Friday, January 18, 2008
ET stay home
We should resist the efforts of Russian scientists to contact aliens who could threaten our very existence
...Not long ago, the idea that an extraterrestrial civilisation might threaten us would have been dismissed as far-fetched. No longer. Recent simulations of known extrasolar planetary systems have found that about half of them could be expected to harbour an earth-like world. There's no reason to suppose that intelligent life hasn't evolved on some of these planets as it has on earth, and there's every reason to guess that some of the lifeforms involved would by now be far more developed than our own.
As long ago as the 1970s, Sir Martin Ryle, the then Astronomer Royal, warned that "any creatures out there" might be "malevolent or hungry". The late Ronald Bracewell, a Stanford University astronomer, argued that alien creatures would be likely to be both cunning and well armed. Another influential astronomer, Zdenek Kopal, told a British colleague: "Should we ever hear the space-phone ringing, for God's sake let's not answer. We must avoid attracting attention to ourselves."
David Cox is a writer, producer, and (apparently) a total nutter. There's a lot of that going around in media these days.
Fortunately, Iowahawk is investigating the problem.