What if we found extraterrestrials, and discovered that they were religious? Would that prompt religious people us to toss out a few millennia of deistic doctrine and join ET's faith?
While engineers keep promising a glasses-free process that's both pleasing and practical, no one expects success any time soon.
Theoretically, building a universe -- even a nicely tuned one -- is not a particularly difficult technical challenge. Heck, our foreseeable descendants might be able to do it.
The type of multiple-planet solar system we live in isn't oddball at all, but is as humdrum as hairpins. That would, of course, be good news for those who hope to find extraterrestrial life.
If SETI detects an extraterrestrial transmission, will someone grab the microphone and reply? If so, who speaks for Earth?
We don't see any evidence extraterrestrial life. Does that mean that Homo sapiens is the smartest species within 100 thousand light-years? That would be remarkable and, judging by my daily interaction with said species, scary.
Bonus materials available online at KQED's program page: Quest -- SETI : The Search for ET