Profile: Stephen Johnston

Personal background
Hi, I'm Stephen and although I was born in Ireland and grew up in Ottawa, Canada, I'm now living near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I'm 39, and I think SET@home is a fantastic use of the Internet and home computing -- the type of thing that the Internet should be used for!

I've always had an interest in the possibility of life outside our solar system, although my interests closer to home include my kids, running, karate, cooking, reading and writing.

I run my own copywriting and editing business. Who knows, one day perhaps I'll be able to write about SETI's successful discovery of life out there among the stars...
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I think that extraterrestrial life must exist, and that the possibility that we will find it increases daily. For instance, they have discovered that water exists on Mars, and that there are other solar systems much like our own.

This does not mean, however, that the life we find will be intelligent. If intelligent life does exist out there, I think that at this stage in human development, it will be up to them to find us. Of course, there are many who would say that they already have.

If we find basic life, such as microbes, in our galaxy, I think the impact will be felt more strongly among those with fundamental religious beliefs and an earth-centered cosmology. The rest of us have pretty much been 'primed' through the media to accept that extraterrestrial life may exist.

If we find intelligent extraterrestrial life, then all bets are off. I suppose that the old anthropological model stating that any society that meets a more technologically advanced society eventually collapses and re-forms itself will do for a start.

Given man's warlike nature, I think that possibility may not be so bad...

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