Surest proof to date of ET’s existence, that.
At Evolution News & Views, journalist Tom Bethell offers thoughts on why “organized science” longs for ET (dunno that the feeling was ever returned):
Let’s call the offended party Organized Science, in contrast to the oft-criticized Organized Religion. Organized Science longs to find extraterrestrial life. Why so? There are various answers, but the mundane one is indeed funding.
NASA is eager to find extraterrestrial life somewhere because that will increase the agency’s popularity with Congressional committees. Recently, there has been brave talk of privately funded expeditions — and long may those billionaires retain their optimism. But until they buy space capsules and launch them, I’ll remain skeptical.
Congress, meanwhile, is far more likely to fund extraterrestrial sorties to known outposts of life than to barren rocks. The search for taxpayer support is never far from the minds of those who live at the intersection of science and public policy.
Expeditions to planets outside the solar system are not even remotely plausible, thank goodness. Otherwise committees on Capitol Hill might be tempted to plunge us even further into debt. (On the other hand, Science magazine would cheer on such a development. It treats the government funding of science as its #1 issue.)
Another motivation is not at all mundane…
And thereby hangs a tail. More.