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A SETI Reality Check

3 Jul 2020, 16:42 UTC
A SETI Reality Check
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Given how much we do not know about everything from abiogenesis to the lifetime of technological civilizations, what can we say about SETI’s chances for success? Henry Cordova, a Centauri Dreams regular, is a long-time SETI enthusiast who has nonetheless been revising his thinking on the discipline’s prospects. Our one useful sample, Earth, tells us how long it took for life just to become multi-cellular, much less to reach the tiny window opened by our technological society. And need we assume that intelligence will inevitably arise even with complex biology to support it? A retired geographer and mapmaker currently living in southeast Florida, Henry served in the US Navy and was originally trained as an astronomer and mathematician. Amateur astronomy, celestial navigation and collecting star atlases occupy his time when he’s not pondering questions like how civilization might arise without technology, or whether Dysonian strategies — looking not for beacons but evidence in the form of engineering suggested by anomalies in our data — may or may not be the best way for SETI to proceed. One thing’s for sure: The questions SETI raises offer many solutions, not all of which lead to contact.
by Henry Cordova

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