A recent estimate by researchers at Oxford University puts the probability that we are the only life form in our galaxy advanced enough for technological civilization at between 53%–99.6%. Your thoughts?
I would like to think we're not alone but much like Bigfoot, I won't truly believe it, until I see it..
And it's kinda scary to imagine we may be alone.
All the more reason to try to make sure we don't wipe ourselves out.
Yea there's a lot of real estate to occupy.
Sometimes I do get the feeling that someone out there, somewhere.
Is looking through a really powerful telescope at us.
Chewing on something similar to beef jerky and saying "What a bunch of idiots".
Somehow, it would be hard to blame them for thinking that.
So, for 67 years they've been hyping extraterrestrial life based on this equation;
Oh, did I mention that all the variables are wild ass guesses?
N: total detectable alien civilizations in the Milky Way
R∗: rate of star formation per year
Seriously, does anybody check the work of these 'scientists'?
Next thing you know some knot head is gonna claim that 'the planet has a fever' and we have 15 years to fix it, so give me all your money.
Actually, Drake's original calculation of N, based on guesses for the values of the factors on the right-hand side of the equation, resulted in only about 10 advanced civilizations for the whole galaxy.
If we consider finding those 10 (assuming that number is correct) out of 200 billion stars, it is obvious that the task was well-nigh impossible from the beginning.
That's what I meant.
Yes, but since Drake, there have been guys like this:
So, the actual answer is somewhere between Zero (inclusive) and trillions.
I recall my 3rd grade math required greater precision.
Yep, but I'm more inclined to believe the low estimate.
I suspect the "trillions" school is fishing for grant money.
No one will ever know.
What if SETI hears a signal?
Not in our lifetime.
Yes, if the Oxford people are right, then that's very probable, Starz.
Bullshit, Starz... I did work as the NATO liaison officer for a brief moment. I do. So should the general public, as well.
Though I was thinking about posting this article.
Ex-NASA physics professor claims 'many governments' have covered up alien encounters
With July 2 being World UFO Day, it is a good time for society to address the unsettling and refreshing fact we may not be alone.
Maybe that's why he is ex-NASA.
They are indeed short on details, other than to say they have made new estimates of relevant factors in the Drake Equation.
"Previous estimates of the Drake equation have assigned a single number to those variables. The recent study sought to make a more informed guess. It relies on our latest knowledge of biology, chemistry, and cosmology, and uses a distribution of probabilities (a range) to capture the most likely scenarios, rather than assign a single value."
I tried looking up the paper (referenced in the piece), but I was only able to access the abstract, which is no more informative that the present piece.
One thing that makes no sense to me is that if there is a 99.6% chance that there is no other intelligent life in our galaxy, I don't see how they can say there is at least a 39% chance that there is no intelligent life in the entire visible universe. Even at 99.6% chance that there is no intelligent life in a given galaxy, you only have to search about 235 galaxies to make the odds of no advanced civilization in any of them less than 39%.
The Drake equation is flawed.
However, apparently (I mentioned eleven at some point, but was incorrect) there are 13 species living on this planet, other than the human beings. It doesn't take equations to figure out, what the hell is going out. Reptilian shapeshifters are quite polite, by the way. Then again, never trust your pet lizard...
Well, the numbers they cite did appear in other articles about this paper as well, so I think they got that part right.
As for the paper itself, it seems to be legitimate (although not necessarily correct).
53% - 99.6% I don't think I've ever seen a range of odds that large. I don't think I'll be putting any money on this bet. They might as well have said, "We just don't know." Ha!
Well, given that range of odds, if we can believe them, it's a pretty safe bet that there aren't 10 million advanced civilizations in our galaxy, or even 1000.
Yes, I think those numbers would change the odds quite a bit. Ha!
The hardest part of the Drake equation is estimating how likely it is for life to form at all, even on an Earth-type planet, and then how likely it is for intelligent life to emerge. In our case, the latter only happened once in 4 billion years, that we know of. The trouble is, we only have this one example to work with.
The other imponderable is how long a technological civilization will survive. Drake assumed 10,000 years, but at the rate we're going, we might not make it.
HIGHLY unlikely, there are so many planets in the universe and so many that support life that it'd be unlikely for there not to be other life, I'm sure there is also intelligent life.
Yes, that's the usual argument, but suppose the development of technological civilization, even on an Earth-like planet, is extremely unlikely, say one in a trillion? Then the chances of having even one technological civilization among 100 billion such planets would only be about 10%.
That kinda sounds egocentric dont you think? Not that theres any evidence but humanity has been wrong too like the geocentric model of Earth being in the middle of the universe. Imagine us being in the dark again and there being so many civilizations advanced far beyond we ever will in the next 10 000 years. Is there other life in the universe? 100% Is there life as advanced enough there must be some civilization somewhere.
Well, not really egocentric, just a realization that we have very little idea of what the odds for developing a technological civilization are, having only the one example of our planet to work with. And in our case, we know it only happened once in 4 billion years.
Drake himself, in his original calculation, estimated that there were only 10 technological civilizations in the entire galaxy at a given time; i.e., right now.
Alone in our galaxy, maybe...Alone in our universe, unlikely.
So you're saying, the great researches at Oxford spent a lot of good time and money, just to tell us it's a coin flip just we previously thought! ... 53% is almost a coin flip, and 99.6% is almost just saying that we know of.
So the lazy kid procrastinated and wrote a long paper at the very last minute just to say it's a coin flip that we know of
Fifty three percent is indeed close to a coin toss, but 99.6% is saying 'almost certainly not'.
Either way, those are surprising numbers, since most people would assume that intelligent life on other planets in the galaxy is a near certainty.
Oh, and about the lazy kid... this is from a paper presented to the Royal Society. Not many lazy kids get to do that.
I forgot to answer the actual question.
Yes, human beings are mostly alone on this planet. Not completely, but mostly.
Q: Are we alone in our galaxy?
A: No, my GF keeps me great company
Testing a hypothesis is exactly what SETI is doing.
And the probability distributions of chance events are measurable and testable. It's done all the time; radioactivity, to cite just one simple example.
We have already observed a technological civilization on Earth.
The hypothesis being tested is that there may be other such civilizations on other planets.
As you wish.
The alleged scientific method:
1. Observe something. > Technological civilization on Earth
2. Formulate a hypothesis. > There are other such civilizations on other planets.
3. Devise a test. > SETI program
4. If the test fails, go to #2 > or devise a better test
5. If the test passes and is confirmed, the hypothesis might be promoted to a theory [or a statement of established fact] and used to prove other hypotheses. And it might not.
As well you should.
Hope not, but it will take a long time to find out.
We seven billion or so humans here on Earth.