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Science: Extraterrestrial Life
Stop signaling aliens!   (+7, -10)  [vote for, against]
Are we "killing them softly with our songs?"

We know that life on Earth suffers devastating harm upon excess exposure to Gamma rays, and even death if the levels are high enough. We are also vulnerable to other radiation frequencies, such as UV light, though we can take higher exposure without significant adverse effect. Still other frequencies (radio frequencies, for instance) seem to have little or no noticeable effect. So the damage we suffer depends on the frequency and how our bodies respond to it.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to contact extraterrestrial life, we're sending signals into deep space, composed of radiation that is similar to Gamma radiation, but is merely sent at a different frequency range from Gamma rays. Even aside from overt attempts to signal extraterrestrials, our radio and TV broadcasts, and now I guess cellular phone conversations, too, are bombarding the universe.

But if these signals encounter extraterrestrial life, how do we know that these beings will have bodies that are immune to the frequencies of our "friendly" radiation? Could we be killing the very objects of our search with our search "veihicle?" Or worse, what if we don't kill them, but simply injure them, and they determine we must be destroyed for their own protection?
-- beauxeault, Jun 30 2000

Relevant HB idea [beauxeault, Jun 30 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Reliable UFO Detector http://www.halfbake...le_20UFO_20Detector
for martin [beauxeault, Jun 30 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Our Most Probable First Encounters of Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How
[mrkillboy, Jun 30 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Drake Equation Calculator Drake_27s_20Equation_20Calculator
[theircompetitor, Dec 11 2004]

The minute amounts of radiation that we're spraying into the cosmos is a drop in the bucket compared to the flood that any normal star dumps into space. If any alien civilization is being harmed by what we're pollluting space with, then they're just a buncha wimps and not worthy of our time. Even less likely then would be an attack upon Earth to rid themselves of the threat. We could simply broadcast re-runs of Gilligans Island and 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and wipe them out. hahaha....
-- hotdog, Jun 30 2000

Come on! Harmed by radio waves? It's not probable that an extraterrestrial race that has evolved into sentience over thousands of years could be wiped out by the lowest frequency class of electromanetic wave. How would they see their environment? Granted they could have other senses but it doesn't eliminate the fact that those are some fragile aliens.
-- JWCarruth, Dec 14 2000

Nah, don't worry about it Earthlings, we're all fine with it, although personally, flourescent lights give me a headache. My fellow aliens don't seem to have the same problem though, but one member of our invasion force did complain about that show you mentioned, "Gilligans Island."
-- Detly, Dec 14 2000

I love the fact that people are taking this post seriously. Just to remind you.

1) There are no such things as aliens (Disbelieve me? Ok, got any proof whatsoever? Even a weeny bit?) 2) Even if there were, the energy we're sending out is weeny and couldn't kill a fly a moon-orbit away, let alone the massed ranks of the Emperor Zurg and his mighty battle fleet in the next f**king galaxy. 3) Even if they existed (which they don't), were sentient (which they aren't), technological (ditto), listening for space signals (unlikely - think of how short a time we've been doing it), finding ours (inverse-square law), being harmed by them (really unlikely), and possessing a big space fleet (which they don't) that can go faster than light (you can't), then all they would have to do is send us a note saying "OI! TURN THE F**KING NOISE DOWN!".
-- martin, Apr 06 2001

martin, I agree with all your points, except the part about the note. And I don't think everyone has taken it seriously. But it certainly was not intended as a serious idea, just an amusing mental exercise. This was one of my earliest posts, before I knew how to clearly distinguish a serious proposal from a lark in my writing. As if I can do that now.

BTW, if you want proof of extraterrestrials, just see my other somewhat less than serious idea, Reliable UFO Detector.
; º )
-- beauxeault, Apr 06 2001

What kind of frequency are we using to try and contact aliens, does anybody know? beauxeault's description as: "radiation that is similar to Gamma radiation, but is merely sent at a different frequency range from Gamma rays" encompasses all of the e-m spectrum.
-- vincebowdren, Apr 06 2001


-- boarish1, Apr 23 2001

Martin, while the odds that aliens exist are fairly low, the universe is infinate and therefore however low the odds against are, the odds for the esistance of alien life forms are bigger. The same applies to their sentience. I am not suggesting that they are flying down here every few hours, tweeking some poor unsuspecting American (or someone from northern England) then flying away again. Hell if you were an alien would you bother? I am sure they have far more fun things of their own to tweak....
-- Stoofmeister, Apr 29 2002

This explains my sensitivity to country music stations. Perhaps my parents were aliens...

The real reason we haven't so far contacted them is because of the largest immobilizer in the universe: beaurocracy. Alien governments haven't processed the paperwork on exactly what to say to us...
-- RayfordSteele, Apr 29 2002

That is funny, I just saw this skit Comedy Central. Someone from Comedy is reading this WebSite. Then they are adding it to their repetoire (Spelling?). A comedian used this material.
We are a third world planet. The Aliens do not want to bother coming here. Our Toilets Do Not Fly Around. We do not have all the latest luxuries. Those Aliens are never stopping off here!
-- Bixbyte, May 28 2002

This reminds me of the campy spoof "Mars Attacks", when Earthlings discover that the yodels of Slim Whitman songs cause the Martian invaders to die as their ears explode....
-- NickB, Dec 10 2004

We were deliberately seeded way the hell out here in the sticks to suit somebody's political purposes.

It's doubtful that we were placed inside the noise threshold....probably more like the rowdy familial obligation you let stay in a trailer on the south forty.
-- normzone, Dec 10 2004

It is very unlikely that radio waves hurt any living thing - UV waves hurt by destroying covalent bonds (and, in high doses, ionizing). Gamma rays hurt by ionizing. Radio waves (except for those with an extremely high frequency, otherwise known as "microwaves") are not energy - rich enough to inoize anything or cut any bonds. They just change the spin of the atomic nucleus and create a minuscule amount of heat.
-- Saruman, Dec 10 2004

//the universe is infinate and therefore however low the odds against are//

First it's spelt: infinite. Now lets discuss that little peice of information condoning the universe as "infinite". Ok, now think about it, in order for a universe to be infiniste it would have to never end. How fathomable is that? Next, if it can't be infinite then it must stop somewhere right? Yes, but no. If it were to stop, what would be beyond that? The answer is described in a story I saw on Yahoo!'s homepage a while ago. It is not in fact, either finite or infinite, it is actually a combination of the two. I believe I heard something about a physicist having a theory about teleportation, which explians part of this.

A study conducted by some scientists sent a signal into space a while ago, it came back. NOw in order for it to come back, they say the universe would have to be this way. If it didn't, it would be something else. Now I don't know how they did it they just did. So, the universe is a sphere, aproximatly 70 billion light years in radius (Across? I think?). With it's sides being portals to the other side. So if you headed one way away from earth after a while, you would end up BACK at earth. When you reach the end (something to do with light) you get warped to the other side of the universe.

This sheds light on some of my own theories. Once, (I was around 10 Years old) I brought together the theory of einstein's which explained that space time was warped. Then I came up with my "blanket" theory. Basically I thought that space and time must "fold" on each other, creating an infinite universe. Like a blanket, only cycling back to the other end of the blanket. For some reason, some of my ideas I made as a kid (4-6 years old!!) have turned out to be basises, for REAL working, inventions today!

Like I had an idea to use magentism (forgive me for this but, I was young and didn't know EVERYTHING, even thhough I read every space book in the school library.) as a way to create a force field. A computer would use sensors to detect a particles magnetic pull. Then it would equalise a giant magnet to the same polarity. Creating a a force effect a way from the magnet. Now, the Ionic breeze (it pisses me of that of the many, many ideas I came up with people made HUGE amounts of cash off EXTREMELY SIMILAR inventions) uses almost the EXACT SAME PORCESS. As well as some other ideas I have come up with.

I like to think out of the box. It's not always the most complicated answer guys. Sometimes it is ALOT more obvious. Now, I have this idea that there is a certain math, that causes things to happen (and I can bet you it's a very simple math to) when the odds are WAY against them. Like the lottery for example. Say your grandma wins it. People would argue that you are now less likely to win it. I argue not. So, what in the whole world would make you less likely? If you can give me a simple example of something that would make you less likely, and I cannot argue it, you win. What do you win? Nothing. Like the philosopher Socrates, would teach, you get to think for yourself. I have argued this example with many people and they have been caought DUMSTRUCK, by the answer. I believe that some people (extremely smart and famous people) did not think things through. I believe that this example proves that the way we calculate odds, is indeed, wrong.

Now, if we use this math (more like a probability in this case) and calculate the odds against there being ET's out there they weigh almost even. You can guess and still get it. In the short time that the universe has existed, we figure that it would be impossible for there to be another intelligent race out there. Then again we figure that with 70 billions light years of space that it might just actually happen. Quite frequently even. With the 6 minutes left until I have to log off and go home, I cannot think of reason why. But I bet you can.

As for this idea, think of all the possible combinations of elements out there, of all thew varitions of functionality, I am sure they must all be quite similar. Leading us to prove that the possibility of another alien race being vulnerable to radio wave radiation being quite nearly, WRONG.
-- EvilPickels, Dec 10 2004

Oh Evil Pickels. I know you didn't just correct someone else's spelling . . . in an annotation with no less than fifteen (15) misspellings, countless (??) grammatical errors, and several (>1) factual inaccuracies. Jeez, guy . . . you're dressing down a two year old comment and are just as wrong.

I think that's probably why people give you a hard time sometimes.
-- contracts, Dec 10 2004

Well, I still consider that last post of mine a fair bit of (dare I say it?) Genius. Go ahead do the math, take the number of words in the post, the number of misspellings and turn it into a percentage, of what percent of words did I spell right, out of a 100%. And then do the same for some of my other posts. Then factor in the sheer amount of time I had tot type this (30 mins). At a rate of at least 27 words a minute, and you get a reasonable percentage and rather, normal amount of misspellings considering my normal percentage. In fact, factoring it all in I think that the ratio is less then normal. Didn't think I was that smart did ya?

EDIT: yeah, well I do expect that they do because of that. But I have just lost my sense of spelling. Back at age 9 or 10 I could spell any word you gave me (with a few very hard exceptions). But now I know when a word is misspelled I look at it and try a few combinations, but after a while I find no suitable combination and just leave it like it is and go on typing up the rest of the post.
-- EvilPickels, Dec 10 2004

And he's modest, as well.
-- normzone, Dec 11 2004

I'd like your e-mail address, Pickels. Better yet, use your supreme intellect to decipher my e-mail address. If you can get it within 72 hours, you get bonus points. Clock starts twenty three hundred hours, Eastern Standard Time, ten December year of our lord two thousand four. Go!

<edit> December 14th. So disappointed. Another genius discredited and I am //caought DUMSTRUCK//</e>
-- contracts, Dec 11 2004

//A study conducted by some scientists sent a signal into space a while ago, it came back. NOw in order for it to come back, they say the universe would have to be this way. If it didn't, it would be something else. Now I don't know how they did it they just did. So, the universe is a sphere, aproximatly 70 billion light years in radius//

So they successfully completed an experiment that takes 70 billion years?
-- Detly, Dec 11 2004

I can't let this one go past, either. I admit it, I'm weak.

Since you mention it in your post - presumably to allude to your prodigy - I find it a little bizarre that you consider the invention of a complicated device and authoring of a lengthy patent (or several) to somehow be a testament your two-sentence, hand-wavingly *ahem* half-baked idea.
-- Detly, Dec 11 2004

The aliens/spaceship hybrid came alive after traversing to closely to the space-time singularities of a black hole, and then bam, it hit them like a dear in the headlights...."Ow, you earthlings injured our 100 meter wide eyes with your insessant broadcasting of broadband radio waves, now you must pay!"
-- quantum_flux, Sep 09 2007

random, halfbakery