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Extraterrestrial

Alien life discovery will be 'slow and uncertain'

November 9, 2019 | Comment icon 7 comments



Discovering the existence of alien life may be a very slow process. Image Credit: PD - Comfreak / Pixabay
Scientists have warned that an 'aliens landing on the White House lawn' type moment is unlikely to occur.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains one of the biggest philosophical conundrums of our time. While it seems almost inconceivable that our civilization is alone in the cosmos, the fact still remains that we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.

While many people have long anticipated a revolutionary moment of 'first contact' with a benevolent alien race, the reality of the situation is that the realization that we are not alone in the universe is likely to be a gradual process involving a trickle of discoveries and a lot of uncertainty.

It may begin with the discovery of a potentially inhabited world through a powerful telescope or with the finding of traces of microbial life on Mars. It could even begin with SETI picking up a signal.

But that may be all we get for a very long time - a tiny hint of something more, evidence that life may be out there but without any specific details. Most likely we would be left guessing.
"That would be so exciting scientifically," said Kathyrn Denning, an anthropologist at York University in Canada. "But for many people, it just creates a space on which to project."

"Humans, we're not good with holding spaces open. We just fill them with whatever's available."

MIT astronomer Sara Seager holds a similar view.

"It's probably something that's going to be a slow discovery, not like the little green humanoids arriving here on Earth scaring everybody," she said.

"It's probably going to take a long time."

Source: Space.com | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Amanda Evans 3 years ago
They are keeping well away...
Comment icon #2 Posted by spud the mackem 3 years ago
SETI have found what may be habitable earth type planets ,which may be suitable for earth type life ,but we are thinking in earth type thoughts , and there could be civilisations out there who are completely different to us. I don't believe that we are alone in the universe , as there are billions of planets , but even with the speed of light transmissions the distances are so vast that it would take thousands of years even just to communicate with other beings , but if aliens did find a way of transporting themselves to find other planets , we are just a dot in a vast universe . I don't think... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Robotic Jew 3 years ago
Especially with our penchant for destroying ourselves so overwhelming.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ocpaul20 3 years ago
So, the triangular and cigar-shaped craft are either military - in which case we already have this technology, or they are alien - in which case we are being visited already and have been for thousands of years. I, for one, would like to know which of these two alternatives they are, or maybe something else is causing these craft to be silently whizzing around the sky?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Silver_Raven 3 years ago
Considering the stuff we've broadcast over the years, both fiction and non fiction, I'd question the actual intelligence and/or sanity of any species that would willingly try contacting us if they had the choice. A lot of killing an violence, discrimination of others within our own species, etc. What sane, intelligent being would want to contact a species like that. Think about it, there are quite a few broadcast made over the years, TV shows, news reports, etc., that depict discrimination between humans, and frequently violence tied to it, what would another species think we would do to them ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by ocpaul20 3 years ago
It really depends on how advanced they are. If they are far advanced wrt humans, then they would have no fear since they have superior technology. Maybe this is why there is so little obvious contact and why they often try to keep it low-key. It could of course be because they want to remain hidden and possibly have a sinister agenda. I do not think we would be told if the governments did make contact with them, and some people say we have already.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hazzard 3 years ago
... with the stupendus distance between stars chances are that they are to far away, if they exist at all?


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