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Probability of ET Life Arbitrarily Small, Say Astrobiologists

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posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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Astronomers have always thought that because life emerged quickly on Earth, it must be likely to occur elsewhere. That thinking now turns out to be wrong.

The Drake equation is one of those rare mathematical beasts that has leaked into the public consciousness. It estimates the number of extraterrestrial civilisations that we might be able to detect today or in the near future. The equation was devised by Frank Drake at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1960. He attempted to quantify the number by asking what fraction of stars have planets, what fraction of these might be habitable, then the fraction of these on which life actually evolves and the fraction of these on which life becomes intelligent and so on. Many of these numbers are little more than wild guesses. For example, the number of ET civilisations we can detect now is hugely sensitive to the fraction that destroy themselves with their own technology, through nuclear war for example. Obviously we have no way of knowing this figure.

www.technologyreview.com...

In spite of the popular meme which argues "there must me alien life out there somewhere." It's actually not nearly as compelling or likely as it seems. Most documentaries and popular books have cited the Drake equation as a scientific argument in favor but it looks like the Drake equation is more like the fake equation as its based on nothing more than unfounded speculation. Life is indeed highly improbable... I would argue miraculous.
edit on 7/31/2011 by Bigwhammy because: typo




posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Life is ubiquitous(everywhere) throughout the universe


My old Accounts thread.

Alien Bacteria Could Breed and Survive in Extreme 'HyperGravity' Up to 400,000 Times the Gravity of Earth




The new study suggests that a wider variety of alien habitats may be open to life than scientists had imagined. The results even extend the possibility of life beyond planets, to the strange "failed stars" known as brown dwarfs, researchers said. After all, if Earth bacteria can breed in 400,000 G's, the 10-to-100 G's possibly found on a brown dwarf shouldn't be much of an impediment. And some brown dwarfs may be cool enough to support life as we know it, researchers said.



The Universe is filled with

"Creature"
"Life"
"Beings"

edit on 31-7-2011 by TheUniverse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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I don't quite understand how anybody on this planet can currently call themselves an "astrobiologist" without adding "theoretical" to the title.

That aside, my post to this thread is to include my opinion on contemporary science and its ubiquitous behavior in ignoring UFO reports. Its my opinion that our scientists ignore them to our and their own detriment. Especially anybody calling themselves an "astrobiologist" and coming up with their own pet ideas on how much life is in the universe.
edit on 31-7-2011 by Frith because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:15 PM
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How can one say something is impossible when one does not know? We havent even made it out of our Solar System how the hell do we know Life is uncommon. Nonsense



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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Our species could go extinct before even reaching the next bit of life in the galaxy. Even with lightspeed travel. So the question will either be a positive, or forever remain unanswered.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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You see dimwits everywhere exercising the Drake Equation as if it were actually some highly scientific, mathematically unassailable argument. It can't be pointed out too often, as you have, that it's pure "wild speculation." Or one might say "unadulterated b******t."

On the other hand, so are any other theories as to the likelihood or unlikelihood of life outside of our own Earth. No one can say. Not even "astrobiologists"!

Anyway, it only takes one alien species showing up on Earth to prove that there is at least one other example of life in the Universe. I personally believe that there's at least one form of alien life visiting us. And, may I say, my guess is every bit as strongly scientifically based as anyone else's....
edit on 7/31/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


The drake equation imo has always been highly speculative and fairly flimsy when it comes to estimating a roughly accurate answer of intelligent ET life in the Universe.

In 2009 UniverseToday reported that "The most current estimates guess that there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars".

According to Wikipedia the fraction of stars with planets is difficult to estimate accurately but the number must be fairly large:



Based on such extrapolation, it is estimated that perhaps 20% of sunlike stars have at least one giant planet while at least 40% may have planets of lower mass.[48][49][50]

Regardless of the exact fraction of stars with planets, the total number of exoplanets must be very large. Since our own Milky Way Galaxy has at least 200 billion stars, it must also contain billions of planets if not hundreds of billions of them.


Considering all these factors, the number of planets orbiting stars throughout the Universe will be a ridiculously huge number. But what percentage of those planets would actually be hospitable?

This is where things become rather difficult to calculate, however even the most conservative estimations would leave us with massive numbers of hospitable planets. The question is now: how many have life on them.

And how many have intelligent life on them? Obviously there is going to be disagreements at this point; but to argue the probably of such life is "arbitrarily small" is completely false when you consider the numbers.

Yes, the chances of life appearing on any one planet would be arbitrarily small. In fact it would be so small that it might take billions of years before you even see signs of the simplest forms of life.

But you need to think on a larger scale when it comes to estimating the amount of life in the Universe. When you begin to understand the size of this Universe it becomes almost silly to propose that we are the only intelligent life.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Interesting in that it at the same time, assumes that intelligent life develops before it destroys itself. That would mean they believe it highly likely intelligent life is evolving throughout the Universe to reach that conclusion.

Glass half empty or half full?



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by TheUniverse
 


This is not about whether or not life exists. The assumption is it does.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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My opinions are usually pretty malleable, but I truly believe if there's life here, there's life out there. Teeming.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:34 PM
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Need I remind you that they said the earth was flat too ? And what happened to that theory ? Oh yes, it is round. So there could be aliens, I'm tired of people denying the truth because they haven't seen it.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder


Yes, the chances of life appearing on any one planet would be arbitrarily small. In fact it would be so small that it might take billions of years before you even see signs of the simplest forms of life.

 


We have 15 Billion years of light history to look at, meaning that there has been plenty of time for something to happen.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 




We have 15 Billion years of light history to look at, meaning that there has been plenty of time for something to happen.
Yes, but has every planet existed for that long? And did they all reach hospitable levels at the same time? What point are you trying to make anyway?



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by TheUniverse
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Life is ubiquitous(everywhere) throughout the universe



The Universe is filled with

"Creature"
"Life"
"Beings"


Really?

If so I'm sure you wont mind sharing some shred of evidence to support your claim.


Until the day comes when some sort of exobiology is found we are all there is, regardless of the odds of probability.

Those that wish to hum and haw otherwise using speculation and hearsay, be my guest. It doesn't change the fact that there is not an iota of proof that withstands scientific scrutiny to state otherwise.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 
Absolutely right, but what are the odds that life only appeared here on Earth. Come onnn...



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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I did not see one intelligent conclusion throughout that article. Taking anything they say as a fact is pure folly, this is theory postulated by two astrobiologists when the body of evidence suggests the exact opposite.

Of course the drake equation is flawed, that doesn't mean what they are saying is any less flawed. When it comes to any figures regarding possible alien civilization it is all guesswork. No one has any idea because we are not capable of going out there to find out for ourselves.

What we do know is that on Earth first dinosaurs evolved, became the dominant species and were subsequently wiped out do to some major cataclysm. The most popular theory seems to be a meteor, which would mean most higher level life would have been wiped out as well. We see how resilient life is because of how strong life came back and how much it developed after that. We also keep finding more and more evidence that makes it seem more likely that Mars was a living planet. There are other areas in our own solar system that could theoretically sustain life, maybe or maybe not as we know it. Of course there is the massive body of evidence(not proof anywhere yet) of UFOs visiting Earth, even the possability of them visiting far in the past with some evidence to justify that theory as well. Of course while we convict murderers with just two eye witnesses (possibly only one) we are supposed to believe hundreds of thousands of eye witnesses of UFOs and so on are full of it. Even ignoring all of the accounts with possible explanations there are still many that cannot be explained at all.

We've seen on Earth varieties of life so staggering that we are far from identifying all life on our own planet, if we ever will. That life has proven to survive in all of the most extreme environments on Earth as well. I do not see any real intelligent basis for this theory of theirs. I can't wait until we can at least explore our own solar system thoroughly and likely any theories like this will fall to the wayside.
edit on 31-7-2011 by seeker1977 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


How ironic the article talks about a bias..... the Universe is filled with life... and argues the opposite....



The Drake equation states that:

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible; and

R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy

fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets

ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets

fℓ = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point

fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life

fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space

L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space.


Wiki

See part F.

Here's Carl Sagan to reconfirm the Drake Equation




posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by Balkan
 


I'm in complete agreement with you and personally lean strongly towards a Universe full of life, but thus far...nothing.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by seeker1977
 

So true. Look at the sheer amount of variety of life right here on our own planet.

I can't speak more emphatically. I really want to know what's out there! (x100)

edited to add: as long as it doesn't eat me, which it probably will.


edit on 31-7-2011 by Balkan because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-7-2011 by Balkan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 


Of course not we havent we've just stepped our foot out of the door. I mean what do we expect? We have a long way to go if were going to find any life.




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