Sunday, May 07, 2006





But what if no one's out there at all?

My jaw almost dropped when I read this part:

One idea - to be outlined by Dr Ian Crawford of Birkbeck College, London - involves using Nasa's next manned missions to the moon to search its surface for space debris from alien civilisations. 'We are not talking about digging up monoliths like those in 2001: A Space Odyssey,' he said. 'The idea is to look for microscopic fragments of alien spacecraft.'

Russian scientists have calculated that a civilisation capable of space travel would produce massive amounts of debris, like the space junk - old rocket boosters, lens caps dropped by astronauts - that is building up around Earth today. This alien detritus, which would include microscopic particles shorn from spacecraft, could have drifted across space for billion of years, eventually becoming embedded on our moon and ready for astronauts to dig them up. Crawford proposed the idea to Nasa at a special meeting on lunar science earlier this month.

(Via The Anomalist.)


I like how the idea is being touted as something radical when we should have been doing this all along as a matter of course. Instead, establishment SETI is just now thawing to the prospect after being forced to acknowledge that reality is impartial to its tidy equations and anthropomorphic biases.

And isn't it cute how Crawford dutifully dismisses the possibility of finding intact ET artifacts by citing a science fiction film?

5 comments:

W.M. Bear said...

And isn't it cute how Crawford dutifully dismisses the possibility of finding intact ET artifacts by citing a science fiction film?

Interesting idea, though, microscopic alien detritus. But how would they distinguish it from the human variety, I wonder?

It's also an interesting idea that WE'RE IT. No other intelligences in this galaxy at any rate. Personally, I prefer the version of the "Cosmic Quarantine" hypothesis that has that we're being denied Contact until we get our collective act together.

Jason said...

Let's consider for a moment that an ETI is sending a probe to Earth to look for the microscopic detrius of another (in this case, ours) civilization. It seems to me that if the probe is targeting a land mass at random, the odds are pretty high that they would find nothing at all, despite how thoroughly we have remade this place. Heck, if it had a short range, it could land in the quad of my alma mater and not find anythying clearly indicating technology.

Now imagine that we've been gone so long that there are no cities or artifacts clearly visible from orbit. Chances go down precipitiously.

I'm 100 percent for more exploration, of any type. I just think the premise of this experiment is perhaps a little off.

Eternidad said...

Hi
There has to be intelligent life out there. I hope.

Mac said...

Hi Maria. I'm a cryonicist too.

razorsmile said...

And isn't it cute how Crawford dutifully dismisses the possibility of finding intact ET artifacts by citing a science fiction film?

Can you really blame the guy? If he didn't, he could most likely kiss the execution of his idea goodbye.

It's like one of those eighties high school movies where the once-nerd has to ignore his old friends in order to hang with the "in-crowd".