THE DECODING PROBLEM: DO WE NEED TO SEARCH FOR EXTRA TERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE IN ORDER TO SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE
Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
There is a widespread and perhaps uncritically accepted assumption on the part of SETI researchers and popularizers that we could tell what an ETI might be trying to tell us. We raise difficulties for this assumption. If the assumption is abandoned, a lot follows. We might even be able to argue, in a novel way, that SETI will be utterly futile.