I thought the biggest problem with the decision to broadcast the Beatles’ “Across the Universe” into space on Monday was the usual combination of self-importance and “Get it? Get it?” metatext that has plagued pretty much every Significant Beatles Event since John died. But could it also tip off a malevolent alien species to our existence and inspire them to invade our planet? Scientists say: “Maybe.” Douglas Vakoch of the SETI Institute tells the Daily Telegraph, “I have no fear that NASA’s latest transmission exposes Earth to any danger from aliens. However, I do believe that even symbolic transmissions from Earth deserve broad-based discussion before hitting ‘send.'”

As a guy who occasionally watches Sci-Fi Channel original programming and regularly looks up science-related things on Wikipedia, I feel qualified to agree with Vakoch that the risk is probably nil. But just in case, we should try to get NASA to beam some Sean Lennon solo material into space as a way of discouraging the aliens from ever coming near our planet.

via Metafilter