Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Scientific search for extraterrestrial life/intelligence

SETI Institute
The Mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history - to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.

December 16, 2007

Don’t call the aliens,they might not be friendly

FOR decades it has been a staple of science fiction � somewhere out in the galaxy, a highly developed alien race picks up a radio signal from Earth, and decides to eat us for lunch.

In a world plagued by war, hunger and disease, a possible attack by little green men may not rank high among most nations’ concerns. Yet for a small group of scientists who are harnessing increasingly powerful technologies in a trans-galactic search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, the prospect of catastrophe has stirred an angry debate.

Two senior scientists have resigned from an elite international study group in protest over a lack of public discussion about the possible consequences of attracting the attention of aliens by sending signals deep into space.

“We’re talking about initiating communication with other civilisations, but we know nothing of their goals, capabilities or intent,” warned John Billingham, a former Nasa scientist who has quit an extraterrestrial study group set up by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

In California last October, astronomers switched on the first elements of a giant new array of radio telescopes that will vastly extend the sweep of signals into outer space. Known as the Allen Telescope Array, it was built with the help of a $25m (£12.3m) donation from Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and is a joint project of the Radio Astronomy Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, and the Seti Institute, America’s foremost centre of ET research...

...Yet critics argue that listening for signals and actively seeking out alien life are very different pursuits. At the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Alexander Zaitsev, chief scientist at the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, has been using a 70-metre-wide radio telescope in the Crimea to beam signals to nearby star systems � a practice known as “active Seti”.
Dr. Burkes views his work with the contact movement as an extension of his past efforts to establish peace and social justice. If the Et hypothesis is correct, as CSETI maintains, and non-human intelligence of an Extraterrestrial nature is present on our planet, then a citizens’ diplomatic movement will be required to promote peaceful contact with our newly found neighbors.
In 1998 as the result of family and professional responsibilities, Dr. Burkes resigned from his leadership position in the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. He continues to be interested in the UFO phenomenon and the need to further peaceful contacts with the non-human intelligence presumably responsible for it.
Vulcan South is a collaborative search for extrasolar planets or "hot Jupiters" conducted at the South Pole and funded by the National Science Foundation.
This equation was devised by Dr. Frank Drake in 1960, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of such extraterrestrial civilizations.
Drake equation is a result in the speculative fields of exobiology, astrosociobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Criticisms: The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore
SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion."
Ancient Astronauts
UFO and Alien Encounters
Universe Exploration

No comments: