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Astronomer: it's 'arrogant' to think we are alone

By T.K. Randall
February 2, 2021 · Comment icon 51 comments

Avi Loeb has become a well known figure in astronomy circles. Image Credit: CC0 Pixabay
The man who believes 'Oumuamua was created by extraterrestrials has talked about his recent experiences.
When the 400-meter-long object - which was found to have come from a distant solar system - flew past our planet back in October 2017, it became the focus of much debate and intrigue.

While most astronomers now agree that 'Oumuamua was a naturally occurring space rock, one astronomer defied this idea, instead insisting that it was a piece of extraterrestrial technology.

Enter Harvard professor Avi Loeb who in 2018 began writing a paper on the interstellar visitor in an effort to explain its various peculiarities and abnormalities.

Unlike his peers, he ultimately reached the conclusion that this was no space rock but a deliberately constructed, artificial device produced by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization.

"I approached this just like any other scientific anomaly," he told The Guardian. "I rule out possibilities and whatever looks the most plausible is what I put out. That's the way science is done."

"You just collect more evidence."
Surprisingly, Loeb's unorthodox conclusion regarding the nature and origin of 'Oumuamua quickly saw him become a topic of interest in the press, with his findings appearing in numerous news outlets.

On one occasion while on his way to a conference in Berlin, he was approached by a TV crew.

"They said, 'We have to ask: Do you think we're alone in the universe?'" he recalled.

In response, he said: "A quarter of all stars host a planet the size and surface area of the Earth. It would be arrogant to think we are alone."

He has since detailed his experiences in a new book - 'Extraterrestrial' - which is out on February 4th.

"I'm not arguing we know for sure it was an artificial object," he said. "I'm saying it's a reasonable plausibility based on the evidence. And since we can't chase this one, we should do the next best thing, which is to find similar objects."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (51)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by White-Coyote 3 years ago
well the biggest reason we don't try harder to get to a planet that may have life is it would take to long, couldn't brag to our buddies because they would be dead.... and so would we...short attention span.... Lol
Comment icon #43 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
? I don't make assumptions. Even as humans we all are intelligent in very different ways. This is like the example of climbing a tree being the intelligence test. Of course the squirrel will win while we call the fish and hippo stupid, but it doesn't account for the fact that we are all different and able in our own ways. It's a bit far fetched to assume we are "more intelligent" than elephants or whales because we are the more aggressive destructive species. Either way none of this was my point. My post quoted and responded to a comment describing intelligent life as human. It was overreachin... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
For example how many species can speak english or communicate in our language? : According to google, bats, elephants, seals, cetaceans like dolphins and whales, parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds can communicate in english.  But I don't think that is the limit, many of us have seen dogs and cats attempt it. Adversely most of the learn and understand english words. In fact do you know cats only meow to communicate with us? Not with each other. And yet people consider themselves the pinnacle when most of us can't understand their speech. The average person just assumes all their sounds are ... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by josellama2000 3 years ago
We should ask "What is the point of thinking that there are life in other planets of the Universe?". The point shown in the article is directed disinformation. We should ask what are the motivations of the article's author. According to the article, Avi Loeb "ultimately reached the conclusion that this was no space rock but a deliberately constructed, artificial device produced by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization" Using the belief that "there must be life in the universe because it is vast" as argument to determine that we have been visited by small green men is fallacious.  
Comment icon #46 Posted by joc 3 years ago
Well, the thing is though see, you cannot prove a 'what if'.    But let's play the 'what if' game.   What if the planet Earth...orbiting a non-significant star, in a non-significant galaxy, in a non-significant quadrant of the Universe, surrounded by Trillions of other galaxies, each having billions of stars (our math then would involve multiplying trillions x billions, which involves numbers neither my brain nor my calculator can grasp) is the only place in the entire Universe that has any life forms at all....what if that is the case?  What does that mean in real terms?  I think for on... [More]
Comment icon #47 Posted by joc 3 years ago
I think  you can prove things by rational thought process and elimination by probability.  I will give you that a fact must be proven...but I think that proof is more than just ...look, see what I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands.  Life does exist on earth.  Fact.  Statistically, life therefore lives somewhere else in the universe.  I'm going with Fact on that as well.  In fact, I think the probability is so overwhelming to say it isn't a fact is incorrect.  
Comment icon #48 Posted by Trelane 3 years ago
Humans are easily the most intelligent creature on this planet. The mere fact of how we are debating this highlights that fact. I think you are confusing basic abilities with quantifiable intelligence. A squirrel climbs in order to escape predators, establish nesting areas, and searching for food sources. These items while useful as a tool for a species survival does not denote a high level of intelligence. The destructive nature of humans is admittedly abhorrent but we are no different that any other animal in destructive tendencies. We are able to observe and understand ours far better than ... [More]
Comment icon #49 Posted by josellama2000 3 years ago
Somebody ask you "Were you alone when in the dessert in the Spring of 2019?" Your answer, "No I was not alone, there were 7.4 Billions human on earth, and an uncountable ETs in the Universe"
Comment icon #50 Posted by Dejarma 3 years ago
as I said earlier- i totally agree with the probability but it is correct to say it's not fact, highly highly likely but not fact, well not yet anyway.  Hope springs eternal 
Comment icon #51 Posted by Golden Duck 3 years ago
Which all amounts to a guess.  A reasonable guess, but a guess nevertheless.

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