The search for aliens should start on Earth not outer space

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by slewfoot, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. slewfoot

    slewfoot Random Mayhem

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    May 13, 2007
    S.E. Pa


    The search for alien life forms should be conducted here on Earth rather than in outer space, scientists have claimed.

    Published: 7:24AM GMT 25 Jan 2010

    The search for aliens should start on earth not outer space, says scientist
    Prof Davies said: We need to give up the notion that ET is sending us some sort of customised message and take a new approach Photo: GETTY

    Professor Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona University will tell a meeting at the Royal Society that the best way of proving that extra-terrestrial life exists elsewhere in the universe is to use evidence from earth.

    The meeting at the Royal Society, which will include representatives from Nasa, the European Space Agency and the UN Office for Outer space Affairs marks the 5th anniversary of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) programme. Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society will also lead one of the sessions.

    Prof Davies said: We need to give up the notion that ET is sending us some sort of customised message and take a new approach."

    He suggested that the search could focus on deserts, volcanic vents, salt-saturated lakes and the dry valleys of Antarctica - places where ordinary life struggles to survive - to find "weird" microbes that belong to a "shadow biosphere".

    Felissa Wolfe-Simon, from the US Geological Survey, is currently looking at the possibility that arsenic, found in contaminated places such as the Mono Lake in California, might support forms of life in the same way as other life forms use phosphorous.

    However, Professor Colin Pillinger, who led the Beagle 2 Mars landing mission remains sceptical. He said: "I prefer to deal in scientific fact - this is wildly science fiction. You'd be off your trolley to go searching for arsenic-based life."

    Prof Pillinger argues that Mars is the most likely place to find alien life.

    The conference will also discuss how humans might respond to the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

    Albert Harrison, the from University of California, said: "It is easy to imagine scenarios resulting in widespread psychological disintegration and social chaos. but historical prototypes, reactions to false alarms and survey results suggest that the predominant response to the discover of a microwave transmission from light years away is likely to be equanimity, perhaps even delight."

  2. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Green Country

    Now that's a scary thought indeed. Can't even get some people to let their own kids live.

    I can only imagine.......................

  3. wolfman97


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    May 25, 2002
    Like the Indians welcomed the white people.
  4. dahahn


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    Jan 21, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Except the white people didn't take 200,000 years per trip to make it to the new world.

    Looking for extraterrestrial life on earth opens a whole new bag of worms, because the problem lies in where do we separate earth-based life from other life, e.g. if water on earth indeed came from comets, and if microbes were introduced to earth this way, then where do you draw the line?

    This also opens a creation debate.

    All this aside, ET life wouldn't be sending us a "customize signal." No one in SETI is actually looking for a "customized signal," and to suggest so is a fallacy. It would seem that since humans created the Golden Plaque/Record, that ETs would as well. If we could pick up a signal from a phone-sex line based in the Centauri system, scientists would be ecstatic!

    In fact, it may have already happened:!_Signal

    Well, minus the phone-sex.