SETI Will Turn 50 in 2010
There hasn’t been much news about SETI lately, but expect more in the coming year. In April 1960, 50 years ago, Frank Drake began the first SETI search with radio telescopes called Project Ozma (see SETI Institute description). No undeniable signal of intelligent origin was found that year or in the 50 years since, despite increases in search sensitivity and scope by many orders of magnitude. Drake, now 50 years older and wiser, is still considered a founding father of SETI and is featured prominently on the SETI Institute website. The SETI Institute fired up its most powerful search tool ever this year: the Allen Telescope Array (financed prominently by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen; see 10/12/2007).
There will probably be an increase in reporting and hoopla about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in 2010. New Scientist mentioned this on December 23. Actually, 2009 was a 50th anniversary for SETI, too. Last September, Nature printed an editorial supporting SETI on the 50th anniversary of the first scientific paper that presented, in 1959, the possibility of a search using radio frequencies (09/20/2009). The Editorial said, “Regardless of how exhaustively the Galaxy is searched, the null result of radio silence doesn’t rule out the existence of alien civilizations. It means only that those civilizations might not be using radio to communicate.” Nature didn’t mention the other possibility – that there are no aliens.
If any business were celebrating 50 years of good intentions but absolute failure, the press would have a field day mocking them. SETI, however, is forgiven, because its occult practitioners are materialists and pro-Darwin. They get a free pass into the scientific community, otherwise known as the Darwin Thought Collective.
Project Ozma was inspired by the Wizard of Oz tale. And they thought Darwin skeptics were not in Kansas any more (04/21/2005).