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Astronomer: We’re too dumb to think space object Oumuamua was extraterrestrial lightsail

Could 'Oumuamua be an extra-terrestrial solar sail?
Artist’s impression of interstellar asteroid/comet, Oumuamua /ESO, M. Kornmesser

The astronomer who identified space object Oumuamua as an extgraterrrestrial light sail tells us, “ Given our sloppy behavior in transmitting signals to outer space without restraint, we can only hope that we have not become the laughingstock of our galactic neighbourhood by now:

If other civilizations do exist, one key in becoming aware of them is whether we are intelligent enough to adequately interpret their signals or to identify a piece of their technology if it should appear in our solar system. One fact is clear: if we assign a zero prior probability for such evidence coming our way, as some scientists did in the case of ‘Oumuamua by invoking the principle “it’s never aliens,” we will indeed never find any. We will be like ostriches burying our heads in the sand.

In fact, this attitude may be one sign that our intelligence isn’t very impressive—that the human race as a whole suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which those with mediocre abilities insist that they’re unusually talented or smart …

As natural as this suggestion to search might seem, however it is evident that SETI faces a hostile mainstream culture in astronomy. The simple proposal to consider the possibility that ‘Oumumua is technological debris as an explanation for its unusual properties, for example was met with controversy on social media.Abraham Loeb, “Are We Really the Smartest Kid on the Cosmic Block?” at Scientific American

Hmmm. In the real world, when you are an only child so far as you know, it is hard to compare yourself to your siblings. Few readily accept criticism for failure to measure up to the standards of imaginary beings.

Note: The “Dunning-Kruger effect”? For more, from a somewhat different perspective, see Michael Egnor’a “Scientism is not a cure for stupidity—But never mind, quite a few science savants have rushed in fearlessly” It turns out that there is academic research on stupidity (but probably only special savants understand it).

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See also: Astronomers: Solar System Object In Transit, Oumuamua, Might Be A “Light Sail Of Extra-Terrestrial Origin”

Why Some Scientists Saw Asteroid Oumuamua As ET

Why can top scientists get away with extraordinary claims?


“Tales of an Invented God. Why They must be Out There.

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“ a pressing question comes to mind: were they or are they more intelligent than we are?” Are we?PeterA
March 6, 2019
06:59 AM

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