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Author Topic: There's no one out there!  (Read 57877 times)

dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #75 on: December 20, 2009, 05:25:07 PM »

Yes, it's very hard to keep up with things, especially when you are essentially a layman who is not in a position to either confirm or refute some of the more abtruse statements being made by both sides to support their positions. All you can do is stand on the sidelines and form a general impression. Mine is that there is still a lot to come out of the chronology argument and if it is eventually settled to the satisfaction of most people then, whatever the outcome, we are going to see some major reassessments of current assumptions which are likely to be very interesting indeed....
 
Colin

Indeed. The Orthodox side seem to me to be fighting a rearguard action. Do you follow the New Chronology group on Yahoo? Bit biblical, but you'll find me there...
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Bryan Young

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #76 on: December 20, 2009, 05:29:53 PM »

But we do have alien species. And they are living in our midst. Copenhagen would appear to be the favoured meeting place.
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Notes from a simple seaman

John W E

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #77 on: December 20, 2009, 05:33:30 PM »

But we do have alien species. And they are living in our midst. Copenhagen would appear to be the favoured meeting place.

Merry Christmas Bryan, I thought the meeting place for Aliens was at Tynemouth Model Boat Club  {-) {-)[/glow]
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regiment

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #78 on: December 20, 2009, 07:41:20 PM »

NO we have all gone to iceland
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #79 on: December 20, 2009, 07:55:50 PM »

Quote
Bit biblical, but you'll find me there...

Yes, the involvement of people who are mainly seeking confirmation of the Old Testament is another complicating factor.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #80 on: December 20, 2009, 08:23:09 PM »

Merry Christmas Bryan, I thought the meeting place for Aliens was at Tynemouth Model Boat Club  {-) {-)[/glow]
Not really an answer to that one! Nice one Bluetit. But next time.....leave me alone,and no more stupid "jokes".
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Notes from a simple seaman

justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #81 on: December 20, 2009, 08:46:01 PM »

Its a real shame this subject matter has been diverted into the realms of tv sci fi themes and biblical stories.

Ah well.
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Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #82 on: December 20, 2009, 09:33:31 PM »

What did you expect,?...this is Mayhem,and we do what we do best,about every angle has been covered,regarding,"your initial post"so a little diversion was on the cards,I,would say you,ve done very well to have got 80 odd replies,..some people post,and never get a sausage, {:-{ {-) %%

Wullie
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #83 on: December 20, 2009, 09:42:55 PM »

One huge problem with your argument is the timescale. True, we don't see evidence of other intelligences probing and reporting on us. But you're talking over a 4.5b year timescale for this planet, and we're a very short-lived life form on those timescales. If you wanted to keep tabs on a planet forming you might check it once every 0.5m years. Close investigation might be once every 100,000 years. Why should we expect to see something in the time we have been looking - about 100 years? Or, if you only count the SETI monitoring, about 30 years...

Missed this earlier DG. In a sense you are correct regarding timescales but again, you are with respect, looking at it from the wrong angle. SETI is looking for a needle in a haystack. It hasnt one single candidate signal in nearly 40 years. It hasnt even come close to anything either despite one or two supposed candidates. The 'Wow!' signal is interesting but was never picked up by the second Big Ear sweep just seconds later. It has no standing within the SETI or scientific community.

We shouldnt be looking for alien lifeforms looking for us. There are major flaws with this.

As you say, time. Who in their right mind would observe a planet for half a million years never mind 1, 2 or 3 billion years? That lifeform may not exist much beyond a million years before some catastrophy wipes it out.

In all of space, why would an intelligent lifeform look in this direction for such time?

Then there is the sheer number of stars and potential planets out there. Even we have detected nearly 400 exoplanets. An intelligent lifeform would have better planet hunting techniques so they would find many many more planets. The chances of them spotting earth in that lot would be similar to SETI finding a candidate signal ie virtually none.

We have no technology of note that makes this planet stand out to any intelligence seeking other intelligent lifeforms. It was until recently assumed our radio transmissions would expand beyond the earth at the speed of light. Thus, our earliest radio transmissions should be roughly 100 light years away from us in all directions. However, it transpires the radio and now more powerful tv signals all but disappear into silence at about 5 light years distance.

This is why SETI will never pick up an alien transmission. Any alien would need to point an incredibly powerful narrow beam transmission in our direction to be detected even at the hydrogen frequency 1420Mhz loved by SETI.

Our approach should be one devoted to looking for alien artefacts since older intelligent life would be more technologically advance. Advanced to the point of making their technology stand out. For example a dyson sphere. A dyson sphere is when a lifeform encases its star and planet's orbit so as to capture all the star's energy. Dyson spheres would be enormous and easy to spot.

Fermi's paradox is that the galaxy is teeming with intelligent lifeforms but where are they? By definitions, many if not most of those lifeforms will be older than us since humans have only been around for a short time. Given the accepted age of the galaxy (roughly 10 billion years), even travelling a sub light speed, one lifeform could colonise the entire galaxy in less than 10 million years.

That gives them plenty of time to repeat the feat many times over. If that had happened, we should easily see evidence of many other intelligent lifeforms either existing now or having existed and died out.

We see neither. The only logical conclusion based on the weight of evidence is, we are the first intelligent lifeform in the galaxy, we are the most technologically advanced lifeform in our galaxy right now.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #84 on: December 20, 2009, 09:45:42 PM »

You could also argue that the subject has been distilled from pure conjecture down to the practical nitty gritty.

I may be interested in ancient civilisations but I can stll look up into the night sky and wonder - especially when the bl***y streetlight is off. I was in Sardinia in
September and returning to our accommodation at night it was pitch black and you could see the whole Milky Way stretching across the sky. Magic.

I also like to read science fiction - especially Space Opera.

So we are not all unimaginative.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #85 on: December 20, 2009, 09:48:23 PM »

What did you expect,?...this is Mayhem,and we do what we do best,about every angle has been covered,regarding,"your initial post"so a little diversion was on the cards,I,would say you,ve done very well to have got 80 odd replies,..some people post,and never get a sausage, {:-{ {-) %%

Wullie

Was genuinely hoping to read other people's thoughts and views on a fascinating subject. someone posted why bother, chances of contacting another lifeform is so remote as to be unlikely.

Put it anotherway, if we are not alone, its a fascinating and awe inspiring event. If we are alone, its just as fascinating and awe inspiring event. But if we are alone, that's an unimaginitively big space and time we have all to ourselves.
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #86 on: December 20, 2009, 09:52:47 PM »

You could also argue that the subject has been distilled from pure conjecture down to the practical nitty gritty.

I may be interested in ancient civilisations but I can stll look up into the night sky and wonder - especially when the bl***y streetlight is off. I was in Sardinia in
September and returning to our accommodation at night it was pitch black and you could see the whole Milky Way stretching across the sky. Magic.

I also like to read science fiction - especially Space Opera.

So we are not all unimaginative.

Colin

I dont see where you get the pure conjecture from. All I have written on this subject is science fact. There is no conjecture there (apart from my one use of the word!). I dont question your interest in acient civilisations or sci fi etc. But I wouldnt take a thread you may start on those subjects into one of is there life out there?
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dreadnought72

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #87 on: December 20, 2009, 09:56:21 PM »

So we can confidently say there is no species which has the technology to travel faster than light nor create wormhole travel.
{/quote]
Yes!
If any had survived to be technically superior to ourselves, they would at least attempt to
harness the power of their sun ie build a dyson sphere
explore the galaxy in their own spacecraft or
spent out exploratory probes ie von Neumann probes or Bracewell probes.
{/quote]

Not neccesarily. The other option - cheaper in terms of both technology and energy - is to create a Matrix-like alternative reality as their culture develops , and to spend their days playing World of Warcraft version MXXL! online, and leaving physical  exploring to others.

As a species, WE might be twent/thirty years from true AI, and from a bioligical existence that exploration becomes "unnecessary" when confronted by online/alternative reality opportunities.

Andy :-)
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #88 on: December 20, 2009, 10:03:33 PM »

Quote
I dont see where you get the pure conjecture from. All I have written on this subject is science fact. There is no conjecture there (apart from my one use of the word!). I dont question your interest in acient civilisations or sci fi etc. But I wouldnt take a thread you may start on those subjects into one of is there life out there?

The connection is that a lot of people have used selective information from ancient civilisations to postulate that there is an alien influence which is why the topic has expanded somewhat.

As has also been posted, there is no direct evidence to suggest that there are any other concurrent civilisations out there so to suggest that there is a likelihood that there may be is just conjecture at the moment. May be right, may be wrong.

There is also the possibility that although we are not alone, the rarity of intelligence and the sheer vastness of the universe will conspire to make the chances of any actual contact so remote as to be effectively impossible.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #89 on: December 20, 2009, 10:16:18 PM »

{/quote]

Not neccesarily. The other option - cheaper in terms of both technology and energy - is to create a Matrix-like alternative reality as their culture develops , and to spend their days playing World of Warcraft version MXXL! online, and leaving physical  exploring to others.

As a species, WE might be twent/thirty years from true AI, and from a bioligical existence that exploration becomes "unnecessary" when confronted by online/alternative reality opportunities.

Andy :-)

Again, the theory pre supposes all intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy would retreat into this AI environment. Given that the premise is the galaxy is teeming with intelligent life as per Fermi, statistically an equal number would not pursue the AI existence and would develop their technology in other ways.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #90 on: December 20, 2009, 10:33:11 PM »

I think that something we are overlooking is the true dimension of scale both in distance and time. As humans we can barely comprehend the vast distances and timescales on which the universe operates. To compare it to an ant trying to understand the human civilisation on earth goes nowhere by comparison. There may be signals traversing the heavens but on such a scale that a human lifetime is insufficient to even detect them.

As a very inadequate example, if you are on a flight to your holiday abroad you might fly over the Alps and other terrain. As you look down you can see the effects of water erosion carving valleys and river deltas. They look just like what you might see on a beach as the tide goes out and water carves patterns in the sand as it flows down the beach. It's all exactly the same, just on a different scale. And the scale of the universe by comparison is infinitely larger.

It may be that the Human race is simply on too small a scale to be able to make meaningful observations. Just like that ant but far, far smaller.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #91 on: December 20, 2009, 10:33:39 PM »

The connection is that a lot of people have used selective information from ancient civilisations to postulate that there is an alien influence which is why the topic has expanded somewhat.

As has also been posted, there is no direct evidence to suggest that there are any other concurrent civilisations out there so to suggest that there is a likelihood that there may be is just conjecture at the moment. May be right, may be wrong.

There is also the possibility that although we are not alone, the rarity of intelligence and the sheer vastness of the universe will conspire to make the chances of any actual contact so remote as to be effectively impossible.

Colin

OK I read where you are coming from with that.

Regarding concurrent civilisation though, this is the crux of Fermi's paradox. The question by Fermi is if the galaxy is teeming with intelligent life, why do we not see evidence of it? That is the paradox, we dont see any evidence despite the suggestion there are many many civilisations out there.

Again, sorry to be repetitive, but Fermi's paradox and its test isnt one of contacting these civilisation. It is seeing evidence of their technology ie dyson spheres and probes already mentioned, which in themselves prove their existence. We dont need to 'contact' them to prove their existence.

SETI has unfortunately a lot to answer for since most people consider the only sign of other intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy is a radio signal somewhere in the spectrum. The chances of an intelligent lifeform finding the Earth amongst all the stars and planets in the galaxy then, sending an extremely powerful narrow band radio transmission here for at least a thousand years or more to signal their presence is so negligible as to not register on the chances scale.
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justboatonic

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #92 on: December 20, 2009, 10:56:19 PM »

I think that something we are overlooking is the true dimension of scale both in distance and time. As humans we can barely comprehend the vast distances and timescales on which the universe operates. To compare it to an ant trying to understand the human civilisation on earth goes nowhere by comparison. There may be signals traversing the heavens but on such a scale that a human lifetime is insufficient to even detect them.

As a very inadequate example, if you are on a flight to your holiday abroad you might fly over the Alps and other terrain. As you look down you can see the effects of water erosion carving valleys and river deltas. They look just like what you might see on a beach as the tide goes out and water carves patterns in the sand as it flows down the beach. It's all exactly the same, just on a different scale. And the scale of the universe by comparison is infinitely larger.

It may be that the Human race is simply on too small a scale to be able to make meaningful observations. Just like that ant but far, far smaller.

Colin

Not quite. Ignore SETI for the moment which suggests intelligent lifeforms are out there chatterring away to each other but we're just not on the right frequency or dont have the right listening equipment.

Time scales and distance are not really relevant to Fermi's Paradox either. Fermi's Paradox does not distinguish between intelligent civilisation that have died out before we came along or intelligence that exists now. Neither is the vast distances in the galaxy relevant since fermi's Paradox does not depend on contacting other intelligent lifeforms.

Fermi's Paradox is simply that given how old the galaxy is, there should have risen many, many intelligent lifeforms in the timespan of the galaxy. Some of those intelligent lifeforms would be far more technologically advanced than us due to their age, even if they had died out millions of years before we came along, their technological advances should be easy to spot. But we do not see any evidence of this.

You make the interesting comment of observation from a plane at high altitude and an ant. From the plane, you cannot see the ant on the ground so people in the plane can assume there is no life immediately below them.

Meanwhile on the ground, the ant can see to the limit of its vision. It may see other ants on the ground and consider there is life around it. Now if that ant had a telescope and looked into the sky with it, it could see the aeroplane flying high above it. The ant wouldnt know what the aeorplane was unless it had a modicum of intelligence which for this argument, we'll give it. The ant now knows there's something techologically superior to anything it can make. It can now determine there is something more intelligent than it is.

And that is the best way we can search for intelligent life forms, by looking for their technology, not listening for their signals.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #93 on: December 20, 2009, 11:14:16 PM »

Certainly a fair point, but the harder you look the further in time you are looking back.

Also, why assume that intelligent life forms are on our scale?

There are plenty of ideas in Science Fiction which postulate the existence of intelligence on a far different scale altogether, plasma patterns in a star for example. Such entities would be beyond our comprehension. It's not implausible when you consider the range of life on Earth itself. What possible relationship could the human race have with the creatures that exist in underwater thermal vents for example?

The probability is that on the cosmic scale we are probably simply too insignificant to register! After all, what concern do we have with the life and personal problems of your average ant?

Colin
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #94 on: December 21, 2009, 12:39:16 AM »

.... Now if that ant had a telescope and looked into the sky with it, it could see the aeroplane flying high above it. The ant wouldnt know what the aeorplane was unless it had a modicum of intelligence which for this argument, we'll give it. The ant now knows there's something techologically superior to anything it can make. It can now determine there is something more intelligent than it is.

And that is the best way we can search for intelligent life forms, by looking for their technology, not listening for their signals.

If the ant lived in a forest somewhere in South America, for many generations it would see nothing in the skys above it.

Then, in 1920, it might see a biplane or two, once a year. By 1960, it might see a regular stream of airliners, and in 1980 a Concorde passing by. Then the Concorde would stop, and gradually the stream of planes would get less as an economic slump occured. By 2020 it might see no planes at all, as people started to use virtual reality communications more and more.

So, over the millions of years that ants have been in existence, for a short 100 years the ant might have an opportunity to discover our civilisation with a telescope. If antkind had developed a telescope in the 1650s it would not see an aircraft even if it waited for 100 years - similarly if it developed a telescope in 2050 when we had stopped using aircraft.

Now, each ant lives for about 2 years. So very many ants will live their lives and die without being able to detect our technology. I think we would have to be incredibly lucky for an alien civilisation to be operating a technology that we could have a hope of detecting at the same time as we were actually looking, and I can't see why this vanishingly small opportunity should occur in our lifetimes....

Oh, and, Colin, who's your favourite SF author? I have a great respect for James Blish, but you don't see much of his work around anymore....
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Wasyl

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #95 on: December 21, 2009, 01:09:49 AM »

mine,s is Robert A Heinlein,followed by Frank Herbert,closely followed by the original author of the Bible, %%

Wullie
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #96 on: December 21, 2009, 02:40:06 AM »

mine,s is Robert A Heinlein,followed by Frank Herbert,closely followed by the original author of the Bible, %%

Wullie

Hmmm.  Heinlein - too fascist; Herbert - bit of a one shot in the shadow of Dune, and now an eco-cult figure; The Bible - well, lots of authors, some pretty dry, but Ecclesiastes, for instance, would be one of my choices for the best piece of writing ever....
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Colin Bishop

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #97 on: December 21, 2009, 09:58:47 AM »

Yes, loved James Blish and his "Cities in Flight" series when I was a kid. He died a few years back. I read just about everything science fiction in those days.

Of the modern authors I quite like Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds and Iain Banks - the latter for his wonderful spaceship names.

Modern fantasy on the other hand has been done to death years ago with volumes being subtitled "Tenth Book in the xxx Triology" etc.  %)

Some interesting fiction centred on the ancient civilisations and Homeric period around at the moment though.

Colin

Oh, and mustn't forget Dan Dare where my interest first started.

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polaris

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #98 on: December 21, 2009, 10:52:59 AM »


Dear All,

You know, H.G.Wells (and quite a few others after him - oh, and Galileo at al who forsaw a great deal long before of course), had it right, since quite a lot of the technology they thought of came true. So, in the same vein, it is not impossible to consider that 'others' out there have vastly different methods of travel than we have.

We of course are still struggling with the basics - though the Ion drive is theoretically possible now but not exactly 'in production' as yet - and, if human kind could keep itself from fighting other humankind, all things might develop a tad faster... Anyway, back to the future!!! So much 'old fiction' technology coming true, really does beg the question of how much we are not seeing today?

Humankind is seemingly bogged down with it's delight in producing huge quantities of unnecessary and wasteful consumer technology (that it will desperately beg, steal or borrow to get), with the bulk of people not being able to see beyond their TV or PC game screens!!! - or seem to have things in some shape or form permanently stuck or glued to their heads!!! Learning about things... actually making things... well, as we all know, it's all to common to hear the unsaid thought "that's left for others to do isn't it!".

Regards, Bernard
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dodgy geezer

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Re: There's no one out there!
« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2009, 12:04:02 PM »


Of the modern authors I quite like Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds and Iain Banks - the latter for his wonderful spaceship names.


"..He died a few years back..".I'm not sure about a few years ago - Blish died in 1975...

Banks is the one who writes as Iain Banks for his standard fiction, and Iain M Banks for his science fiction? People keep telling me to read him, and I bought a few of his books, but I couldn't really get into them. My other great favourite is Zelazny (ignore the Amber series, which is commercial pap!) and he died in 1995... Funnnily enough, he wrote an sf story incorporating Ecclesiastes, and a range of stories based on different religious dogmas/myths - his 'Lord of Light' which covers the Hindu pantheon and incorporates some of the Upanishads - the Brihadaranyaka and, spectacularly, the Katha, is generally thought to be his masterwork.


Some interesting fiction centred on the ancient civilisations and Homeric period around at the moment though.

Have you read Rohl's latest - The Lords of Avaris? Covers that period...


@Polaris "...We of course are still struggling with the basics - though the Ion drive is theoretically possible now but not exactly 'in production' as yet ..."

The Russians have been using Ion Drives in their spacecraft since the 1970s, and we started in the 1990s. The Japanese comet lander "Hayabusa" craft uses an ion drive...

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