Extraterrestrial

SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, has a new director.

For 25 years, scientists in Mountain View, California have been manning listening stations, hoping not to miss the moment aliens make contact with us humans. The place is known as the SETI Institute. It was inspired by the famed astronomer Carl Sagan. And the idea was to use radio telescopes to listen to the cosmos just in case.

Sagan’s first doctoral student was David Morrison, and this week he took over as the new head of the institute’s Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe.

I still miss Carl Sagan. I guess if he were alive now he’d have to invent a force field to repel all the political mud that rains on anyone who is too reality-based. Good luck to David Morrison, it would really rock if he actually got the extraterrestrial station of NPR. To read the interview live from planet Earth, go here.

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One response

  1. Donald Wolberg | Reply

    George Gaylord Simpson, one of the most significant scientists in the last 100 years, used to say that exobiology was a science in search of a subject. Evolution is not directional, it is opportunistic and so random, that there is almost zero probability that anything like the history of life on this planet would be duplicated elsewhere. Although the folks in Roswell have an annual ET festival and even a museum, the sad fact is that life in the universe is so far represented by a sample size of one, planet Earth. Where or not intelligent life exists on Earth is a question I leave to far more capable people than myself, but there is absolutely zero evidence of life of any kind anywhere up to now. It is not even certain if we would recognize living forms as being “alive” anywhere else, never mind questing for “intelligence.” “I Love Lucy” and “Lassie” television programs have been beaming outwards for some 50 years or more now, and Orson Wells’ Martian invasion radio broadcast left Earth 70 years ago. However, no extraterrestrial equivalent broadcast has reached us, so we can’t be sure if they have situation comedies or science fiction. It may well be a very lonely universe!

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