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SPS's Avatar Jump to comment 253 by SPS

Comment #288269 by Steve Zara

Suppose you come across a vast field of grass. The only footprints you see are your own. With your telescopes you can see the grass for miles and miles around. Someone questions if others have been walking around. You see no footprints. And then, the arguments start .... "they have been walking on stilts"... "before they walked, they developed ways to hover above the grass".

That is the level of argument we sometimes see from those who support the idea of alien space-faring life.

Good example, Steve. But, you would also be remiss to think the correct questions have been asked or the correct instruments have been used, or that you have reached the limits of your own understanding. The evidence may lay in the ground, or across the sea. Maybe you need a shovel and not a telescope. There is no supposition necessary that would be on par with assuming the existence of the supernatural. To me, the search for alien intelligence is no more an act of blind faith than is the building of the Large Hadron Collider.
As has been mentioned, we are here. An advanced, long-lived alien race no longer struggling to survive, may be limited in its drive for reproduction. An alien race not threatened by its own members, and finding itself the master of all around it, may find no reason, need, or urge to expend any effort to colonize across the galaxy. I find the urge to explore far more plausible than the urge for continuous colonization.

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 16:02:00 UTC | #274528