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New model shows that ET intelligent life rare

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posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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What Are The Odds Of Finding Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life?


“The Earth’s biosphere is now in its old age and this has implications for our understanding of the likelihood of complex life and intelligence arising on any given planet,” said Prof Watson.

“At present, Earth is the only example we have of a planet with life. If we learned the planet would be habitable for a set period and that we had evolved early in this period, then even with a sample of one, we’d suspect that evolution from simple to complex and intelligent life was quite likely to occur. By contrast, we now believe that we evolved late in the habitable period, and this suggests that our evolution is rather unlikely. In fact, the timing of events is consistent with it being very rare indeed.”


www.sciencedaily.com...

I've thought about and even written about this over the years. The likelihood of an intelligent species evolving requires so many coincidental factors over a long period of time.

The lifespan of a star and its planets, themselves, may be the ultimate proverbial brick wall dooming even the potential for an intelligence species to evolve.

Is it really more likely than not that we are, in fact, alone in this galaxy, if not our neighborhood of galaxies? Professor Watson's model suggests so.




posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 03:16 AM
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I find Professor Watson's pessimism depressing, so I shall disagree with him. That isn't very hard to do: he seems to assume that intelligent life in the universe must evolve on planets like ours in orbit around suns like ours and must remain confined upon its planet of origin until its sun explodes and exterminates it. Bah. Humbug. Fiddlesticks and piffle.

I suspect that any intelligent species, once sufficiently advanced, will protect itself from the vagaries of planetary life by removing itself to purpose-built habitats in space.

[edit on 20-4-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I agree with you,this Watson fella seems a bit of a closed minded plank. I'm glad this is the first I've heard of him,and I hope it will be the last.



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 04:45 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


agreed

There could be forms of life on Pluto that we might not even recognize as life because it is so different from our understanding of it on our own planet . . .

Like many modern day scientists, this guy seems very narrow minded.

[edit on 4/20/2008 by JPhish]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I suspect that any intelligent species, once sufficiently advanced, will protect itself from the vagaries of planetary life by removing itself to purpose-built habitats in space.


I agree wholeheartedly. With a billion years of Earth history yet to come, I think it's likely that humanity will have long left this doomed planet and headed for greener pastures. (Or rustier pastures, depending on the planet.)

But the question remains. If intelligent life -- however rare -- is as resilient as we surmise/hope, where is all the "chatter"? We've been combing the skies for decades and the best we've come up with so far is the so-called "wow moment".
cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com...

Sometimes I feel like screaming at the night sky, "Hey! Where IS everybody?!"

Edit to add link.

[edit on 20-4-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by Tuning Spork
 


Sometimes I feel like screaming at the night sky, Hey! "Where IS everybody?!"


Enrico Fermi felt the same, under the stars at Los Alamos.

Some guy's written a book containing fifty answers to the question.

I haven't read it, but here are three answers of my own.

  • They are out there, but they do not communicate using the electromagnetic spectrum. One day, we will discover that the conversation of the Galaxy is conducted in a whispered modulation of gravity waves. Perhaps the ability to receive and respond to such communications is a precondition of acceptance into the Galactic community.

  • They are out there, they just don't talk to each other that much. Intense garrulity may be a juvenile phase in the evolution of intelligence.

  • They are out there, but they are keeping as quiet as mice for fear of attracting the attention of some terrible interstellar Ravager of whose existence we humans are blissfully unaware.



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 06:33 AM
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It's a realistic view, life would be rare throughout the universe. But, we're the only things in our galaxy? I'd be a bit wary of that one. How many stars does the Milky Way have, 200, even 400 billion stars?

C'mon, there's got to be something around at least a couple of them.



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
*They are out there, but they are keeping as quiet as mice for fear of attracting the attention of some terrible interstellar Ravager of whose existence we humans are blissfully unaware.


Or, mor likely I think, that they are communicating via (Warning: Star Trek reference) "sub-space radio".

We're scanning the skies for radio signals. But who knows what method they're using for their idle chatter?

Sure, I can use a police scanner to pick up my neighbor's cordless phone conversations about her family's life and death situations. But can we even hope to eavesdrop on an ET discussion of how the Rigel Probers' offense is going to overcome the Betelguese Abductor' defense in the Galactic Cup finals? I think not.

We may be searching for Lego blocks in a titanium-girded galaxy.



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by mattguy404 How many stars does the Milky Way have, 200, even 400 billion stars?

C'mon, there's got to be something around at least a couple of them.


Aah, yes. But keep in mind that Earth is a garden. Even in the remotest, barren, waterless desert there is the ocassional sprig of life.

But as far as we can tell (and we can tell pretty good at this point), all life on Earth is related. That means that, even on this garden -- this haven of all things life-loving -- life has begun here ONCE in 5 billion years. There's a cold splash of reality of us.





[edit on 20-4-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:35 AM
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In order to travel large distances and still keep in contact with their home planet, radio waves would not mean diddley to them. They take forever to travel, and eventually dissipate, according to some.

SETI is intentionally misguided. What rational person wouldn't take the aforementioned details into consideration before spending a chunk of change on creating a whole organization around searching for radio waves?

Also, if advanced lifeforms are traversing the galaxies, it seems likely to me that they would be encountering intelligent life on a rather frequent basis... so how quickly would they bother responding to that signal? Especially if they already know about us. They're like "Yeah yeah yeah, shhh we know. Just wait."

[edit on 20-4-2008 by indierockalien]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:35 AM
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reply to post by Tuning Spork
 


All life on Earth is related. That means that, even on this garden -- this haven of all things life-loving -- life has begun here ONCE in 5 billion years.

There's a reason for that.

Once established, existing lifeforms would gobble up everything that had the potential to be life; stuff that has potential to be life is food to stuff that is.

So once is all you get, not because it is improbable but because the first instance automatically cancels the possibility of any more. It doesn't mean the potential for life is low. In fact, life appeared rather quickly, geologically speaking, after Earth had coalesced and cooled down a bit.



posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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If we go by our 1 data point for life in the universe intelligent life does indeed look very rare.

[edit on 21-4-2008 by yeti101]



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