archive: Re: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

Re: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

John Willcox ( willcox@voicenet.com )
Thu, 20 May 1999 13:35:57 -0400

Brian and John,
It's been great reading this discussion, and yes it is a good
topic for SETI!
I can't put things nearly as concisely as you guys, but wanted
to say something. The evolutionary niche filled by Homo Sapiens
is very robust as we all know. It is exactly as you fellows have said:
The "maladaption" to nature's conditions, and the positive feedback
of invention driving better conditions and health. In tandem with our
unique adaption is the fact that we took advantage of strong social
drives. By communicating for survival (we think), we developed the
ability to accumulate knowledge. Each of us knows how this works,
we read and listen to gain a piece of the human legacy.
In our consideration of other worlds, we logically start with a look
at similar environmental niches. Ours is as valid as sea creatures,
dry land creatures, atmospheric creatures and so forth.
The time in our tenure on Earth has arrived to look for others filling
a similar role as our own. Note that lay interest has never been as
great in speaking with the great Earth creatures as in ETI.
The whale has the largest brain on the planet, even if much of it
is consumed with audio processing, he is still worth listening to.
But, what might he say. Being on an evolutionary path of superb
natural adaptation, he would have a hard time speaking to our
future. We really seek our brothers.
The point I wanted to state (after all this clumsy verbiage):
The motivation for SETI is neither Science, nor some vague
cosmic hand-waving philosophy. It is the culmination of all that we
are and want to be. If it occurs to us on our world...

Thanks for the fascinating discussion.
John Willcox
Project Argus Observatory FM29fx