Sunday, 19 April 2009

New Scientist: Let Us Tell Our Worries to ET, perhaps he will listen

According to New Scientist, the messages sent on Pioneer 10 were too boring. Image courtesy of NASA.

Joel Kontinen

New Scientist suggests that ETs have not replied to our messages because they have been too humdrum. For instance, the messages on board NASA’s Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft have lacked features that could have made extraterrestrials give us a call.

Proponents of evolution have searched for etxraterrestrial life for many decades. They have invested millions of dollars into the SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project in the hope of getting evidence for the existence of little green men.

Friends of SETI believe that since life has evolved on Earth randomly it must also have evolved on many other planets.

For supporters of SETI, creation is a dirty word.

Now Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute in Mountain View California writes in New Scientist that we have sent messages that have been too brief and too boring. ETs, who obviously enjoy the fruits of a civilisation that is vastly superior to ours, would want more realistic descriptions of the denizens of our planet, for instance news about our weaknesses and problems.

Wall Street Journal might just be too boring. Perhaps we ought to send them an issue of Time or Newsweek. Of course, there are some British tabloids that might interest them, at least from a sociological point of view.


Vakoch, Douglas. 2009. Why we shouldn't hide our problems from ET. New (18 April)