Profile: Sam Bartlett

Personal background
I live in Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia. I am a partner in a business in Egypt that builds motor yachts and operates them on the Red Sea (www.kawarty.com).
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home


I certainly believe that there has been, is and will be, intelligent life in the Universe. Assuming there are 200 billion stars in an average galaxy and 200 billion galaxies in the universe, this means that there are about 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. I think it is inconceivable that only one of these has a planet that has ever had intelligent life. A more scientific analysis is, of course, the Drake Equation.

Drake estimated that there are 10,000 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy but this means that they would be about 1,000 light years apart on average. If we found one at this distance, how could we communicate, except by waiting 2,000 years for a reply to any message? Even if there are intelligent civilizations in our galaxy (not to mention other galaxies), it is unlikely that many would be at the same stage of technical advance at the same time.

Although I am fully in favor of any SETI project, I think it is very unlikely that intelligent signals will be discovered in the near future.

Since we are busy trying to find other civilizations, I believe that we should be sending beacons to help others to locate us, even though it would only benefit future generations.

If we do find evidence of another intelligent civilization, I do not see why it should cause turmoil on earth, as many seem to predict. On the contrary, although it would be extraordinarily interesting, it should not come as much of a surprise, given the size of the universe. It would provide a tremendous stimulus to astronomy and space exploration.
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