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By Seth Shostak
Is the Earth Visited by Aliens? Many people think, even though there are only a few scientists. Professional researchers are not easily persuaded by testimonies, blobby photos, or claims that evidence of alien traveling has been guarded by a paranoid government. Some of the thousands of UFOs spotted each year are actually alien capabilities. At least one scientist recently reported that the amount of clipboard should be a little less safe.
This scientist is Silvano Colombano, a computer expert and robotist at NASA's Ames Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. He was the facilitator of a conference on New Approach to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), which took place earlier this year at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Colombano says the skeptical attitude of most researchers is too narrow. You could throw the baby out with the bathwater.
He cited this example: If you turn to your favorite astronomy professor and see what she has to say about interstellar rockets, you'll probably roll your eyes. The energy required to accelerate an enterprise-sized spaceship to nearly the speed of light is greater than can be gained from the rest of the Earth's fossil fuel. Fast traveling between the stars is incredibly difficult (or impossible), she says. So forget the idea that little gray guys control saucers in our airspace. Your home planet is too far away, wherever he is.
But here is an assumption, as Colombano noted. Namely that the aliens are biological and require a rapid transition between star systems to prevent dying on the way. This little problem was finally the motive for the (fictional) warp drive of Star Trek.
However, there is a solution to this: release the intelligence that dies. Anyone who is not a dead caveman knows that artificial intelligence is on the way. By the end of this century, it is possible that the smartest on earth is a machine. Since most star systems are billions of years older than our own, you can be sure that clever residents have long ago banished biological brains to the history books and are home to intelligent and possibly very compact, thinking hardware.  As Colombano says in a recent article, "Given the relatively abundant presence of elements that may be involved in the origin of life … it is a reasonable assumption that life" as we know it "is at least a common starting point but our way of life and our intelligence may be but a tiny first step in a continuous evolution that may produce forms of intelligence that are far superior to ours and no longer based on carbon machines. "
Well, an obvious advantage of non-carbon Machines do not have to be cursed for a short lifetime (despite the experience you may have had with your laptop) Really sophisticated devices can repair themselves, so they can travel long distances simply because they are in no hurry, you To reach the goal.
This has a profound consequence e Earth has been winding around the sun for over 4 billion years. Even with the modest speed of a NASA rocket, this is more than enough time to reach our planet from anywhere in the Milky Way. If passengers do not mind spending billions of years in a middle seat, they could do so. Compact machines would not take up much space and would not moan during the long runtime.
So what should we close? Of course, it is possible that some extraterrestrial intelligence has decided to come to our solar system and remove the earth from the list of pails. This does not violate physics. This could have happened 100 million years ago, or a billion years ago, and we would not know.
But for many people the appealing thought is that we are now being visited. Of course, a scientist would consider such a proposal only if it could be confirmed by observation. Smart ideas are nice, but rules of proof.
Therefore, Colombano suggests using massive computers to search for such evidence among the many thousands of UFO sightings. Perhaps all these reports contain a gold nugget. If there is something to discover, as Colombano states, we will not find it if we do not seek.
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