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Is the Current Technology Enough to Uncover Life Outside the Earth?

By Vicki Mozo

Isn't it an interesting quest to find life outside the Earth? Is the current technology enough to find life in outer space?

We are in a time when we no longer easily believe on concepts and ideas not supported by science or empirical findings. Extraterrestrial life is one of those precepts that to others perceive as nothing but an urban legend or an old belief. Until now, there is no evidence that without a doubt life does exist similar to ours. But, the lack of evidence does not mean that it is not true or that extraterrestrial life does not exist.

What if we are in the times when life as we know it is different from the kind of life perceived in another planet? Life has been defined by humans in ways that are perceptible by our senses, which apparently may not be enough or limited. Hence, one cannot truly determine if life is exclusive on Earth.

Nevertheless, no one can easily persuade critics without sufficient proofs. That is why Paul Davies, the director of Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University, United States, believes that our technology, no matter how advanced it may seem for us today, may have been insufficient to detect life outside the Earth.

Searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life is what SETI is all about. SETI or the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is the collective efforts of humans in search for intelligent life in space or in remote planets. SETI aims to find evidence to support it through the use of the scientific method.

Davis argues that new technologies may be required to track for extraterrestrial life. The success of SETI to find proofs could have been restricted with their use of radio telescopes, antennas, and other related instruments to detect non-natural radio signals from the cosmos. He stresses that we might have been trapped by anthropocentrism, which he explains is the tendency to base and apply the current human civilization as a model for what an extraterrestrial civilization might be like. It would have been productive if we begin using and devising novel scientific methods (such as genomics and neutrino astrophysics) over the traditional methods that the SETI is using through the last five decades.1



1Institute of Physics. "Widening the search for extraterrestrial intelligence." Retrieved from http://www.iop.org/news/mar10/page_42549.html.

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