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The Existence of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: The Idea Behind SETI

Submitter: Jan Geralt Bij de Vaate
Description: On October 8th, Andre van Es graduated as Master of Philosophy at the University of Groningen, with a thesis titled: The Existence of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, The Idea Behind SETI. Andre pursued his Philosophy degree in his spare time while working for ASTRON and now for the SKA Office at Jodrell Bank (UK).

Inspired by Michael Garrett, Andre executed an impressive literature study on the concept of extra-terrestrial intelligence throughout written history, leading to an analysis of the basis for the famous Drake Equation. Andre challenges the logic of this equation: Since determinism is a fallacy, it is important to search for better models, especially for the sociological and cultural factors of the equation.

He concludes that The future of SETI is not to intensify the search, but it should be turned into an actual research discipline, where optimal use is made of synergies between different disciplines that influence the parameters of the Drake Equation. As SETI spans the whole of science from astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, philosophy, history, sociology and art, it is the ideal scientific endeavor for a synergetic approach.

In response to a question about what this means for our SKA plans, Andre commented that future telescopes should definitely pursue the search for the unknown.

The picture shows Andre's tutors Dr. F.A. Keijzer and Prof. B.P. Kooij. Prof. Mike Garrett completed the examination committee.
Copyright: Andre van Es
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