NASA: Calls for Alien Debate – We Must Be Prepared |


Although we have not yet found evidence of extraterrestrial life, NASA believes that we should prepare for this eventuality. A new paper by space agency chief scientist James Green addresses the need to create a reference framework for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

Our generation can realistically be the one to discover evidence of life beyond Earth. With this privilege come responsibilities. The scope of the question of whether we are alone in the Universe and the interest of the public, opens the possibility that the results need support beyond the observer or his intention. As life-finding goals become dominant in space science, it is necessary to open a dialogue with society on how to convey information on a complex subject that is likely to be exaggerated.

The researchers point out that the discovery of extraterrestrial life may not be a simple and straightforward affair – a yes or no – and that it will come from an ever-evolving process of scientific research that ordinary people need to understand.

The story contains many life-finding claims that later turned out to be untrue or false in the light of binary terms, yes or no. Instead, we must characterize the search for life as an ever-evolving endeavor, conveying the value of observations that may imply existence but not defining it, and emphasizing that false evidence and deadlocks are an expected part of this sound scientific process.

For this purpose NASA wants to use a new scale CoLD (Confidence of Life Detection) which will define the certainty of finding life. In the lower scales will be the initial identification and possible biographies, while in the higher scales there will be more specialized measurements. Thus, a possible extraterrestrial life will go through detailed scientific research until its final confirmation, helping the global scientific community to evaluate scientific research.

Defining best practices for communicating life tracking will help us set reasonable expectations in the early stages of an extremely demanding endeavor, will value individual steps toward the goal, and will build public confidence by making the process clear. Whatever the outcome of the dialogue, the important thing is to make it happen. Thus, we will become more efficient in communicating the results of our work and the miracle associated with it.



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