Hello! My name is Matt, and I live in the small town of Monument, Colorado. I'm a single, jobless, 16-year-old junior at Lewis-Palmer High School. I enjoy running and mountain biking, working on my web site (www.zeldafan.net), and I've always been fascinated by astronomy; whenever I'm on a night walk, I'm always staring up at the stars. My dream is to attend the United States Air Force Academy (convienently located just 10 miles south of my house) and grow up to become an Astronomer/Astrophysicst/Cosmologist.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I think this SETI@home is a worthy and exciting project. It's quite possible that everyday we're recieving television and radio broadcasts from another world tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of light years away. Perhaps a civilization has discovered us and is actually directing a message at us. Who knows? With this project, we can discover the answer to one of mankinds biggest questions about the universe much faster than conventional means, and it helps gain a more public interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
I think that since there is such a huge number of stars out there, it is more than possible that millions of other civilizations exist out there in our little corner of the universe alone, and the best way to start detecting them is with radio dishes.
As for the question of whether or not we should be transmitting signals to other worlds, we already are and we have been since the first radio and television signals were broadcast! Essentially we are one big huge radio beacon just waiting to be discovered by another civilization.
The picture of an "Independence Day"-like invasion may be scary, but I doubt that any civilization with the capabilities to travel among the stars would be without a decent conscience and an appreciation of life itself. Otherwise, they would either have already destroyed themselves or would hardly be making enough progress to build invasion ships. If we do find another civilization out there, I seriously doubt they won't be welcoming.