Posted by keelynet on December 7, 2010
Until recently, SETI has been uncontroversial. What could be more wholesome than answering the question of whether humans are alone in the universe? Where things have become difficult is over whether or not researchers should be allowed to send signals into space pre-emptively, in order to attract the attention of any alien listeners who might be out there.
This is called active SETI, or METI, where the “M” stands for messaging. Attempts to draft a second SETI protocol to deal with this foundered several years ago, and the chairman and two members of the IAA’s committee resigned. The acrimony was aired on October 4th at a meeting organised by the Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, in Britain.
Those opposed to METI argue that broadcasting signals into space announcing the location of Earth is tantamount to ringing a dinner gong for any carnivorous, colonising or anti-social aliens who might be listening. Although Earth would be a rather long way to go for lunch, the argument is that the decision to take such a risk is not one for a handful of scientists. (You can watch the excellent Twilight Zone ‘To Serve Man’ episode with reference to the attached photo. – JWD) – Full Article Source
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