Monday, January 24, 2011

Speaking of Planet Earth


Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

IMO, saying Nay after a cursory examination of a few hundred planets and stars is not logically justified. That's analogous to Columbus just sailing a few miles offshore from Spain and returning, "Nope, there's nothing out there."

As far as the possible extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations out there, the astronomer Edwin Drake devised the now-famous Drake's Equation formula decades ago. Really, it's only speculation at this time as, given current human scientific limitations, it's still not a testable hypothesis, in the Scientific Method-hypothesis, theory, principle. But it seems extremely intelligent and grounded speculation.

But at this link there's a good explanation of Drake's Equation and it gives you the option to plug in your own guesstimate of the variables and see how many intelligent civilizations there are in our galaxy, by your views on the variables.

I input mainly conservative guesses for the values of each variable and came up with an answer of 10 intelligent civilizations just in our galaxy, of the millions of galaxies.(except for the variable fc, which I gave a 100% value. The first thing we humans did when inventing radio and tv was to effectively radiate radio and tv signals into space that are now light years away, headed into distant space. And we're pumping them out every day. Plus, as soon as we technologically could, we launched space probes with info about us, the Voyager series, aimed into deep space. And of course, there's SETI. I'm thinking this kind of thing is very typical behavior for intelligent species. By nature, we're very curious and love to talk.)

Please give it a shot, Louise. I'd love to know what your result is and what your thoughts are on this.

January 25, 2011 5:42 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

That sounds too much like physics for me. A little known factoid from history: I flunked high school physics way back in 1966 and never looked back.

To be honest, tho, when I read this article, I also thought that speculating about the existence of life on other planets on the basis of just a smidgen is probably not good science.

January 25, 2011 10:51 pm  

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