Expert committee seeks consensus on astrobiology terms, with only limited success.

Whether or not you can hear people scream in space, there’s plenty of screaming, or at least disagreement, about space and the way we describe it.

So much so, in fact, that California’s SETI Institute – the acronym stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – felt the need to convene an Ad Hoc Committee on SETI Nomenclature to make a few decisions on definitions. The committee included astronomers Jason Wright and Sofia Sheikh from Penn State University, US, and distinguished researcher Ivan Almar from Hungary’s Konkoly Observatory.

The resulting recommendations, which are available online, make interesting reading, starting with what can only be described as a bit of a disclaimer.

“This is a consensus document that the committee members all endorse; however, in many cases the individual members have (or have expressed in the past) more nuanced opinions on these terms that are not fully reflected here,” the document says.

So, the "experts" will define how we talk about ET.  You can't make this stuff up.  To read more, click here.