50 Years of Eerie Silence is Not a Long Time

Will a wonderful pristine planet like Earth appear to be inhabited?

If you ask the astronomers of the sharp end of SETI why they think there has been an eerie silence they’ll say, “Well we only have been doing it for 50 years.”  “We’ve just started.”  “What more do you expect?”  “It’s a big universe out there.”  And in fact, to put that into context they look carefully.  It’s just a few thousand stars.  There are 400 billion stars within our Milky Way galaxy alone, so it is a needle in a haystack search. 

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Crackpot Idea Goes Mainstream: Life Could Have Come From Mars

We certainly can’t say that it definitely started on Mars, but it seems very plausible that it did.

Well I first suggested the idea in the early 1990s that life could have come from Mars to Earth inside rocks blasted off the Red Planet by comet and asteroid impacts, I think a lot of people felt that this was a pretty crackpot notion. But it became clear during the 1990s that not only is there a large traffic of material exchanged between Mars and Earth, but microbes, if protected by the rock, cocooned inside, could survive the harsh conditions of outer space for a long time - many millions of years.

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What if humans made contact with aliens? The chair of the SETI Post-Detection Task Group explains the issues we’d confront and how scientists and government would respond.