It might be time for scientists to end their search for signs of life outside our planet.
This concept is being vocalized by SUNY Stony Brook astrophysicist Paul Sutter, who stated in a new column for Space.com. He advocates for the point that a lot of energy and efforts have been invested in the cause and still no solid answer is found. There might be aliens but we are not going to find them.
“Humans have scanned and searched the heavens for signs of other advanced civilizations in the universe,” Sutter wrote. “And we’ve found nothing. Absolutely nothing. So maybe we shouldn’t be so focused on intelligent life but on any sort of life whatsoever.”
He stated that the main objective of searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), is based on the theory that “intelligent life should be easier to detect than regular, non-intelligent life because intelligent creatures are capable of really making their presence known.”
“But something in this argument is going wrong,” Sutter said. “Either intelligent life isn’t as common as we might have hoped, or it’s not as detectable as we might have hoped. Either way, it doesn’t look like SETI will bear fruit anytime soon.”
He suggests that there is only one thing that is not done yet in this regard. He advises considering biosignatures that could suggest less advanced life in distant worlds.
“Our first evidence for life outside Earth will take the form of a wiggle in a line on a plot, telling us that living creatures have dramatically altered the equilibrium of their home planet,” he said. “Non-intelligent life may not be as common as intelligent life (though the truth is told, we have no idea how common either is), but simple creatures are still capable of making themselves noticeable.”