Friday, January 9, 2015

New Scientist on why aliens probably exists

In this video, the guys at New Scientist argue the case for aliens 'probably' existing. Starting off by explaining 'Fermi's Paradox' (without actually acknowledging Enrico Fermi), the narrator goes on to suggest that if there is alien life out there the reason we haven't made contact or seen evidence is that maybe aliens exist in a form that is totally unlike us (e.g. not carbon based) so we wouldn't recognise them in the first place.

It's an interesting notion, but I think one that kind of misses the point. If aliens do exist but we are incapable of identifying or interacting with them then all of our efforts with SETI and so on are a complete waste of time. While the definition of 'Alien' is otherwordly, unlike ourselves etc. let's be honest, what we're really looking for is little green men, and the chances that will happen is, frankly, pretty much nil. The video manages to gloss over the fact that the chances of conditions to be right for sophisticated life forms like ourselves to evolve are ridiculously, ludicrously small. Even Professor Brian Cox thinks it likely that we're the only civilisation in our entire galaxy.

So, if the only other forms of life out there are so different to us we have no hope of establishing any kind of meaningful interaction with them, then I suggest we call off the search!

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