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Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence$
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David Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680207.001.0001

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Looking for a Needle in a Haystack: Current SETI Strategies

Looking for a Needle in a Haystack: Current SETI Strategies

(p.83) 6 Looking for a Needle in a Haystack: Current SETI Strategies
Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

David Wilkinson

Oxford University Press

The history of SETI programmes is explored, assessing the strategy and noting the problems. From Drake to SETI@home, this is an area which fascinates the public and raises expectations. Yet the difficulties of finding, recognizing, and interpreting a signal are not fully understood. Current SETI programmes, and how they might develop in the future, are discussed. It is suggested that recognizing a signal involves assumptions about the possibility of common ground for communication. The possible impact of ‘first contact’ leads to a consideration of its social, politicalz and religious impact—including protocols to protect the Earth and to protect aliens.

Keywords:   cocconi, morrison, jocelyn bell, discovery of pulsars, project phoenix, SERENDIP, SETI@home, OSETI, protocols for first contact, peters survey

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