From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Stirniman )
Subject: Predator Prey Models & Contact Consids
Date: 17 Oct 1995 06:38:20 GMT
PREDATOR PREY MODELS AND CONTACT CONSIDERATIONS
by: Douglas Raybeck (email@example.com)
Clinton, NY 13323
Paper presented at the 11th Annual CONTACT Conference
Palo Alto, California March 18th - 20th, 1994.
Within the scientific community, as well as in the popular press and
among science fiction writers, there has long been a concern with
Extraterrestrials and the possibility of communication with them.
This concern has led to such projects as the Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) (Morrison, et al. 1977) that
continues to be a focus of attention for many scientists even though
currently facing reduced funding (Harrison and Elms 1990, Raybeck
1992). As recently as this year, Harrison published an intriguing
paper concerning Extraterrestrial intelligence in one of psychology's
major journals (Harrison 1993). At the same time, scientists have
theorized and speculated about the nature of Extraterrestrial
intelligence and the problems involved in inter-sapient communication
(Sagan 1973). The general consensus has been that the universe is
very likely to host other intelligent beings, that some of these will
be more technologically advanced than current humanity, and that some
will be trying to locate other intelligences.
In the science fiction community, images of Extraterrestrials have
been variegated in form, in intelligence and in intentions. They
range form the beneficent aliens of Julian May, who only wish to
elevate the lot of humanity and facilitate our participation in an
intergalactic "milieu," (1987a, 1987b) to the malevolent
Extraterrestrials of Greg Bear, who travel about the universe
locating intelligent life forms and destroying them because they may
be potential future competitors (1987). Generally, however, images
of aliens in the popular press and among the scientific community are
positive. It is widely believed that if a sapient form can achieve
the degree of civilization necessary to support inter-stellar
communication, it is unlikely to be characterized by hostile
In this paper, I wish to examine this assumption. As an
anthropologist, I am aware that there are some markedly different
paths to the evolution of intelligence. These differences can
provide us with models that can suggest some of the variety we may
anticipate among Extraterrestrials. I am concerned about the
possibility that a technologically oriented intelligence may as
likely be developed by a predatory species as by a non-predatory one.
I am particularly concerned with the kinds of stimuli that promote
the development of intelligence, and with what sorts of ethical
notions might be associated with these varying modes of evolving
intelligence. This exercise in modeling should have consequences for
how we approach the possibility of Extraterrestrial communication.
THE CASE FOR INTELLIGENCE
Among the range of definitions for intelligence, one that is widely
accepted is the ability to learn new response patterns (Jerison
1973). Generally, intelligence confers upon an organism greater
adaptability and flexibility in dealing with environmental
challenges. However, many complex adaptations to the environment do
not require the classical concept of intelligence. Scientists have
long known that insects are capable of complex adaptations to their
environments in a fashion that relies upon genetic programming rather
than on learning (Wilson 1980). Indeed, Schull has recently argued
that even the adaptive characteristics of plant and animal species
are related to information-processing and that it would be fruitful
to view such species as intelligent (1990). Overwhelmingly, however,
the scientific community is persuaded that a greater capacity for
learning is a superior adaptation to suggested alternatives.
In the evolution of intelligence on earth there has been a consistent
trend from relatively closed instinctive patterns toward "open"
learning. (Hinde 1974, Sluckin 1965). Jastrow has noted the
evolution of intelligence from lower organisms to humanity and to
computers (1981). He and others believe that, if one has competing
species, the evolution of intelligence is inevitable because the the
advantages it confers upon the possessor (Itzkoff 1983, Sagan 1977).
However, the questions concerning the rate at which intelligence is
developed and the nature of the species that are most likely to
possess it are more complex.
Evolutionary theorists and developmental biologists have long been
aware that the development of intelligence involves a series of
interactions between organisms and their environment (Laughlin and
Brady 1978, Laughlin and D'Aquili 1974, Manosevetz, et al. 1969,
Mazur and Robertson 1972, Tunnell 1973). The environment must
contain conditions for which intelligence is an adaptive trait.
Beings with greater intelligence then reproduce in increasing
numbers, filling their eco-niches and driving out less intelligent
competitors. It is important to note, however, that the entities
disadvantaged in this scenario are the ones that either compete
directly with our intelligent others or are directly exploited by
Complex environments select for intelligence by creating conditions
where more intelligent competitors have an advantage in exploiting
limited resources (Evans and Schmidt 1990, Robinson 1990). Animals
that proceed by instinct have a limited set of behavioral repertoires
with which to respond to changing conditions. They are limited not
only by their physiology, but by their ability to perceive the
existence of new demands and new resource possibilities. Their
coping equipment is genetically based and suited to the parameters of
the environment in which the organism evolved. Should that
environment change, the organism may likely prove unable to adapt to
the new circumstances and be seriously disadvantaged in its
competition with other species. (Daly and Wilson 1978, Dawkins 1976,
Generally, increasing intelligence confers upon an organism a better
opportunity to model the environment, both natural and behavioral, so
that food getting, mating and general survival strategies can be
maximized. Intelligence is selected for because it benefits the
possessor, not because it is helpful to others.
Costs and Advantages of Intelligence
An increase in intelligence has meant a corresponding rise in brain
size. As Jerison has noted, "The mass of neural tissue controlling a
particular function is appropriate to the amount of information
processing involved in performing the function" (1973: 8). This has
been true in organic evolution, and in the evolution of artificial
intelligence as well (Gardner 1985, Goldstein and Papert 1977,
Jastrow 1981, Llinas 1990, Nelson and Bower 1990, Schank and Childers
1984). It seems likely that, however information is processed, it
would also be true for Extraterrestrials.
Intelligence is not without certain physical costs. Particularly in
the case of high mammals, intelligence has been found to be expensive
in terms of the body's resources. Brain tissue requires large
supplies of glucose and oxygen (Milton 1988), but these are justified
by the advantages that intelligence confers. Indeed, the costs of
intelligence are evidence of its importance and success as an
There are also social consequences that accompany the development of
significant intelligence. An increasing reliance on a learned
repertoire implies an increased period of dependency on the part of
the young. The need for learning plus the problems of rearing
learning-based offspring involve a very serious cost from an
evolutionary perspective. Such organisms have few offspring and this
means that, unlike lower organisms that reproduce in greater numbers,
the survival of each of these offspring is important. This longer
maturation period and the need for security creates a trend toward
social living, as the infant and its mother are in need of the
support of others (Laughlin and D'Aquili 1974). This model is not
only true for humans but also apes, cetaceans, elephants, and most
other mammals with appreciable intelligence. Further, as we shall
see, the exigencies of social life can prove to be as strong a
stimulus for the evolution of increased intelligence, as any other
factor. This creates a positive feedback loop in which intelligence
promotes social living which, once established, makes increased
intelligence highly adaptive.
Even among lower animals, greater intelligence means more flexibility
in dealing with environmental conditions. For predators this implies
a greater ability to locate and consume prey, while, for prey,
greater intelligence increases the likelihood of avoiding such a fate
(Byrne and Whiten 1988).
As intelligence increases, other emergent properties appear which
reflect the expanded complexity of the system, and which confer still
greater advantages upon the possessor. At some point, increasing
intelligence should lead to self-awareness (Itzkoff 1985, Jastrow
1981, Laughlin and D'Aquili 1974). An organism equipped with self-
awareness can model not only the externals of the environment, but
can now include itself as an element of attention. It has a self-
concept separable from the environment and capable of conscious
examination and reflection (Tunnell 1973). Concurrent with such a
development is an increase in the organism's ability to construct an
internal environment that can not only represent the external world,
but also make possible the construction of symbols which are, by
definition, arbitrarily related to their referents (Gazzaniga 1992,
Laughlin and D'Aquili 1974, Laughlin, et al. 1990).
The capacity for symbolism represents an enormous evolutionary
advantage for any intelligent species. Prior to its appearance,
communications are limited by environmental stimuli in what is termed
a "closed" system (Hockett 1973). In such circumstances, an organism
emits a signal that is automatically called forth by an external
stimulus. There is no displacement in time or space, and such calls
are generally mutually exclusive. The information carrying capacity
of the system is thus limited to the number of calls hard-wired into
the organism. With symbolism, organisms gain the ability to
displace their messages and to combine them in ever more complex and
novel assemblages. Further, they can assign meanings in complex ways
influenced, but not dictated, by biology. This opens up the realm of
culture, a learned set of patterns for behavior that are far more
malleable than the biological substrate that made them possible.
While symbolism involves greatly increased freedom from the
constraints of the organism's biological limitations, this freedom is
not absolute. For humans, the structure of our brain imposes limits
both on the amount of information we can process at any given time
(Miller 1956, Miller 1951), and on the kinds of information we can
process (Ardila and Ostrosky-Solis 1989, Jerison 1990, Lenneberg
1967, Thompson and Green 1982). There is reason to believe that
similar limitations and perceptual dispositions would attend any
evolving sentience (Gazzaniga 1992, Sauer and MacNair 1983, Stokoe
1989, Wasserman 1989). Given such an expectation, it seems likely
that sentients who have evolved from a predator background would
differ markedly from sentients whose gustatory preference run to
PREDATOR INTELLIGENCE MODELS
There are a variety of relations that obtain between predator and
prey. Some predators, such as the anteater, specialize in a single
prey; others, like the wolf, ingest a wide range of prey, but most
probably fall in the mid-range (Evans and Schmidt 1990). All
predators need strategies to locate, obtain and consume prey, but the
nature of these strategies can range from the genetically programmed
activities of spiders , to the complex hunting practices of the !Kung
bushmen of the Kalahari Desert (Lee 1979, Lee 1984, Marshall 1976).
In the latter case, intelligence not only makes it more likely that
prey will be obtained, it also promotes an optimal distribution of
calories and even saving against future need.
In assessing whether or not predators are as likely as others to
develop high intelligence, the answer is unequivocal PPP they are not
less, but more likely than others to evolve a high intelligence.
This somewhat surprising conclusion results from an examination of
ethological research, as well as contemplation of the models
purporting to describe factors that promote intelligence.
Recall that intelligence is selected for when it enables an organism
to exploit resources that would otherwise elude it. This argument
holds for both predators and prey, but, for reasons I will discuss
below, its selective pressure is greater for predators. Recall also,
that complex environments select for intelligence by creating
conditions where more intelligent competitors have an advantage in
exploiting limited resources (Evans and Schmidt 1990, Robinson 1990).
The simple fact of the matter is that predators have a more difficult
set of problems to solve and these involve environmental conditions
that are more complex for the predator than they are for the prey.
Said another way, predators are more environmentally challenged than
prey and this increases the selective advantage of increased
Prey need to locate resources which, in the case of herbivores are
nicely stationary. Further, they need to survive the depredations of
predators, but it is not necessary that all individuals need to
endure, to insure the perpetuation of the prey species. Indeed, many
prey adapt to the competition with predators by becoming more fecund
rather than more elusive.
In contrast, predators must actively solve their problems including
locating prey. As Malthus would suggest, there are always more prey
than predators, but such prey may prove difficult to find. To
survive, predators must prove more capable than their prey. The
complexity of a predator's environment not only includes those
elements also encountered by prey, but also the behavior of the prey
itself. It might be argued that the prey could benefit from being
able to better model the behavior of predators but, given their
higher birth rate and the costs of intelligence, the selective
advantage of intelligence is actually less for prey than for
As may be imagined, the presumed world view of an intelligent
predator would view other entities in an extremely utilitarian,
probably gustatory, fashion. There would likely be constraints on
exploitative behaviors, since no intelligent predator would wish to
extirpate a source of calories, but there is no reason to anticipate
much in the way of inter-sapient altruism. Indeed should
Extraterrestrial visitors prove to be evolved from a consistent
predator base, it seems likely that their interest in us would, at
least from our perspective, be quite malevolent.
Of course, it may be argued that the assumption of uniform hostility
on the part of Extraterrestrials descended from predator stock is too
simplistic since it does not incorporate the meliorating influence of
adaptation to social life over a prolonged period of evolution. My
image of predators also obfuscates the possible role of culture in
reducing an us-them view of the universe. In fairness, then, we
should examine a wider range of possibilities in which intelligence
can be promoted by a variety of circumstances in addition to
EVOLUTIONARY SOURCES OF INTELLIGENCE
Since the middle of this century, one of the classic arguments in
anthropology concerning a probable stimulus for intelligence focused
on early tool use (Oakley 1959). Tool use and, especially, tool
manufacture place a premium on eye-hand coordination, the ability to
visualize a future result, and other capacities associated with
intelligence (Washburn 1960, Wynn 1988). To the extent that tool use
and tool making represent an adaptive advantage in a competitive
environment, the qualities on which they depend will be selected for.
It is argued that our australopithecine forbears, who first used
tools, and Homo habilis, who first constructed tools, set in motion a
positive feedback loop, an ineluctable chain of events that
culminated in Homo sapiens sapiens. The selection for better eye-
hand coordination and greater intelligence resulted in organisms that
could construct more effective tools. These tools conferred an even
greater adaptive advantage which, in turn, increased the selective
pressure for better eye-hand coordination, greater intelligence, and
Although it is now regarded as unlikely that this model best accounts
for the evolution of human intellectual capacities (Wynn 1988), it
does seems probable that constructing tools helped to further human
intelligence. It also seems quite possible that the development of a
tool tradition would have a similar influence on Extraterrestrial
Interestingly, while the role of tool reliance is relevant to the
development of intelligence, it seems to tell us nothing about the
ethical implications of that intelligence. Tools can be used for a
variety of purposes, both malignant and benign. The purpose towards
which tools are bent will depend upon considerations that are
essentially independent of tool manufacture itself. Tool use means
greater efficiency, but it does not suggest toward what end.
Most evolutionary scenarios for our hominid past include a prolonged
period of foraging. Except for carnivores, it seems likely that a
lengthy interval of gathering would characterize many organisms as
they evolved toward higher intelligence. Several anthropologists
have argued that the demands of foraging behavior make increased
intelligence highly adaptive. Foraging puts a premium on memory and
on the ability to locate and exploit ephemeral resources. Further,
foraging through a defined domain, emphasizes the ability to estimate
the location and reoccurrence of seasonal resources. One authority
on primate foraging behaviors has argued that those primates with
larger brains also have larger ranges and more varied diets,
suggesting a causal relationship (Milton 1988).
Whatever the role of foraging in selecting for intelligence, it seems
likely that it would be only one factor among many. Some authorities
have suggested that the evolution of the nervous system was partly
due to the memory requirements described above and partly due to a
more general need for problem solving skills. It is thought that
there were selective pressures calling for the mind to make ever
finer discriminations (Iran-Nejad, et al. 1992).
The ability to develop accurate cognitive maps of an organism's
territory would confer a variety of advantages ranging from more
reliable resource exploitation to fewer encounters with dangerous
competitors. However, again, this adaptation would seem to provide
little indication of the ethical implications of an intelligence
derived from such stimuli. To encounter matters of ethical moment,
we must, almost by definition, look to the social realm where
organisms interact with one another.
The best argument for the importance of the social environment in
creating pressure for increased intelligence was advanced by Alison
Jolly (1985), a noted primatologist, currently at Princeton. Jolly's
study of Lemurs revealed that there were significant, complex, social
problems to be solved in order for an organism to mate, cooperate
with others, and maintain a viable group status. She argued that the
need to adapt to complex social circumstances selected for
intelligence in both males and females (Jolly 1985). Further, the
slow maturation of young created a situation in which learned social
skills had an early impact on dominance relations and, later, on
mating opportunities. Nor was this reproductive concern solely one
for males, as it has been shown that dominant females tend to have
more opportunities for mating and a greater likelihood of raising
Several studies have recently supported Jolly's original contribution
and elaborated some of the mechanisms involved (Lewin 1988). Cheney,
working with vervets found that their adaptive social behaviors and
social learning were significantly more complex than behaviors
related to other tasks such as foraging (Cheney and Seyfarth 1988).
There is currently general agreement that demands of social
participation are perhaps the most powerful stimuli for the
development of higher intelligence. Authorities assert that socially
skilled organisms have significant advantages over others, including
a better ability to foresee the behavior of their competitors (Smith
1984: 69), and greater skill in constructing and maintaining
profitable alliances (Harcourt 1988).
Portions of this scenario seem foreordained by the nature of
intelligence itself. As noted earlier, greater intelligence means a
prolonged period of infant dependency, a greater need for a learned
behavioral repertoire, and a general trend for social living to
support the first two. The complexities of social life, the
differential access to resources, and mating opportunities that
accompany high levels of social skill all place considerable
selective pressure on increased intelligence and, to some extent
sociability. Ethological studies indicate that any organism whose
behavior puts the group at risk suffers exclusion, injury and/or a
loss of mating opportunities.
This model would seem to have some utility for conjecturing about the
nature of Extraterrestrial intelligence and attitudes. It seems
likely that any intelligence that evolves in a social unit will be
affected by the minimal functional requirements involved in group
cooperation and cohesion. The result will likely be an organism that
has serious constraints on agonistic behavior and an ability to
engage in cooperative endeavors. This scenario is markedly more
hopeful than the one suggested above for intelligent predators, but
it would still be wise to consider the probable nature of social
behavior, for there are often marked differences between in-group
behavior and that directed toward outsiders.
MACHIAVELLIAN SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
If this material can be used to project Extraterrestrial intentions,
an examination of group behavior among monkeys, apes and humans
reveals some rather disquieting social trends. Indeed, according to
recent authorities, the adumbrated altruism and cooperation that was
to characterize social life appears to have roots in a rather ominous
social calculus. Smith has argued that the exigencies of social life
provide a powerful stimulus for increased intelligence, the capacity
for symbolism and the ability to abstract patterns: "...an animal
would have to think of others as having motivations similar to its
own, so that it could foresee their future behavior, and it would
have to communicate symbolically" (Smith 1984: 69).
However, the question remains as to what end these abilities are
directed, and a recent collection of essays suggests that
Machiavellianism is evolutionarily adaptive:
...in most cases where uses of social expertise are apparent, they
are precisely what Machiavelli would have advised! Cooperation is a
notable feature of primate society, but its usual function is to
out-compete rivals for personal gain. [However,] ...it seems likely
that the later course of human evolution has been characterized by a
much greater emphasis on altruistic uses of intelligence. (Byrne and
Unfortunately, the authors also note that the weight of evolutionary
evidence supports an argument that our intelligence evolved
principally from "a need for social manipulation." (Ibid.)
Basically, it seems it is in the individual's interest to take
advantage of others, as long as doing so does not jeopardize social
standing, mating possibilities, and access to resources.
If the nature of in-group dynamics seems a somewhat unpromising
suggestion of what Extraterrestrial contact might hold, the character
of out-group relations is even less encouraging. The Nobel laureate,
Konrad Lorenz (1963) has argued that inter-group relations among many
species are characterized by aggression and that this agonistic
behavior has a positive function. He suggests that intra-group
aggression serves as a spacing mechanism to promote a dispersal of
populations throughout the environment, thereby facilitating a more
efficient utilization of resources (Ibid.). He notes that such
behavior is particularly true for members of the same species and for
those others that exploit the same resources.
In instances of confrontations between carnivores, Lorenz believes
that there are instinctive inhibitions on the use of deadly force.
He suggests that these have evolved because carnivores are too well
equipped for damaging each other. Thus, the result of an aggressive
encounter would probably mean the death or maiming of both parties.
Instead, intra-carnivore contests, rather than extending to deadly
action, are limited to displays of ferocity. However, herbivores and
omnivores are less well equipped to seriously injure one another and,
as a consequence, are presumed to lack instinctive checks on the
display of intra-species aggression. Indeed, since both parties can
survive the encounter, it is thought that intra-species aggression
among non-carnivores may help to select for increased intelligence,
as more intelligent organisms avoid contests they are apt to lose but
initiate ones where they are likely to win (Cheney and Seyfarth 1988,
Harcourt 1988). This would increase mating opportunities and
According to Borgia (1980) who has examined human aggression as a
biological adaptation, individuals will participate in aggression
when it improves their inclusive fitness relative to other behaviors
in which they could engage. Thus, an accurate assessment of complex
social circumstances where aggression may be directed toward others
or toward oneself is a highly adaptive skill, and one that also
places an emphasis on and selects for intelligence.
Intra-species behavior ranges from Machiavellian to agonistic
according to whether the principles are members of the same or of
different groups, and in consideration of other relevant social
variables. However, inter-species behavior displays a far narrow set
of behaviors. Simply put, with the exception of some symbiotes, the
record of inter-species behavior is clearly one of competition and
aggression (Byrne and Whiten 1988, Hinde 1974, Lorenz 1963). It
seems that the only consideration that tempers inter-species
aggression is self-interest. Thus, some predators limit their kills
and increase their territories in order to preserve the availability
of prey (Lorenz 1963).
Thus, whether a specie derives its intelligence from tool use,
territorial exploration, an adaptation to complex social life, or
some combination of the three, there seems to be no reason to
anticipate the evolution of an intelligence characterized by
beneficence. On the contrary, it would seem that one of the
functions of intelligence is to promote a more efficient exploitation
of the environment, an environment that contains other organisms,
including members of one's own group.
I confess to having begun the research for this paper in a mood of
optimism, anticipating that Extraterrestrial intelligences would be
at least as likely to display benevolence as malevolence since they
would have mastered a complex technology, survived their own
evolutionary challenges, and learned sufficient cooperation to make
high civilization possible. The result of my research has led to a
reevaluation of my original expectations and, to the extent that
these models are applicable to future encounters with
Extraterrestrials, a much more somber conclusion.
Obviously models such as these, which are grounded in the particular
nature of earth organisms, especially mammals, cannot presume to
anticipate all possibilities. It is possible, though not probable,
that an Extraterrestrial intelligence would be telepathic, hive
oriented or significantly different in a variety of ways (Hanlon and
Brown 1989, Wasserman 1989). In such circumstances, models such as
those proposed here may be assumed to have limited utility. However,
several authorities believe there are good reasons to anticipate a
sentience significantly different from our own but sharing sufficient
characteristics to enable communication (Raybeck 1992, Sagan 1973,
I have not argued that a species must be a carnivore to be a
predator. Indeed, some omnivores, such as ourselves, are truly
formidable predators. Neither have I argued that a species must be
exclusively a predator to be influenced by selective pressures
appropriate for a predatory evolutionary scenario. However, if
predation is a major means of environmental adaptation, then the
presumed result is a simplistic world view representing a consistent
usPthem dichotomy in which us are fine ... but them are dinner.
The assessments of non-predator forms of intelligence, while more
complex and somewhat more encouraging than the models suggested by a
presumed intelligent predator, still imply a rather unpromising set
of circumstances. As noted earlier, intra-group behavior among
non-predators seems best characterized by Machiavellianism rather
than by disinterested altruism. As for inter-group relations the
likelihood of violence seems greatly increased. Still worse is the
prognostication for inter-species violence which would seem to
approximate that suggested by the models for predator behavior.
If these scenarios seem too pessimistic, we should recall our own
recent history and current state of affairs. As an omnivore with a
rather predatory past, our treatment of our own species has not
generally been characterized by an enlightened altruism. Slavery,
colonialism and inter-ethnic violence have marked our history and
continue to mar our present. This is not a necessary state of
affairs, as there are societies, such as the Semai, where war and
even interpersonal violence are effectively unknown (Dentan 1968,
Knauft 1987). However, when humans compete for limited resources
inter-group violence is a common, and often predictable, response
(Ferguson and Farragher 1988, Harrison 1973, Montagu 1968). Indeed,
competition within groups can, in several social settings, also
readily yield agonistic behavior (Chagnon 1983, Meggitt 1977).
Thus, it would seem naive to anticipate better behavior from
Extraterrestrials than we manifest ourselves.
While the speed-of-light limitations on space travel make it unlikely
that any Extraterrestrial could readily visit us, such things are
within the realm of possibility. The best analogy might be with
early European exploitation of Southeast Asia. The distance was
impressive, communications haphazard, and the risks great.
Nonetheless, a small European power, Portugal, managed to enslave
populations, devastate property and destroy small states. It also
lead to Portuguese control of the spice trade, and to Portuguese
ascendancy back in Europe (Hall 1955, Harrison 1968, Swearer 1984).
Despite the rather negative conclusions of this study, I would not
counsel the abandonment of SETI or any reduction of the current
efforts to listen in on intelligent Extraterrestrial life forms. On
the contrary, I think we would be well advised to be as informed as
we can concerning the possibility of other sentients. Indeed, in
light of the behavioral significance of differing gustatory patterns,
I would particularly like to know what they had for dinner. I would
feel much more comfortable entering into discussions with a salad-
eater than with an entity that derives its nourishment from higher on
the food chain. Nonetheless, as I have suggested, it is just these
latter entities that we are most apt to encounter. What then?
The potential benefits to be gained from interstellar communication
are too great to be ignored or avoided. Certainly the listening
should continue but, as I have suggested, the potential danger of
attracting the attention of an Extraterrestrial sentient is also too
great to be ignored. I would recommend carefully assessing the
location of any future Extraterrestrial communicants, and gathering
whatever information about them might be possible, prior to
contemplating an active exchange of messages. Finally, if we do find
reason to send forth a message, I recommend we break with the model
established by Pioneers 10 and 11, which included a detailed
representation of our solar system and some hints on how to get here.
At the minimum, we should try to avoid including a return address.
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