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An interesting idea presented by Carl Sagan when pondering the likelihood of discovering intelligent life outside of our planet:

“We are like the inhabitants of an isolated valley in New Guinea who communicate with societies in neighboring valleys (quite different societies, I might add) by runner and by drum. When asked how a very advanced society will communicate, they might guess by an extremely rapid runner or by an improbably large drum. They might not guess a technology beyond their ken. And yet, all the while, a vast international cable and radio traffic passes over them, around them, and through them…

We will listen for the interstellar drums, but we will miss the interstellar cables. We are likely to receive our first messages from the drummers of the neighboring galactic valleys – from civilizations only somewhat in our future. The civilizations vastly more advanced than we, will be, for a long time, remote both in distance and in accessibility. At a future time of vigorous interstellar radio traffic, the very advanced civilizations may be, for us, still insubstantial legends.”

Carl Sagan, “The Cosmic Connection

Do you think SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will find evidence for intelligent life “out there”? Leave your comment below.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting.  I think it will be exceptionally challenging to discover life outside of our solar system.  The time difference between sending and receiving signals is prohibitive, even at the speed of light… While I still reserve hope for ET, I don’t think it’ll happen in my lifetime…

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