# NASAs Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth

As I've said before, imagine getting off an 8000 year journey, only to wake up on a street with 4 starbucks on adjacent corners.

* Taco Bell. They are the only company to survive the franchise war.

The first exo-planet was discovered 20 years ago in 1995. The latest batch of results from Kepler brings the total to 1030 exo-planets. That's pretty good progress imho.

The following explanation won't be news to our astronomy buffs, but may answer questions for others.
We've been finding exo-planets by looking for dimming of host stars, when a planet passes in front of the star and is in-line with Earth, it blocks some of the light, this is called a 'transit'. The illustrations are just artist fantasies about what an exo-planet might resemble, all we really know is that a star dimmed a little. Kepler 'stares' at one section of sky for extended periods and looks for these momentary transits. Kepler 452b, the planet that was just discovered orbits its host start (transits) once every 385 days.

The thing about planet hunting by transit, is that we can only find planets if their orbit happens to take them directly between their host star and Earth. Luckily the Milky way is a relatively flat galaxy, so a statistical majority of star systems formed with similar orientations. But if you go outside at night and look up, then block out the bright band of the Milky Way, you'll find "statistical majority" leaves a LOT of outliers.

We determine an exo-planet's size based on how much light from it's host star is blocked. We determine the mass of large exo-planets by how much they make their host star "wobble" as they orbit it. Since small exo-planets do not have enough mass to make their host stars "wobble" a detectable amount, we determine their mass in multi-planet systems by how they affect the orbits of other planets in the system, by precisely timing the various transit periods of each planet in a system. We've determined the mass of exo-planets down to those about the size of Mars, in multi-planet systems. This can be a slow process, as we only get a data point once per orbit per planet.

These are the habitable-zone exo-planets discovered so far.

Once a planet is suspected, we can focus other higher magnification telescopes on a candidate system and examine spectrograph readings as light passes through the target planet's atmosphere (if there is one) during a transit to potentially determine it's atmospheric composition. So far this technique has mainly been used with short-orbital-period gas giants, not habital-zone rocky planets. But we're working on it...

I love it when NASA presents proof of things that cannot be empirically proven--even in, oh, the next 500 years, or so, give or take a century.. We'll all be dust by then--but fairy tales are fun for every generation, and every generation creates its own fairy tales--built on the dominant culture of the period in every instance. Our "wood sprites" are "alien intelligence's" just dying to contact us..."where no man has gone before..." to show us "amazing thing" and lead us either into paradise or hell. Sure sounds familiar...

I love it when NASA presents proof of things that cannot be empirically proven--even in, oh, the next 500 years, or so, give or take a century.. We'll all be dust by then--but fairy tales are fun for every generation, and every generation creates its own fairy tales--built on the dominant culture of the period in every instance. Our "wood sprites" are "alien intelligence's" just dying to contact us..."where no man has gone before..." to show us "amazing thing" and lead us either into paradise or hell. Sure sounds familiar...

Yeah this. About once a year now they have these HUUUGE press conferences about amazing finds and in reality its all theory that this planet is what it is, other than the fact is may lie in the 'goldilock' zone.

I love it when NASA presents proof of things that cannot be empirically proven--even in, oh, the next 500 years, or so, give or take a century.. We'll all be dust by then--but fairy tales are fun for every generation, and every generation creates its own fairy tales--built on the dominant culture of the period in every instance. Our "wood sprites" are "alien intelligence's" just dying to contact us..."where no man has gone before..." to show us "amazing thing" and lead us either into paradise or hell. Sure sounds familiar...

Um, what? NASA didn't say they've found life elsewhere in the universe. They've just found an interesting exoplanet, a rocky planet withing the zone which allow liquid water, and it's been there long enough to allow life to evolve into existence should the other conditions are met. They are not saying all necessary ingredients are present, but it has a met some important conditions, enough to make it interesting among all the exoplanets we've found so far. If there's a planet worthy of further scrutiny, these are the ones you will pick from, so it's important to look for them now, even if we do not yet have the technology to do further study, or to take the next step.

These are not fairy tales written in text by someone, these are observations of the universe we're living in.

Depends how quickly we introduce religion over there

Hate much?

I could blame even more problems on lack of religion. (i.e. communism)

I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on Defense than the Federal Bureaucracy's Scientific propaganda arm. They are whores who will go sniffing for dollars. The sudden optimistic approach to discovering and acknowledging planets especially 'earth-like' planets is to give all the nerds fantasies about meeting Vulcan's so they can get more funding.

In the words of a Vulcan, your statement is not logical. These "whores" working with funding and support from the Federal Bureaucracy created the most destructive weapon known to human science. As a child of the Cold War it is hand to forget.

I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on Defense than the Federal Bureaucracy's Scientific propaganda arm. They are whores who will go sniffing for dollars. The sudden optimistic approach to discovering and acknowledging planets especially 'earth-like' planets is to give all the nerds fantasies about meeting Vulcan's so they can get more funding.

Why not just put your money in the shredder?

Um, what? NASA didn't say they've found life elsewhere in the universe. They've just found an interesting exoplanet, a rocky planet withing the zone which allow liquid water, and it's been there long enough to allow life to evolve into existence should the other conditions are met. They are not saying all necessary ingredients are present, but it has a met some important conditions, enough to make it interesting among all the exoplanets we've found so far. If there's a planet worthy of further scrutiny, these are the ones you will pick from, so it's important to look for them now, even if we do not yet have the technology to do further study, or to take the next step.

These are not fairy tales written in text by someone, these are observations of the universe we're living in.

Those news were interesting, but IMO paled in comparison to recent Pluto findings. Those, to me, were really mindblowing.
Hubble's deep field shots were even more spectacular.

But an exoplanet 1400 lightyears away, however, meh!

Depends on how you define "space exploration". Are you just including NASA itself...or the myriad of contractors NASA calls on like Boeing, Lockheed, Northrup-Grumman, Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney....

But if money given to those contractors benefits NASA and space exploration, then it is a bonus.
If you dedicate a large chunk of the defense budgets to projects like the F-22 and unicorns like the F-35, then where is the bonus? Especially, with cost overruns. And sadly enough the taxpayer keep paying for those, instead of having defense contractors eat the cost due to either lying about the true costs or just poor cost analysis.

Well I would like to think we as a human race might do a solid, and stop and pick up the slow ass people on their way to whatever planet, so they don't have to take their time I mean I remember an episode of Star Trek: TNG where something similar happened, however the stasis ship thingy was "lost" which explains why they never woke them up.

You're approaching the problem the wrong way.

What we need is find the ability to fold space around us, while we - the travelers - stay still in any given point in space!

Come on... there's got to be a way!

This planet is a perfect example of why we shouldn't be expecting aliens to show up, pretty much ever. Even if intelligent life developed on it, given its age and the likely amount of time a high-tech society would last there is basically zero chance of intelligent high-tech life being on that planet at this time... And statistically that will be the case for literally ever planet we find.

Below is my explanation of why we will never be visited, or visit, or even receive communications from, aliens, all done using numbers that are pretty darn generous towards the idea of finding aliens:

The largest estimate that I have found of the number of planets in the habitable zone of all stars in our galaxy is 45.5 billion. Lets generously more than double that to 100 billion.
Lets then assume 10% have the other basic necessities for life, and 10% of those develop life. That is 1 billion planets that develop life.
Now lets assume that 10% of those develop intelligent life. And lets assume 10% of those spend an average of 10,000 years as high-tech societies (where we are now + another 9,900 years of further advancement, some nuke themselves into oblivion in the first 100 years, some last 20k+ years), and also lets assume that 1% of the planets with intelligent life achieve an average of 100,000 years as high-tech societies. That is 10 million long-lasting high-tech societies and 1 million very long lasting high-tech societies...

That is 100 billion years of intelligent high-tech societies spread across the galaxy, but we have forgetten one important thing, TIME. So lets also set a time frame on this for all of the above numbers of 1 billion years. That is 100 billion years of intelligent life in any given 1 billion year period. 100 billion years divided by 1 billion years results in 100 high-tech societies in existence at any given time in our entire galaxy.

Our galaxy is (generously as always) about 2 billion square light years in size. That means an average of one high-tech society at any time per 20 million square light years. However, the center of our galaxy is 100 times denser than our local area, which means there would be only one per 2 billion square light years in our area vs one per 200,000 square light years in the center. This means that in the center of our galaxy the average distance between high-tech planets may be as little as 120 light years. However, because our arm of the galaxy is both sparser and more stretched out, the average distance in our area would likely be closer to 8000 light years.

Of course because the galaxy is more dense as you approach the center it is much more likely that the nearest high-tech society is towards the center so that is where we will want to search. However, even if we only look for aliens in the 1/4 of space most facing the center of the galaxy that is still an area of about 110 million square light years, which is a bit ridiculous. More importantly for the same reason it is an utter certainty that the aliens we would be looking for in that area are themselves only looking at the center of the galaxy for aliens. They will be sending signals in all directions, but focusing actual search efforts only towards the center. So they will NEVER find us, and we have almost no chance of finding them because the search area is too large. And of course on the off chance that there are aliens further out in our arm than us, they have WAY more space to search than we do, and we will never be looking for them, and there is almost no chance they will find us.

BUT WAIT!!!! We aren't done yet. We will primarily be searching for aliens by looking for signals of some kind, like Electro-magnetic radition. Whatever signals we search for it is pretty much a given they will be traveling at the speed of light. So if the nearest high-tech society is about 8000 light years away, and we detect a signal from them and immediately send a signal back, they will have to have survived over 16000 years as a high-tech society to receive it, which I personally think is longer than most high-tech societies will last. And of course we will have to last another 8000 years to get a response or visit. There is basically no benefit to be had if that is the limit of our communication and travel, as that will be there limit as well and all we will have is confirmation of something we already know, that aliens exist in our galaxy. Of course if we find a way to travel faster than light then maybe we can get there much faster, meaning their society will only have to have survived for 8000 years after the time they sent the signal we received.... But it is still very long odds on ALL of that happening.

And that is why I think we may as well forget the idea of alien interaction pretty much entirely. If it happens in the next 10,000 years it will be because of science so far beyond our current conception that we shouldn't even bother considering it, or it will be a one in a billion chance that happens by complete and utter blind luck.

Everyone in this forum community will be dead well before they go anywhere beyond Mars lol. I never cared much for space research but I live in a reality where I know it will all equate to absolutely nothing while I'm still alive. Maybe a few dozen generations down the road, it may but I'm sure the earth won't be around for that much longer with the way we treat it .

But if money given to those contractors benefits NASA and space exploration, then it is a bonus.
If you dedicate a large chunk of the defense budgets to projects like the F-22 and unicorns like the F-35, then where is the bonus? Especially, with cost overruns. And sadly enough the taxpayer keep paying for those, instead of having defense contractors eat the cost due to either lying about the true costs or just poor cost analysis.

Good point. There should be a clause saying that if you go beyond a certain limit, the amount of funds the contractor gets quickly begins to dwindle. Light a fire behind their tails to get the work they agreed to done.

They intentionally take longer because they know the government will give them whatever money they need in the name of"national security". Plus why would the government back out of a partially finished project? The F35 contractors has the US government by the balls.

I hope those contractors never get another contract in future from the US government because they don't deserve it. Unfortunately, I am sure there are many members of Congress and the military that have been paid off.. sadly..

This planet is a perfect example of why we shouldn't be expecting aliens to show up, pretty much ever. Even if intelligent life developed on it, given its age and the likely amount of time a high-tech society would last there is basically zero chance of intelligent high-tech life being on that planet at this time... And statistically that will be the case for literally ever planet we find.

Below is my explanation of why we will never be visited, or visit, or even receive communications from, aliens, all done using numbers that are pretty darn generous towards the idea of finding aliens:

The largest estimate that I have found of the number of planets in the habitable zone of all stars in our galaxy is 45.5 billion. Lets generously more than double that to 100 billion.
Lets then assume 10% have the other basic necessities for life, and 10% of those develop life. That is 1 billion planets that develop life.
Now lets assume that 10% of those develop intelligent life. And lets assume 10% of those spend an average of 10,000 years as high-tech societies (where we are now + another 9,900 years of further advancement, some nuke themselves into oblivion in the first 100 years, some last 20k+ years), and also lets assume that 1% of the planets with intelligent life achieve an average of 100,000 years as high-tech societies. That is 10 million long-lasting high-tech societies and 1 million very long lasting high-tech societies...

That is 100 billion years of intelligent high-tech societies spread across the galaxy, but we have forgetten one important thing, TIME. So lets also set a time frame on this for all of the above numbers of 1 billion years. That is 100 billion years of intelligent life in any given 1 billion year period. 100 billion years divided by 1 billion years results in 100 high-tech societies in existence at any given time in our entire galaxy.

Our galaxy is (generously as always) about 2 billion square light years in size. That means an average of one high-tech society at any time per 20 million square light years. However, the center of our galaxy is 100 times denser than our local area, which means there would be only one per 2 billion square light years in our area vs one per 200,000 square light years in the center. This means that in the center of our galaxy the average distance between high-tech planets may be as little as 120 light years. However, because our arm of the galaxy is both sparser and more stretched out, the average distance in our area would likely be closer to 8000 light years.

Of course because the galaxy is more dense as you approach the center it is much more likely that the nearest high-tech society is towards the center so that is where we will want to search. However, even if we only look for aliens in the 1/4 of space most facing the center of the galaxy that is still an area of about 110 million square light years, which is a bit ridiculous. More importantly for the same reason it is an utter certainty that the aliens we would be looking for in that area are themselves only looking at the center of the galaxy for aliens. They will be sending signals in all directions, but focusing actual search efforts only towards the center. So they will NEVER find us, and we have almost no chance of finding them because the search area is too large. And of course on the off chance that there are aliens further out in our arm than us, they have WAY more space to search than we do, and we will never be looking for them, and there is almost no chance they will find us.

BUT WAIT!!!! We aren't done yet. We will primarily be searching for aliens by looking for signals of some kind, like Electro-magnetic radition. Whatever signals we search for it is pretty much a given they will be traveling at the speed of light. So if the nearest high-tech society is about 8000 light years away, and we detect a signal from them and immediately send a signal back, they will have to have survived over 16000 years as a high-tech society to receive it, which I personally think is longer than most high-tech societies will last. And of course we will have to last another 8000 years to get a response or visit. There is basically no benefit to be had if that is the limit of our communication and travel, as that will be there limit as well and all we will have is confirmation of something we already know, that aliens exist in our galaxy. Of course if we find a way to travel faster than light then maybe we can get there much faster, meaning their society will only have to have survived for 8000 years after the time they sent the signal we received.... But it is still very long odds on ALL of that happening.

And that is why I think we may as well forget the idea of alien interaction pretty much entirely. If it happens in the next 10,000 years it will be because of science so far beyond our current conception that we shouldn't even bother considering it, or it will be a one in a billion chance that happens by complete and utter blind luck.

But have they listened to Led Zappelin. House of the Holy. Atlantic, 1973. Vinyl.

But have they listened to Led Zeppelin. House of the Holy. Atlantic, 1973. Vinyl.

They should listen to White Zombie. Welcome to Planet Motherfucker. Geffen, 1992. Compact Disc. Would be a much more accurate explanation of humans on Earth.

Total NASA adjusted spend from 1958-2014 is like \$ 538,415,000,000.

That would be less than a Trillion, a Trillion would look something like this 1,000,000,000,000.

For example in 2014 NASA's budget was 17,647 Million which represents .50% of federal spend.
1% of Federal spend would have been 35,294,000,000.
10% would be 352,940,000,000
and 100% would be 3,529,400,000,000

Seems like the public sector is involved now, let them foot the bill for future space
exploration. The government should only be involved for defense purposes and research.

Seems like the public sector is involved now, let them foot the bill for future space
exploration. The government should only be involved for defense purposes and research.

A Weyland-Yutani type of corporation was the first thing that popped into mind

This planet is a perfect example of why we shouldn't be expecting aliens to show up, pretty much ever. ....

What's to say a planet wouldn't develop intelligent life multiple times?
As you say, it's a matter of time. Natural disaster or technological disaster might wipe out an advanced civilization, but as we've seen in the fossil record here on Earth, once life has a hold on a rock, it can survive a lot. No reason to think a biosphere that developed an intelligent species once wouldn't do so again after a mass extinction event and millions or billions of years..

Also, the center of the galaxy is not terribly hospitable to life, too much ionizing radiation, wrong host star types, many binary or trinary systems, lower chance for long periods of time in the goldilocks zone.

A Weyland-Yutani type of corporation was the first thing that popped into mind

I was thinking more along these lines.

http://www.spacex.com/

But wait, our socialist government doesn't believe in competition....

This planet is a perfect example of why we shouldn't be expecting aliens to show up, pretty much ever. Even if intelligent life developed on it, given its age and the likely amount of time a high-tech society would last there is basically zero chance of intelligent high-tech life being on that planet at this time... And statistically that will be the case for literally ever planet we find.

How do you know that? You have no basis for making any claims about the likely amount of time the average high tech society would last, you have one data point.

The largest estimate that I have found of the number of planets in the habitable zone of all stars in our galaxy is 45.5 billion.

What is habitable? You only have one data point.

...That is 100 billion years of intelligent high-tech societies spread across the galaxy, but we have forgetten one important thing, TIME. So lets also set a time frame on this for all of the above numbers of 1 billion years. That is 100 billion years of intelligent life in any given 1 billion year period. 100 billion years divided by 1 billion years results in 100 high-tech societies in existence at any given time in our entire galaxy.

More assumptions... You have one data point.

You also seem to have ignored the fact that highly advaced civilizations are not limited to one star. Even with measly nuclear pulse propulsion we could reach the nearest stars to the sun in 40-50 years. That doesn't seem like an insurmountable goal for a civilization not much more advanced than us. Such a civilization could slowly spread across the entire galaxy in less than a million years. For all we know they're already here keeping an eye on us.

BUT WAIT!!!! We aren't done yet. We will primarily be searching for aliens by looking for signals of some kind, like Electro-magnetic radition.

No, not necessarily. It's possible to determine the atmospheric composition of a planet via spectroscopy. As larger telescopes are coming on line we're able to do this with smaller and smaller exoplanets. If we find a terrestrial planet with a dense oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere that would be a pretty solid sign of life, there are no other known chemical processes that could generate such an atmosphere. We could look for these planets now with the right hardware. Given the resistance to funding radio/laser SETI projects I would expect that sort of discovery to be made first.

Whatever signals we search for it is pretty much a given they will be traveling at the speed of light. So if the nearest high-tech society is about 8000 light years away, and we detect a signal from them and immediately send a signal back, they will have to have survived over 16000 years as a high-tech society to receive it, which I personally think is longer than most high-tech societies will last.

Good for you. You're making an awful lot of assumptions based on one data point.

And of course we will have to last another 8000 years to get a response or visit. There is basically no benefit to be had if that is the limit of our communication and travel

By that logic archaeologists and historians are worthless, they don't even have long-distance two way communication with their subjects.

And that is why I think we may as well forget the idea of alien interaction pretty much entirely. If it happens in the next 10,000 years it will be because of science so far beyond our current conception that we shouldn't even bother considering it, or it will be a one in a billion chance that happens by complete and utter blind luck.

I think Carl Sagan identified the real reason many people discount the possibility of extraterrestrial life based on next to no evidence:

Finding life beyond Earth  particularly intelligent life  wrenches at our secret hope that Man is the pinnacle of Creation.

The only thing we can say for certain about extraterrestrial life is that it's possible.

What's to say a planet wouldn't develop intelligent life multiple times?
As you say, it's a matter of time. Natural disaster or technological disaster might wipe out an advanced civilization, but as we've seen in the fossil record here on Earth, once life has a hold on a rock, it can survive a lot. No reason to think a biosphere that developed an intelligent species once wouldn't do so again after a mass extinction event and millions or billions of years..

Also, the center of the galaxy is not terribly hospitable to life, too much ionizing radiation, wrong host star types, many binary or trinary systems, lower chance for long periods of time in the goldilocks zone.

You will notice in my extended explanation that I set the time period to 1 billion years. So I allow for the re-rise of intelligence on planets.

As to that specific planet, the point remains unaffected by the re-rise of intelligent life as the total likely lifespan of high-tech societies relative to the life of any given planet is still vanishingly close to 0.

As to the center of the galaxy, the key point is that density out here is relatively very low and it rises as you approach the center, so the point remains that the nearest high-tech society to ours right now is likely thousands of light years away towards the center, and the VAST majority of high-tech societies are, in relative turns, much much closer to the center of the galaxy than to us.

How do you know that? You have no basis for making any claims about the likely amount of time the average high tech society would last, you have one data point.

True. But given that my one data point is less than 100 years old as truly high-tech and has already nearly destroyed itself entirely once, and seems to be rapidly approaching destroying itself entirely again, I think it is a reasonable guess. It doesn't matter though, 10k, 100k, 1000k years... All miniscule relative to the many billions of years a given planet may be able to sustain life.

What is habitable? You only have one data point.

The "Habitable zone", which is what I am talking about, is the zone close enough to the local star to not have all water frozen and far enough away not to have all water boil away, and only around stars that are otherwise not likely to kill off all life near them. So admittedly we are talking about habitable for water-based beings, and ignoring the possibility of a species so entirely different from ours that it is not dependent on water at all, but it is a pretty reasonable assumption to work from.

More assumptions... You have one data point.

I agree. I am assuming the crap out of this. But please feel free to double or quadruple a few of my assumptions if you like to make yourself happier. You will still end up with alien encounters being ridiculously unlikely.

You also seem to have ignored the fact that highly advaced civilizations are not limited to one star. Even with measly nuclear pulse propulsion we could reach the nearest stars to the sun in 40-50 years. That doesn't seem like an insurmountable goal for a civilization not much more advanced than us. Such a civilization could slowly spread across the entire galaxy in less than a million years. For all we know they're already here keeping an eye on us.

That is certainly mathematically possible via exponential expansion without FTL if the issue of surviving such trips has been resolved (which we are in fact not even vaguely close to doing for a 50LY trip, in fact we have absolutely no idea how we will ever be able to overcome some of the most basic technical challenges, like collision with space dust at a significant fraction of light speed. It will take a civilization MUCH more advanced than ours is now to make even that 50LY trip entirely unmanned in less than 5000 years). But enough about us... Assuming some society elsewhere in the galaxy long ago figured out how to send 50k people 100LY at a top speed of just 50% of light speed, then it is likely to take around 400k years of steady expansion for that society to propigate to all habitable worlds in the galaxy. Of course something like 80% of that time will be spent trying to spread out in the sparser outer 50% of the galaxy, because the center 50% will be full up in less than 100k of those 400k years.

However, there is a problem. If the above expansion were really possible then it would already have happened, and we know it hasn't happened, so it therefore it is not possible. We know it hasn't happened because if it happened a long time ago they, or signs of them, would be here right now, and if it was at all well into happening now then we should have detected signs of life from some of the billions of inhabited planets in the galaxy by now. And of course if it hasn't happened by now then it isn't likely to happen at all because there have been billions of years for it to happen in already, so if it was at all reasonably possible it would have happened.

No, not necessarily. It's possible to determine the atmospheric composition of a planet via spectroscopy. As larger telescopes are coming on line we're able to do this with smaller and smaller exoplanets. If we find a terrestrial planet with a dense oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere that would be a pretty solid sign of life, there are no other known chemical processes that could generate such an atmosphere. We could look for these planets now with the right hardware. Given the resistance to funding radio/laser SETI projects I would expect that sort of discovery to be made first.

Wow... I think I may be wasting my time with you. Lets say we build 1,000 sufficiently powerful spectrographic telescopes and have them each check 1 planet a day that we think might be habitable (Current estimate, 45.5 billion such planets)... It would only take 125,000 years to check all possible planets. Good news though, we are mathematically likely to find our first high-tech society within the first 1,250 years. Of course, as mentioned, that is with 1000 such systems and we don't even have 1 such yet. Maybe in 1000 years we will have 100 of them, but I wouldn't even bet on that because if our goal is expansion we will either have identified all planets close enough to bother with by then and won't be building anywhere near that many, or we will have given up on expansion because of technical infeasibility of setting up a 1000+ year voyage on the off chance of the planet being viable.

Besides the atmosphere checks you describe won't tell us whether intelligent species are "presently" there, and since those checks are based on the time it takes light to travel to earth we would still be better off looking for actual signs of intelligent life like EM, as that travels just as fast, is a clear sign, and won't require a focused check on a specific planet, as we can listen in all directions at once with just two devices, do general triangulation from those two devices, then do precise locating with a single additional device.

Good for you. You're making an awful lot of assumptions based on one data point.

I am not making an assumption here at all. What data point are you even talking about? I said that any signal we would be likely to look for would be traveling at the speed of light. Please enlighten me as to all the FTL forms of communication that you know of to exist...

Taking this one for myself:

By that logic archaeologists and historians are worthless, they don't even have long-distance two way communication with their subjects.

My logic does not lead to that conclusion. Archaeologists and historians deal with the past of our world that is here right now, and what they find tells us a lot about our world today and why we are who and what we are. Communications with an alien species that is likely at best to be at the same technological plateau we are at will be exciting, but with thousands of years of lag time it won't change the world, nor allow us to actually interact with said aliens.

I think Carl Sagan identified the real reason many people discount the possibility of extraterrestrial life based on next to no evidence:

"Finding life beyond Earth  particularly intelligent life  wrenches at our secret hope that Man is the pinnacle of Creation."

That may be the reason for many but it isn't for me. I literally just made the argument that there MUST be other high-tech societies in our galaxy. I am saying they are definitively there and waiting to be found, but we are unlikely to find them before we come to an end, and if we do it won't be in person or with rapid communication systems between us. Not sure how you can get from all that to me discounting the possibility of extraterrestrial life. I am just discounting the possibility of meaningful interaction with them.

The only thing we can say for certain about extraterrestrial life is that it's possible.

Nope, the only thing we can say for certain about extraterrestrial life is that it is definitely out there, and some of it is intelligent, and some of it is high-tech. All this is basically a mathematical certainty at this point.

Nope, the only thing we can say for certain about extraterrestrial life is that it is definitely out there, and some of it is intelligent, and some of it is high-tech. All this is basically a mathematical certainty at this point.

Well I have a Master in mathematics and I have not seen this evidence.
What you may refer to is the Drake equation but the extremely high level of uncertainty in some of the parameters prevent from making any credible prediction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

It seems to me that the only certainty lies in your imagination...

over 8 quadrillion miles away and would take 38 million years to get there..
I say we stick to solving our problems on planet Earth first

over 8 quadrillion miles away and would take 38 million years to get there..
I say we stick to solving our problems on planet Earth first

why must people keep framing this as a diametrically opposing view to "problems on earth?"