Are We Alone?; Member Claude Bernard, PhD

Recent research has shown that most stars have planetary systems, and that a non-negligible fraction of those planets are likely to be in the so-called “habitable zone,” where life may be possible. This makes the old question of “Are we alone?” more pressing: Does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and if so, is some of that life “intelligent” and able to communicate or otherwise interact with us? I discuss various aspects of these questions, including the research on exoplanets, the possibility of space travel, UFO (recently renamed “UAP”) phenomena, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). I conclude with some thoughts about the ethical meaning of a “yes” or a “no” answer to the “Are we alone?” question.

Dr. Claude Bernard is Professor Emertis of physics at Washington University and a former deputy director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he studied theoretical high energy physics under the direction of Steven Weinberg. With biologist Ursula Goodenough and geologist Michael Wysession at Washington University, Dr. Bernard developed a course called The Epic of Evolution and taught the cosmology and astrophysics part of the course for many years. He was raised in the Ethical Culture movement, having graduated from the Long Island Society Sunday School in 1964, and has been a member of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 1991.

Podcast

Unedited Video