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Talking about the eerie silence

Is there anyone out there? Paul Davies’s new book

By Matin Durrani

Whether or not we are alone in the universe is one of the great outstanding questions of existence.

But don’t take my word for it – that’s the view of Paul Davies, physicist, popular-science writer and director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University in the US and author of a new book The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe.

If you enjoyed Paul’s article about why we should relaunch the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), which can be read online here, then why not tune in on 31 March for a free online lecture by Paul himself?

To register for the talk, which takes place at 4.00 p.m. British Summer Time (11.00 a.m. US east coast, 5.00 p.m. Central European Time), simply follow this link.

You can ask Paul questions too – so if you want to know why he thinks magnetic monopoles could be a sign of alien life, you’d better register now.

Oh, and if you miss the talk, or simply want to hear it again, it will be online a few days after the event.

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  1. Kevin MacLellan

    It is obvious that deep space exploration by humans is not going to happen in the near future. However, I wondered if it may be possible to launch a deep probe, equipped with Hubble like lens, and all other types of probes needed. Even if we can catapult this satellite at a fraction of C we may in the next generation gain some better understanding of what is out there. The question is do we have the capability to communicate with such a probe and can it send message signals back to earth at deep distance. And then there is the problem of energy to sustain the probe for a generation or two of humans. If we find a good possible exoplanet for habitation, we humans should be ready to extend our selves. Is this type of exploration currently possible?

  2. Eric

    I for one am glad that we have not found Alien life and I am especially glad that Alien life has not found us. (UFO stories notwithstanding)
    I find it difficult to conceive of a species that rises to the level of technology necessary for interstellar travel without first having been THE Apex Predator of their originating planet.
    I suspect that more often than not, any technological civilization that advanced would have, for the most part, outgrown their savage pasts. However, one doesn’t have to look any further than our own little rock to find what are almost living fossils; humans whose attitude & behavior is more appropriate for 2010 BC than 2010 AD.
    We would all like to hope that our first encounters with alien species will bear a closer resemblance to E.T. or the Asgard of Stargate SG1, but we should keep in mind that the aforementioned television show also included some very powerful nasties as well.
    If there is a God, perhaps the greatest blessing he gave his children on Earth was to park them on a pleasant little rock orbiting what Douglas Adams referred to as a small, unregarded yellow sun, far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy.


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