Conclusion: SETI with Results

A article, Intelligence in the Cosmos: Flesh or Machine?, appeared in 2000 but (since SETI evolves only incrementally) still provides a capsule immersion into the SETI mindset. Here, the major SETI players, many of whose statements and attitudes have been treated in these pages, speak for themselves. The reader may note that the basic viewpoint of SETI was much the same in 2000 as it had always been, although its aspiration to acquire larger and costlier receivers had grown.

A new twist had been added, however: a disparagement of the value of life itself, and an anticipation of its eventual replacement by machines. Accordingly, SETI has begun to consider the possibilities of extraterrestrial robotic or machine "life". (SETI always projects current technological developments onto its ET targets. See SETI Incrementalism.)

This development is going to become an increasing focus of Open SETI, because it may actually be true that the artificial robotic nature of some ET life has been encountered here in various ways and places. As one example, ancient pagan and Christian gnostics spoke of a predatory species of inorganic beings. A page on this subject briefly appeared on Open SETI but was withdrawn pending further study. In the meantime, readers are referred to a web page on ET/Archon Theory for one point of view.

As will be seen, Open SETI takes a dim view of the prospect of creating inorganic lifestyles for Earth humanity.

With perhaps a bit of irony, in parallel with its fascination with inorganic life, orthodox SETI - or at least the SETI Institute - in recent years has moved strongly to embrace the field of astrobiology, what used to be called exobiology, the theoretical study of life away from planet Earth, and even the physical search for traces of rudimentary life on solar system planetary bodies.

We are suspicious of this development. Rudimentary life is not ETI, so that guts three of the four letters in "SETI", leaving only the "search". It appears that what SETI is really searching for is some kind of professional legitimacy. As to the astrobiology, its value has been to help refine requirements for SETI targets. This is within the usual paradigm, of course, which never changes.

This page is supposed to be about results. The point we have been trying to make, throughout this entire Open SETI website, is that orthodox SETI is not only not interested in results - that is, the discovery of that for which it claims to be looking - it shows many signs of being fearful of or embarrassed by the prospect of actual discovery, and dismisses out of hand any suggestion of it.

From the point of view of Open SETI, the failure of the SETI program to produce or acknowledge any evidence of ETI is due more to the narrow scope of its search than to the lack of material worthy of investigation. The SETI paradigm has actually blinded SETI to important signs that are present both in our earthly landscape and our celestial setting. As a result, SETI has operated now for more than forty years and turned up nothing more than an inconclusive absence of data. Furthermore, SETI has prepared itself to continue indefinitely in this manner, while armoring itself against any information suggesting that its view is incorrect.

Now what about Open SETI and how can it have any greater prospect of results than orthodox SETI?

The position of Open SETI is actually that ETI and its artifacts have already been found, in fact known for untold millennia. Thus, some "results" are already in hand; the problem is one of recognizing and understanding what we have.

Open SETI is an interdisciplinary effort that complements orthodox SETI with its emphasis on astronomy and engineering by encouraging the growing participation of experts in symbolic communication, archaeology, anthropology, genetics, religion, and mythology. And where orthodox SETI is grounded in well-established, virtually classical concepts of physics, Open SETI looks to the cutting edge for new concepts of the possible in interacting with ETI. Open SETI is willing to examine evidence of ETI presence on the earth and within the solar system, as well as more distant astronomical evidence (e.g., the pulsars). It is a brand of SETI that can readily become effective, once the barrier of recognition has been overcome. Where orthodox SETI accumulates NEGADATA, Open SETI recognizes the existence of raw material needing to be examined and understood.

Open SETI is a program that will take its place as a valued and needed scientific endeavor. It will lead to a major new awakening of the entire human society.

Open SETI Telepresence