Searching for ET - in Space and on Earth
Paul Davies, author of "The Eerie Silence", discusses SETI,
the 50-year search for Alien Life, and explains why it might be right
here on Earth.
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Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and
astrobiologist at Arizona State University, where he runs the
pioneering Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. He also
chairs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Post-Detection
Taskgroup, so that if SETI succeeds in finding intelligent life, he
will be among the first to know. The asteroid 1992OG was officially
renamed Pauldavies in his honor. In addition to his many scientific
awards, Davies is the recipient of the 1995 Templeton Prize--the
world's largest annual prize--for his work on science and religion. He
is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God,
About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma. He
lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Are we alone in the universe? This is surely one
of the biggest questions of human existence, yet it remains
frustratingly unanswered. In this provocative book, one of the world's
leading scientists explains why the search for intelligent life beyond
Earth should be expanded, and how it can be done.
Fifty years ago,
astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby
stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization.
Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an
eerie silence--eerie because many scientists are convinced that the
universe is teeming with life. Could it be, wonders physicist and
astrobiologist Paul Davies, that we've been looking in the wrong place,
at the wrong time, and in the wrong way?
Davies has been
involved with SETI for three decades, and chairs the SETI
Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we're
suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes
the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap--assuming
that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In
this mind-expanding book he refocuses 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.
Paul Davies website