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Letter: Worthwhile search for extraterrestrials

Sir: The search for extraterrestrial intelligence may be worthwhile because of the improbability of success. As Ken Manley clearly explains (Letters, 2 October), the chances are slim because the windows through which signals may reach us are limited.

One corollary of the low chance of detection of signals is that for any civilisation that was found, there would probably be very many others that we have not. The realisation that we are far from alone would deal such massive blows to Homo sapiens's overinflated ego and anthropocentric view that to my mind the search is well worth the costs.

Yours sincerely,


Lecturer in Biology

Department of Zoology

University of Oxford


2 October