The search for alien life may end inside us

bhave.sh
7 min read
fairly easy
Article URL: https://bhave.sh/search-alien-end-inside-us.html Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28539064 Points: 1 # Comments: 0
The search for alien life may end inside us

With the billionaire-led space race now in full swing, we as a species are at the cusp of a new era in space exploration. Human missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus are closer and closer within reach with each passing year. Within our lifetimes, human voyages to these celestial bodies will become commonplace.

If you look at the recent history of human voyages into unknown lands, we see that whenever their ships sailed, there were scientists on board. With the science they conducted, we attained a broader understanding of the geography, astronomy and botany of these newly charted lands. We traversed vast oceans - the deep blue - and were rewarded with the discovery of new lifeforms and ecosystems. And now, the thirst for exploration is leading us to traverse the vast cosmic ocean of outer space - the deep black - in search of new lands and, perhaps, new life.

There is a profound question that keeps me up at night:

Are we alone in the universe?

That question doesn't have an answer, but it's not for lack of trying. We've built telescopes that can sense any signal in the electromagnetic spectrum, from chonky radio waves all the way up to energetic gamma rays. We have the SETI (search for extraterrestrial life) project, which expends unfathomable computational power toward the goal of finding intelligent life out there in the deep black. And now we've dipped our toes into even more novel forms of measuring reality, like gravitational wave detectors and giant neutrino observatories. We've built so many ways to see, yet all our eyes have found no one.

What if there are no aliens out there? Worse yet, what if they're right here, and we can't even know it?

Think about it: your body contains more bacterial cells than it does mammalian cells, and for most of history we had absolutely no idea! The soil in the world's forests is brimming with underground mycelial networks that exchange nutrients between the plants and trees,…
Read full article