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Boldly go, and forget about the current ET buzz

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From John Wenz at Astronomy News:

It’s (probably) not aliens, yet again.

The slightest whiff of aliens is enough to send the public into a frenzy. There have been quiet rumblings after a pre-print paper was released on ArXiv from two French-Canadian researchers who interpreted certain sky signal data to be possibly of intelligent extraterrestrial origin.


“Apparently several — more than three or four — referees have been disinclined to see this published,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute says in an email. “I am quite skeptical, in particular of the data processing that can take spectrally sampled data, and infer time variations. So I’d be a little careful.”More.

We can be sure that if there were anything in the most recent claim, SETI would be backing it, ot disowning it, as now.

The putative signals come from data in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey:

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has created the most detailed three-dimensional maps of the Universe ever made, with deep multi-color images of one third of the sky, and spectra for more than three million astronomical objects. Learn and explore all phases and surveys—past, present, and future—of the SDSS.

See also: World’s largest telescope to hunt for alien life


How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there? No one is saying he isn’t out there. But what if we are simply not able to grapple with the idea?

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But is human unexceptionalism(?) a critical part of Darwinian ideology?
They don't get the idea that "humans are nothing but primitive stardust on an unremarkable rock around an unremarkable star" from nowhere. Vy
Regarding Mike1962's comment, I have to say that, like him if I understand him correctly, I'm not sure of the relevance of human exceptionalism to ID (and ID is something I firmly support). Not that there's not strong evidence for human exceptionalism. My response to the latest "nothing special" posts was "of course we're nothing special. I just talked with a bonabo yesterday and he said I was nothing special. Who am I to argue?" But is human unexceptionalism(?) a critical part of Darwinian ideology? And does the idea that other planets can't support life necessarily support ID? Or is human exceptionalism an altogether different issue -- perhaps related to the cultural issue of how scientism degrades life but not about ID per se? hnorman5
Popular British physicist Brian Cox (materialist) believes the reason we can't detect any life out there is because it is all dead. He theorizes that anywhere life arises will inevitably advance in such a fashion that it will eventually develop weapons that will wipe itself out. So much for 'survival of the fittest' then :) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3829584/Aliens-haven-t-contact-killed-like-says-stargazing-TV-professor-Brian-Cox.html PeterJ
I cannot speak for management, but my own personal reluctance to endorse the idea is based on a number of things. Like the multiverse, I have zero actual observed evidence of ETs. And all eager beaver claims so far have turned out to be false alarms. Can't think of a religious reason to oppose the idea, though... EDTA
Not sure why the management here is so against ET. Is it a religious thing? Please explain. mike1962

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