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Thu Feb 23, 2012, 02:33 PM

“Are We Alone?” series on the Science Channel

On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, a month-long (one-hour weekly shows) will begin on the Science Channel.

http://science.discovery.com/tv/are-we-alone/

snip:

About Are We Alone? Month

For centuries, mankind has looked to the skies and wondered, "are we alone in the universe?" In Science has partnered with TED and SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) to enlist like-minded individuals everywhere to tackle this defining question with four hours of ground-breaking original programming featuring the world's leading scientists and experts. The month-long series Are We Alone? premieres Tuesday, March 6 at 10PM E/P.

Through the Wormhole: Will We Survive First Contact?
Premieres Tuesday, March 6 at 10PM E/P

Alien Encounters
"Part I: The Message" Premieres Tuesday, March 13 at 10PM E/P
"Part II: The Arrival" Premieres Tuesday, March 20 at 10PM E/P

NASA's Unexplained Files
Premieres Tuesday, March 27 at 10PM E/P


When I read the descriptions of the individual shows at the website, I thought they sounded familiar. Oh, well, so what if the series is the same ol' same ol'? I like thinking about the possibility of ETs, microbial or otherwise, so I'll try to remember to watch.

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Reply “Are We Alone?” series on the Science Channel (Original post)
frogmarch Feb 2012 OP
frogmarch Mar 2012 #1
Logical Mar 2012 #2
frogmarch Mar 2012 #3
eomer Mar 2012 #4
frogmarch Mar 2012 #5
jberryhill Mar 2012 #6
frogmarch Mar 2012 #7
jberryhill Mar 2012 #8
frogmarch Mar 2012 #9

Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:02 PM

1. Tonight

"Part II: The Arrival" Premieres Tuesday, March 20 at 10PM E/P

I watched the first two episodes and found them fascinating. I hope tonight's episode will be another good one.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:45 PM

2. Jesus? This is "science"?

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Response to Logical (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

3. As far as

I could tell, tonight’s program offered no testable hypotheses, and yes, I know - without testable hypotheses, it can’t be called Science. It was Entertainment, with some sciencey tidbits thrown it to give it some class. I have no problem with that, but then, I wasn’t expecting a dissertation on astronomy and physics when I tuned in.

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Response to frogmarch (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 21, 2012, 11:32 PM

4. Are you sure? How about black holes, is that science?

Let's set one up and run some tests on it.

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Response to eomer (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:11 AM

5. I was referring to

testable hypotheses pertaining to intergalactic space travel.

Yes, studying black holes would certainly qualify as science.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/33256

Faced with the difficulty of observing Hawking radiation from astrophysical black holes, some physicists have attempted to make artificial ones in the lab that have a higher characteristic temperature. Clearly, generating huge amounts of gravity is both dangerous and next to impossible. But artificial black holes could be based on an analogous system in which the curved space–time of a gravitational field is enacted by another varying parameter that affects the propagation of a wave. “We cannot change the laws of gravity at our will,” Ulf Leonhardt at the University of St Andrews in the UK tells physicsworld.com. “But we can change analogous parameters in a condensed-matter system.” Leonhardt’s group at St Andrews is the first to create an artificial black-hole system in which Hawking radiation could be detected (Science 319 1367).

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Response to frogmarch (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:04 AM

6. The question of life elsewhere is certainly one of theoretical science


My goodness we've been employing scads of scientists for quite a while working on this question. The recent work on organisms in Mono Lake having entirely different biochemistry than other life on Earth had, and correct me if I'm wrong, a NASA scientist as lead investigator.

Someone has to work out the robotic labs and chemical tests on those Martian landers with the idea in mind that life forms elsewhere will be wildly different from that which evolved here.

That is hardly "not science".

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:16 PM

7. You’re absolutely right. (facepalm)

Astrobiology is certainly a science, and I'd say robotics is a combination of science and engineering.

But in the “First Contact” episode I didn’t see any discussion on the possibility of traveling vast distances to the far reaches of the Milky Way and beyond. We Earthlings presently lack the knowledge and technology to achieve this, but could an advanced alien species have mastered long-distance space travel? Theoretically, is there a way around the speed of light barrier (wormholes, or “black hole engines”? Could aliens have achieved what we so far haven’t? If not, would our alien visitors then be computers or computerized robots? These are some of the things I’d have liked to have seen discussed in “First Contact.” That aside, the segment showing how people might react at first contact was fun. When I saw those two guys standing there nonchalantly watching the descending alien craft coming closer and closer, I thought Yeah, right. No way would those guys be scared. I’d have been out of there.

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Response to frogmarch (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:57 PM

8. I haven't seen the show


But I'm always amused by the notion that scientists are closed minded or unimaginative.

It takes a good deal of imagination to come up with hypotheses to test in the first place, and how to design tests to eliminate other factors or deal with potentially unknown factors.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:56 PM

9. Well said.

I always enjoy your posts. They make me think.

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