My name is Shawn and I'm 29 year old Sailor and novice astronomy buff. I started using SETI@home a few years ago and I've been pretty faithful about using it ever since. I've convinced a few friends to take part in the project, but I've never formed or joined a group.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Do you think extraterrestrial life exists? If so, when and how will humans discover it? What are the possible benefits and dangers of such a discovery?
I think there is definitely other life out there and some of that life is intelligent, but the distances are so vast that it is unlikely we will be able to commuicate with any of them effectively. I think the best opportunity to discover life outside of the solar system is through deep space probes or manned expeditions. Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972 it is still operating and travelling towards Aldebaron. Why can't we develop faster and more advanced probes like Pioneer 10 and Voyagers 1 and 2 to probe deep space. I think logically there is more to be benefited by the civilization that is discovered than the one that discovers them, but both will share a huge potential for ideological and philosophical chaos. There are many dangers involved with contact from another lifeform. Disease and biological contamination are the biggest threats similiar the Columbus reaching the New world, but with much greater consequences. Ultimately I think its worth the risk if only in the pursuit of truth.