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Dr. Don Lincoln, Sunday, 9-28-14 September 29, 2014

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Dr. Don Lincoln, Sunday, 9-28-14


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Guest:   Dr. Don Lincoln.  Topics:  We discussed Dr. Lincoln’s new book, “Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos,” plus the possibility of extraterrestrial life in our solar system.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Dr. Don Lincoln back to the show to discuss his new book “Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmo.”  During the first segment of our 1 hour 29 minute program, Dr. Lincoln discussed why he wrote this book, especially given his position as a senior scientist at the Fermilab plus his work in Cern at the Large Hadron Collider. After the introduction, he took us through major events, both physical and cultural that have fueled alien interest including the Betty and Barney Hill case, Roswell, and more.  He took us through these events with an actual historical timeline which put the events in a somewhat different perspective than we are used to hearing.  We also talked about the Drake & Fermi equations and the seven parameters of the Drake Equation, many of which have been upgraded due to new scientific information coming to light in recent years from the Kepler mission and other tools/events.  SETI was a topic of discussion as was the use of radio waves and light for ET detection.  The subject of alien abduction came up and Don pointed us to the 1835 media buzz known at the moon hoax appearing in the first tabloid style newspaper.  This was an interesting history lesson that was new to me and probably to many listeners as well.  Marshall called in to talk about Drake radio waves, the signal to noise ration, and a planet being either too close to the center of the galaxy or too far from the center of the galaxy which causes the planet to be a metal poor planet. Dr. Lincoln had much to on this subject.  Next, we talked about microbial life on Mars.  John from Ft. Worth called to talk about impractical physics given the need to cross interstellar space. Don agreed and talked about the possibility of using probes.;  The subject of technology & options such as a mother ship plus scout ships came up.  John and Don talked about the lack of objective studies and the difficulty in working with assumptions.  Don also talked about the high standards used in science which are hard to apply to the alien visitation theories.  Scientists are not usually inclined to lower their standards so true scientific studies on alien visitation are a challenge.

In the second segment, we talked about the Roswell event.  Our guest had much to say about this event so don’t miss this part of our discussion.  Some scientific studies were mentioned such as Project Blue Book. I asked about studies by other nations and scientists outside the U.S. We came back to microbial life off Earth which is an important study subject by scientists across many nations.  Near the end of the program, Dr. Lincoln talked about the idea of First Contact, Star Trek, and comments made by Professor Stephen Hawking.  In the concluding minutes of our discussion, I asked our guest about part of his subtitle, “Life in our Minds” & Don talked about how this subject has come to our minds.  He left us with a good summary and strongly urged us to separate sociology issues from astrobiology, the latter being a credible science in search of life off Earth.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Dr. Lincoln through me.

Dr. Seth Shostak, Thursday, 3-8-12 March 9, 2012

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Dr. Seth Shostak, Thursday, 3-8-12


Guest:  Dr. Seth Shostak.   Topics:  The SETI Institute, SETI searches, and astronomy.You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Dr. Seth Shostak back to the program for updates regarding the SETI Institute and SETI searches.  Learn more about SETI at http://www.seti.org.  Other websites of interest and that were talked about or mentioned on the program include SETILive at www.setilive.org; the Big Picture Science Radio program at www.seti.org/bigpicturescience, and SETIConII at http://seticon.com.  We began our discussion talking about SETILive and Citizen Science.  We talked about the SETILive website, the basics on looking at the signals in question, and more. This took us to the topic of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) which now has 42 antennas operating with a plan for up to 350 antennas, each 20 feet across.  We compared this to the VLA inNew Mexico.  Dr. Shostak reported to us that the speed of SETI searches was increasing at a rate similar toMoore’s Law for computers.  Our guest then explained SETI search patterns and methodology.  Several listener questions came in including asking if SETI was better off with public funding, private funding, or a combination of both.  Seth suggested the combination but listen to what he said about each category.  Another listener asked about Optical SETI. Here, we learned that the SETI Institute was no longer doing it but that there was an excellent program for Optical SETI atHarvardUniversity.  This prompted another listener to ask about SETI programs around the world.  You might be surprised to learn just how many programs there are and their locations.

In our second segment, Jim fromAustin asked if there was any correlation to funding for SETI based on how well NASA does with its annual funding from Congress.  Dr. Shostak said there were no correlations but when SETI public funds were terminated in 1993, private funding stepped up to take over.  He also said that it appears SETI does better when related topics are in the news or the media, including TV shows such as X-Files.  Discoveries from Kepler and other space missions also play a part in driving support for SETI.  We then turned our attention to Active SETI, the idea of deliberately transmitting to space.  Dr. Shostak explained the controversy surrounding Active SETI but was supportive of it.  Terry called in to inquire about the protocol should a signal be discovered.  This brought up a review of the WOW signal matter, then we talked about student internships at SETI.Wayne fromSanta Fe emailed us about the ET worldwide culture which we discussed from several perspectives.  Other topics of interest included pseudo science, science and education, the study of astronomy, and the quality of majorCalifornia observatories given light and air pollution.  Near the end, John called in to ask if an ET starship using fusion or another form of energy/engine propulsion would leave a visible trail as a way of being detected.  Finally, we talked about incoming asteroids, the keyhole, and even painting an asteroid to deflect it.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Shostak can be reached through the SETI Institute website.