that relative to something out there, where the same it's a search that feeds the growth of the cosmic perspective. It works within this all, that's right all further, good. I think we can end up having a long future unless we all adopt that perspective
that's what you're take on that its exploration patients like sitting around the bars of Europe through hundred four hundred years ago saying? What do you think Ralph? Do you think there's a continent at the bottom of the globe right and you can Well, what good is it going to do to find it of its air we will learn. Is that We are unique. Yes, but we're not special unspent but if we are actually alone, it would seem to me that our research- on stability is even greater because it Universe has no other consciousness in other than ours. It seems like. We owe it to the universe to keep ourselves going. We if there is no intelligent life other than us, then universe itself loses meaning in a way, because there's nothing to to observe it. That was beautiful. What I just said before we wrap this up.
Make sure we get to hear from Bill nigh the science guy, and so, let's see if we can like too into our radio frequency to get bill my here and now to check it out, What technology like this, perhaps we can answer one of the oldest deepest questions asked by all of humankind. Are we alone in the universe and the problem is the distance vast, hugely enormously vast distances between our star the sun and say the next one over which is four years away at the speed of light, That's why scientists speculate an alien civilization will not send a spaceship instead they'd, send radio signal or a beam of light and some logical frequency after two years of listening, we haven't detected anything, but if we did, it would be profound
It would change the way each and every one of us feels about being a living thing here in the cosmos one way to make sure that we never receive a signal is to stop listening back to you now can you hear me now, I think everyone arouse, especially here in the United States. Perhaps our first encounter with what aliens might be like use a movie and can I count one or two movies on one hand that portrayed aliens as peace, loving creatures. All the rest just want to kill us, I think there's only one explanation for that, because in our civilization, we know the consequences of a more
advanced culture coming upon a less advanced culture they get in, they get disease written, they get put in camps or they give slaughtered. So it disturbs me a bit as an astrophysicist to have we humans portray. Plans based on how we know we would treat one another rather than on how they might otherwise treatise given our highest and noblest causes. So I don't fear sending out turn address the aliens. Maybe aliens are beyond us in every way, including their capacity to treat one another. Kindly that's the movie. I haven't seen yet I'm looking for it as part of the cosmic per se
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-22.