Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials
The proper study of mankind is not merely Man, but Intelligence. 1 —Arthur C. Clarke, 1951 In the long-running television series “The X-Files,” the original Deep Throat said to FBI Special Agent Mulder that “there are those like yourself who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life.” Ah, but that’s not the question. If extraterrestrial life exists, most of it may be in simpler forms comparable to the one-celled organisms of Earth biology. Finding such life would be fascinating for scientists, but may be of only passing interest to the general public. What intrigues the average citizen is the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. We want to communicate with other sentient beings, learning what they know and telling them about ourselves. We want to ? nd out how they are like us and how they are different. Microorganisms don’t have a lot to say. There is another implication of contact that underlies this book: Intel- gent extraterrestrials might have an impact on our future. The information they send us—if any—might change our cultures. They could have c- scious intentions toward us, and possibly the technologies to reach us directly. Their intentions may be benign—or not. Our interest in alien minds is not new. The idea that intelligent beings exist beyond the Earth has been part of the Western intellectual tradition for more than 2000 years. Sometimes this belief was widespread; at other times, it was out of fashion.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - fpagan - LibraryThing
It's a shame that this comprehensive and meticulously documented tome tends to get shelved next to such trash as books on UFOs and books on alien abductions. It seems to mention every possible consideration and opinion about ET intelligence; some of these, annoyingly, pertain to religion. Read full review
As far as I can see this book rolls through all of the aspects of encountering Others by which I mean extraterrestrial beings. Michael Michaud gives summaries of everything from the Fermi Paradox to the idea of a Galactic Club of sorts. Contact pessimists vs contact optimists and everything in between. The quotes from several famous people contributing their own two cents to this profound topic makes this even better. Five stars for the actual content, the book cover, and the relatively cheap price.
The Consequences of Contact
Some Assumptions Examined
Civilization Technology and Science
The Drake Equation Take Two
Should We Continue the Search?
The UFO Controversy
The Drake Equation Take Three
Why Dont We See Them?
Reformulating the Problem
Thinking Outside the Box
SETI and Religion
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Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering ...
No preview available - 2006