I am a systems analyst at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I've been working here since 1985, mainly in the area of training and application of computer technology to training (such as administering WebCT and the campus web site).
To find out more about me, visit my home page at http://duke.usask.ca/~lowey/
|Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home|
In the last "blink of an eye" in cosmic terms, something truly amazing has happened. The Universe, by developing the human mind, has become curious about itself. After billions of years, it has finally become self-aware, and it is asking questions, including the most basic question of all: "Are we alone?"
Humans have always believed we are not alone. Some people believe in little green men, others believe in God and Angels, but the point is most people believe in other beings in the Universe, in extra-terrestrial (non-human) intelligence.
The message of SETI is that we are not just part of the Universe, intelligent beings are the Universe. We think, therefore the Universe exists. If the Universe didn't have this capacity for intelligence, this ability to contemplate itself, then none of it would matter. Nobody would be around to care about it.
That's why SETI is important to me. If it finds other intelligence out there, then I can rest easier knowing the Universe doesn't have all its eggs in one basket. If humans die out, there will be others to take our place.
However, if SETI doesn't find any other intelligence, it underscores how important it is for mankind to grow up and stop being so self destructive. If we kill ourselves off through wars or poisoning our planet, then we won't just destroy humanity. We may also be killing the most precious thing in the Universe. The ability for the Universe to recognize that it exists.
I hope the fate of the Universe is not tied to the fate of Mankind. Because if it is, it will always be in danger. If humanity cannot straighten itself out, then this great experiment in Self Awareness for the Universe could come to an end. That would be tragic.
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