Today’s ‘Galaxy’ Radio: “What if Earth Receives a SETI Message?”


Earth aliens



There’s no doubt that receiving the first message from an extraterrestrial civilization will be historic. But what would be the next step? Dan Werthimer directs the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, at the University of California, Berkeley. He says that if humans ever receive a message, we should just keep listening.

“The course of action for now would be not to transmit a message back to another civilization. We think Earthling’s are a primitive civilization. We’re an emerging civilization. We’ve only had radio a hundred years, laser just for fifty years. We’re just getting in the game. Our civilization, we’re still killing each other, and we think that it’s a good idea to just listen for now, just see what’s out there. Listen for radio signals, or listen if you will, for laser signals and not do any kind of deliberate transmitting.”


And if we do send response, Werthimer says it should be a group decision.

“We think that should be, not a decision by a few scientists, but it should be a decision for all of humanity, by people in many countries and it should be a big discussion about whether or not we transmit a message back.”

Daily Galaxy Radio presents the best programs and podcasts available on science and space exploration.



"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily