Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about by Michael Michaud

By Michael Michaud

This booklet describes a wide selection of speculations by way of many authors concerning the results for humanity of getting into touch with extraterrestrial intelligence. The assumptions underlying these speculations are tested, and a few conclusions are drawn. As invaluable heritage, the ebook additionally comprises short summaries of the historical past of considering extraterrestrial intelligence, searches for all times and for signs, contrasting paradigms of the way touch may perhaps happen, and the anomaly that these paradigms allegedly create.

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21 Researchers have shown that some amino acids in meteorites can withstand collisions with the Earth. “There’s just no doubt that some of the amino acids survive the impacts,” said biochemist David Deamer. 22 Hoyle and Wickramasinghe argued in a series of books that life on Earth stemmed from a piecing together of prebiotic molecules from outer space. Instead of being the biological center of the Universe, our planet is just an assembly station; no great innovation in biology ever happened here.

We knew that our telescopes might not be able to detect evidence of living things or the artifacts of another civilization at interplanetary distances. If we had confi ned ourselves to peering through our atmosphere, we might have remained forever uncertain; debates could have continued without any prospect of fi nal resolution. The Spacefl ight Revolution gave us new means of searching for life in our solar system. Our machines could observe planets and moons from close orbits, even land to conduct research on their surfaces.

Privatizing SETI The nonprofit SETI Institute, which had been founded in 1984, successfully sought private funding for a revived targeted search. Among the contributors were prominent entrepreneurs of the information revolution, including David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Paul Allen of Microsoft, Gordon Moore of Intel, and Mitchell Kapor of Lotus. 30 Acquiring much of NASA’s SETI equipment, the Institute launched Project Phoenix in 1995, focusing on sunlike stars within 200 light-years of our solar system.

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