Aliens at Google

Here's an interesting (and light-hearted) 'GoogleTalk' given by SETI luminary Seth Shostak at Google HQ a couple of years ago: "When Will We Discover the Extraterrestrials?"

From the blurb:

The scientific hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence is now into its fifth decade, and we still haven't uncovered a confirmed peep from any cosmic company. Could this mean that finding aliens, even if they exist, is a project for the ages -- one that might take centuries or longer?

New technologies for use in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) suggest that, despite the continued dearth of signals from other societies, there is good reason to expect that success might not be far off -- that we might find evidence of sophisticated civilizations within a few decades.

Why this is so, what contact would tell us, and what such a discovery would mean, are the subject of this talk on the continuing efforts to establish our place in the universe of thinking beings.

For more on Shostak and SETI, check out his book Confessions of an Alien Hunter, and/or follow the previously posted links below.

Previously on TDG:


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
6 hours 33 min

Why do WE have to do all the discovering?

I mean, if those aliens are arguably much more advanced than us, why do we discard beforehand the possibility that THEY could discover us first?

That's one of the things I dislike about SETI: their premise for contact is awfully one-sided.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 41 min

Uh, or maybe we should devote a little more to researching the idea that Earth has already been discovered, and this current disaster we call civilization is the fruit of it! Dang, I wish those aliens would do a little more homework before sending droids out into the galactic woods!

Redoubt's picture
Member since:
14 July 2008
Last activity:
5 years 11 weeks

I love the SETI concept because chances are at least even-steven that any other advanced life form could/would take advantage of those same radio waves that are perfect for wireless communication.

On the flipside though, is the possibility that we are the only (somewhat) intelligent lifeform in the galaxy that didn't come equipped with a form of built-in telepathy?

Does that latter possibility rule out radio searches across the stars? No, but we arrived at the SETI idea because we fell upon radio communication in lieu of a more natural, native ability.

And who's to say that some alien race doesn't use radio waves in a way that we would identify as ESP?

Personally, I think that life must have a lot of common avenues that will be followed and so... what we see here in our little world, may be part of a more-or-less constant elsewhere.

Yak yak yak... I'm done :)

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

Enigmni Freak's picture
Member since:
20 March 2006
Last activity:
23 weeks 3 days

The scope of existence is highly complex and the generative order that little old man that Einstein once talked about in the back of our heads is also highly complex. Some say we are not really here but are more or less always here. A movie ongoing and always being projected on the back of the cave wall is our plight. If thought arises, then we and our cousins are working some new angle. There are times when we just get to close to the object being analyzed.