Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Seth Shostak

At New Scientist: Our puny human brains can’t imagine alien life

Not true! We humans more or less invented the whole idea of aliens. Without us, they probably wouldn’t exist even as a story. Just think: There would be no market for ET tales, films, and trade goods except for us humans. Don’t believe me? Try to get clams or termites interested in ET and see what happens… Read More ›

Talk about hope springing eternal: 2020 for our history-making alien life find?

It would be marvellous to find aliens out there to talk to, even if they turned to be an awful bore. But there is something suspicious about these statistics. With no single alien ever found, they offer us no history to go by. Read More ›

Still no space aliens? That’s because they are keeping us in a zoo!

Some say it’s time to consider the zoo hypothesis: “They can see us but we can’t see them. The idea revisits a theory proposed in 1973 by radio astronomer John Ball: Ball went further, proposing that we may live in a metaphorical zoo — a kind of cosmic Eden. The aliens of the galaxy have somehow arranged things so that our planet is shielded from them by one-way bars: They can observe us, but we can’t observe them. One nice thing about this conjecture is that it offers a solution to a long-standing puzzle known as Fermi’s Paradox. Broached nearly 70 years ago by physicist Enrico Fermi, it rests on the fact that the universe is very old. Consequently, if Read More ›

SETI reacts to the new study that says not to wait up for extraterrestrials

From SETI’s Seth Shostak, who surely doesn’t welcome this news, at NBC: A recent paper by three researchers at the University of Oxford is throwing shade on those who feel confident that the cosmos is thick with extraterrestrials. … If we own up to the true extent of these uncertainties and do the requisite math, the Oxford study finds that there’s at least a 53 percent chance that we’re alone in the Milky Way and at least a 40 percent chance that we’re alone in the visible universe. Homo sapiens could be the smartest thing going. This result, they claim, melts the Fermi Paradox like butter on a hot griddle — maybe no one has colonized the galaxy because no Read More ›