As I said in our earlier piece outlining how perhaps SETI had outlived its usefulness given modern knowledge, the success metric was that a civilization more than 400 years away - because we know there are none closer - would have to have sent low-tech radio signals to a planet that lacked the technology to receive radio signals when they sent them. The aliens basically would have needed to know the future, which means they didn't need radio waves.
They cited inadequate government funding as the reason for the shutdown but, really, this thing shouldn't be government funded at all. If Paul Allen and Jodie Foster and other rich people want to fund it, and they do, that is cool, it just isn't science.
Writing at TG Daily, Starr Keshet has a different take on why SETI is a waste of time - namely that we're too goofy as a species to have alien civilizations want to contact us.
Though the idea that alien civilizations will be less goofy is an awfully anthropic principle concept, Keshet may have a point, as the popularity of Lady Gaga can attest.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Phase-Change Materials Set New Speed Limit For Silicon
- Why Natural Gas, Including Fracking, Is Better For The Environment Than Wind And Solar
- Graphene Sensor Tracks Down Cancer Biomarkers
- M60-UCD1: Tiny Galaxy, Supermassive Black Hole
- More Children Making Music, But Are Lessons Too Conventional?
- Life After The 125 GeV Higgs: What Is Left Of Two-Higgs Doublet Models
- Watching Neurons Learn: Learning New Ideas Is More Difficult
- "I suppose when all you can see is political bias, it stands to reason that you would interpret..."
- " Actually that's a pretty good misrepresentation of the studies. Thanks for contributing more nonsense..."
- "Yeah. Who would feel angry in an airport?..."
- "Why do you call Dawkins a militant atheist? Has he ever killed anyone or advocated as such? By..."
- "Why do you seem to associate non-belief with being self-centered? That is not the case. ..."