Everyone needs a little light relief sometimes, including the Nobel winning economist and writer/blogger extraordinaire Paul Krugman. A few months back he reminded the world of a short paper he’d written some years ago on the rather unexpected topic of interstellar finance.
A recent article by Samuel Arbesman in the science magazine Nautilus discusses the extraordinary sounding possibility that – just perhaps – a search for extraterrestrial intelligence could be made by looking at our DNA.
Probably not, but just possibly yes. One of the reasons that the search for life elsewhere in the universe is so exciting is that it would take only one chance discovery, one lucky break, for all the walls to come tumbling down.
Astronomers hope that one day soon we’ll obtain a spectrum of light that might tell us whether or not an Earth-sized exoplanet harbors life.
This post is one in a series covering, and expanding on, topics in the book The Copernicus Complex (Scientific American/FSG). The conversation usually goes like this: Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
In a month’s time, the end result of two-and-a-half years of research, thinking, writing, re-writing, re-re-writing, editing, mulling, puzzling, coffee-drinking, beer-swilling, swearing, and tweaking will hit the shelves in the form of my new book The Copernicus Complex.