Random thought, partly repetitive, returning to the subject of communicating with other planets.
Before 1920 most professional scientists (including Darwin) were deists. They believed in purpose, even if Galileo had weakened the hold of purpose on physics. Most scientists were fascinated by the possibility of life elsewhere, and several (including Marconi and Tesla) tried to converse with Mars and Venus. Both of them thought they heard a reply, but the description sounds to me like induction from telegraph wires, which were everywhere in 1899. Telegraph systems used the ground as one side of the circuit, so there would be a complex signal-like delta between the ground and your receiving antenna even if there were no wires nearby.
The Navy set up a more serious radio-telescope in 1924, using a mirror-and-film oscillograph for readout. They saw some interesting patterns that suggested faces. Again there’s no reason to assume Venus. Various types of facsimile have been around since 1848. The German Hellschreiber was especially common then, both wired and wireless. The sync pattern of the Hellschreiber would have fitted the oscillograph pretty well.
Politics invaded this range of thought in ’46 with the Klaatu theme. (Needless to say, 1946 was the date when demonic politics invaded and infected EVERYTHING, especially science.)
Klaatu: We made the A-bomb, so there must be better people on some other planet. The theme retained its emotion but changed its target. Now it says: We have Republicans, so there must be better people elsewhere.
Religion was NOT always connected. In ’65 several of the leading UFO speakers were explicitly Catholic, including Ray Fowler and Sister Ann Jude. They saw a broader variety of life in the universe as broader evidence of God’s greatness.
Now Catholics seem to be stuck on human exclusivity.
And of course all establishment “scientists” are ferociously opposed to all purpose-based thinking, not just deism. Everything must be random quantum particles because chaos is the BURNING BURNING NEED of psychopaths. Purpose is the worst of all sins, and purpose centered on creativity is way beyond sinful.
What if the establishment finally connects with Alpha Centauri and finds a purely Aristotelian and purely spiritual civilization, like my imagined charge critters? Will they learn anything? Not even worth asking.