Sending a Message to Alien Civilizations
September 22, 2017
Should Earthlings take a more proactive approach in the search for alien civilizations? In this video from ideacity, experts Douglas Vakoch and David Brin discuss the pros and cons of Active SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence), now called METI (Messaging ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence).
SETI has been listening for intelligent signals from other worlds for around 50 years and heard nothing unusual. If other civilizations were looking for evidence of an advanced civilization in our direction, it would be difficult from them to hear anything from our current emissions (TV and radio signals, etc).
In 2018, METI is proposing sending a message with high-powered radio signals, to planets in habitable zones of other star systems. What exactly would be in the message, is up for debate.
Opponents of the idea, say that contacting advanced civilizations could be dangerous, if they are unfriendly. Others ask what right do a few scientists have to speak for all of humanity, especially if it poses an existential risk?
Regardless of your position in the debate, it encourages people on Earth to think about the possibility of other civilizations in the universe and what they could be like--and that is a good thing for our planet and theirs.
SETI - should we transmit? - Youtube (6:34)
Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.) - New York Times
Image by Yasir999 via Wikimedia
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