Monday, April 05, 2010

Keep Looking

Dry Bones cartoon: SETI Search for intelligence.
The Guardian:
March 29, 2010:
"Since April 1960 the astronomer Frank Drake and his colleagues in Seti, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, have been listening for signals from those other, so-far invisible planets that surely must be orbiting those stars that are strewn across 100,000 light years of space.

And what have they heard? The random fizz and splutter of the accidental noise from pulsars and quasars, from hot gas and cold dust and exploding stars: otherwise, nothing. The sound of extraterrestrial life is the sound of silence . . .

. . .Is there silence because extraterrestrials simply do not exist? Are the conditions for the emergence of life so far-fetched, so ludicrously improbable that it happened only once, on one planet orbiting one star in just one galaxy during the whole 13.7-billion-year lifetime of the universe? Or is the universe humming with life, but humming so quietly that we cannot hear it?

If the first proposition is true, then humanity has a lonely responsibility, first not to destroy itself in an ecological or thermonuclear catastrophe, then to outlive its parent sun, and colonise the galaxy. If the second proposition is true, where is everybody?" - more

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