After March 31, a bunch of amateur alien hunters will regain some personal computing power. The Berkeley SETI Research Center announced Monday that SETI@home, the two-decades-old crowdsourcing effort to hunt for signs of E.T. in radio telescope data using internet-connected computers, is shutting down at the end of the month.
The home-based search for extraterrestrial intelligence project was launched from University of California, Berkeley, back in 1999 — when the internet was still a relatively new thing to many people and the term crowdsourcing had not yet been coined…
“Scientifically, we’re at the point of diminishing returns; basically, we’ve analyzed all the data we need for now,” reads a post to the SETI@home website and forum. “It’s a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper.”Eric Mack, “SETI@home to shut down after two decades of crowdsourced alien hunting” at CNet
We are told “it’s work is done.” And no aliens were heard from.
We heard plenty about aliens but nothing from them.
Some point to a curious double standard:
These same scientists looking for coded information signals would never admit that such signals have already been found right here on Earth, encoded in the DNA of life! Yet, coded DNA is not known to arise from non-living matter either (it is simply assumed). A signal that contained a language code would be easily recognizable as coming from an intelligent source. So, it appears they have set the bar pretty low by looking for a metric of “pulsed signals”,3 as in regularly repeating blips for example. (But to avoid the false positive of a pulsar, the pulses would need to vary in time or frequency. Yet even this low bar has not been climbed.) By the way—we can say for sure that DNA does also include this (and obviously much more)!Paul Price and Gary Bates, “SETI@home project closing down” at Creation.com
Yes, of course. But “science” has come to mean inventing endless creative explanations for why the space aliens must be out there while ignoring the intelligence embedded in nature.
See also: Astronomers hope to wring their space aliens from Bayesian analysis. In the real world, we are hoping to find fossil bacteria on Mars. There may or may not be fossil bacteria on Mars but the search feels more like (real) science.