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article imageContacting ET: Our Hopes and Fears

By Bob Norman     Feb 5, 2007 in Technology
Scientist searching for extraterrestrial life don't ask,"Are we alone" but instead ask,"Just how crowded is it out there?"
What would happen to our society if we suddenly had proof we weren't alone? Scientists have long debated the effects such an announcement would have on philosophy, religion and ideology. The larger question might be what the effect would be on science itself.
With projects like SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Life) scanning the heavens looking for radio signals and amateur astronomers peering through their telescopes for alien craft, it seems that it's only a matter of time before we find something. The question is if there's something to find,should we?
Michael Michaud is the author of a newly published exceptional book, "Contact with Alien Civilizations – Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials" (Copernicus Books). He suggests that the “prime question” is straightforward: Should we simply be watchers and listeners from our outpost in the universe, or should we actively seek contact by sending out messages, proclaiming our presence?
The point is,what if they're not the cute,friendly aliens from E.T., but more like the nasty fellows from Alien or Predator? Blasting signals into space announcing our presence could get us attention from beings that we'd rather not find us.
“As my book points out, that is far from being the only possible model of contact. Secondly, I became increasingly convinced that non-science, non-technology factors such as motivations and ethics may be crucial for the outcome of contact,” Michaud said.
I think there has to be other life in the universe. Just like the line from Contact said," If we're alone it's a big waste of space." The question is whether we're ready for contact and should we be actively trying to make it happen? We just don't know who might answer our call.
More about Aliens, Contact, ET, Radio, Telescope
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