Here we go again. (deep breath) Life on Earth, or elsewhere, isn’t striving to become like us.
I have yet to me one pro-SETI person who says that it is striving so. Strawman.
The failure of people to comprehend this has plagued Darwin’s intellectual descendants and the very existence of SETI shows how much work CFI has to do even among those who boast about their love of science. Fermi hypothesis aside, Intelligence is not an inevitable consequence of life and, on our little planet, 99.9999% of life is doing just fine without it.
No, but neither does that mean it will never develop elsewhere, either. False dichotomy.
Why don’t the stargazers or radiotelescope listeners understand this? Take a biology class. I have no problem with privately funded efforts to search for ETI but I also have no objections to privately funded searches for Bigfoot. It would be cool to find either one, but the efforts should be spent in accordance with probability and the searchers don’t seem willing to examine the heavy influence of their own wishes.
Blah blah blah. You are not the arbiter of any of “useful”, “worthwhile” or any of the other adjectives that might attach to SETI with a “non-” prefix.
People would laugh at an effort to find extraterrestrial firefly flashes, but SETI is only a little less absurd. Intelligence is but one survival solution that evolved on only one tiny branch of Earth’s enormous tree of life. Humans, you are special (not in a mystical/creationist way) but you really need to get over yourselves.
Not to mention that your “humans and terrestrial life are not special” argument contains the implication that because of this non-specialness it probably happened somewhere else.