View Poll Results: Approximate chance KIC 8462852 is artificial

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  • 90% or more

    0 0%
  • Around 75%

    0 0%
  • Around 50%

    4 11.11%
  • Around 25%

    4 11.11%
  • Around 10%

    5 13.89%
  • 3% or less

    23 63.89%
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Thread: Chance KIC 8462852 is ETI site

  1. #1
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    Chance KIC 8462852 is ETI site

    What is your estimate of the likelihood that KIC 8462852 is a K2 civilization?

  2. #2
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    Tom, you need a box for no chance.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Tom, you need a box for no chance.
    And I'd suggest a box for "I have no idea".
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  4. #4
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    I consider 0% to be less than 3%, so use that. At this time I don't think anyone can be *absolutely* sure one way or another.
    I wanted to see how others thoughts were on this...I realize we are little more than WAGing now. Make the best guess you can.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Swift, but clicked on 10%.
    If it's true though it's most likely a 100% that they have known about us for a long time.

  6. #6
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    Maybe I should have put one for "no idea", but all I can really expect right now is gut feelings anyway.
    BTW, I voted 10%, which is what I really incline to, and which has the advantage of being safe...if it turns out to really be First Contact, I don't look like one of those Elderly Scientists futurologists are always pointing to as dopes...I would be a skeptic but not a denier On the other hand, if it turns out to be a weird natural phenomenon then I won't look like a looney (and who knows, if the natural phenomenon is weird enough, it might win the Nobel Prize...LGM-1 did).

  7. #7
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    As far as I know no Ir signature. Not good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As far as I know no Ir signature. Not good.
    Not good for a lot of answers, both natural and artificial.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

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  9. #9
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    I also would like a "no idea" choice, as well as a "waiting for better data" choice.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  10. #10
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    I picked the 3% or less. I think it is much less based on what I have seen, but the question remains interesting. Left field interesting, but still.
    Solfe

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    As far as I know no Ir signature. Not good.
    Astronomer Dr. Jason Wright, has done serious work on looking for extraterrestrial megastructures. It was with he that Dr.Tabitha Boyajian, lead author of the first scientific paper on KIC 8462852, shared her findings. Dr. Wright explains that excess infrared radiation would probably not be detectable from a Dyson swarm at this distance, were it substantially incomplete. The highly intermittent dimming of this star suggests that any Dyson swarm that might be present there would be in such an incomplete state.

  12. #12
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    Interesting that someone voted 50%...

  13. #13
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    That was me, Tom. I realize that the usual line of reasoning is that unknown natural phenomena can be expected to be found much more frequently than extraterrestrial civilizations.
    Ordinarily, I would agree that we should be guided by this consideration. I was impressed, though, by two things.
    First, the apparently growing realization that the favored astrophysical explanation, disrupted comets, seems too contrived, and may be unworkable.
    Second, the odd detail, merely noted in passing in the Boyajian, et al. paper, about the spacings of the light dips at certain multiples of 48 days, and what I perceive to be the possible implications of this observation.
    Last edited by Ross 54; 2016-Feb-26 at 09:21 PM.

  14. #14
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    If we are alone in this galaxy, are we forever alone?

    Contact, is it even likely inside galaxies?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alromario View Post
    If we are alone in this galaxy, are we forever alone?
    IMO, we eventually will make our own companions.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross 54 View Post
    Dr. Wright explains that excess infrared radiation would probably not be detectable from a Dyson swarm at this distance, were it substantially incomplete.
    So that means that excess infrared becomes a meaningless test, because if you find it it might mean the sphere is complete whereas if you don't find it it just means it's incomplete. But I suppose that's more generally true. If somebody wants to claim hat a given exoplanet is artificial, there's no way to disprove it because they might have built it just like a real planet. So all we can really do is wait for an unequivocal sign that it is artificial, say a signal, in which case we know it's artificial, or a plausible physical explanation, in which case we can assume, but never really know, that it's natural.
    As above, so below

  17. #17
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    The point was merely that the lack of excess infrared radiation does not necessarily rule out megastructures, if they are largely incomplete. Such a lack could also simply indicate an absence of sufficient dust to absorb starlight and reradiate in the infrared.

    Other evidence, such as full-spectrum dimming at the time of a dip in light output could indicate very large solid objects, instead of dust, which would support the idea of megastructures.
    Last edited by Ross 54; 2016-Feb-27 at 02:59 AM.

  18. #18
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    Sure, but what I meant to ask is, is there anything that would rule out megastructures, short of actually going there?
    As above, so below

  19. #19
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    From what I've seen, astronomers basically agree that there's at least a modest possibility that we're witnessing a megastructure in the process of construction. Either way, nobody knows yet. It's hard to say much else, but I'm voting 50/50.
    “Of all the sciences cultivated by mankind, Astronomy is acknowledged to be, and undoubtedly is, the most sublime, the most interesting, and the most useful. For, by knowledge derived from this science, not only the bulk of the Earth is discovered, but our very faculties are enlarged with the grandeur of the ideas it conveys, our minds exalted above their low contracted prejudices.” - James Ferguson

  20. #20
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    not having enough information, then I think 50/50 is reasonable......lower odds maybe are just based on incredulity, and the fact that no other contact had been made. If we confirm that it is aliens, then if we detect another star with the same characteristics, then people would vote better odds next time, with the same information.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    IMO, we eventually will make our own companions.
    Woof! I mean Rofl!
    Solfe

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Sure, but what I meant to ask is, is there anything that would rule out megastructures, short of actually going there?
    Ruling out a megastructure entirely may not be possible at this time. One possibility can be rendered more, or less likely than another, with satisfactory evidence.

    In this case, spectroscopic evidence of dust at the time of a dimming of the star would tend to support a natural explanation. It would not rule out a megastructure, though.
    Such a thing might be made of very small devices for collecting solar energy, which could pass as dust. Real dust would be the likelier possibility here. We know that circumstellar dust exists. We do not know that anyone has built a megastructure out of nanomachines.

  23. #23
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    I have a hunch that, even if this is the Real McCoy, we will go from here to a few astronomers thinking it probably is, then some astronomers being pretty sure it is, then many astronomers saying it is, then most astronomers confirming it...we may have several debunkers for a long time.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    I have a hunch that, even if this is the Real McCoy, we will go from here to a few astronomers thinking it probably is, then some astronomers being pretty sure it is, then many astronomers saying it is, then most astronomers confirming it...we may have several debunkers for a long time.
    Yes, that's the way it happens... We'll probably know sooner whether or not there's microbial life on Titan... but don't hold your breath for definite answers on either question.

  25. #25
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    A diffuse, but structured, cloud seems to fit the observations best, according to this report I've been researching for a blog post. The guy's a software engineer and data miner, not an astronomer, but he points out a couple of interesting things.

  26. #26
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    The last paragraph of Jose Solorzano's report, linked above, is particularly interesting. He remarks that his model fits the data 'really well' for a Dyson swarm made up of small objects in a narrow ring. He also observes that: 'The data, taken as a whole, does not seem to be nearly as consistent with natural explanations'.
    Last edited by Ross 54; 2016-Mar-02 at 04:51 PM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Sure, but what I meant to ask is, is there anything that would rule out megastructures, short of actually going there?
    Absolutely rule out megastructures? Almost certainly not. Rule it out to a very low probabity (which I would define as p < 10-9)? Almost certainly, yes.

    Skepticism is healthy, but denialism isn't. I'm not sure where the between the two positions can be drawn, even if it's sensible to try to do so.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Absolutely rule out megastructures? Almost certainly not. Rule it out to a very low probabity (which I would define as p < 10-9)? Almost certainly, yes.
    When you say rule it out with low probability, can you think of some observation or do you just mean that if a plausible natural explanation is found it would make an artificial structure unlikely?
    As above, so below

  29. #29
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    There is nothing to rule out based on probabilities.
    We simply don't have enough information to utilize any statistical operation.
    For one, we have no idea how many civilizations are out there. We only have a sample size of 1.
    Nowhere near enough to determine probabilities.

    At this point in time, so called "probabilities" in this context are nothing but personal opinions.
    They are not based on anything worth being called "science".

    So, no, there is most certainly no way (at this point) to "Rule it out to a very low probabity (which I would define as p < 10-9)? Almost certainly, yes."

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummer62 View Post
    There is nothing to rule out based on probabilities.
    We simply don't have enough information to utilize any statistical operation.
    For one, we have no idea how many civilizations are out there. We only have a sample size of 1.
    Nowhere near enough to determine probabilities.

    At this point in time, so called "probabilities" in this context are nothing but personal opinions.
    They are not based on anything worth being called "science".

    So, no, there is most certainly no way (at this point) to "Rule it out to a very low probabity (which I would define as p < 10-9)? Almost certainly, yes."
    Yes, the question being answered was "is there anything that would rule out megastructures", not "what does rule out megastructures". IOW not talking about what data we have now, but what can be collected over time.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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