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Is there other intelligent life in the Universe?

Dear Seth Shostak

27th April 2000

It is 400 years since Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for heresy. He believed that the earth was not at the centre of the universe and that life on Earth was not unique. He was right about the former, but what about the latter?

Asked the question “are we alone in the Universe?” most people believe that the answer is “no,” even when the question specifies that life elsewhere must be able to communicate with us in an intelligible form. Supporters of the “life is unique” brigade have a big…

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