Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aliens? Point/Counterpoint

Point: "Aliens calling? Signals detected from beyond Solar System. Scientists in South Africa have detected radio signals from beyond the solar system for the first time – prompting a wave of excitement over who, or what, might have sent it. The signal is the most significant of its kind since radio telescopes started operating in the 1960s."

Counterpoint: "It should be noted that this is not an intelligent source, i.e. it is not a source that could be considered as having been transmitted by alien intelligence. Furthermore, it is certainly not a new discovery. The electromagnetic radiation emanating from Sagittarius A is well documented and an entirely natural phenomenon. A similar signal, although of a much larger magnitude, would be received by simply pointing the telescope at the Sun."

The source of the "point" is Russia Today, a rag of unknown provenance. The source of the "counterpoint" is a press release from the actual South African scientists referred to by Russia Today. Make up your own minds, folks...

(Hat tip: Doctor Spurt).

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