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Scientific American

The Human Framework for Alien Life

29 Jul 2021, 13:30 UTC
The Human Framework for Alien Life Avatar/20th Century Fox

A clip from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1978 made the social media rounds in mid-July. The guest that episode—astronomer and science educator Carl Sagan—offered astute criticisms of the then recently released Star Wars film for its myopic (and whitewashed) imagining of how organisms from other galaxies might look. In this collection, reporter Leonard David examines the government report published in June that surveys our evidence for extraterrestrial life so far (see “Experts Weigh in on Pentagon UFO Report”), and two of our opinion writers contemplate some specific circumstances for alien contact.

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