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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jul > Jul 16

SETI History

From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 08:13:46 +0100
Archived: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:47:03 -0400
Subject: SETI History

Hello List,

In his essay 'A Mirror in the Sky - The Drake Equation' Oliver
Morton gives some details of the history of SETI and the
characters involved:

[Quotation Begins]

SETI had started as a radio-astronomy project because Morrison,
Cocconi and Drake had seen that radio astronomy provided the only
way that a civilization such as ours could be detected by another
civilization such as ours.


The technicalities of SETI were thus technicalities of radio
astronomy, such as the choice of appropriate frequencies ... and
signalling strategies. The difference between type I and type II
civilizations, for example, was basically a difference in the
power of their radio transmitters, and a difference in the
strategies that would be suitable for detecting them. (From
around the time of the Byurakan conference Drake himself becsme
increasingly interested in type IIs - supercivilizations - and in
1974 he and Sagan mounted a search for them. ...they used the
newly refurbished Arecibo radio telescope, a vast bowl in the
hills of Costa Rica. Instead of looking at individual stars they
looked at whole galaxies, simultaneously sampling the emissions
of billions of far-off stars on the basis that what the
supercivilizations lacked in numbers they would make up for with
the sheer power of their beacons.)

[Quotation Ends]

There you have it - as many of us have said, by default SETI was
initiated to look for primitives - like us.

And even when Drake and Sagan took an interest in advanced
civilizations they imagined the only difference would be a
matter of scale.

Admittedly it's hard to see into the future, but history tells us
that the difference from one era to the next always involves
change of paradigm: doing things in entirely different ways - as
technology allows.

So if we're really looking for advanced civilizations we
shouldn't expect them to still be using radio.


Ray D

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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