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Intelligent Life: The Search Continues

By Dorion Sagan
The Scientist

“It takes one to know one”—this schoolyard retort has thus far guided the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and the belief is reinforced by countless science-fiction portrayals of aliens as humanoids. Is it possible that cosmic evolution has converged on bipedal, big-headed forms looking somewhat like us and having their run of a bevy of Earth-like planets? If so, where are they? Why haven’t they, like us, broadcast their presence across the electromagnetic spectrum, contacting their brothers across the stars and mitigating our cosmic loneliness?

I ponder these questions and more in my new book, Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science.

SETI is complicated by the fact that intelligence is multiple and the possibility  that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a replacement for religion in a secular age. Instead of believing in a god who made us in his image, we are on the lookout for aliens who have evolved an advanced technical civilization on the human model.

Read the full article.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 9 of Cosmic Apprentice.

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Cosmic Apprentice