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Imponderables Complicate Hunt For Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

Science  23 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5977, pp. 421
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5977.421

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Physicist Paul Davies argues for widening the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) from radio messages beamed at Earth to beacons sweeping the galaxy, alien probes traveling through the solar system, and signs that viral DNA dispatched by a faraway civilization may have since become incorporated into the DNA of organisms on our planet. A professor at Arizona State University, Tempe, who serves as chair of the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, Davies spoke to Science recently about the past and future of SETI.