Monday, October 31, 2011

Lunch Chat for 11/3/11

For this week's lunch chat, I thought we'd go for a loosely-Halloweeny theme: Aliens! We'll read Gary Gutting's recent Stone column, "Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Bet On It". The article begins:
The probability that there is intelligent life somewhere other than earth increases as we discover more and more solar systems that seem capable of sustaining life.  The thought that there might be extraterrestrial intelligences (ETI) somewhere out there excites us and has led to organized efforts to contact any such beings.  We have sent space probes with data about us, and we transmit signals with a structured content (like symbols expressing mathematical formulae) to what we hope will be an intergalactic audience. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence project (SETI) is obviously based on the assumption that the possible benefits of contact with ETI outweigh the possible harms.  But do they?
In addition to rolling out this semi-official philosophy blog, we'll also be offering hearty soup and bread for lunch. So come on out and fill your bellies with grub and your minds with wisdom.

Thursday, 11/3 at noon in 62 Coleman Hall.