Are Aliens Plentiful, But We’re Just Missing Them?
“With SETI focusing solely on electromagnetic signatures, we may, at present, be looking for the cosmic equivalent of smoke signals in a cellphone-filled world. But this likely won’t be the case for long. As our technology continues to advance, our knowledge of what to look for will advance along with it. And perhaps someday — perhaps even someday soon — the Universe may have the most pleasant surprise of all in store for us: the news that we aren’t alone, after all.”
The question of whether alien life exists has troubled humanity for millennia, and that question is still one without a known answer. We have lots of reasons to expect that life is plentiful, but also many reasons to think that it’s extremely difficult to create life in the first place, to evolve complex life, and to arrive at a technologically advanced state. In the entirety of the Universe, so far, we only have one instance of success for each! But despite all that we know is out there, we aren’t looking for alien life in many of the arenas where we’d expect signals to exist. Our radio broadcasts, which we originally thought aliens would be bound to use, are far fewer than they were a generation ago; it might be foolish to expect aliens to broadcast what SETI is looking for. Instead, there might be other signals we should be seeking instead.