The ICC Cricket World Cup is under way Down Under. But, if a group of scientists has its way, we may soon be boarding spaceships to catch the tournament.
Members of Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (the name given to activities aimed at reaching out to alien life) want to send the entire internet to aliens to prove human intelligence. And they feel information about cricket or rock music or any cultural phenomenon would be better than science, which the aliens already know. Seth Shostak, director of the Center for SETI Research in California, has outlined methods for conducting the communication, which could take off within two years. “If they look up cricket, there are descriptions, pictures, diagrams showing a pitch, footage,” he says. “They'll cross-correlate all this and put it together and, if they are clever at all, they will figure out something about cricket.”
British physicist Stephen Hawking, however, seems to be on the backfoot. “The outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans,” he says.
Whether the aliens attack or not, this could finally satisfy fans who failed to see the purpose of forming a World XI team. And who knows, perhaps the aliens can make sense of the Duckworth-Lewis method!