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Thu, 15 June

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Brunswick

Sci Fight - We should search for life out there

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Sci Fight - We should search for life out there
Sci Fight - We should search for life out there

Time & Location

15 June 2023, 6:30 pm – 16 June 2023, 9:00 pm

Brunswick, 7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia

About the event

Sci Fight is a raucous night where scientists and comedians debate serious issues in a thoroughly silly manner.

This round's topic: We should search for life out there.

Since humanity became conscious of a universe stretching out far beyond our own little turquoise home, we’ve repeatedly wondered, are we really alone? Or is there life out there? And; have we offended it?

Statistically speaking, after 13.5 billion years and with 200 billion trillion stars in the universe, it seems impossibly unlikely that life hasn’t evolved more than once.

So: in the famous words of Fermi, then where are they?

Possibly in order to justify their ongoing tenure; SETI employees and astrophysicists have developed increasingly imaginative (read: desperate) theories as to why we haven’t been contacted by aliens just yet.

As if we’ve been ghosted on a dating app; hypotheses include that maybe we just missed them; having evolved after they fell into extinction, or we’re up before them; they just haven’t reached us yet, or perhaps they’ve evolved into post-biological entities and are in stasis until the approaching heat death of the universe makes it cool enough for them to run their super computers without their CPU processor overheating.

When you’re a busy alien it's hard to make the time for an intergalactic voyage. Maybe they’re just procrastinating. ‘Well I *would* make the trip but my spaceship isn’t insured for off-galaxy collision with cosmic dust’. Should we collectively accept that they’re just not that into us?

But why are we so obsessed with finding alien life? Are we so fed up with our own neighbours and our daily grind that we need the novelty of an entirely different life form to give us hope? Given we’ve dedicated the last several hundred years arguing over slightly different versions of the same God, what makes us think we would all get along? If the Bible had been edited with version control the Crusades could have been cancelled.

Is this just colonialism all over again? Have we just swapped the safari suit for a space suit? Why do we have this perpetual and insatiable desire to expand? Are we simply distracting ourselves from the existential threats we face; hoping a cheerful alien will drop by a care-package of a hyper efficient energy source and an atmosphere repair kit?

And have we really properly considered what happens if we do actually find extraterrestrial life?

We may discover that the only thing scarier than being all alone in the universe is if we're not.

Come listen to 6 very earthly scientists and comedians unpack what is out there and whether we should care.

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