logo

sign-up-for-free-cybersalt-today-button

What if it really happened? What if an intelligent signal was received from space, and verified as a genuine signal from another intelligent race of creatures? What if there was absolutely no mistake about it - this was the real thing, a coded message sent as a communication to Earth, to let us know that we were not the only sentient life in the universe?

For many people it would be a thrilling, wonderful discovery - their reaction might be to break open the champagne and celebrate for many days, but for others it would be as scary as hell! What if this extraterrestrial was aggressive and hunting for food? What if it was infectious, or poisonous? What would the military forces of Earth do?

Among the many revelers would be the evolutionists. They would say that because life was found elsewhere in the universe, this proved that life could evolve by accident from non-living materials, without the help of a Divine Being. The implications of this are that life is essentially meaningless, and that Man is not significant in any way. But this is not a logical line of thinking.

First, God could have created intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, just as easily as He created it here on Earth. The incoming intelligent signal would prove only that there was an incoming intelligent signal. It would not prove evolution at all. Second, science has never shown how life can evolve from non-living materials, so it is by no means certain that it can happen here, or anywhere else in . . .

What if it really happened? What if an intelligent signal was received from space, and verified as a genuine signal from another intelligent race of creatures? What if there was absolutely no mistake about it - this was the real thing, a coded message sent as a communication to Earth, to let us know that we were not the only sentient life in the universe?

For many people it would be a thrilling, wonderful discovery - their reaction might be to break open the champagne and celebrate for many days, but for others it would be as scary as hell! What if this extraterrestrial was aggressive and hunting for food? What if it was infectious, or poisonous? What would the military forces of Earth do?

Among the many revelers would be the evolutionists. They would say that because life was found elsewhere in the universe, this proved that life could evolve by accident from non-living materials, without the help of a Divine Being. The implications of this are that life is essentially meaningless, and that Man is not significant in any way. But this is not a logical line of thinking.

First, God could have created intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, just as easily as He created it here on Earth. The incoming intelligent signal would prove only that there was an incoming intelligent signal. It would not prove evolution at all. Second, science has never shown how life can evolve from non-living materials, so it is by no means certain that it can happen here, or anywhere else in the universe. Third, no amount of wishful thinking, creative statistics and theory can turn a hope into a reality. The fact is, no intelligent signal, at least of the sort many scientists are looking for, has ever been received from space, and it seems likely that it never will be.

A leading light in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in Mountain View, California is Seth Shostak, the SETI Institute's senior astronomer. He places a lot of hope in the world's increasing computer processing power and improvements in radio telescope technology. With these things constantly improving, he claims that Earth may detect alien transmissions within two decades.

Shostak, whose calculations were published in the space science journal 'Acta Astronautics' first estimated the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy that might currently be broadcasting radio signals. For this he used a formula created in 1961 which factors in aspects such as the number of stars with planets, how many of those planets might be expected to have life, and so on. Shostak came up with an estimate of between 10,000 and one million possible transmitters in the sky.

To find these transmissions will involve observing and listening to radio emissions from most of the 100 billion stars of our galaxy. Impossible though this sounds, Shostak is undaunted. Within a generation, he thinks, with ever-faster and more powerful computers, the first contact will be made, but what if this happens? It may take Earth 200 to 1000 years to send back a reply!

What Shostak has done is leap wildly into the world of speculation. He fails to accept certain realities, such as the fact that just because technology improves, this does not lead to discoveries of the sort he hopes for. Even if the entire Earth's surface was bristling with receivers, if there is no transmission to receive, it will not be received. (By analogy, if one person listens for conversation in an empty room, a thousand people listening will fare no better.)

Shostak defends himself by saying, "I have made this prediction using the assumptions adopted by the first SETI research community itself." Which means, basically, he is not the only one who hopes for success against all the odds. What he, and his friends need to do, is turn their receivers in a different direction - towards Palestine. There, about 2000 years ago, an Intelligent Message was sent to Earth from space, and, as Jesus said, "I have given to them the words which You gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that You sent me." John 17:8

Richard Gunther, Copyright 2006

Powered By JFBConnect