We're Not Home, E.T. Please Leave a Message...

Are we alone in the universe? I have no clue. My guess is that we probably aren't, but the odds of ever finding other forms of intelligent life are so small that one may wonder why we have SETI in the first place. This is one of those strange cases in which a complete absence of evidence is no evidence of absence... unless it is, but then how would we know the difference? (As you can tell, I'm somewhat ambivalent on this issue).

SETI has recently had to deal with some major cuts to their funding, and although I don't expect us to find intelligent life outside of our planet any time soon (it's hard enough finding it on this planet), I don't think that the program should be closed, or even reduced. Its importance to me isn't about whether it manages to hear from E.T. It's about a certain conception of human vision and curiosity. To me, keeping SETI alive, or closing it, says more about us than it does about possible aliens, so the question really boils down to what we want to think of ourselves...

But even if we ignore that, Carl Sagan has some words, inspiring as ever, concerning the importance of this kind of research.



And as you can tell, this is not a new issue. Carl Sagan already addressed it in his book Contact:



And seriously, the budget for SETI is really a drop in the bucket. It's not like we're talking crazy amounts of dough here...
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