The most surprising thing that we learn in this video is that in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence a key challenge is we have zero examples of what we are looking for. If I am searching for my mother's phone, and I have no idea how it looks like, I still know it will be a phone of some kind. However, what if she comes from a different planet and their phone actually looks exactly like our hearing aid but much smaller. I could be looking for her phone, but I would not find it. This is especially the case because once you "find" something, you also want to check if that is indeed what you found, but here again, it is hard to know if you were correct that this intelligence because you must find an objective way of verifying that this is indeed true and that might take a very long time given how large the universe is and how far away the potential life form might just be. It is also fascinating how the search for extraterrestrial intelligence exposes how we have still so much to learn about our own planet: they talk about that we only recently learned that lightning moves upward from the top of a thunderhead or that now we know there are at least 150,000 forms of plankton when we previously thought there was only 15,000.
top of page
bottom of page
Hey Gaurang, this is a great point! I particularly liked the example of your mother's phone - if you don't know what exactly you're looking for (or worse, you think you know but you're wrong), you could end up wasting a lot of time and resources looking for the wrong thing. I thought your post would be very good for explaining to someone who isn't as familiar with the concept of extraterrestrial life. Nice job!