Saturday, December 24, 2005

Reptile family tree, Crew Launch Vehicle and Virginia’s bad attitude toward the truth

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Just as we have found that our planet represents a tightly intertwined ecology involving all living things, the future of astrobiology likely will reveal that Earth is part of a galactic ecology and that life here, and elsewhere, is intermeshed with and dependent upon astronomical events – such as supernovae - throughout the galaxy. See article. Note: This article is from 2000.
g Abodes - The hunt for life on Mars likely will be a fossil hunt, but the hunt for life on Europa will be for actual life. See article.
g Life - The most comprehensive analysis ever performed of the genetic relationships among all the major groups of snakes, lizards and other scaly reptiles has resulted in a radical reorganization of the family tree of these animals, requiring new names for many of the tree's new branches. See article.
g Intelligence - The brain responds emotionally and often illogically when forced to make decisions based on little or conflicting evidence, a new study suggests. See article.
g Message - Extraterrestrial civilizations may find it more efficient to communicate by sending material objects across interstellar distances rather than beams of electromagnetic radiation. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus - As expected, shuttle solid-fuel rocket builder Alliant Techsystems - ATK - will be the prime contractor for design and development of the first stage of NASA's next-generation Crew Launch Vehicle, intended to propel astronauts into low-Earth orbit after the space shuttle's retirement in 2010. See article.
g Learning - Teachers in Virginia's public schools aren't encouraged to teach the theory that humans evolved from primates. See article.
g Imagining - Since no extraterrestrial life forms have been conclusively discovered, alien physiology lies in the realm of our imagination. See article.
g Aftermath - The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence is accelerating its pace and adopting fresh strategies. This increases the likelihood of successful detection in the near future. Humanity's first contact with alien intelligence will trigger extraordinary attention from the media, from government authorities, and from the general public. By improving our readiness for contact, especially for security during the first 30 days, we can avoid the most negative scenarios — and also enhance humanity's benefits from this first contact with an alien intelligence. Six potential problem areas include communicating with the media and the public, communicating with scientific colleagues, government control, an assassin or saboteur, well-meaning officials and lawsuits. See article.

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