January 23, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Fermi Paradox Reasserts Itself

Paul Davies, no stranger to facing difficult questions and proposing imaginative solutions, is coming out with a new book in April about SETI.  In it, he tackles the Fermi Paradox: if aliens are out there, why haven’t they dropped by yet?  Amazon.com lists some of the ideas to be presented in The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence: “The author surveys popular topics in science fiction such as Dyson spheres, time travel, and wormholes, and decides that they’re not feasible under physics as we understand it.  He concludes with a far-ranging look at what might happen here on Earth when we make first contact.”
    Speaking of first contact, Davies chairs the “SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup,” which must be an interesting job, considering the subject matter remains hypothetical.  What does it pay?
    Davies feels that “SETI has lost its edge and offers a new and exciting road map for the future.”  The product description continues, “Davies believes our search so far has been overly anthropocentric: we tend to assume an alien species will look, think, and behave like us.  He argues that we need to be far more expansive in our efforts, and in this book he completely redefines the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does.”

Robert Crowther at Evolution News has a suggestion for Davies.  Just read Meyer’s Signature in the Cell “about the evidence for intelligent design that booms out of DNA right here on this planet.”  And if he wants to be less anthropocentric, why not consider angels, demons, or God?  Isn’t that being “far more expansive in our efforts?”  Expand your personal search into the Gideon Bible in the hotel room drawer.

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