DailyDirt: Searching For Life Forms

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Discovering an alien life form would be quite an achievement, but we’ve been burned before by over-eager press releases that claimed to find evidence of life from beyond our planet. NASA might be more careful about making any announcements about life based on peculiar and potentially extra-terrestrial-based life, but NASA seemed to have forgotten about the extraordinary claims over ALH84001. Overall, though, it’s probably good that NASA hasn’t given up on searching for aliens, so here are a few links on looking for life from outer space.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Searching For Life Forms”

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Bob says:

Life maybe, but intelligent life? Doubtful.

Looking for microbes of extraterrestrial origin in the upper-atmosphere is one thing- or looking evidence of life having existed on Mars at some point.

However, whenever I think about the sheer number of unknowable variables potentially involved in the existence of an advanced civilization, the prospect seems mind boggling, and the endeavor like maybe a waste of time.

What is their life-cycle like?

What intervals of time do they relate?

Why do we suppose their energy needs would be comparable to our own?

What benefit would they get from contacting us?

What detriment might they suffer for contacting us?

What detriment might we suffer if they contact us? Might they consider this?

I know that the purpose of science is to seek out answers to these questions, but they just feel beyond the scope of our capacity at the moment. I just don’t know that we have any credible evidence for the conditions of the possible existence of extraterrestrial life. At what point is the search for intelligent life like the search for ghosts?

The article on Dyson spheres sums it up nicely… the search for intelligent extra-terrestrial civilization involves too much wild speculation.

Oblate (profile) says:

Re: Life maybe, but intelligent life? Doubtful.

What detriment might we suffer if they contact us? Might they consider this?
Finding evidence of intelligent alien life is not the same as contacting them. As our communications are limited by the speed of light, it would be years before could contact them (if we thought that would be a good idea). What we see might also make us decide we need to put effort into not being detected by them. Best to know what’s out there either way. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attempted.

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