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The Eerie Laughter

Chris McKay, an astrobiologist with NASA and therefore keenly interested in the search for extraterrestrial life (ET), reviewed Paul Davies recent livre de l’annee, The Eerie Silence. Why is it in this 50th anniversary of the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), we haven’t heard a thing? Chris thinks that Davies’ answer might be that ET has come and gone, leaving us a farewell note in the genome of some otherwise undistinguished critter. My problem with SETI, and apparently Davies as well, is its completely parochial view of communication. As an example, I suggest that we should imagine SETI beginning in 1900. What would it look like? Well, the state-of-the-art in communication technology at the time was telegraph. So it Read More ›