Searching for Life on Earth? By Brian Simpson
It seems that NASA are about to spend a whole heap of money in the search for alien life:
“Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a bill that includes $10 million in NASA funding for the next two years “to search for technosignatures, such as radio transmissions, in order to meet the NASA objective to search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.” Such technosignatures would come in the form of radio waves that have the telltale features of being produced by TV- or radio-type technologies. An intelligent civilization could also produce those signals intentionally to communicate with other civilizations like ours. “If it passes, it would definitely be a sea-change in Congressional attitude since Sen. Bryan terminated NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, in 1993,” Tarter told Live Science in an email. She added that the funding seems to be an extension of the efforts of Rep. Lamar Smith, R–Texas, to bring attention to the search for life beyond Earth when he was the chairman of the House Science Committee. (Smith, who announced that he will retire at the end of his term this year, is a known denier of human-caused climate change.)
If the legislation clears the House and passes the Senate, the result would be huge. “It allows for new instrumentation to be built, and data collected and analyzed at scale, by a global community,” Tarter said of the $10 million. Of course, the hunt for intelligence beyond Earth has not stopped, as private companies and other organizations have funded it, but a buy-in from the federal government is a big deal. “You need to remember that this is an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill. Even if it passes, the appropriators may not provide any SETI funding in their bill. But if they do, that would be a very big deal,” said Tarter, who was the basis for the heroine Ellie Arroway in Carl Sagan’s novel “Contact” and in the adapted movie by the same name.”
Why should the Americans, or for that matter anyone in the West, be searching for aliens in space, when illegal aliens pour into their countries every second of the day? Shouldn’t they be concerned about discovering everything about creatures on this planet before searching for new migrants from other worlds to take away local jobs from level one migrants? And, how would the UFO folk fit into the drive to displace us all using thinking machines? Would our thinking machines be displaced by the UFO aliens, leading to computers having to stand in the ever-growing queue at Centrestink?