Astronomer warns against SETI: “Maybe they will come and eat us”

Is it risky for Earth to send signals to extraterrestrials?


For decades, scientists have used radio telescopes to listen for cosmic signals that could originate with an extraterrestrial civilization. Increasingly, they’re also broadcasting messages to the stars in hopes that someone is listening.

But in a new interview with The Times, University of St. Andrews astronomer Martin Dominik cautioned against sending messages into the unknown of deep space.

“Maybe,” he told the paper, provocatively, “they will come and eat us.”

We come in peace

The Arecibo Observatory beamed out a message to potential aliens in 1974. Next year, scientists intend to send a signal to the stars representing the period table of elements. In 2008, the maker of Doritos chips shot a 30-second advertisement to a system in the Ursa Major constellation. And we’re constantly beaming radio waves of old music and sitcoms in every direction.

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