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Re: SETI public: To kick things off...

In a message dated 11/23/99 6:51:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
walt_williams@setv.org writes:

> So my question to you all is this. What makes us think we could
>  ever, concewivably, unde4rstand the first thing ETI had to say to
>  us? Even if they had done their best to make a message we were
>  'sure' to understand - like we did with Arecibo and Encounter
>  2000.

_Nothing_  _makes_ us think we could understand the first thing about aliens. 

First we have to see them! Or hear them or whatever. 

I choose to think that I could see them if they were in front of me, I could 
detect their radio emissions if they chose to make them near me, and I could 
hear them if they vibrated the air near me within my hearing range. 

I probably could not understand any of these signals, though. So what. I 
would still be impressed by the experience.

More dolphin analogy: Do they see us? Do they recognize us? Can they hear us? 
I think they can. They might even understand us a little bit. But we cannot 
talk to them or communicate with sonar. So what. 

It is not all doom and gloom and hopelessness. We are certainly capable of 
recognizing the corporeal existence of non-terrestrial life forms, if the 
right evidence presented itself. 

The Seti League is not here to communicate or decode ET information. It is 
here to detect. That is Boolean. 

It is fine the theorize about the future need to decode. But don't give up 
a-priori just because we cannot have a meaningful discussion with the 

John Marcus