Despite a government report that found no evidence of alien life on Earth, one of the country's most prestigious schools is hoping to scour the cosmos in search of extraterrestrials. Led by Harvard professor Avi Loeb — a name well-known in the "believer" community — Harvard has officially launched The Galileo Project, which promises it will "dare to look through new telescopes."
On a website created for the Harvard-based project, the goal of Galileo is "to bring the search for extraterrestrial technological signatures of Extraterrestrial Technological Civilizations (ETCs) from accident or anecdotal observations and legends to the mainstream of transparent, validated and systematic scientific research."
In layman's terms, Loeb and his team hope to find undeniable evidence of alien life somewhere amongst the stars.
"Given the recently discovered abundance of habitable-zone exoplanets, with potential for extraterrestrial life, the Galileo Project is dedicated to the proposition that humans can no longer ignore the possible existence of ETCs," Loeb said in a press release announcing the group. "Science should not reject potential extraterrestrial explanations because of social stigma or cultural preferences that are not conducive to the scientific method of unbiased, empirical inquiry. We now must 'dare to look through new telescopes', both literally and figuratively."
Loeb has been a polarizing figure amongst astronomers for his staunch stance on a 2017 event. Then, an object called 'Oumuamua passed by earth and, according to Loeb, didn't resemble a single comet or asteroid observed by aliens before. The astronomer has since admitted he believes this could have been an alien craft passing by the planet.
"Some people do not want to discuss the possibility that there are other civilizations out there," Loeb said at the time. "They believe we are special and unique. I think it's a prejudice that should be abandoned."
"It would put us in perspective," he added. "If we are not alone, are we the smartest kids on the block? If there was a species that eliminated itself through war or changing the climate, we can get our act together and behave better. Instead, we are wasting a lot of resources on Earth fighting each other and other negative things that are a big waste."
Cover photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images