Help support TMP

"The Aliens Are Mostly Dead" Topic

24 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please remember that some of our members are children, and act appropriately.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

Science Fiction

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset

Savage Worlds: Showdown

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

Hundvig's Giant Ants

Do you lie awake at night worrying about giant insects devouring the human race? Me, too...

Featured Profile Article

Featured Book Review

1,210 hits since 22 Dec 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Dec 2020 9:14 a.m. PST

No one can say for certain whether extraterrestrial civilizations exist, but one new study suggests the Milky Way is full of them, though many could be dead…


Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 10:14 a.m. PST

The last factor in the famous Drake Equation: "L." This represents the number of hypothetical alien civilizations that – having scientifically advanced to a point where intergalactic communication has been achieved – have avoided self-annihilation.

Augustus22 Dec 2020 11:14 a.m. PST

If there are/were civilizations, we should have radio signals all over. The sheer length of time these civilizations have had to generate enough signals from various quadrants "should" equal us seeing at least something.

However, so far, we don't have anything substantial.

I, imho, think we might be the first to survive this long. It weighs out that maybe, with the retrictive rules of physics and biology, no one else made it this far or, like the dinosaurs, failed to evolve past just looking for food.

I find it interesting that 25 years ago, everyone was like, "…you would have to be some kind of idiot if you thought there were no aliens…" or "…aliens are always going to be far more advanced than we…." Now, without evidence to support said claims, it is shifting the other way that, in the words of Apone, "Uh, sir, whatever happened out here…we missed it."

Chimpy Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 11:55 a.m. PST

Or we're using the equivalent of two tin cans connected by string and everyone else (the aliens) are using smart phones.

StarCruiser22 Dec 2020 12:47 p.m. PST

Even if aliens are now using some other form of communication in place of radio – there should have been a period when they DID use radio, and those signals would still be travelling out there.

Additionally, radio waves are emitted by things that are not actually intended to be use for communications, and those waves could be travelling the stars as well. Those would be identifiable as "not natural in origin".

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 1:03 p.m. PST

The sheer length of time these civilizations have had to generate enough signals from various quadrants "should" equal us seeing at least something.

Time is relative. Perhaps it hasn't been enough time yet. Perhaps the entire time from the Big Bang until now is but a very small fraction of what is to come, a mere grain of sand on a large beach.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 1:05 p.m. PST


A good point. Maybe they did use radio at one time. Or perhaps they evolved using an altogether different school of physics we haven't discovered, or even theorized. Maybe they pluck the strings far differently than we do.

Or perhaps they did discover and utilize radio, but it was so long ago, and used for such a short period of time, that those waves passed us by eons ago. Humans have only used radio for less than 200 years now, not even a nanosecond in the grand scheme of things.

Eclectic Wave22 Dec 2020 1:06 p.m. PST

Actually detecting radio\TV\whatever waves over interstellar distances is a lot harder than people realize. There are a host of natural EM sources that will wash out signals and the signal degradation over a light year is very large. Sorry, aliens are not watching I love Lucy.

Covert Walrus22 Dec 2020 2:40 p.m. PST

To put this in perspective, 90% of all creatures that have ever lived on Earth are dead, both by numbers of species and volume of individuals.

It's only reasonable to expect that if the development of intelligent species on other worlds is even only rare, the number that fall to some kind of disaster will see most of them gone at any given point in time. We are more likely, if we survive ourselves to move out into the galaxy, that we find more archaeological sites than contacts.

But to a curious mind, isn't that an equally fascinating prospect?

Augustus22 Dec 2020 2:47 p.m. PST

So…we could argue that science fiction is in fact, historical gaming….

*sound of mind exploding*

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 3:23 p.m. PST


Palewarrior22 Dec 2020 3:40 p.m. PST

Of course they are communicating with the Earth, just not with us ;)

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 4:31 p.m. PST

It's an assumption to say that an intelligent, technological Alien race "must" have used radio technology. Not necessarily. They would presumably be aware of the electromagnetic spectrum, but that doesn't mean they applied it for communication as we have. Maybe they simply developed something we would consider "more advanced" without ever bothering with radio waves. They could even be surprised to discover that anyone would use the spectrum as we have. So if you put forth a premise that perhaps long-distance communication can be achieved in other ways which we aren't yet aware of (or even some properties of the Universe which we may be aware of, but don't know how to use), then the equation changes, and one has to consider the existence of civilizations whom we neither know how to detect nor how to contact, and vice versa for them.

I'm not arguing the above is the case, merely that it's an element to consider.

There's also the possibility that we are the simply the first.
"It's ours! We saw it all first! Haha!"

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 4:46 p.m. PST

Seriously--just no way to tell. Could be signal degradation. They might be so different we can't recognize the signals--and might not recognize the civilization. Or we might be all alone. Poul Anderson suggested that in a non-fiction piece. Older stars have insufficient metals and younger stars haven't had time--and we have no idea how rare the conditions for intelligence, let alone civilization, are. We don't even know what those conditions are.

For me, all the fun went out of the hunt once I knew that even getting to Mars wouldn't get me to Helium, Valkis, Barrakesh or Jekkara. Oh, for the low canal women with bells in their hair, or the Dryland women, riding like queens!

What wargaming really needs is cheap 28mm thoats and zitidars.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 4:56 p.m. PST

and Banths. and Plant-Men.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2020 9:36 p.m. PST

Humans have only used radio for less than 200 years now, not even a nanosecond in the grand scheme of things.

Exactly. Also this:

What wargaming really needs is cheap 28mm thoats and zitidars.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2020 8:30 a.m. PST

Years from now we will get a message back: "Hey, whatever happened to Amos n' Andy?"
evil grin

Huscarle23 Dec 2020 11:10 a.m. PST

Two possibilities exist… Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. – Arthur C. Clarke

zircher23 Dec 2020 11:24 a.m. PST

One plausible explanation is that the aliens use IR, UV, or visible light as a means of communication and simply expanded on that spectrum rather than radio. Extremely directional communication would be the same as communication silence. We developed radio since sound simply does not carry. To them radio is a odd part of the spectrum that some noisy planets and stars emit.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2020 4:20 p.m. PST

To go out on a very speculative limb, consider that UFO reports began to occur within a few decades of wide-scale use of radio transmission on Earth, and then increased after a decade or so of the first microwave (television) transmission. So maybe they did see our first attempts, came to check us out, got bored (or scared) and zipped off… and they're actually within a few light years of Earth, keeping an eye on us, but otherwise not interested in talking. They don't communicate via radio or microwave, and haven't since before we discovered the same, so their old transmissions have long ago passed us by.

Sometime it could be about when you look as where you look. Just because you don't see a duck on the pond today, doesn't mean it wasn't covered with ducks yesterday.

Sargonarhes23 Dec 2020 7:00 p.m. PST

Seems to me some here need to read the sci-fi short "They're made of Meat"


Mark Plant25 Dec 2020 7:27 p.m. PST

One plausible explanation is that the aliens use IR, UV, or visible light as a means of communication and simply expanded on that spectrum rather than radio.

Only if they like to waste power, like quick signal degradation and only want line of sight. We started communicating with radio for a reason, not chance. (Actually, we started with visible, but it sucks for any distance or in bright day time.)

Any intelligent race will use radio for something, because to do otherwise would be to waste an available resource. Which is pretty much the opposite of intelligent. After all, we use all the spectrum.

I might add, we also scan the skies in all the spectrum too now. And we aren't seeing anything in those either.

capncarp03 Mar 2021 9:39 p.m. PST

You fools! Don't you understand?
They're dead because WE killed them!
Look back at when the burst of UFO activity occurred--just after WW2. And who began singing then, and having his voice sent out on the EM spectrum for poor unwitting aliens to capture and record and send on back to their home planet?
YouTube link

EJNashIII11 Mar 2021 10:44 p.m. PST

One thing about our listening. Could we actually hear earth style radio transmissions if they were coming to us? I don't think so. Anything we produce couldn't be heard with anything like our best equipment over the noise from the sun at multiple light years. That is assuming the listerner is even listening in the right direction on the right frequency. When our scientists tell us about wow signals, they are on orders of magnitude greater in power than that is even conceivable to be made by a civilization.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.