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TED Prize Winner Jill Tarter - SETI

  1. Mar 17, 2009 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2009 #2
    I decided to try again!
    (First post might have failed because of using bold fonts!!)
    I just wanted to thank you for the link, which I think is very interesting. I have seen videos of Mrs. Jill Tarter before and find it a challenge to search for evidence of life out of our Solar System. As she said, having all those immense spaces, it is a waste of such resources if no life is found somewhere...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Mar 23, 2009 #3


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    A lot of people thing SETI is a waste of time and money. I think it is one of the most important scientific endeavors of our time. Finding a civilization such as ours is a tremendous challenge and forces us to become inventive in our search methodolgy and technology. That alone is worth the price of admission. Of course Jill is looking for funding, is that a bad thing? So do politicians. I prefer the search for ET over the search for socialist utopia. The odds favor ET, IMO.
  5. Mar 24, 2009 #4
    Hello Chronos, folks!
    I fully agree. Listening to her speech/presentation it is easy to distinguish some kind of Carl Sagan´s reminiscenses, some expressions she used that remembered me the influence of this scientist, writer, mentor and founder of the Planetary Society.
    Funding is the eternal problem for everything, I guess.
    Efforts on SETI bring us more challenges that need to be addressed, like distributed computation like B.O.I.N.C. and how/what kind of signals (electromagnetic wavelenghts/wavebands) we should honour all our efforts.
    We will not find anything if we do not search.
  6. Mar 24, 2009 #5


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    This statement presupposes that the purpose of the universe is to host life.

    It is true that there are a vast number of stars that have planets. However, for each of these planets there is nearly infinite number of possibilities, and playing host to living organisms is only one. Therefore, it can be argued with equal valley that he that if life occurred twice, that would be a tremendous waste of resources.

    I also believe that SETI research is important. I just think that we need to be mindful of our assumptions. As living organisms, we are bound to bring certain prejudices into the search.
  7. Mar 25, 2009 #6
    That´s true.....it can be argued the same way and turn it upside down, which is another option among all those nearly infinite possibilities.
    We can search and make efforts and see what the cosmos has to offer. Finding life close to our neighborhood is unlikely, but we have the option to explore, to learn and expand.
    Some day in a closer future we will be able to colonize the Moon, Mars and some other moons before we are able to jump into the vast ocean of the Milky Way Galaxy.
    One of our goals is to learn how to make prejudices with solid backgrounds and facts/evidences.
    I think the human race is very skilful by wasting tremendous resources. As Carl Sagan once said: we are star stuff, so it might be a hereditary behavior! There are lots of examples but we learn of past errors. Hope so , anyway!
  8. Mar 25, 2009 #7


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    Yes, in fact, I think the total uncertainty of it all is exactly what makes SETI important. We will never arrive at any reliable conclusions the way we're going. The odds seem so in favor of intelligent life, yet the Fermi paradox seem spretty convincing, but it may have blind spots we can't even imagine...

    If we locate them, we'll have a definitive answer.
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