Seth’s Musings

by Gary Niederhoff on November 17, 2010

Gathered here are links to pieces Seth writes for NBC News, as well as those he wrote for Huffington Post, dating back to 2010.

Arrival: Squid Pro Quo (11/10/16)
Unlike most Hollywood sci-fi fare, Arrival skips the vengeful alien shtick and instead delivers a more philosophical story. If travelers from another planet show up how do we communicate with them? This is a real conundrum that SETI scientists and linguists have been mulling over for a while. The film also dodges another common visitor trope in the aliens’ appearance. Goodbye little green men, hello giant wet cephalopods!

The World Next Door (8/24/16)
Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our own, has a planet. The idea of sending a mission there is tempting, but not easy to pull off. By the time anything got there, we’d likely have used telescopes here on (or orbiting) Earth to get the same data. Now that we have a better idea of how common habitable exoplanets are, Proxima Centauri b may only be special in that it’s the closest planet in outer space.

Danger, Will Robinson (8/1/16)
The recent discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein, but undetected until now, don’t just bolster the theory of relativity. The source of those waves, twho colliding black holes, demonstrates the immense destructive power of the cosmos. With fireworks like these and gamma ray bursts, it’s a wonder life has persisted on Earth (or anywhere, for that matter) as long as it has.

“Independence Day”: Core Values (7/5/16)
In 2016’s sequel to “Independence Day”, the aliens return to extract Earth’s core to use as a power source for their spacecraft. Presuming this doesn’t mean the giant iron sphere of Earth’s inner core, but the swirling molten mass of its outer core, this idea still comes up a bit short in the energy department.

The Other Way to Find Life Out There (6/3/16)
We’ve got rovers and probes investigating the worlds of this solar system, and radio telescopes trying to find signals generated by intelligent beings on other planets, but another way to discover life on distant worlds is by detecting their biosignatures.

Drone’s Eye View of Mars (5/16/16)
While rovers amble across the Martian landscape, their aerial counterpart, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes photos of the dusty surface below with its HiRISE camera. A newly conceived method will allow it to create images of better resolution than was origianlly intended.

Will Hillary Clinton Unmask Area 51? (3/30/16)
On a recent late night talk show, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested that she’d look into claims of alien bodies allegedly stored at the military facility known as Area 51. While she was likely being humorous, or perhaps even politically calculating, it’s unlikely that further investigation will satisfy the true believers.

A Ping from the Cosmos (2/26/16)
It’s been a decade since astronomers first encountered a celestial phenomenon known as a fast radio burst (FRB), a millisecond of weirdness that some thought might be intelligent in origin. After a decade of research, it seems that as uncommon as FRBs are, they’re likely natural occurrences rather than hyper-brief communiques from sentient sources. Still, little is known about them, and much is yet to be revealed.

Gravity Waves and ET (2/11/16)
Another cosmic phenomenon predicted by General Relativity has been detected in the real world! While this new proof of gravity waves may not affect your every day life, it has been suggested that they may be a means of communication for celestial messengers. Alas, these tiny ripples are likely too difficult to generate in sizes large enough to carry data. ET may have to stick to phoning home for now.

Planet Nine: What Would It Mean? (1/21/16)
Astronomers have found the best evidence yet of a planet beyond Neptune. Suspected for over a hundred years, and eventually leading astronomers to discover binary dwarf planet Pluto, this candidate planet may be orbiting roughly 500 times further from the sun than Earth. It hasn’t been seen yet, but the implications of its existence are encouraging for the search for life beyond our solar system.

Could This Be Humanity’s Last Century? (1/14/16)
As the 21st century progresses, so too will our intellectual pursuits. Before the year 2100, humankind will likely have achieved major advances in genomic knowledge, space exploration, and artificial intelligence. These developments could eventually lead to a speciation, wherein our successors engage the future with advances of their own.

What the Candidates Should Know (12/09/15)
Civilized society may not have been were it not for the advances of science. Despite this, there continues to be a non-negligible number of members of this society who don’t understand, or even openly distrust, science, much to the detriment of all members. We should hope that the people we elect to lead our society be conversant in science, or, at the very least, not openly hostile towards it.

Are There Signals Coming from Deep Space? (11/05/15)
The SETI Institute pointed its Allen Telescope Array at KIC 8462852 and has yet to find signs of either narrow band transmissions or broadband signals, making the possibility that the fluctuations in the distant star’s brightness are the product of an intelligent civilization slightly less likely.

Alien Engineering Around Strange Star? (10/22/15)
A mysterious fluctuation in the brightness of a star named KIC 8462852, around 1400 light years away, has garnered a lot of media attention. There are plenty of theories going around to explain the anomaly, but everyone’s favorite is, of course, aliens. The SETI Institute is investigating…

NASA’s Big Mars Story (9/28/15)
The confirmation that the streaks appearing on vertical features on Mars (known as “recurring slope lineae”) are most likely briny water brings new hope to the idea that microscopic life may still exist on Mars. Current plans to find the possible habitats and building blocks for theoretical extinct species on the red planet may morph into plans to look for extant life in or near those wet flows.

UFOs: The Trail Is Stale (9/1/15)
It’s likely more than coincidence that supposed evidence for UFO visitations has decreased as the technology behind gathering this evidence has improved. Today we have billions of cell phones with hi-res cameras, and yet nowhere near the number of claims to have images of aliens or their craft.

Are You a Martian? (8/19/15)
The question of how life began may be pre-empted by the question of where life began. It’s possible that the first life on Earth actually came from Mars. Where it originated before it left that planet is another matter, but what it would mean is that life may not just be anywhere, but everywhere.

The Nearest Earth (8/6/15)
As Kepler and other searches turn up thousands of possible exoplanets, it’s become clear that our galaxy alone may contain a trillion of them. In the search for life, the planets that attract the most attention are the ones most similar to Earth, and it’s possible that an Earth-like planet is orbiting the star closest to our own, Alpha Centauri.

World-Wide Problems? Blame It on the Romans (7/10/15)
Our great-great-great-great grandparents probably didn’t have it a whole lot better than their grandparents, but the world we live in now is much different than the ones our grandparents grew up in. Our progeny, and theirs, are likely to inhabit a world we can only dream of, and we’ll miss it by only a couple of generations. If only the Roman empire had been more interested in science and technology…

Soggy Invaders From Space (6/23/15)
Most of the water on our planet wasn’t here when the Earth formed. Scientists have long considered comets as the delivery mechanisms for the wet stuff, but that theory is beginning to dry up. It is now suspected that asteroids, which were pushed into Earth’s early orbit as Jupiter and Saturn adjusted their own orbits to one another, helped create the oceans believed to be the cradle of life on Earth.

Roswell Aliens Not So Alien (5/25/15)
The Roswell sightings of 70 years ago are back, this time with new “evidence”. But if the purported visitor’s corpse is maybe a little too similar to our own morphology, there’s a few good reasons for that.

Super Civilizations: What Do They Really Want? (5/11/15)
A recent Penn State study rules out the existence of energy expending alien super civilizations, but that doesn’t mean alien civilizations can’t expand without dispensing measurable heat.

Blame It on the Aliens (4/3/15)
“Fast Radio Bursts” are a newly discovered cosmic phenomenon, and while science can’t yet explain it, some may be tempted to hypothesize an intelligent source of these FRBs.

If E.T. Comes Calling (1/30/15)
What would humanity’s response to an actual alien visitation be? Many action films imagine it as either a cover-up or an all-out invasion, but a new film being screened at Sundance this year takes a different approach.

No Man’s Land in the Cosmos (1/9/15)
Some scientists suggest that gamma ray bursts may severely limit life’s chances of flourishing on other worlds, but recent studies of extremophiles here on Earth prove that biology is plenty resilient.

Mars Methane: Life at Last? (12/19/14)
Recent detection of methane on Mars has renewed the hopes of many that there may be life on the red planet. We’ve been teased before. Might this be the evidence we’ve been waiting for?

Alan Turing and the Five Sigma Theory of Progress (12/08/14)
Very few human minds are as adept at computational mathematics as Alan Turing. Exceptional thinkers like him will be remembered for centuries, but the average person doesn’t need an elevated IQ to make their mark.

Talking to Aliens (11/14/14)
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence has been scanning the skies for messages from other worlds, so far to no avail. But what if we sent messages as well? What would we say? A recent two day conference at the SETI Institute pondered these questions, and raised even more.

‘Interstellar’ — A Galaxy Too Far? (11/11/14)
If, or when, it becomes time for humanity to leave the Earth for a better life elsewhere, it will likely be somewhere nearby. Far less likely would be to another galaxy via a wormhole that suddenly appears in our solar system.

Is Life an Illusion? (10/10/14)
Give the technological trajectory of the development of artificial intelligence, there’s a good chance that everything we consider “reality” is a computer simulation, and that we ourselves are made of nothing more than code.

So What Really Goes Down if We Find the Aliens? (9/26/14)
When SETI eventually discovers an alien signal, it will be thanks to our understanding of physics and that physics being the same as the source of the signal. As for what information the signal will contain, it may take knowledge we don’t yet have to decipher that.

Forget Space Travel: Build This Telescope (8/19/14)
Until we learn to get around the limits of lightspeed, our exploration of exoplanets will likely be limited to observation. Current technology won’t allow for much more than a pixel when direct imaging exoplanets, but something quite a bit larger would be able to make out a Honda Accord on a distant planet.

Why the Aliens Want Earth (7/31/14)
There are many attributes of our home planet that make it seem to us like… well, home. In fact, we love it so much, we assume it has a lot to offer non-Earthlings as well. But when you consider how not-so-special our planet likely is, there’s really not much here worthy of a light-years-long trip by inhabitants of another (equally unspecial) world.

Life on the Billionth Rock From the Sun (6/09/14)
While multiple companies are looking into mining heavy elements from objects in the asteroid belt just beyond the orbit of Mars, we might look to objects in the Kuiper belt or Oort cloud as future homes for our species, as those worlds may harbor the light elements we need to exist.

What Astronomy Says About Religion (5/01/14)
While astronomers develop knowledge of the universe and our physical place in it, they don’t necessarily become the theological philosophers others might expect them to be.

Kepler 186f: Is It Inhabited? (4/21/14)
Now that the Kepler team has found an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of its parent star, the new goal is to find another and extrapolate from this small data set just how many potential Earths there might be in the universe.

Dating Game Not Mating Game (3/2/14)
After Jim Lange’s passing, a Dating Game alumnus recalls the ins and outs of bachelorhood on the popular ’60s era show, including the fact that most of the contestants had no interest in actually kindling a new relationship with the others.

Astronomy’s Alpha Male (2/20/14)
The soon-to-be-up-and-running LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) will be able to image the entire sky every three days. This means moving objects, which may move so fast as to escape current imaging technology, will be detectable by astronomers and wannabe astronomers with access to its online data.

Like Creation Science? Toss Your Smartphone! (2/5/14)
In the February 4, 2014 debate between science guy Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham had no clear cut “victor”, but Ham’s dismissal of non-biblical knowledge (no, not that biblical knowledge) makes you wonder how he explains the workings of most of the technology we’ve been enjoying for the past several decades.

The End of the World: Science or Religion? (1/15/14)
Harold Camping, who predicted the end of the world in 2011 (twice!) has passed away. Unlike most doomsday predictions, and more like SETI’s predictions of finding life elsewhere in the universe, his was based on numbers. But there’s quite a difference between numbers derived from science and those derived from the bible.

Is Alien Life Surfacing Nearby? (12/15/13)
A couple of recent discoveries about the rocky bodies in our solar system have led scientists to think anew about how and where to look for life among our neighbors. Turns out we may be able to just roll up and collect it directly from the surface!

When Will We Build the Starship Enterprise? (12/10/13)
How boldly do we want to go where no human has gone before? Our current understanding of physics and rocketry would have us take millennia to reach distances where life may exist, not to mention the tremendous cost. Data technology, however, has just offered a new way to get our species into the cosmos, quickly and cheaply.

The Numbers Are Astronomical (11/04/13)
Data being returned by the Kepler mission point toward good chances of human kind having company in the Milky Way. Some 33 billion hypothetical habitable worlds may exist in our galaxy alone. The odds of ours being the only one to sport biology are, well, the title says it all…

Martian Archaeology. Not. (10/08/13)
Images of the landscape of Mars abound in this day of robotic rovers, as do claims of signs of intelligent life in those images. Some see faces, animals, tools, and even more specific items in the pixelated mess of enlarged photos of Martian rocks. Could these be signs of an ancient extra-terrestrial civilization? Or is it just the human brain trying to make sense of random patterns?

Why Doesn’t NASA Just Look for Life? (8/24/13)
As Curiosity rolls its way across the rocky terrain of Mars, many wonder why we’re looking for minerals and not, you know, LIFE? As much as we’d all love to send humans over to the planet next door to see if anyone is home, having robots there is still cutting edge science, and robots aren’t the best arbiters of what is alive and what isn’t. What robots CAN do, however, is find the signatures of past life, and rocks are exactly where they should be looking.

Contact With Aliens? Think Before You Call. (8/06/13)
An unbelievable story is usually just that, and this alien hunter has heard them all. They’re still worth listening to, though, as one may actually be a true tale of alien contact. Here’s an FAQ of how to get your close encounter story to the right person, which may mean keeping it to yourself.

How Ordinary Are We? (5/24/13)
Kepler may be on the ropes as far as collecting data goes, but the data will still be pouring in for two years. Any bets on how many Earth-size habitable planets might be found in their home star’s “goldilocks” zone? Some scientists say such guesses would be pure speculation.

Klingon Worlds (4/26/13)
As Kepler piles up the count of potentially habitable worlds, SETI has no shortage of places to look for signs of intelligent life. In some cases, the where to look is obvious, but a new strategy for the search might be determining when.

The Darkest Worlds (3/15/13)
Years ago, it was unimaginable to many astronomers that “rogue” planets, drifting freely through deep space, detached from their stellar parents, were anything more than theoretical anomalies of our galaxy. Recent studies, however, conclude that such planetary phenomena may be much closer to the norm.

Celestial Sound Effects (2/22/13)
In space, no one can hear you scream… unless there are conditions, such as an atmosphere, that are conducive to the propagation of pressure waves. Other “sounds” of the universe, like our roaring sun, are actually acoustic translations of radio waves. If a star fails in the universe, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Absolutely. It practically screams radio waves.

The Ultimate Televsion (2/01/13)
Chances are that you watch an idiot box that is much smarter than the one you grew up watching. As television technology progresses, will it hit a wall? Once the TV is wall-sized, weighs less than a pound, and delivers images indistinguishable from reality, it likely won’t have anywhere else to go.

Target: Earth (12/21/12)
As is argued persuasively by Phil Plait in his recent TEDx talk, as well as the urging of many others, putting asteroid detection and deflection at the top of our planets budgetary priorities is more than worthwhile. Considering what we spend on protection from military threats, and the massive devastation likely from a giant space rock landing in a populated area, putting protective measures in place is a no-brainer. Just ask the dinos.

Forsaking the Ivory Tower (12/12/12)
With the recent passing of Patrick Moore, we’ve lost a great spokesman for the popularization of science, of which we are in dire need. After a century of scientists detachment from the public, the distrust and disbelief in their work has grown to threatening proportions. We need more Patrick Moores.

Rockets: So Old School? (11/08/12)
Decades from now, a student watching historic footage of the Apollo 11 launch will be amazed to see the flames, smoke, and rapid ascent of the enormous projectile and its legendary human cargo. “We used to shoot people into space?” she’ll ask, amazed and confused. And the answer will be “Yes, because the space elevator hadn’t been invented yet.”

Science From Hell (10/08/12)
Paul Broun made headlines by saying that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell”, which wouldn’t be so remarkable if he didn’t sit on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. His remarks reflect a larger apathy, if not distrust, in science, which is antithetical to the pioneering history of the United States.

Armstrong Wasn’t Columbus (8/29/12)
Unlike the new world explorers of our high school text books, the late Neil Armstrong didn’t lose hundreds of crew, slaughter innocent natives, or do prison time or die in the midst of questionable conquest. And what Neil was the first to do helped open the door to a new scientific front, which we’ve only begun to explore.

Turn Down the Rock Music (8/10/12)
These kids today with their hula hoops and pac-man and oh, the loud rock music! While decibel-heavy bands might be a thrill of youth, the impact of all that racket is long-term. Hearing loss among teens has grown in recent decades, and the bands just keep getting louder. It may be time for them to lower the volume, or at least get off my lawn.

How to Find Extraterrestrial Life (7/5/12)
As technology evolves by leaps and bounds, the means by which we might find extra terrestrial life grow ever more able to do so. There are essentially three ways to find life elsewhere, and all three are as likely as the others to be the first to locate ET.

Extraterrestrial Habitats: Yet More Good News (6/14/12)
New evidence suggests that starts low on heavier elements still have rocky planets in orbit, which means that stars in the Milky Way’s galactic bulge, previously thought to be poor targets for SETI, may actually be among best.

Hollywood Aliens: Prototypes for the Real Thing? (5/29/12)
When Tinseltown sets out to weave a good sci-fi yarn, their model for space aliens looks to be based on the same creatures they hope will pony up the dough to watch it.

The UFO Bestiary (4/27/12)
Evidence for an alien presence on Earth is about the only thing not showing up in email. Most of it belongs to one of four categories of communication from (sometimes) well-wishing believers in visitation.

Alien Messages in Plain Sight (4/5/12)
As we peer into the cosmos with our ever-improving telescopes, physical evidence for alien civilizations may come into focus before we detect a signal.

Armageddon: 1,000,000,000 A.D. (2/28/12)
While would-be prognosticators have yet to successfully predict the end of the world, and would-be world-enders like the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs have yet to successfully eradicate all life on earth, this prediction of the end times is the real deal.

Heed the Robot (1/31/12)
At a time when science literacy in America is so poor that it behooves presidential candidates to avoid the subject entirely, the comical warnings of a fictional robot may be our last hope to make our society capable of facing such challenges as climate change, health care, and technological progress.

They’re Not Meat (1/27/12)
Imagining alien life as our future selves requires an important consideration: It’s likely that by the end of this century, our future selves will be here, in the form of artificial intelligence.

Humble Pie (1/5/12)
In an infinite universe, there are not only other biological beings, but other humans, and even other versions of you… only, with better dance moves.

Last Chance to Be Special? (12/5/11)
As Kepler discovers more rocky worlds like our Earth, chances of discovering signs of alien life keep getting better. Ours may be the last generation to wonder if biology is unique to our planet.

Alien Probes For Real? (11/10/11)
It’s possible that extra-terrestrial intelligence has sent probes to our solar system to observe us, and such a spy could be hiding any number of places, including within Earth’s orbit.

National Parks on the Moon? (10/17/11)
In the decades and centuries to come, do we want lunar visitors to be able to gaze upon the preserved footprint of the first man on the moon, or eat at the burger joint built over where they think it probably used to be?

Luke Skywalker’s World (9/15/11)
In “Star Wars”, the planet Tatooine orbits a binary system, which, in the real world, was thought to be unable to maintain a planetary system. The Kepler team and the SETI Institute’s Laurance Doyle has discovered a planet that changes what we know about binary solar systems.

Will We Ever Figure It Out? (8/22/11)
Our brains may not be powerful enough to grasp the complexity of the universe, but we may be able to engineer something that is.

Life: Miraculous or Mundane? (8/1/11)
Whether you believe biology abounds in the universe or is limited to our home planet, the only way to find the truth is by looking for it elsewhere.

American Space Research: An Also-Ran? (7/17/11)
The cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope presents a marked decline in the pioneering spirit that has made the U.S. the leader in space exploration for the last half-century.

Are Movie Theaters Doomed? (6/6/11)
As home theater technology rapidly progresses, ye olde cinema’s days may be numbered.

The Real End of the World (5/22/11)
If, like everyone else on Earth, you were not raptured on May 21, don’t worry. The end of life on Earth is still on its way in just a few billion years.

Search for ET Put on Hold (4/26/11)
You may have heard about the difficulties facing the SETI Institute’s principal instrument for searching for extraterrestrial signals, the Allen Telescope Array. Lack of operating funds has forced the Array into a hibernation mode.

UFOs: Nice Houseguests (4/18/11)
Given all the reports of UFO sightings and alien visitation over the past few decades, you’ve got to admit, the supposed invasion has yet to put the kibosh on your weekend barbecue plans.

Sending Greeting Cards to the Aliens (4/3/11)
From Voyager’s vinyl message to the dueling tubas of “Close Encounters”, the means by which we might communicate with ET are innumerable. Rather than a short, easily misconstrued missive, might it be better to just send the whole internet?

The End of Earthquakes (3/15/11)
Seismic activity may seem like a bane to human existence, but our planet may not have become habitable without it.

Battle: L.A. – Hold Your Water! (3/8/11)
When aliens come to steal our water, lala land becomes a carnage ridden battleground as humans defend the Earth.

Today Jeopardy, Tomorrow the World (2/14/11)
Is it the equivalent of Bull Run? The first battle in the upcoming war that pits machines against humans for control of the planet?

A Bucketful of Worlds (2/3/11)
The latest from Kepler’s science team tentatively shows nearly 50 earth-like planets. Using a little crude math, we can extrapolate that within 1000 light years from Earth, there may be as many as 30,000 habitable worlds. SETI just got a lot more interesting.

America’s Can’t Do Attitude (1/26/11)
Over the past few decades, the American penchant for making stuff has gone by the wayside.

Time for Astrology to Sign Out (1/15/11)
The new astrological sign Ophiuchus isn’t so new after all. How an ancient astronomer had the zodiac at a bakers dozen of constellations, and why it dozen really matter.

Alien Vaporware (1/6/11)
Some people are claiming that SETI has found enormous spacecraft about to enter the solar system. But this is one thing you needn’t worry about.

When One Big Bang Is Not Enough (12/13/10)
It took a while before the concept of the Big Bang was accepted fact. The main impediment to grasping this theory is the central conceit that space and time did not exist before the big bang. Recent observations of the background radiation in our universe may help defeat that conceit, as well as the concept that our universe is the only one.

Life, But Not As We Know It (12/5/10)
NASA managed to get the world’s attention by announcing a press conference in which a major advance in the search for alien life would be revealed. The research turned out to involve a bacterium pulled out of Mono Lake in California which was at least moderately happy to use arsenic for its metabolism, instead of the usual phosphorous. A lot of people — expecting news of extraterrestrial biology — were disappointed. But the story is important, nonetheless.

The Lugubrious Universe (11/26/10)
What is the fate of the universe? It could be a crunch, or a rip, or more likely, a fizzle. How the work of Edwin Hubble and his successor, Allan Sandage, helped re-define our place in the cosmos.

Living Forever is not a Good Idea (11/15/10)
Some people expect that we’ll soon be able to double our lifetimes. But what about extending our lives to allow us to outlast, say, the Roman Empire? Why this would lead to a society you don’t want to imagine!

Are We a Biological Miracle? (11/9/10)
Some biologists has concluded that intelligent life on Earth is the consequence of some pretty unlikely events. Does that make Homo sapiens the smartest species in the Galaxy?

Bye Bye to a Lovely Planet (11/1/10)
Everyone got excited with the discovery of Gliese 581g, the first planet found around another star that seemed right for life. But is it all just an illusion caused by noisy data?

Burn the Bookcases! (10/20/10)
It won’t be long before your entire collection of books – in fact, the entire collection at the Library of Congress – will fit into a memory device the size of a sand grain. Will that give you more room in your den?

A Planet Someone Might Call Home (10/4/10)
The announcement of a planet on which there could be liquid oceans has excited just about anyone interested in the possibility of cosmic confreres. Has SETI looked at it? You bet.

Join the Galactic Church (9/26/10)
A question I’d certainly ask the aliens: Do you have religion? Their answer – whether yes or no – would have profound consequences for Earthlings.

3-D Movies: Wave of the Future or Fleeting Fad? (9/18/10)
I’ll bet you that within three years, 3-D movies will fall flat. We’ve done this experiment several times already, and adding depth to the images doesn’t add depth to the story.

Who or What Built the Universe? (9/5/10)
So who created the universe? Is it the work of a supreme being, or merely the inevitable, mindless outcome of physical law?

New Homes for ET? (8/27/10)
It’s a pretty safe wager that within two years, you’re going to be reading about the discovery of worlds that really are comparable to Earth in size and temperature. That story, which will be due to the work of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, will shake up everyone.

Martians? Ho Hum (8/22/10)
There are people who think that the detection of a message from space would be covered up by a government fearful of civil unrest. Well, that theory was put to the test a century ago. And it failed.

Don’t Tell ET! (8/18/10)
Stephen Hawking says we should beware of getting in touch with the aliens, because it might be dangerous. Well here’s a news flash: it’s too late!

Where Are the Aliens? Fermi Paradox Redux (8/8/10)
Two researchers in the Ukraine have made a computer simulation in which galactic civilizations randomly arise, spread out to a greater or lesser extent, and then — eventually — fail and fall. Could this explain why we haven’t found the aliens?

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