Dialing for Intergalactic Dangers


| 12/21/2007 3:09:52 PM


Spinning restlessly in the starry loneliness of space, the Earth seems a blue refuge in an uninhabited void. The urge to reach outside this void and find life beyond Earth has spurred the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. Some SETI projects point large radio telescopes up to the heavens to scan inter-stellar radio waves for signs of intelligence. Some scientists have gone further, Seed magazine reports, actively courting the attention of alien life by broadcasting messages into the stars.

Scientists call it “Active SETI,” and a controversy surrounding the practice has broken out in the upper echelons of the SETI community. The debate mulls over some important ethical questions: Who can speaks for Earth on an intergalactic scale? What should Earth say to the heavens? And, possibly the most worrisome of all, should we be courting the attention of aliens at all?

Brendan Mackie

 

A.M.R._2
1/2/2008 10:39:05 AM

Go for it! SETI has been in business for a relatively long time. We've been sending up signals to space including time capsules w/messages for a relatively long time. This is not really new or news and it's too late to turn back now since we've been doing this for awhile already. If nothing else we've left plenty of space junk "out there" for others to find, our own little humanized trail of mechanical bread crumbs... And frankly who's to say "they" haven't already found us? We have always been explorers looking both within and without. It's in our nature to do so.


A.M.R._1
1/2/2008 10:38:31 AM

Go for it! SETI has been in business for a relatively long time. We've been sending up signals to space including time capsules w/messages for a relatively long time. This is not really new or news and it's too late to turn back now since we've been doing this for awhile already. If nothing else we've left plenty of space junk "out there" for others to find, our own little humanized trail of mechanical bread crumbs... And frankly who's to say "they" haven't already found us? We have always been explorers looking both within and without. It's in our nature to do so.


Rick Raab-Faber
1/1/2008 9:22:11 AM

Well, since we've really got nothing to compare our record to, who is to say whether we are better or worse than the "aliens"? Just because they may be technologically superior to us does not make them necessarily socially or morally superior. If we would just take a big slice of what we spend on defense, we could fund our schools (Yayyy! No more candy sales), health care systems, and social security. Then we'd really have a message to broadcast to those aliens. Heather is right that we need to look within first. She's wrong about eschewing capital letters at the start of a sentence, but she's right about where our focus should be.




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