Sunday, October 3, 2010
SAN DIEGO Novelist and UCSD grad David Brin is one of the world’s foremost futurists and science fiction guys. And this weekend he traveled from San Diego to London to speak on a panel hosted by the Royal Society on the subject of talking to extraterrestrials.
The notion that life exists outside earth’s atmosphere is not controversial. Far from it. A lot of our space exploration is focused on identifying planets that have the atmosphere, climate and chemical building blocks to create life. (Brin calls them the “Goldilocks planets.” Not too hot – not too cold – but just right).
We know other life is out there. We just don’t know where to find it.
The question of whether humans will ever actually encounter intelligent extraterrestrials IS controversial. Also controversial have been the efforts of the U.S. government to try to detect space aliens by listening for their radio signals and the like.
Brin will be part of a Royal Society forum to debate how this conversation should take place. He thinks we should search for extraterrestrials but we should not beam our own signals into space in hopes that someone/something might hear them.
Brin says we’re asking for trouble when we shout to the galaxy “Yoo hoo! Anyone out there?” Otherworldly creatures who hear us might pay us a visit and they may not have good intentions.
More on this later from On-Ramp.