Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Things to know about... SETI

Check out the article below, which makes a convincing case for the continued funding of SETI, or the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. SETI roams the night skies with sophisticated radio telescopes, hoping to find radio frequencies that would suggest an advanced civilization. The argument for its continued is existence is made on the grounds that SETI has just begun its work. In the Milky way alone there are millions and millions (cue Sagan's nasal drawl) of solar systems, one thousand of which SETI has thoroughly investigated. Basically, we're looking for a needle in a haystack and we've only looked at a tiny pinch of hay. While we at the Ross Review are skeptical of UFO kooks, we believe SETI to be a worthwhile endeavor. These sorts of pure quests for knowledge represent the best of humanistic scientific inquiry, and unless the cost is prohibitive, we are in favor of them in nearly every case. There's something undeniably sublime about people sitting up all night searching the heavens for signs of life. Even if, in a thousand generations, all we ever find is us.

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