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    High-tech telescopes on the ground and in space that perform daunting astronomical peep shows in a search for Earthlike worlds aim to answer one of humankind's most monumental questions: “Are we alone?”

    Arguably, a more pointed question might be: “Just how crowded is it?”
    There is ongoing deliberation relating to the societal, philosophical and religious fallout that stems from resolving such a stellar inquiry.
    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?

    As the book suggests, our answers to those queries expose both our desires and qualms about encountering extraterrestrials. Contact may not lead to a Woodstock of the skies — nor does it imply Armageddon.

    Michaud told Space.com that his research for the book led to several realizations. For example, he said the debate has been dominated by supporters and opponents of one scenario: remote contact through radio signals.

    “As my book points out, that is far from being the only possible model of contact. Secondly, I became increasingly convinced that nonscience, nontechnology factors such as motivations and ethics may be crucial for the outcome of contact,” Michaud said.

    Michaud said that he was struck by the centuries-old dialogue between belief and observation that got under way with Galileo Galilei, the 17th-century Italian astronomer and physicist.
    “Science has steadily improved our perceptions of the physical world, but still is unable to answer some basic philosophical questions. Someday, science may be able to answer questions now in the realm of belief, but we aren’t there yet. Both science and belief have roles to play, though the dialogue will be fruitful only if both sides show tolerance and civility. There is no place for arrogant assertion when so little is known,” Michaud said.

    Serendipitous resultsIs it time for the U.S. Congress to re-look at the ET encounter business — given the increasing rates of extra solar planetary detection?

    “I doubt that an initiative to restore NASA funding for SETI would succeed in the present environment, particularly when NASA is cutting funding for space science projects,” Michaud responded. “In my view, we need to broaden our approach to encourage related activities that might produce serendipitous results, such as expanding funding for extrasolar planet searches.”

    Moreover, Michaud suggested that there’s need to address the possibility of an artifact somewhere in the solar system — one that could have ceased operating millions or billions of years ago.

    2 Responses to “Our hopes and fears about contacting E.T.”

    1. # Anonymous Anonymous

      Fascinating topic. Would love to hear more about that hypothetical artifact.  

    2. # Blogger prethi

      sure more 2 come...visit this blog often thanks for ur positive comments  

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