Seeking Contact: Issues to Consider

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M. Michaud (2014), JBIS, 67, pp.24-26

Refcode: 2014.67.24
Keywords: Extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI, interstellar flight, active SETI, contact

Abstract:
Seeking contact with extraterrestrial intelligence is a species enterprise that should be conducted with our shared interests in mind. We must reflect on the full range of possible outcomes; we cannot opt out of the potential consequences of actions taken by small numbers of our fellow humans. Until we have empirical evidence about alien technological civilizations, we can reason about them only by analogy with our own history and behaviour. Given that record, some degree of prudence is in order. To conduct this debate more rationally, we must free our thinking of excessively binary stereotypes.

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