Tuesday, August 29, 2006





SETI, by definition, is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. So what happens to the SETI Institute if and when the search comes to an end?

Seth Shostak, Jill Tarter and their peers are not comparative anthropologists. They're not versed in linguistics or biology or art. They merely search. If a signal is detected, will they deign to release their grip on the ETI inquiry and allow more capable minds to spearhead the investigation?

In paranoid moments -- and there can never be enough of them -- I have to wonder if SETI has any real plans to disseminate the discovery of an ET message. After all, acknowledgement of the signal, while certainly hard-won vindication for many scientists, could conceivably trigger the end of the search -- and with it the end of the SETI Institute as we know it.

1 comment:

W.M. Bear said...

In paranoid moments -- and there can never be enough of them -- I have to wonder if SETI has any real plans to disseminate the discovery of an ET message.

Your paranoia is more than justified, it seems to me. What you describe (keeping ETI to themselves) is an added motive for secrecy to the one I'M paranoid about -- which is the likely existence of a government-mandated protocol to keep the discovery of ETI not only classified but TOP Secret. (After all, we the public are all little children who can't be told the truth.)

weevee: piixidkx (pixie dicks -- an insult term for certain government types who....)