Midnight In The Desert — METI

Conversing With E.T.

Posted by K R on

Conversing With E.T.

METI International—which stands for Messaging to ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence—is a new initiative founded by SETI researcher Douglas Vakoch to address how we could successfully communicate with intelligent aliens. The group held its first workshop last month in Puerto Rico, with the theme “The Intelligence of SETI: Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” and quite a few interesting and controversial ideas were proposed. The workshop featured nine speakers with various backgrounds, all of whom considered the question of how human-level intelligence might evolve on other planets, and what kind of sensory and cognitive systems extraterrestrials might exhibit. Anna Dornhaus, a biologist and...

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The Argument Against Calling Aliens

Posted by K R on

The Argument Against Calling Aliens

For the astronomers tasked with finding intelligent life elsewhere in the solar system, one of the most vexing questions is why ET is being so quiet. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) began in 1960 when astronomer Frank Drake spent 3 months scanning the cosmos for life, but in the 50-odd years since Drake’s initial experiment, SETI astronomers have yet to find any convincing evidence that we are not alone. The disappointment this lack of results has led to the creation of a controversial wing of SETI research known as METI (Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligences) or Active SETI. The basic...

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Hiding From Hostile Space Aliens Is No Longer An Option

Posted by K R on

Hiding From Hostile Space Aliens Is No Longer An Option

Two new separate groups of scientists now want to send coded radio messages into the cosmos in hopes of deliberately attracting the attention of intelligent space aliens. Known as Active SETI (Active Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), it’s arguably no safer to entice unknown off-worlders into our planetary living room than to invite total strangers in for coffee and crullers. But even if they are totally unsavory, it’s highly likely that an interstellar civilization would already be picking up our electromagnetic leakage and therefore already know we’re here, Douglas Vakoch, President of the San Francisco-based non-profit METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International,...

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How Do We Talk to Aliens? Scientists Meet in Puerto Rico to Hash It Out

Posted by K R on

How Do We Talk to Aliens? Scientists Meet in Puerto Rico to Hash It Out

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has always lived on the fringes of mainstream science, but as we discover more possibly habitable worlds, the work of SETI could move closer to the center. A meeting today between biologists and linguists aims to hash out exactly how to talk to the aliens that might be out there. The goal of the daylong workshop — called the “Intelligence of SETI: Cognition and Communication in Extraterrestrial Intelligence” — is to combine the work of astronomers with biologists and linguists. It’s being organized by METI International, and coincides with the first day of National...

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