Suspended Disbelief: Life Beyond Our Own
An introductory overview of the exciting search for extraterrestrial intelligence through critical evaluation & the presentation of reliable sources.
Space Explorers Academy
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Knowledge tags
METI
SETI
Theories of Life
Panspermia
Data Science
Survey Origin
Future Vision
Exploration
Space Sciences
Telescope
Satellites
Planetary Science
Exoplanets
Advocacy
Diversity
Inclusion
Communicating Innovation
Global scaling
Scale Impact
Artificial Intelligence
SuperIntelligence
Machine Learning
Robotics
Data Protection
Computer Science
AI Applications
Big Data
Machine Learning Ethics
Neural Networks
Cross-Cultural Communication
Intercultural Communication
Paradigm Shift
Native Rights
Fake News
Communication
UFOs
Anonymity
Journalism
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Case Study
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Do a Detailed Search
Analyze Online Sources
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Prior Understanding
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Course Description
Questions about whether we are alone in the universe have stimulated our imagination and expanded the limits of our understanding. Increasingly, information surrounding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence has been the subject of serious inquiry and previously classified information enters the common discourse. Parts of the world never connected digitally are being exposed to technology that can be perceived as magic. This course will equip you with a deeper understanding of potential alien encounters, where and how scientists are looking for alien life, what would happen if we found it and reduce some of the fears and misconceptions that may arise from the implementation of emerging technologies in our lives.
Units

Unit 1 What is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (or SETI) is a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life, for example, monitoring electromagnetic radiation for signs of transmissions from civilizations on other planets. This unit introduces the topic of SETI and some of the methods employed in the search.
Unit 2 Worlds of possibilities: Exploring outside of the solar system
With advanced space telescopes, combined with artificial intelligence humanity is becoming capable of searching the sky for habitable planets faster and with greater accuracy than ever before. This unit will introduce exoplanets and examine how their discovery has intensified interest in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Unit 3 The search continues: Where are all of the aliens?
Building upon our understanding of the vast quantity of exoplanets, many questions still remain about where alien life could be with such a vast number of potentially life-sustaining planets. This unit will discuss a formula known as the Drake equation which is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. As well as help you understand the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy and high estimates of their probability known as the Fermi Paradox.
Unit 4 Considering non-biological life forms
This unit takes a different perspective on intelligent life beyond biological considerations, especially as artificial intelligence systems increase at exponential rates and scientific understanding of its implications is still being analyzed. We will examine concepts of superintelligence as a hypothetical agent that possesses intelligence far surpassing that of the brightest and most gifted human minds and may also refer to a property of problem-solving systems whether or not these high-level intellectual competencies are embodied in agents that act in the world. A superintelligence may or may not be created by an intelligence explosion and associated with a technological singularity.
Unit 5 Communicating diversity in the post-truth era
Historically humanity has difficulty at times communicating within groups on earth due to differences in understanding, language and worldview. This unit will look at ways of expressing our cultural diversity to a potential extra-terrestrial civilization and the importance of recognizing and embracing differences in our search.
Unit 6 Disclosure: Critical thinking around common misconceptions
The discovery of new concepts and technologies are often not easily translated to all sectors of the population. At our current stage of civilization, a great deal of misunderstanding still occurs between people on earth. This unit will look at ways we can verify and better understand advanced or unexplainable concepts still in the process of being developed and discovered.