So that whole signal from an extraterrestrial civilization thing?

Turns out not so much. But then I was already sure of that. [Read more…]

SETI is excited about a possible signal from an extraterrestrial civilization

It is, of course, tempting to hope we might have gotten such a signal. Who wouldn’t want to be alive on the day we actually verify the existence of an entire extraterrestrial civilization?  How cool would that be?  But this sort of thing makes me go, “Naaaaaah.”: The signal’s strength indicates that if it in [Read More…]

For 17 Years, a Radio Telescope in Australia Has Been Receiving Mysterious Signals

…prompting profound reflection on our place in the universe and the immemorial question, “Are We Alone in the Cosmos?” Turns out the signal was caused by the microwave oven. [Read more…]

On baptizing aliens

A reader writes: What if extra-terrestrials  are just highly complex critters, something like porpoises or thinking computers with opposable thumbs, but are not called additionally, gratuitously and blessedly to the beatific vision?  In this case planet earth is not diluted within a universe of billions of possibly life-sustaining planets populated by rational thingamajigs, and the centrality of [Read More…]

All Dressed Up for Mars and Nowhere to Go

A devastating essay on the Mars One project and why we  are never getting off the earth. [Read more…]

Why Sex with Creatures from the Future is a Bad Idea

Science: Striving to Answer the Big Questions. Be careful out there, people! Also: 186,000 miles per second isn’t just the law, it’s a good idea: Imagine: you’ve traveled all the way across the galaxy to some faraway, potentially life-embracing planet orbiting a faraway star, only to obliterate your destination upon arrival. It’s a very real [Read More…]

You Could Hardly Ask for Anything More

…than the delightful prospect of Mike Flynn holding forth on the problem of Fermi’s Paradox (“If the universe is crowded with alien civilizations, then where is everybody?”). My own view has been expressed in this space several times. Do I believe in non-human rational beings? Of course. They are called “angels” and some of them [Read More…]