British physicist Stephen Wolfram believes extraterrestrial intelligent life is inevitable, but with a caveat. Although intelligent life is inevitable, we will never find it -at least not by searching in the Milky Way. We have a slim chance, he suggests, of distinguishing an ET artifact from a natural celestial object.
The human experience on our Pale Blue Dot “has lasted for less than 10 one-billionths of cosmic history surrounded by vast lifeless space, and yet we are congratulating ourselves on an unearned geological legacy before we’ve proved ourselves capable of escaping the next century with our lives,” says mass-extinction authority, Peter Brannen, author of The Ends of the World. “Human history, though environmentally cataclysmic and sedimentologically interesting, is not usefully described in the terms of a geological epoch on par with a yawning span of time like the Early Cretaceous, an epoch that lasted 600,000 times longer than this newly minted one.”
NASA’s mantra is that we should be open to search for life not as we know it. Arik Kershenbaum at the University of Cambridge and author of The Zoologists Guide to The Galaxy believes that “the bizarre and the unexpected – aliens made of gas, or with properties and abilities we’ve never dreamed of – are always possible, but they will always be rare.”
Another week of fascinating news from our Pale Blue Dot, with stories ranging from will the Webb Space Telescope’s nail-biting launch answer how we got from the Big Bang to here to without the most important equation in biochemistry life could not exist to our “bubble-wrapped” Solar System.
Welcome to an extraordinary catch of news from the Cosmos. Today’s stories range from Why AI Needs a Genome to Our Solar System is a Cosmic Oddity to the Quantum Experiment that Could Prove Reality Doesn’t Exist, and much more.
Is there a fundamental flaw in why we have not received a signal from an advanced alien civilization? How do we decode an alien message –alien is alien so it might be impossible. What if they communicate chemically? Will they use the language of math and science signaling at 1420 megahertz? What if we are too primitive to comprehend a message or the technology of its signal that may exist in a form beyond matter? What if it’s a message from an extinct civilization astrophysicist such as Harvard’s Avi Loeb believes exist in our galaxy? Or, as John Gertz suggests for Scientific American, maybe the aliens are already in our solar system, probably in the form of robotic probes.