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Posts Tagged ‘extraterrestrial life’

Today I bring you a great article in National Geographic, The Hunt for Life Beyond Earth. Written by Michael D. Lemonick with gorgeous photography by Mark Thiessen, the piece asks that age-old question: Are we alone?

We may find the answer to that question sooner than we think.
/insert dramatic music here!

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In today’s installment of awesome, NASA has released a book on how to communicate with extraterrestrials. Unlike the Pentagon’s zombie apocalypse scenarioArchaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication is not meant as an implausible training exercise. With chapters by more than a dozen scholars, this book uses analogues (or at least clues) from archaeology and anthropology in an effort to think about how to communicate with radically different life forms.

As editor Douglas A. Vakoch explains,

The evolutionary path followed by extraterrestrial intelligence will no doubt diverge in significant ways from the one traveled by humans over the course of our history… Like archaeologists who reconstruct temporally distant civilizations from fragmentary evidence, SETI researchers will be expected to reconstruct distant civilizations separated from us by vast expanses of space as well as time. And like anthropologists, who attempt to understand other cultures despite differences in language and social customs, as we attempt to decode and interpret extraterrestrial messages, we will be required to comprehend the mindset of a species that is radically Other.

Also, and let me just put this out there, science fiction might be helpful in this regard as well:)

P.S. The NASA in Your Life site is a fun read as well. NASA’s research and technology spinoffs have played influential roles in moving innovation from Rockets to Racecars and more…

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