Philip Morrison, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, last night told a crowd of more than 500 that man is almost certainly not alone in this universe and should actively pursue the search for other life.
Morrison, a sen-described "radical Copernican," said earthlings possess an unfounded conception of themselves as a special "galactic club." "The millions of stars in the great sky have little more consequence in our daily life than to steer an occasional migrating bird," Morrison said, nothing that the sun has all-important impact and significance in our lives.
"But the irony, the paradox of our universe is that each one of those 200 million stars are or were suns themselves. Therefore, it is not unlikely to expect that somewhere else our highly complex evolutionary system is repeated," Morrison said.
Over the past 20 years scientists have conducted scans for extraterrestial life forms; however, no systematic methods of search have been developed. The most promising technique involves searching for radio signals from space, but scanning a wide range of radio bands while maintaining the necessary sensitivity has proven difficult.
"We are not the center of the universe," said Morrison "We are a mediocre lot drawn from a random sample, and we should look for our counterparts among the 200 million stars."