November 25, 2011

Rationally Speaking asks: Is SETI scientific?

I really enjoyed this excellent episode from the Rationally Speaking Podcast about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and whether or not it should be consider a true scientific endeavor:
Is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, solid science, pseudoscience, or something else, as Massimo [Pigliucci] argues in his book "Nonsense on Stilts"? What are the theoretical foundations and empirical evidence that justify a multi-decade research program, and what are its chances of succeeding? Have we learned anything thanks to SETI? Also, if the universe is infinite, what problems does this pose for utilitarian ethics?

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