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Beyond Drake’s Equation-New Views on the Search for ET Intelligence

Published on October 18, 2011 by   ·   No Comments


The SETI project – Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence – has been in existence in one form or another for several decades, dating back to Frank Drake’s first SETI experiment named Project Ozma. SETI is basically the search for intelligence through listening for radio waves of another civilization. For Drake back in the 1960’s, this was no doubt the sign of a technologically prevalent society, and the smartest means to search for life.

However, one can only look at that decision and see it as a mistake. At least, that is what some scientists and others connected to the field of extra-terrestrial search feel, such as George Dvorsky, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Recent insights in such fields as cosmology, astrobiology have changed our perception of the cosmos and the ways in which advanced life might develop.

In the early days of SETI its astronomers predicted a steady rise in radio traffic, as populations and technology advanced. But the reverse has happened. Point to pint communications have become dominated by low-powered satellites directing their signals Earthward while the bulk of telecommiunications shifted away from radio to buried fiber optics for cable TV and Internet traffic. In another hundred years there will be no substantial radio output from Earth.

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