All of these points are good ones, and I agree completely with the likelihood that we would have enough similar traits to communicate are unlikely; but the aliens are just as likely to be good guys. Maybe they want to help the mice evolve to the next level. I’m not so optimistic as to skip cheerfully into the future singing this, but on the other hand . . . if the other races out there are hostile or view us as potential experimental mice, then trying to contact them isn’t going to change that. If, on the other hand, we try to contact them and they are benevolent or at least neutral, there could be real advantages. But then again, in my personal life I am a big believer in “you might as well try; if you fail you’ve lost nothing, but if you succeed you have gained much.” 😉
Seth Shostak has a post up at HuffPost asking what we should say if we ever find ourselves in conversation with aliens. Apparently this was the topic of a recent conference at the SETI institute.
Before commenting on Shostak’s main thesis, I think he makes an assertion that deserves scrutiny.
A decade of research by astronomers now suggests that a trillion planets dot the Milky Way. It takes a real Debbie Downer to believe that they’re all as dead as the Equal Rights Amendment. Unless Earth is special beyond reason, you can confidently assume there are plenty of societies out there.
I’ve got no problem with this statement, until the last sentence, where Shostak takes a logical leap. (Albeit an understandable one being he’s a member of SETI.) Certainly, unless Earth is “special beyond reason”, we can…
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