How long do you think it will take to get comfimation of alien life? I share the author's optimism that finding alien life will be a great thing for us as a species, but I'm not optimistic that I'll be around to see it happen...

mk: Personally, I think we will have the first evidence of exo-solar life in a few years. ...I'll put my chips on 2015. This will probably be due to a combination of the signature of atmospheric gases, and the spectra of reflected light. -Like a oxygen-rich atmosphere around a planet that is green-blue.

Although I participate in SETI@home, I have less faith that we will detect electromagnetic radiation in the form of communication. If they are out there and near enough to see us, they are likely more advanced, and can point a signal straight at us. EM is not an efficient method to communicate between star systems, and I'd guess we haven't found the best method yet. There may be some way we can take advantage of quantum entanglement that we haven't found yet, which might allow for faster-than-light communication. Or, maybe something else entirely.

My guess is that we are in the middle of a conversation, but we aren't able to hear it yet. As for when we will, who knows. Maybe 30-40 years? Or maybe our robot overlords will take care of that in their own time. :)

posted by mike: 2856 days ago