Looking for Life in Space



I watched a program the other night that left me wondering about the sanity of the television producers who concocted it. I think it was on the History Channel and it laid out in the most matter-of-fact tone the “evidence” that terrestrial  beings have been visiting earth for centuries. According to this program, alien visitors sparked such marvels as the pyramids.

The narrator calmly informed me that more than two million earthlings have been abducted by creatures from space over the years. According to the program, one man had something implanted in his brain that was so powerful it sapped the will of surgeons attempting to remove it.

I don’t know whether there’s life in space. I suspect creation is infinite and anything is possible in an infinite scenario. But I am very skeptical of the idea that visitors from space are interacting – or have ever interacted – with human beings on earth.

Even astronomers who rely on government funds to help them track signs of life in space are skeptical of this notion.

Dan Werthimer and Seth Shostak, top scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, told Congress this week that governments couldn’t possibly keep such UFO visits a secret. And they were on Capitol Hill to seek continued funding for their search for life in the rest of the universe.

Still, the two scientists think there’s life out there .. somewhere.

It would be “bizarre if we are alone,”  Werthimer insisted. And Shostak added:

If you extrapolate on the planets they discovered, there are a trillion planets in the galaxy. That’s a lot of places for life.

That certainly sounds plausible but I consider the search for extraterrestrial life a big scam – or at least a prodigal waste of resources.

You can argue that space programs result in discoveries that can be useful in our daily lives. But surely these discoveries could have been made in pursuit of more down-to-earth goals.

And in times like these, when billions are being slashed from America’s food stamps, unemployment insurance benefits are drying up and even Social Security and Medicare are threatened, it’s frivolous to spend tax money on programs that transmit Beatles songs into space and unravel extraterrestrial static.

Click for the Congressional hearings.