Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way... Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Hajor
SETI has been searching for evidence of alien signals for decades, but what if we're using the wrong technology ?
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.
The Fermi paradox, which highlights the contradiction between the likely existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the fact that we have still never encountered any, seems to suggest that either there are no aliens out there, or they are so rare that it is unlikely we would ever come across them.
But what if the real problem is that we have yet to develop the necessary technology to pick up alien signals ? What if intelligent aliens simply aren't using radio signals to communicate ?
According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Astrobiology
, the greatest chance of detecting an extraterrestrial civilization is likely to be at the point that we discover a novel new form of communication and 'tune in', so to speak, for the first time.
It would be the equivalent of someone with no knowledge of the outside world turning on a radio receiver for the first time and learning that the airwaves are literally teeming with signals.
Perhaps in the future, someone will discover a whole new form of communication that makes sending messages over the vast distances of space more practical.
Imagine what the inventor of that technology might pick up the first time they turn on the receiver.
It could be that, far from being devoid of life, the universe is teeming with signals from countless civilizations using a form of communication that we simply haven't invented yet.
Such a discovery, if we were to make it, would surely revolutionize our view of the cosmos.
Source: Scientific American | Comments (189)
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