In this episode of Talks at GS, Avi Loeb, Harvard professor and author of Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, discusses his theory that our solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star, issues impacting space exploration and discovery, as well as the state of scientific research today.
On scientific examinations of the unknown: “We should pay attention to evidence rather than to our prejudice. There used to be people that were very sure about their notions—they were the philosophers during the days of Galileo—and they said ‘We don't need to look through your telescope, we know that the sun moves around the Earth,’ and they put [Galileo] in house arrest. Now, what did they accomplish by that? They just maintained their ignorance and the Earth continued to move around the sun. It didn't change. If we look through our windows and say, ‘We don't have neighbors, just give me extraordinary evidence before I would be willing to discuss the possibility that I'm not the smartest kid on the block.’ If you just say, ‘I need extraordinary evidence’, that doesn't take away the neighbors. They exist out there, irrespective of whether you look through your window or not… Reality doesn't really care how we ignore it.”
On scientific research: “Well, the beauty of science is that it's based on evidence…Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) is sufficiently intriguing for you to move from the talking points of politicians, military personnel, or national security advisors to the realm of science. I think we are now at the turning point where it should go and be a subject of scientific inquiry and scientific inquiry is open to the public. It should be based on open data and the transparent analyses. And we will all know. I mean, it's actually the duty of science to clear up the former. Just as it was the duty of science and technology to develop a vaccine to Covid-19.”
The episode was recorded on June 28, 2021.