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Top US astronomers: Alien life to be discovered within 20 years

Published time: May 22, 2014 17:57
Seth Shostak participating in "Death From the Skies" panel at CSICON 2011 in New Orleans, LA, USA. (Image from wikipedia.org / photo by BDEngler)

Seth Shostak participating in "Death From the Skies" panel at CSICON 2011 in New Orleans, LA, USA. (Image from wikipedia.org / photo by BDEngler)

Two of the United States’ top astronomers appeared before Congress this week, telling lawmakers that the chance of discovering life on other planets is nearly inevitable, and that it may happen within two decades.

According to ABC News, Dan Werthimer of the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, called for more funding to be allocated to the search for extraterrestrial life, since he is “close to 100 percent” certain that primitive, microbial life exists elsewhere in the galaxy.

Dan Werthimer (Image from wikipedia.org)

Speaking to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Wednesday, Werthimer – the director of SETI, which stands for “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” – stated, “It would be bizarre if we are alone.”

Considering that scientists have discovered billions of Earth-like planets within our own Milky Way galaxy alone – and they are located within a “habitable” zone suitable for life – Werthimer suggested, “the universe is likely to be teeming with primitive life.”

As noted by the Huffington Post, Werthimer also submitted written testimony to lawmakers, in which he noted that the search for intelligent life also deserved more funding from Congress.

"In the last 50 years, evidence has steadily mounted that the components and conditions we believe necessary for life are common and perhaps ubiquitous in our galaxy," he said. "The possibility that life has arisen elsewhere, and perhaps evolved intelligence, is plausible and warrants scientific inquiry."

Meanwhile, the SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak agreed with his colleague, telling Congress that with trillions of planets in the galaxy, the chances are too good to discount the idea that alien life exists.

“If you extrapolate on the planets they discovered, there are a trillion planets in the galaxy. That’s a lot of places for life,” Shostak said, as quoted by ABC. “We know that the majority of stars have planets,” but what “fraction of stars has planets that are more like the earth? It might be one in five.”

“The chances of finding it I think are good and if that happens it will happen in the next 20 years depending on the financing,” he added in written testimony, according to BuzzFeed.

Werthimer stated that even if advanced alien life has been sending radio or laser signals throughout the galaxy, human technology is not capable yet of receiving them. But both scientists agreed that there’s no way aliens have already visited Earth.

“I don’t think that that would be something all the governments would have managed to keep a secret,” Shostak told Congress. “If they were really here I think everyone would know that.”

Comments (54)

 

ernie 24.05.2014 21:44

like i said they should have handed out beads and steel knives to congress. toeing the line just makes you sound as stupid as the flatearthers you are trying to get money from.

 

Suzanne Majo De Kuyper 24.05.2014 21:24

The United States Federal Government already knows there is life on other planets, for over sixty years they have known this in detail. In fact the UFOs found smashed on earth have been recreated and the type of energy that is used to fly them discovered years ago. It is free and all round us in the upper atmosphere. My son and four other researchers were assassinated last year as a warning they must not disclose what they know. Like ordering a man not to breathe.

 

Marc Wen 24.05.2014 20:59

Here we have politically correct scientists that know that if they have to get money they have to insist on the official line which is that there is no alien on earth. Statically they are certain that there is life, and so called agreed that they cannot have visited earth. But if some life is at the bacterie level, some can be like 1 million years ahead of oss technogically. Making them very capable of flying through space quickly.

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