Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"If there is intelligent life out there, they sure as hell know we are here."

This is a quote from todays Daily Telegraph from an article by Roger Highfield. The quote is from Dr Michael Perryman, formerly of the European Space Agency.

This is the stuff of science fiction of course. The book and subsequent film Contact is based on this idea. I can think of another less favourable peace of science fiction The Forge of God ( review with spoiler here ).

The point of the story is that in past times if you got lost in the forest you shouldn't cry out as it is most likely to bring in the wolves rather than your salvation.

It is already too late to stop the insane broadcasting of radio waves into the cosmos ( insane when we have no idea of who or what is listening ). The initial radio waves are now at 80 light years distance and will, we now know from the recent development of exoplanet detection, have passed hundreds of worlds.

We can either meet our potential neighbours half way - spending the resources of developing the capability to travel to the stars - or spend our resources on shopping, prelonging our lives and recycling and wait for what ever is out there to come to us.

I know how odd all this sounds, but it is neither the less worth considering. We might also consider turning the noise down a bit to avoid disturbing the neighbours.

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