Thursday, November 08, 2007

SETI: Is It Worth It?

{EDIT ON 11/28/2007 - It appears that some poor, pathetic soul who cannot read very well has decided to use this blog entry in agreement to somehow propagate the notion that aliens have already landed on earth. Ignoring the fact that this person had somehow misread the intention of the blog, he has also ignored all of my criticism on adopting quackeries such as this based on the flimsiest of "evidence". So it is strange that this person would "agree" with me on this, yet almost every single tone and entry in my whole blog have been devoted to debunking silly claims such as the one he's making.

If you read this from some entry by this person in a public forum, complain to the moderator or forum owner. You have a CRACKPOT on your website who has been spamming the open forums with the identical post.}

This is an article defending the existence of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Frankly, I don't understand why, even when it is not funded by any taxpayers money, there are still critics of it. So it is a very long-shot haunch. If people can put their hard-earned money on crackpotteries such as the hydrino and perpetual motion machine, this is certainly a less dumb means of using their money. Using an argument that the money should be spent towards eliminating hunger and poverty and other social aliments is actually quite insulting - to the people who are experiencing hunger and poverty, etc. This is because it trivializes the nature of the problem, that by simply pouring in money, we could solve something that could easily be a complicated political, social, cultural, religious, and economic problem. I could easily use the same logic at criticizing these people for spending money buying CD and DVD's and going to all those fancy restaurants. Why not use those money to fund medical research instead?

When I was "younger", I was quite "gung-ho" about the SETI project and did send them some money. But as I got older, my "gaa-gaa'ness" for the mission died off and I stopped sending them money. Maybe as one gets older (and hopefully wiser), one tends to see things differently. What was "interesting" may not be that "important" in one's priorities. So I certainly don't send any monetary support for SETI anymore. But I don't believe that those who do should be criticized, and certainly not criticized this way.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's definitely worth it.

Even if it's a very long shot, the payoff we would get via contact with an extraterrestrial civilization would be enormous. And even if the exchange is not about scientific knowledge or technological advancement, the very existence would have a great impact on our society and culture (and, religion).

Besides, the universe is just so big :)