25 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2018
    1. In the first experiment in the study, Varnum and his co-authors analyzed how the media covers extraterrestrial discoveries. They looked at five events: the discovery of pulsars in 1967, which were not immediately recognized as natural; Ohio astronomer Jerry Ehman's detection of the “Wow!” radio signal in 1977 (the signal's source remains disputed); the 1996 announcement of fossilized microbes in a Martian meteorite; the strange behavior of Tabby's Star reported in 2015; and 2017's discoveries of exoplanets that exist within distant habitable zones.

      Psychologists collaborating with the Washington post studied how media covers extraterrestrial discoveries. Analyzing fifteen articles, they found that the written content use words with a positive effect more frequently. Even though these words do not reveal anything monumental, they made predictions on humans will react to alien life.

    2. Varnum cautioned that these results do not reflect how the rest of the world might respond. Vakoch echoed that sentiment. Past research on extraterrestrial civilizations suggest that Americans tended to view aliens in a more black-and-white way than residents of China, for instance, he said. “Chinese participants were able to imagine contact would lead to both risks and benefits,” whereas Americans either thought the discovery would be “all good or all bad, but not both,” he said.

      It is cautioned that the rest of the world might not reflect the same reactions as Americans. Past research on extraterrestrial civilizations suggest the Americans view aliens more in black and white, the discovery would be all good or all bad, not both. The residents of China, where they are able to see the risks and the benefits.

    3. Given these results, Pennycook said he would be “pretty confident” that, if NASA announced the discovery of alien microbes tomorrow, Americans would react positively.

      The Washington Post wrote about Psychologists' predictions to how humanity will react to alien life. It reported that Americans would react positively is NASA announced the discovery of alien life tomorrow.

  2. Feb 2018
    1. important political implication

      Important political implication of exploring life beyond earth is that us humans are intelligent technological species that dominate the only know inhabited plant in the universe. We then have the responsibility to develop and manage the world we find ourselves.

    2. “the most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world”.

      Prussian naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt said, "the most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world”. By broadening the mind with cosmic and evolutionary perspectives with astrobiology it may make the world less fragmented and dangerous.

    3. astrobiology provides an important evolutionary perspective on human affairs.

      Important to understanding the timeline of life in the vastness in time where space exploration complements the cosmic perspective.

    4. It is simply not possible to consider searching for life on Mars, or on a planet orbiting a distant star, without moving away from the narrow Earth-centric perspectives that dominate the social and political lives of most people most of the time

      Societal benefits

    5. First, astrobiology is inherently multidisciplinary. To search for aliens requires a grasp of, at least, astronomy, biology, geology, and planetary science.

      Intellectual benefit of searching for life beyond Earth.

    1. Consider the fact that lots of people claim to have seen ghosts, and will be pleased to tell you what they saw. But the case for the existence of these shrouded spirits isnt what you would call convincing. You dont read a lot about the parameters of ghosts in scholarly journals.

      Good for argument.

    2. Yet another resolution for the so-called Fermi Paradox is that weve been singled out for special treatment:

      A resolution to the Fermi Paradox is and idea that we are an exhibit to alien tourists where they observe us. Yet, there is no evidence to this "zoo hypothesis," some people argue that aliens are closer than you think.

    1. Some even insisted that there was no paradox at all: the reason we don't see evidence of extraterrestrials is because there aren't any.

      Some think, there is no paradox at all and the reason er don't see any evidence of extraterrestrials is because there aren't any at all.

    2. The first thing they note is that the Fermi Paradox is a remarkably strong argument.

      Fermi paradox is a strong argument because the Galaxy is ancient. You can question if the speed of the alien aircraft will be fast enough to move throughout space and colonize. You can argue how long it would take to colonize a star and move on to the next one. You can ponder any possibility but it doesn't matter because any reasonable assumption of how fast it takes to colonize would be profoundly shorter than the age of the Galaxy.

    3. here are no extraterrestrials anywhere among the vast tracts of the Galaxy

      There may be no extraterrestrials anywhere in the vast Galaxy. This could be a thoughtless conclusion by a small observation but there must be a way to account for the evident loneliness we experience here on Earth.

    4. where is everybody?

      Fermi looked around and asked the obvious question, "where is everybody?" There isn't a clear indication that aliens are in our presence and aliens have had more than enough time to grace us with their presence so do extraterrestrials really exist.

    5. Colonization of the Milky Way should be a quick exercise.

      A mealtime conversation lead to Fermi realizing that if there is extraterrestrial societies with an amount of rocket intelligence the possibility for rapid colonization of the entire Galaxy is possible. This realization lead to the thought that within ten million years, every star system could be colonized and compared to the age of the Galaxy that is nothing. Certainly, the Milky Way would have been the first stop on the way.

    6. Enrico Fermi

      Enrico Fermi is attributed to Fermi's paradox in thee 1950's which questions if there is alien life why haven't they made contact with us if they are so advanced.

    1. he central question of the paper was then: how would the beings send out their message?

      Send electromagnetic waves for possible communication.

    2. But it wasn't until the close of the 1950s that anyone proposed a credible way to look for these distant, hypothetical neighbors. The space age had dawned, and science was anxious to know what lay in wait beyond the confines of our thin, insulating atmosphere. The Russians had, in 1957 and 1958, launched the first three Sputnik satellites into Earth orbit; the United States was poised to launch in 1960 the successful Pioneer 5 interplanetary probe out toward Venus. We were readying machines to travel farther than most of us could imagine, but in the context of the vast reaches of outer space, we would come no closer to unknown planetary systems than if we'd never left Earth at all. Our only strategy was to hope intelligent life had taken root elsewhere and evolved well beyond our technological capabilities—to the point at which they could call us across the empty plains of space.

      More background During the space age in the 1950's, the question of alien life became more popular as the Russians sent satellites into Earth's orbit. We sent machines farther than we imagined leading us to question if life had taken root elsewhere and evolved.

    3. The ancient Greeks were the first Western thinkers to consider formally the possibility of an infinite universe housing an infinite number of civilizations. Much later, in the 16th century, the Copernican model of a heliocentric solar system opened the door to all sorts of extraterrestrial musings

      Background/History The ancient Greek considered the possibility of civilizations in our infinite universe. Later, Copernicus' model opened that door to extraterrestrial babble.

    1. Looking beyond our solar system, astronomers have now discovered over four hundred planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. In general, the exoplanets detected so far are supermassive and huggingtight orbits around their sun;this is simply because the effects of big planets orbiting close to a star are easiest to spot. Theirhot, bloated atmospheres are not the sort of place for life to begin, but over time we have been finding more and more Earth-like worlds. The expectation is that within the next few years wewill discover a true Earth twin. The next step will be trying towork out what this new world is like.

      Exoplanets may be Earth's twin, in search for a planet like ours

    2. Astrobiology is a bright new field of science, concerned with the possibility ofexisting life beyond theEarth –of extraterrestrial life.

      New definition of "astrobiology"

    3. So it seems as though ancient Mars ticked all the necessary boxes for providing basiclife-support as a planet. There is the distinct possibility that itexperienced its own independent genesis of life, perhaps even before Earth became alive. The problem today is that Mars has suffered somesortof environmental catastrophe.

      Before Mars' environmental catastrophe, there might have been life even before Earth was around. Ancient Mars could have been a planet to help sustain life

    1. observations by NASA's Kepler space telescope suggest that nearly every star in the sky hosts planets — and many of these worlds may be habitable. Indeed, Kepler's work has shown that rocky worlds like Earth and Mars are probably more common throughout the galaxy than gas giants such as Saturn and Jupiter.

      Planets are Earth-like and can offer evidence that life is possible beyond our planet

    2. Recent discoveries suggest that the solar system and broader Milky Way galaxy teem with environments that could support life as we know it, Grunsfeld said.

      Many habitable environment may lead to life being supported

    3. Humanity is on the verge of discovering alien life, high-ranking NASA scientists say. "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years,"

      Quote from scientist