Are there any aliens out there trying to communicate with us? Iâ€™m a bit pessimistic about this myself but I continue to run the SETI program on my computer so Iâ€™m still hoping. The subject is discussed, fairly pessimistically, by George Basalla in his new book â€œCivilized Life in the Universeâ€. Read the review.
One thing that interested me particularly in the book was the quoted opinion of Ernst Mayr, the highly respected evolutionist, that there is no particular reason to think that intelligence is widespread in the universe or likely to develop even if life exists. Mayr regarded intelligence as a â€œfluke of historyâ€. This is something I have said myself in a slightly different context (see "Consciousness and Evolution".