Popular Science News $section News
  Get Popular Science posters here! > Subscribe | > Newsletter 

What's New
Photo Gallery
Aviation & Space
Automotive Tech
Contact Us
Digital Edition
Customer Service
Gift Subscription
Current Issue
Media Kit
PS Showcase
PopSci Store

Enter e-mail address to receive popsci weekly updates to your inbox.


« Halo 3 Highlight Reels | Main | Faulty Component in Heart Implant Device »



There are not aliens. Wasted money.


Wow to think someone is so little minded remember when the earth was flat!


Folks, there are more important things to do than searching for extraterrestrials. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that there are any living beings capable transport themselves across the distances in our galaxy. If you think it is likely that there are any extraterrestrials capable to come visit Earth you know little of our galaxy and the physics involved. The probabilities are pretty small. It is a popular waste of money to search for aliens, just like it will be popular to send humans to Mars.
We have HUGE problems on this planet that need to be solved if you want the human race to make it through the next, say, 200 years. Hoping for an alien race to save us (or to unite humans in the face of extreme danger) will not get us anywhere. Each of us has to begin now to do what is needed.

Stop hoping for superior beings to get us out of the mess. Or for them to get here. It is a colossal waste of brain power and energy.

Nothing is impossible and not everything has been (or ever will be) discovered - but it does not speak for your ability to reason if you believe and spend millions without evidence or repeatable observations. Especially if the observable facts are making it very improbable that confirming what you are searching for has lasting and relevant impact on our current global situation.



That's good that Christopher Columbus and all the past discoverers/inventors didn't waste their time listening to people like you, Kris.

And you can use the internet because people bothered to search where others didn't want to go.

It might not be too difficult to find , in our society, bigger wastes of money that clearly serve no purpose (look toward dictators, military efforts, and such).
At least, this one serves a purpose.

Lastly, there is enough money on this world to take care of any other task. Searching for extra-terrestrial civilizations doesn't mean that you can't make your best efforts to protect our planet at the same time.

And like in every research, you never know what unexpected discovery can come out. Actually, there is a probability that searches for other worlds can save our planet in the end.

So please, don't be so close minded.

Ted Jones

I often wonder if perhaps we should be searching interdimensionally rather that across the radio spectrum. For conversations sake, let's assume that events such as Roswell did occur. The Roswell crash happened shortly after nuclear explosions occurred on our planet. I wonder if a nuclear explosion can act as a sort of beacon, interdimensionally, allowing advances species to coordinate the location of potential advanced civilizations that they can travel to via interdimensional transport. I just think this may be more realistic when considering the incredible amount of space time that needs to be overcome in order to transport to another star system.

William Zych

I wont say aliens dont exist, the universe is far to vast.
But I will say its a waste of time and money for if there is life out there I really dont think they will have a ham radio to pick the signals up from. Either the life will be uncivilized or far beyond our means of communication.
We could have better success trying to communicate with other animals on this planet.


Zych, did you read my post above?

Before you start communicating with animals, I suggest you learn how to communicate effectively with human beings.

By communicating effectively, I mean reading the whole content of a post, and quit ignoring valid points that have been done, so that the debate came move forward.

So, I will repeat for you : Using money for E.T search doesn't prevent others from trying to communicate with animals, ants, stones, spirits, or whatever. And again : discoveries made from E.T search can potentially pave the way to discoveries about other areas of research. Just like better computing allowed better climate modelling.


BTW, my first post was directed to Karsten, not Kris.

Sorry Kris :)
I hope you'll forgive my mistake.



This has nothing to do with narrow-mindedness. This has to do with probability and physics. Columbus was not trying to discover new land. He knew the earth was not flat and wanted to go to India. Yes, he stumbled upon new land, but that was not improbable by any means.

I love sceinece fiction and I can IMAGINE a whole lot of solutions for our species (and science fiction authors can do that even better) but just because one can imagine a possibility does not change that pursueing it seems to be rather distracting to say the least. Even worse: We find a signal and focus more attention on it without ever being able to go there or communicate with those who sent the signal (if it is one). Just sending a radio signal to the nearest next star takes about a decade. Waiting for the reply another one. Two decades of hope down the drain and not much done on the planet to keep it in a condition that is worthwhile living. That is assuming we find a signal on the nearest star. What, in all honesty, do we do with a signal that arrived from a system so far away that it already traveled several hundred or thousands of years to get here? Respond (how?) and wait? Seems silly considering the problems we have as a species. How can an alien species help us? Give me one reasonable example.

Obviously, spending money on CETI is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to other expenses. I will comment about those when I see something written about it. Even though there are more wasteful items, it is a waste.

There is a probability for anything. But there are probabilities for other issues that make those issues much, much more pressing. I say, let us focus on real pressing issues, not on close-to-groundless hope. Realizing this is not narrow-minded. That is smart.

Once the boat is not sinking any longer, some energy may be spent on looking for land beyond the horizon. Right now work needs to be done and heads need to be pulled out of the clouds.




Your whole post is (again) based on the silly asumption that studying one area distracts the whole planet from studying others areas. It's absolutely unrealistic.

If you want more money for ecology so badly, then go ask some more cash to those who waste an enormous amount of it without doing any scientific research at all. It's not too difficult to find them.

Spending money on science is never a waste.

And SETI (not CETI) is privately funded BTW.
If individuals chose to give money to this project instead of others, it's their own private choice. It's not a political choice.
Or are you a little "green dictator"?
Do people tell you what you should do with your money?

Lastly, even if we can't communicate with other civilizations, we can know if they exist or not. But maybe you're against knowledge too?


I am all for searching for any one or thing out there. What bothers me is this, we are depending on computers to sift thru the static to find an something not random in all the chaos . We have had countless hours and years spent trying to communicate with Dolphins the next smartest thing on this planet, with virtually no real results. We can not expect to even remotely be able to communicate at any real level with aliens, however we can only hope that they are smart enough to figure us out and find a way to communicate with us. We had just better hope that they are within say 75 light years from here because that is just about as far as our transmissions have made it thus far. Also what we must think about is what have we as humans done to all living things on this planet, dominated and used them to our best interst. Now I am no greenie, hippie or naturalist, but a realist. If an "advanced" species does discover us what is to stop them from making us the ants under the microscope.

halo pwns

Huge waist of money and resources. think about it, the land they used to put those dishes will eventualy be need for homes and natural resources in the next 10 or 20 years. WASTE OF LAND,RESOURCES, and MONEY

halo pwns

By the way Frank you are a dimwit, ok??? You can't honestly think that there is any life out there can you? If there was, they would have found us.


Hi Adam :)

Well, like many other participants on this blog, you base your opinion/judgement on pre-conceived ideas. To ut it simply, you're not thinking by yourself, out of the box.

Think about it : why would we have to communicate in order to live in harmony with another specie?

I live with cats. They don't have any language I can understand. I'm not even certain we see the same reality. But, I love being with them. They seem to enjoy my company too. I love watching them doing their stuff together.

You see, I can peacefully interact with species that I can't communicate with.

As for the domination of other species you're talking about, I believe that having a clearest picture of what the universe is for real will make us more humble in the long term.

If another specie consider us as ants, what's the problem? Just accepting it is true humility.

spartan ala laser

is this a debate or is it a blog?? come on guys! are you adults or are u like jarjar binks???


Halo pwns :

The doctors from the psychiatric asylum didn't find you yet but hey, they exist you know.

Not being found by someone doesn't mean that that someone doesn't exist.


Halo pwns :

Please define "waist of money".

Is this a belt made of gold or something?
Or love handles maybe?


I love the idea of any further space exploration, especially if it is privately funded. Sure, individuals could sped their money to feed starving children, or take care of AIDS orphans, and who knows? Maybe they do that too. Also, science fiction has furthered science reality. I have some old literature, that talks about the use of humans because there was no way one could build a computer small enough to send on the deep space voyages! We can never stop learning enough. When you do, it closes your mind to anything else, especially the ideas of others. To oppose is to oppress, and I believe that was the reason our country was founded. Imagine what we could do if we encouraged others, even if we ourselves weren't sure, but believed in the rights of others, not just ourselves. Imagine the example we would set for others countries. Imagine other intelligent life finding us that way. Right now, I would rather have someone on my side in research with helpful skepticism, than someone who scoffs and dares me to prove them wrong. We are a long way off from Star Trek, where all nations, sexes, and species worked together. It sure would be nice, however!


Sorry, my grammar got away from me, our country was founded to get away from oppression of others.


Also, if you visit the website for the Allen Array, you find that this amazing project is in use for more than searching for alien life. But don't let me tell you to find out for yourself!


I do not recall using insulting language and I do not see how you contribute constructively to this issue when you make fun of other people's typos, insult them, or question their sanity. Yes, I made a mistake. It is SETI, of course. I know what it stands for. Brain skip. Sorry.

Most certainly cats have a language you understand. That is why you feed them, pet them, bring them to the vet. etc. Good thing they already live with us on this planet, not thousands of light years away. Wouldn't do us any good if they did. But, I admit, it would be cute to know.

And even though I feel you wrote that I wrote things I did neither think nor write, I think all has been said.



someone once asked me why i thought there could'nt be aliens here. my response was and always will be... the same reason we're not there



The only person I gave the cold answer was the childish Halo. So please, don't act as if I mistreated you because it isn't true at all.

Now, I feed my cats because I know that they would die if I don't. It has nothing to do with communication at all. They can't tell me if they have a headache for example or if their belly hurts. Usually, you bring a cat to the vet when it is already in visibly bad condition or for preventive vaccines.

Lastly, that's good to hear that you'd kind of like to know if other civilizations exist ... which is a good progress :)



You clearly are a victim of ethnocentrism because you (wrongly) assume that all the other existing civilizations are only as advanced as us.

Then you'd say : but if they were so advanced they would already have come here?

What if they decided no to?
What if they don't have any interest toward us?
What if they know it might be fatal to us?
Maybe they have their reasons, good or bad.

Or maybe, and it is more probable, we are located in a part of the galaxy that has little life, which makes us very hard to find even for a really advanced civilization located on the other side of the galaxy.

As you can see here, we are quite excentred : http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/aaps.planetarium/files/wearehere.jpg


Well Franck, I do believe that communication is more than words. And if you know that your cat is hungry, or wants to be petted, or is in any other need that you can fulfill, your cat will communicate with you through, dare I day it, body language. They use sounds, the position or their tail and ears have meanings, and when they rub against you - you know what that means. Maybe you do not respond to this but it is certainly acknowledged that we are able to communicate with animals, especially pets. Almost every interaction between trained animals and humans has to do with communication. Because we can communicate with them is why we like them and they are OK with us (we respond to their attempts to communicate). So, why do you reduce communication to words or text? Or do you not?


The comments to this entry are closed.

Return to the Blog Index

January 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Customer Service
Copyright © 2005 Popular Science
A Time4 Media Company All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Index