Search For Extraterrestrials

It is easy to think up reasons for not searching for extraterrestrial signals (Scott Veggeberg, The Scientist, July 6, 1992, page 5). Christopher Columbus probably heard most of them. One is the budgetary illusion that if the money is not spent on the search, it will benefit the objectors' pet project, instead of disappearing into some general fund. Another objection, expressed by Robert Park in the article, is that there is no extraterrestrial life in the solar system, so we shouldn't look for

Thomas Jukes
Sep 27, 1992

It is easy to think up reasons for not searching for extraterrestrial signals (Scott Veggeberg, The Scientist, July 6, 1992, page 5). Christopher Columbus probably heard most of them. One is the budgetary illusion that if the money is not spent on the search, it will benefit the objectors' pet project, instead of disappearing into some general fund.

Another objection, expressed by Robert Park in the article, is that there is no extraterrestrial life in the solar system, so we shouldn't look for it here. This is a non-reason.

There are two big unsolved and related problems in biology: the origin of life and the existence of life here. Surely it is our obligation to seek answers to both of them, and the way to approach the second of the two is to attempt to find signs of it. Not to do so would be a negation of a basic...