The nice thing about SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) projects is that it makes very little difference if we don’t find anything. It’s not as though any conclusion can be drawn from a failure to find anything. We will just indulge in another round of speculations as to why we don’t. It’s not always clear why this is a science and not a religion. But hey.
We never found any aliens and Wired’s nostalgia piece can’t, understandably, address that. Of course space exploration will still be worthwhile but the central myth of our time—that superior space aliens will change everything for us—has come up empty.
Well, the state of computing has certainly changed but, after so many years of no Contact, the magic has probably also gone out of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. Also, to use the “Woke” approach that is becoming increasingly popular in popular science, why should SETI get to say what is and isn’t a valid search for ET? Why should SETI control the narrative? Can’t everyone have or be their own ET? Sow the wind…
Only trolls truly disagree that the design inference is worth pursuing—as Dr. Novella demonstrates by not truly disagreeing, when it is something he cares about.
The reader who sent this tip notes, “Consider me skeptical but it’s interesting that design inferences are fine so long as it’s just aliens…” Actually, reader, some science personalities will believe darn near anything about anything as long as it IS aliens.
Sarah Scoles: Proper science is now more willing to embrace SETI… Don’t just ignore all the outliers as outliers, in other words: Important truth, if not whole truth, can lurk inside of them too.
So if aliens exist, they must be just like us because… evolution. This is a religion. Didn’t say it was a bad religion. But definitely a religion.
It’s curious how space aliens are assigned to “science,” no matter what proposition is entertained with respect to them. Perhaps they reward sheer, blind faith.
At Slate: the artists use music as a way of conveying information, whether it’s about our aesthetic sensibilities, our technology, or our physiology—all topics that would presumably be of interest to an extraterrestrial recipient.
Every so often the people searching for extraterrestrial life that just never seems to turn up need a pep talk. It often takes the form of “You know, we could be on the wrong track”.
Fascinating to be so sure when we have no evidence of any space aliens at all. A religion underlies this, you may be sure.
Not true! We humans more or less invented the whole idea of aliens. Without us, they probably wouldn’t exist even as a story. Just think: There would be no market for ET tales, films, and trade goods except for us humans. Don’t believe me? Try to get clams or termites interested in ET and see what happens…
By some mere cosmic accident, these sudden radiation problems don’t affect us, right?
At ScienceAlerts: This particular mineral connoisseur loves to dine on far more exotic rocks – ones that come from space.
Researcher: Findings suggest that structure alone is not sufficient to confirm whether or not microscopic life-like formations are fossils. More research will be needed to say exactly how they were formed…