SETI

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

"Life" Issues, activism, Astronomy, autonomy, awareness, Big Bang, Challenge, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Discernment, doubt, Education, Environment, Evidence, Evolution, faithfulness, Fundamentalism, Human Condition, Hurricanes, Ideology, Milky Way Galaxy, Paleontology, Politics, Rationality, Science, Secularity, SETI, The Big Blue Marble, Thinking, Uncategorized, Universe, Weather and Climate, Wildfires, Windstorm
The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie  – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now:  earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now com
Delayed Action On Cosmic Arrivals

Delayed Action On Cosmic Arrivals

14th Amendment, announcement, Astronomy, awareness, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, critical judgment, culture, Current Events, extraterrestrial intelligences, Fear, General Interest, immigration, Military, Mystery, physics, Satire / parody, Science, SETI, Uncategorized, Women
Over the five years or so I have been writing these “Skeptic’s Collection” columns, there have been several occasions (like, e.g., this) when I have received information, often anonymous and always via clandestine back channels, regarding extremely sensitive subjects that have been cloaked in secrecy, but which have been critical to national security.  The latest example is my recent acquisition, through similarly confidential sources, of the complete back-story of the sighting by US Air Force pilots and radar operators of unidentified flying objects west of San Diego in 2004. What all such occasions have in common is an ethical question:  to publicize or to maintain secrecy. Usually I do the latter. But since the New York Times has already surfaced the story, at least the part that is
Welcome To The “Big Empty”

Welcome To The “Big Empty”

"Life" Issues, Astronomy, awareness, Big Bang, Biology, Cosmology, Creation, curiosity, Entropy, Evolution, extraterrestrial intelligences, mathematics, Milky Way Galaxy, Nature, physics, quantum physics, Science, Secularity, SETI, Skeptic, solitude, Thermodynamics, Uncategorized, Universe, Wholeness
I have written before about the likelihood of intelligent life in our Galaxy, and how the existence or non-existence of life in the Milky Way relates to human religious sensibilities. Now I want to take a more “global” perspective and approach that same question, not from the relatively parochial standpoint of intelligent life “merely” in our Galaxy, but from the standpoint of intelligent life in the entire Universe.  But the questions I pose here are essentially the same in all respects as the questions I posed in the original “Skeptic’s Collection” column.  Given some realistic-seeming, in fact, most likely optimistic, assumptions about the probability that intelligent life will evolve on any given planet orbiting any given star, how widely separated – across the entire Universe – mu