SETI desperately needs an update, paper’s authors say

SETI telescope

(Image by _freakwave_ from Pixabay)

MYSTERY WIRE — Oh, SETI. Don’t take it personally.

At 35 years old — they began operations on Feb. 1, 1985 — the SETI Institute has been doing the good work since the rest of us were in short pants. But can SETI can take a punch?

A paper from a few heavyweights calling out the principles at the very foundation of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence might actually do some good.

See the Daily Grail’s report on criticisms and suggestions to produce results in this decades-old search:

READ: SETI, or SAC: Should the search for extraterrestrial intelligence be a search for alien consciousness?

The paper’s contributors, Jacque Vallee, Federico Faggin and Garry Nolan, pull no punches in pointing out the flaws:

  • Speed of communication — at the current speed, the reply to our message might come centuries after a civilization’s demise.
  • Narrow search focus — “habitable” planets are based on our biological limitations, and should be more wide open.
  • Narrow definitions of life — we’re looking for biology, when aliens could be ethereal beings.
  • Narrow definition of a signal of life — who’s to say all of the flakey reports of UFOs and strange phenomena aren’t signals that we’re already ignoring?

Read the Daily Grail’s piece for a deep dive into the subject.

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