Originally posted by Maddogkull
This is just one site talking about it. But I am wondering since these are found in almost every galaxy, wouldn’t this just show that life can
arise anywhere in the universe?
I don't think the rare Earth hypothesis is about whether it can or can't happen, as much as it's about
whether it has or hasn't happened.
Originally posted by OZtracized
To draw an analogy, when blue dust falls on a yellow planet, green rocks are formed. If space is full of blue dust and yellow planets are
Here's another analogy:
Buy a lottery ticket. There's evidence all over it that you CAN win big money. But the chances are say 1 in 250,000,000. You see lottery tickets
everywhere and they all look the same.
Likewise we see the building blocks of life everywhere. There's evidence all over then that life CAN develop, but the chances are, let's guess 1 in
250,000,000. So in the Milky Way that's maybe 1000 places with life.
And look again, what if Mars is one of those places? Perhaps there was or perhaps IS life on Mars. It's so hard to detect we've been there and dug
around in the soil but we still aren't sure if there is or was life on Mars. So if Mars is an example of one of the planets where life has developed,
it's probably not "teeming" with life now though perhaps it once was.
So you say I just made up and guessed at what the chances are that the building blocks were assembled in just the right way? Actually that's not even
my guess, I just made up a number for illustration purposes. The real chances could be much higher or much lower, but everyone agrees they aren't
Or an even closer analogy: Give a bunch of alphabet blocks to a bunch of young infants who have no language skills.
We can look at all those building blocks and see literally the building blocks of language everywhere. But in how many places do we actually see the
blocks form words or sentences that represent language? OK holding up the block "A" doesn't count, let's say they need to build a simple sentence
with 25 blocks.
Give them to enough infants and eventually some blocks will form a sentence. But the fact that we see alphabet blocks everywhere doesn't rule out a
"rare language hypothesis" because it may take a bit of luck to assemble the blocks in the right order.
The same may be true with the building blocks of life. They are there, but it may take a bit of luck to assemble the blocks in the right order. My
guess is, it probably does.
"since these are found in almost every galaxy...."
I noticed that even in SciFi shows, they find it hard to travel between galaxies. So while I hope we discover life in our own galaxy soon, I'm not
optimistic about developing the technology to detect life in other galaxies. They are just too far away. Actually even the stuff in our own galaxy
seems pretty far away.
Let's say our best chances of discovering any intelligent signals with SETI lie within a 100 light year radius. 100 light years is a huge distance,
it would take the fastest spacecraft we've ever built 1,750,000 years to go that far. Yet 100 light years is only a tiny fraction of the Milky way,
which is 100,000 light years across.