Oumuamua: the edge of reason?

from The New Yorker article

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/25/have-we-already-been-visited-by-aliens

A nicely written discussion by Elizabeth Kolbert at the New Yorker. In it she discusses the details of recent findings of the Oumuamua object that blasted through our solar system at 4x the speed of usual asteroids, did not move as expected, and must have been “an interstellar object”. Some are calling it an alien artifact, others are pooh-pooh’ing such a description as “unscientific.”

Farhad Manjoo at the NYTimes also comments. Fermi’s paradox talks about how to calculate the very large number of planets out there and the unknown fraction of those that might support life.

 In 1992, NASA spent $12 million on a project to listen for radio signals from other planets; the next year, Congress cut the funding, with one senator joking that “we have yet to bag a single little green fellow.”

In years since, scientific funding in this area has been paltry.

Here is the Fermi Paradox equation about the likelihood of extraterrestrials: https://www.space.com/25325-fermi-paradox.html

Why not consider alien life? Is it so ridiculous? As a scientific community, we pride ourselves on being open-minded, but our history sometimes indicates otherwise.

Is this is the edge of reason? Does our group-think ridicule those on the edge?

Some of what we do in healthcare is also at the edge of reason (see: Open Notes, APSO Notes). It is often ridiculed. Until it is not.

CMIO’s take? Perpend.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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