Talking to Extraterrestrials

NASA has recently published the book Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication, in which more than a dozen scholars analyze what challenges mankind will face the day Earth gets in touch with an extrasolar civilization. The 300-page book looks, for example, to archaeology and anthropology for clues to decoding extraterrestrial messages. Editor Douglas A. Vakoch explains what issues that might entail:

“Like archaeologists who reconstruct temporally distant civilizations from fragmentary evidence, SETI [Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence] researchers will be expected to reconstruct distant civilizations separated from us by vast expanses of space as well as time. And like anthropologists, who attempt to understand other cultures despite differences in language and social customs, as we attempt to decode and interpret extraterrestrial messages, we will be required to comprehend the mindset of a species that is radically Other.”

The book can be download for free in three formats here — link >>>

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