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What if SETI found evidence of alien life ?

Posted on Tuesday, 22 May, 2012 | Comment icon 23 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Hajor, Wikimedia

By Offeiriad, Staff News Writer

How would the world react if SETI found evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe ?

Founded in 1984 and based on a premise first realised in a 1960 experiment by Frank Drake called "Project Ozma", SETI is widely recognised as the official face of the hunt for intelligent alien life. The search might have come up empty so far, but if evidence of extraterrestrials was to be discovered, how would people react to it ? Would there be a breakdown of society as we know it and would the government even reveal the information to begin with ?

Some conspiracy theorists argue that if conclusive evidence was ever found then it would be kept quiet at all costs, SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak however is unconvinced that this would be the case. "There are a lot of people who think that finding life would be enormously disruptive," he says. "In this country people say, well if you guys find a signal, the government would shut it down, you'd keep it quiet, and the reason given for that is that it would disrupt society. Well there's no evidence for that at all."

"Drake's Project Ozma focused on just two nearby stars, Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani."

  View: Full article |  Source: Guardian Unlimited

  Discuss: View comments (23)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by badeskov on 23 May, 2012, 3:39
It is denoted as having unknown origin. There was not enough time to eliminate/verify terrestrial origins, so we simply do not know - unfortunately. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #15 Posted by nephilim12 on 23 May, 2012, 5:44
is it true the Vatican issued a statement acknowledging the fact that life is present elsewhere, while also asserting this doesn't affect our faith. I'm looking into this. If it's true, then certainly they are privy to some startling information which is at best announced in a very veiled manner, but that only the blind and dumb would not take seriously. Will get back. Anything guys ?
Comment icon #16 Posted by 747400 on 23 May, 2012, 6:50
In the beginning, don't forget, God created the heavens and the Earth. Even if the Chosen People really are the Chosen People, that doesn't mean that has to be in relation to the whole universe. One planet would be quite enough for all practical purposes. So i don't really think there need be any problems at all from a biblical point of view.
Comment icon #17 Posted by 747400 on 23 May, 2012, 6:54
I think they put it in hypothetical terms: "if there was life elsewhere".
Comment icon #18 Posted by psyche101 on 23 May, 2012, 8:17
Some people still use the word Sheeple?
Comment icon #19 Posted by bison on 23 May, 2012, 15:01
I had a reply from Dr. Robert Dixon, Director of the Ohio State University SETI program, to an inquiry I made about the 'wow signal', in 1996. I quote from his reply: " The shape of the curve (was) traced out by the intensity as it drifted thru our antenna pattern. It fits the curve perfectly, indicating it is not in the near field of the antenna. If it were an Earth satellite, it would have to be at least at lunar distance to appear fixed in the sky." ***** Satellites at lunar distance are few in number, and were fewer still in 1978, when the 'wow signal' was recei... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by psyche101 on 24 May, 2012, 2:59
I think if it were announced tomorrow that SETI had real honest to goodness proof of alien life that many people would go TOLD YOU SO, many people would get some renweed energy to "dig that old story out" Roswell would probably have the biggest revival in history and plastic alien masks would sell well. Possibly a Betty and Barney Hill movie will get produced by Hollywood. People would go to work, kids would go to school, banks would still collect mortgages, people will go shopping, cook, eat and sleep. Machines will still need to be turned on money will still need to be made, lives ... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by psyche101 on 24 May, 2012, 3:04
Ehman has also considers the likelihood that this might be from another planet - Personally I try to keep up with any developments with the WOW! signal, it is not too hard to be honest, pretty slow going between informational releases there. However, one should keep in mind that the signal (and signal) had a lesson to be learned with regards to a premature conclusion.
Comment icon #22 Posted by bison on 24 May, 2012, 14:37
There were no premature scientific conclusions, as far as I am aware, concerning PSR B1919+21 (LGM-1), the first pulsar discovered, or CTA-102, one of the first quasars known. It was *suggested* that these *could* be extraterrestrial signals, which was perfectly true, based on what was known of them, early on. The TASS news agency made a too positive announcement that the latter source was a beacon of an extraterrestrial civilization, but this was not science, merely careless journalism, something that troubles this field, even today, regardless of the country involved. *****All due honor to... [More]

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