Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Wired’s take on the shutdown of SETI@home


Mostly bubbles and joy:

In 1995, the computer scientist David Gedye had an idea that could only originate at a cocktail party. What if the world’s personal computers were linked together on the internet to create a virtual supercomputer that could help with SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? The network would be able to sort through the massive amounts of data being collected by radio telescopes, seeking signals that might point to an alien civilization around another star. A distributed supercomputer sounded outlandish at the time, but within four years, Gedye and his collaborator, computer scientist David Anderson, had built the software to make it a reality. They called it SETI@home.

Daniel Oberhaus, “SETI@Home Is Over. But the Search for Alien Life Continues” at Wired

But 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.

Now what?

See also: SETI @ home shuts down. 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…

I had a really good time with this over on Cornelius Hunter's blog once when I realized , in discussion with a hard core cultist, that any encounter between scientists and SETI-uncovered extraterrestrials would probably send the scientists into missionary mode. Since the extraterrestrials are themselves life, and we all know that the definition of life is 'that' which undergoes Darwinian evolution. That means the poor extraterrestrial would know not their creator and the scientists would be at their wits' ends dealing with such ignorance and turn into missionaries and send the extraterrestrial to school to be indoctrinated into the wisdom. Where the extraterrestrials, not being members of the cult of the 19th century figurehead, would frustrate the scientists with their ignorance and we would have to rename SETI for the history books for what it really turned out to be in the end, that is, the Search for Exterrestrial Ignorance. Because the poor extraterrestrials would be ignorant of what was happening to us and them in real time, which is/was Darwinian evolution groovamos

Leave a Reply