Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence By Seth Shostak

1156 Words 5 Pages
In late August, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute revealed that they had detected a strange signal that was 94 light years away from Earth. During the time of the signal’s discovery, senior astronomer for SETI, Seth Shostak, could only describe the signal as “interesting”. However, he rhetorically asks, “Could it be another society sending a signal our way?” Shostak, like many other scientists who had heard about the mysterious SETI signal, had hoped for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth and its atmosphere.
As it turned out, the signal was nothing more than interference from a military satellite.
While the signal turned out to be a false alarm, it brings into question whether the benefits of an interaction with intelligent, extraterrestrial life outweigh the negative implications that come with meeting a vastly different group of individuals. The debate about whether there should be an active attempt to communicate with intelligent extraterrestrials is popular. However, I hope to introduce the discussion about why “differences” between two species would
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Additionally, I can recall many instances where countries or empires have feuded over their differences, but it is more difficult for me to think of instances where different nations have started alliances, and celebrated their differences. For example, if we were to compare an interaction with Earth and an extraterrestrial colony with the alliances between countries such as Liechtenstein and Switzerland, the argument that Earth is prepared to communicate peacefully with another planet is stronger. Both communities share information with each other, and they both succeed. Furthermore, when one country is in trouble, the other is able to help by providing resources and

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