Genomic SETI: The truth is inside us?

Paul Davies, author of Mind of God is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University has proposed that the Genome@Home project could be extended to analyse human DNA for sign of genetic ‘messaging’ by aliens – a sort of Genomic SETI…

“The ideal solution would be to encode the message inside a large number of self-replicating, self-repairing microscopic machines programmed to multiply and adapt to changing conditions…

…Fortunately such machines already exist: they are called living cells. The cells in our bodies, for example, contain genetic messages written by Mother Nature billions of years ago.”

He admits that he is opening himself up to potential ridicule, but points out that this idea is probably no less speculative than the Radio SETI project.

So is junk DNA really junk, or the message? Are we the message? What is he drinking?  I’ll have whatever he’s drinking (and sign up to a Genome SETI).

(Via Slashdot). His article first appeared in New Scientist in print version, but is available online (registration required soon) at the Sydney Monrning Herald site.

Comments (3)

  1. Cade Perkins says:

    Radio waves, gene sequences? Why do we think that some higher intelligence is going to embed messages in these particular mediums? Or that the "messages" will contain some distinct, interpretable concept. The scientists that search for such things imagine they are expanding our universe, but they’re really just showing how arrogant and limited we are to think other beings will communicate exactly like us. Mankind can’t even accept a unified concept of god or reconcile their perceptions of such abstract ideas. Could perhaps the abstract beauty and order displayed in the universe, either inherent in atoms or galaxies alike, already be the message? I also believe there’s a message to be found, but certainly not in static or mitochondria.

  2. Nick White (UK) says:

    I’m sure there was a StarTrek TNG (or was it DS9?) epsode along these lines?

  3. For "Junk DNA" see the hub: and its news

    For an algorithmic approach, see

    For PostGenetics, see

    Dr. Andras J. Pellionisz