Astronomer Claims We'll Find Alien Life By Year 2,100

April 1, 2014


And it will probably not look like that.

A senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute insists humanity will discover alien life within the century. Of course, Bigfoot hunters always claim they're only a day from discovering that giant furry f***er, and I still don't have a sasquatch skin rug by the fireplace. Unfortunately, the circumstances in which we'll likely find alien life are probably not as exciting as you're imagining in your head. Just read the second quoted paragraph if you really hate reading so much. I even bolded it for you so you know which one it is. It's the second one, in bold. "The first one?" Listen -- I've been feeling punchy all day.

"We are going to find life in space in this century." Those are the words of Senior Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) Astronomer Seth Shostak, speaking at last week's European Commission Innovation Convention. Like many others in the scientific community, for Dr. Shostak the question is not if we will discover alien life, but when.

The search, says Dr. Shostak, is drawing to a close, and it will end in one of three ways. First, we could find life nearby, on Mars or Europa, existing as microbes or other tiny microscopic structures. Second, we could find gasses in the atmospheres of far-off worlds that are produced by life's processes, like photosynthesis. Lastly, we could pick up the signals of alien life through stations like SETI itself.

I mean, microbes in our own solar system and signs of life in other planets' atmospheres is exciting and all, but what we really need are some REAL ASS ALIENS. You know, with the googly eyes and warp drive technology. And I want them to come to earth. And I want them to visit for a week then NUKE THE EVERLIVING SHIT OUT OF US, THE END.

Thanks to Carmen, who wants to be the first one to make alien contact. But not actual physical contact, there's no telling what space diseases those things might be carrying.


  • Big Hug Mug

    Looks like the Essay club over here

  • Terry_Jim

    It's more likely that you'll meet a sasquatch in a Seattle Starbucks than find alien life. It's a hostile universe to life, many observed galaxies have central black holes that send out enough x-rays to completely sterilize it. "Creepy Cosmic Thought: One unfortunate discovery that might result from the coming golden age of astronomy is that supernova detonations represent more of a threat to life than previously assumed. About a year ago, astronomers observed an extremely bright supernova, five times stronger than the previous strongest known supernova; the explosion occurred 240 million light-years away in a distant galaxy. Astronomers at the University of California at Berkeley estimated the exploding star had 200 times the mass of our sun and was a blue star -- fastest-burning kind -- similar to the very large, powerful blue stars thought to have dominated the universe in the initial eon after the Big Bang. The unusually strong supernova explosion did not happen quickly, as with previous supernovas; rather, it seemed to build up over a matter of weeks and continue for several months. Had this supernova detonated in our galaxy, the Milky Way, extreme levels of radiation from the explosion might have ended all life on Earth or on other Milky Way worlds that might be inhabited.

    Here's what creeps me out. Eta Carinae, a gigantic double star similar in mass to the distant supernova star, is located "near" the Earth in cosmic terms, about 7,500 light-years away. Eta Carinae is burning with extreme intensity and startled astronomers 164 years ago by giving off intense light, in what is now considered to have been some kind of failed-supernova event. If Eta Carinae detonates in a supernova similar to the one recently observed at intergalactic distance, the radiation could sterilize worlds all over the Milky Way. Maybe Earth, maybe not; radiation from supernova explosions expands in streams from a star's poles, so it is more likely to miss you than hit you. On the other hand, roughly 10 superlarge blue stars similar to Eta Carinae already have been found in the Milky Way, and improvements in astronomy might lead to more such finds. If it turns out the Milky Way is seeded with the equivalent of cosmic land mines, our existence here might seem even more improbable, and more tenuous.
    " Gregg Easterbrook

  • jos

    I know there are life out there but I am starting to lose hope of us actually finding life like ours. Doesn't have to be as advanced but at least early mammals or dinosaur life out there. We simply cannot build things that can search for it fast enough.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    Probably they are so far away that the laws of the universe makes it impossible for meat being to travel to them. If we ever reach them we won't be like them anymore.

  • zin

    I volunteer myself to total cyberization of my body for the purpose of being launched into deep space in search of ET life over the course of my artificial immortality.

    When I return to Earth I expect all you humans to be dead & to be unable to recognize the planet as my origin, but you guys better keep Youtube running in some shelter so that I can upload all the nude lizard-girl selfy videos I'll be hauling.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    Sending only one robot would be too inefficient. Better send thousands of self replicating robots. That will reproduce on asteroids and planets and launch themselves to other asteroids and planets until they find one with life.

  • jos

    We will most likely never be able to travel to them unless we can change out DNA so we age much slower and become like 500 years with still good physics. But if we travel in a spaceship for a long time we will lose bone and muscle mass. There are simply too many obstacles in our ways right now. Its also likely something wont go as plan and the spaceship might broke during the travel. IF we arrive to the planets and its surrounded by animals... its likely we will be killed pretty fast since life is based on survival of the fittest.. the animals or creatures must be highly dangerous somehow.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    I was thinking more about we become a race of self replicating machines (aka GW nightmare) so we would jump from asteroid to asteroid, from planet to planet, collecting resources, replicating and sending thousands of machines to many directions.

    Probably Earth won't have life anymore by the time we find the first alien animal.

  • jos

    Actually its more likely we will meet machines than biologically life. Just for the reason you are talking about. The universe is simply too big for us to discover a whole lot about other species.

  • Munihausen

    I donate computer time to BOINC to help SETI's dsp needs, for the hell of it, but Seth really needs to stop being so anti-UFO. SETI is the LAST effort that will result in any form of correspondence with extraterrestrials, be they microbes or super hot lizard women. Meanwhile, there is far more evidence, however you want to define the term, of extraterrestrials visiting us than a stupid WOW signal recorded once.

  • Fredrik Pettersen

    Evidence of extraterrestrials visiting us... what evidence? If those elusive evidence you are talking about was the real deal it would have made front page news all over the world in an instant.

    Blame Mulder and Scully who gave you reason to believe the government is hiding the "evidence" and covering up "the truth".

    Of course there are multiple intelligent civilizations in our own galaxy alone. But without proper hardcore evidence you are simply speculating and daydreaming of them ever visiting us here on earth.

    Without evidence you are free to speculate and ponder over the possibility of unicorns, leprechauns, wood elves and even gods existens. So why stop there.

    It's okay to be a moderat daydreamer, but don't be a ignorant baboon and talk down on proper evidence seeking approaches that went into the work behind the WOW signal. Although it did not amount to anything in the short run, it certainly is a much better approach than speculating wildly like you enjoy to do.

  • Munihausen

    Where to start...

    What have you read, about what topics, and when? Have you read Phillip Klass, Shoshtak, Friedman, etc., and determined "you know what, unless two aliens are double teaming me and my wife, it didn't happen?" Are we fellating the Drake equation and assuming that no other civilization could possibly have developed propulsion technology beyond ours: thus there is no way any extraterrestrial representatives could have made it to our part of this solar system? You don't seem to take a position on anything other than trying to prove negatives which, once you graduate 10th grade, you will learn is pragmatically difficult.

    Evidence is anything that tends to prove or disprove something. What does "proper hardcore evidence" mean, though, exactly? Was the WOW signal - not reproducible, happened once, and is very capable of terrestrial explanation - what you call "proper hardcore evidence?" I am confident I am far more well-read in the area and the fact that you would call me an "ignorant baboon" when I am proposing an open-ended outlook on the issue is ironic.

    "Although it did not amount to anything in the short run, it certainly is a much better approach than speculating wildly like you enjoy to do."

    What does this sentence mean? Passively waiting for some detectable signal to come across our space at the cost of millions of dollars per year is "better" than using that money to fund investigations into what our civilian and military institutions report on a daily basis?

    Methinks you are not very well read on the subject and your position, especially for someone who would take the time to comment on someone's else statement on, is very strange. Have fun Fredrik Pettersen, which I am confident is actually your real name.

  • Fredrik Pettersen

    We are still in kindergarten I see. You are so predictable. I was expecting you to hit me hard with fascinating, mind-blowing and meaningful reading material. Yes, I have read my share of exposed recorded government official UFO-sightings, and similar garbage.... when I was 12. Guess what, I have grown up and become more mature since then.

    Those are simply elusive sightings that people like yourself love to blow way out of proportion, and interpret as evidence of ETs flying through earth's atmosphere on a regular basis.

    A proper definition of hardcore evidence would be physical material. In this case wreckage/debris from a interstellar flying vessel, or better yet a functional one I can take for a spin. Heck!, I want to meet those little green or grey space traveling bastards in person. This and more is necessary to convince me before I start to prepare myself for an alien invasion from space.

    Elusive third person accounts written down on a paper and grainy photos from the '60s will never suffice. Any person with a half baked loaf for brain should not take these fairytales as unquestionable proof and truth worthy evidence.

    I never stop to be amazed of man's almost constant tendency to see pattern and order where none exist. Or in your case evidence and more overwhelming evidence. You are reading too much into this garbage. Open your eyes and think logical.

    Yes I am confident that proper evidence seeking approaches is the right way to go when searching for the truth. That is what our modern society was established on and still is progressing throughout science, industry, engineering, education, food propagation, medicine, court of law, forensic and climate investigation.

    A far more superior approach than your proposal which involves wasting time and resources on wild goose chases trying to weed out "sasquatch quality evidence".

    Yes Fredrik Pettersen is my real name. So what. Should I feel threatened now that you know my name, or maybe ashamed since you have exposed me as an ignorant fool?

    I say it again, of course there are multiple intelligent civilizations in our own galaxy alone. ETs flying through earth's atmosphere on a regular basis, I dont think so. I can imagine ET visiting us from time to time, sure. But then again I can imagine even more crazy possibilities than that. The difference between you and me is that I will never take it literally before I know it to be 100% truth worthy.

  • Munihausen

    [diatribe], and then:

    "Yes I am confident that proper evidence seeking approaches is the right way to go when searching for the truth"

    I completely agree with you. Your statement, also, is not inconsistent with the point of my original post: I think there is a plethora of phenomena which are completely disregarded by non-military institutions which could conduct "proper evidence seeking approaches," whatever that might mean, but simply do not and instead pay Shoshtak's organization millions for a passive effort that has yielded less evidence - of anything, and by anyone's standards - than what a bunch of random people with video cameras do on a weekly basis. What is left is for random documentarians to put small scale investigative efforts together to almost nobody's satisfaction.

    "The difference between you and me is that I will never take it literally before I know it to be 100% truth worthy."

    You don't know me, I am glad I do not know you beyond this strange exchange, I am not sure to what you are referring by "it," and you are free to believe and not believe what you want, Fred.

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    You managed to write all that, without actually answering his question. I'm genuinely interested if there is evidence of extra-terrestrial life visiting earth, but just because it's something that could happen, doesn't mean it has happened. So, what evidence is there?

  • Munihausen

    There are publicly available U.S. and foreign civilian and declassified military radar reports, an ocean of anecdotal eyewitness testimony and physical trace investigations, and a medium-sized sea of reliable anecdotal eyewitness testimony, some of it Congressional, and physical trace investigations. If you are interested, I would suggest you start your own research with cosmologically-oriented material from Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, and Laurence Krauss (who is himself quite the skeptic) before delving into more esoteric material from Stanton Friendman and Bruce Maccabee. Having experience working in our military industrial complex provides a great perspective as well.

    I believe Shoshtak, who is terribly closed-minded despite his impressive academic credentials, is mostly interested in turning the conversation away from UFO and other investigations - and thus to SETI - to keep funding coming. Anyone who is remotely technologically inclined, emotionally secure, and who spends time researching the subject should come away very intrigued and naturally dissatisfied by the state of its research.

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    You still haven't provided any evidence, just claimed that it exists. Even the types of evidence you talk about are weak.
    Considering "reliable anecdotal eyewitness testimony" as evidence would prove most religions to be fact. For example, how many Catholics are there in the world that would swear the pope is gods mouthpiece? Radar reports at best could show u.f.o.s but aliens is an astronomical assumption to make.
    The only interesting thing you mention is physical trace investigations, anything come out of those?

  • Munihausen

    Your demonstrated misunderstanding of what "evidence" is and your conflation of "proof" with a standard of evidence by which something is proved....*sigh. Read a book? Surf the web? Your kCals would be better spent reading and researching than asking me to regurgitate information to you.

  • The Magnificent Newtboy

    So you have nothing. Good to know.

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