Does this mean ...
... the next SPB is to send a paper probe to a nearby star system or should it be something a bit closer like one of them temporary moons we've been having hanging around lately?
In an announcement with massive consequences for the human race, astronomers say there are "probably about one hundred" planets within just 30 light-years of our solar system which could support life along Earthly lines. By their calculations, there are tens of billions of such worlds in our galaxy, suggesting that even if life …
That's just a temporal anomaly. Probably a backdoor to Section 31, intercepting logs for unauthorized off-world communications.... You'll be contacted later when the Temporal Integrity Commission re-aligns your place in the timeline for exposing the glitch....
"By their calculations, there are tens of billions of such worlds in our galaxy, suggesting that even if life is very rare it is bound to have arisen elsewhere."
The opposite conclusion could be drawn from that statement:, for intelligent life, anyway:
Since there was so much opportunity for it to arise and it still hasn't made itself evident anywhere but on this planet then it is probably very very rare.
If I were intellegent life on another planet and saw what's going on here, I might be inclined to hide my existance as much as possible. They probably have installed these heat / light / microwave cloaking devices that everyone is saying are just around the corner (if you count 10 parsecs as just around the corner!)
"it still hasn't made itself evident anywhere but on this planet"
Rather, we haven't yet noticed any intelligent life elsewhere, the limited capabilities for which we've only managed to develop and put to use over the last fifty or so of our earth years. That's a pretty small window, cosmically speaking. Also, your anthropocentric view of the matter only holds if you're limiting yourself to *intelligent* life, which the article doesn't. From which we can conclude that you are not included in this "intelligent life" subset either.
"...and look outward to the other zero-point-nine-recurring of the universe..."
Is it just me, or is that sentence missing the words "ninety-nine" and "percent".
C'mon Reg-hacks. If I can proof-read my half-arsed comments a couple of times, you could at least do likewise when penning an article!
Since Red Dwarves are much more common than G-class stars such as our Sun, it follows that if complex live can come into being near a RD it will be more common than our Yellow-star type of life-forms (chlorophyll, DNA, etc.). That's assuming that life in systems of similar star-types share some sort of commonality - a big IF.
In that case, maybe they are all chattering to each other in Red-Dwarvish and it's us, with our "yellow-star speak" who neither recognise their existence, not share common traits. So when we do finally make contact with the massed hordes of other intelligences, we could be the ones who are oh, so different.
is that, being so small and dim compared to the Sun, the habitable zone is so close to the star that 1) any planets are being bathed in hard radiation and 2) are highly likely to be tidally locked, so one hemisphere is in permanent daylight and the other in permanent night. We already have an example of this in Gliese 581g.
Whether life can evolve or even be sustained under such conditions is a question even our grandchildren may not be able to answer.
They have far less UV radiation output than the sun. Because the temperature is lower. If we put the planet near enough to the red dwarf to be comfy temperature-wise, the amount of shorter wavelengths (including blue light) hitting the atmosphere is less. Charged particles release might be energetic, but with a strong enough magnetic field a planet could be OK. One worry is actually that there is not enough UV and other hard radiation to cause enough mutations to keep evolution ticking over, but that is a rather speculative argument. There are many sources of randomness which could supply enough mutations.
Incidentally, the colour of light emitted by your typical red dwarf equals that of an incandescent light bulb (3200 K colour temperature) to that of a halogen light (3600K). So they are really yellowish red, whereas our "yellow" sun emits white (5800K) light.
Valid points, Michael, but when I said "hard radiation" it wasn't the UV I was thinking of - it was the gamma that is a result of all thermonuclear reactions. A red dwarf is still, at its heart, a massive thermonuclear reactor, albeit a smaller one, and it still chucks out a sizeable amount of gamma in the process.
Whether that's enough to irradiate a planet beyond the capacity to support life is a function of how much less gamma the star is producing than the Sun versus the increased exposure due to the reduced orbital distance (the inverse square law applying here), and the strength of the planet's magnetic field (if any).
Since to the best of my knowledge planetary magnetic fields are a product of the planet's rotation affecting its roiling interior, I would imagine the vast majority of planets that are tidally locked would, due to the slow rotation, not have much of a magnetic field at all. We have an example in our very own solar system; of the four rocky planets, only Earth has an appreciable magnetic field. And without a magnetic field to deflect and absorb that radiation, there's no way a planet is going to be able to support life.
That said, it would be interesting to see what the result of a planet having a large moon (like Earth) in such a proximal orbit to a red dwarf would be. The moon has a far greater tidal effect on the Earth than the Sun because of its proximity over the mass difference, so would a planet with a large moon orbiting a red dwarf still be tidally locked to the star, or to the moon? Or would the clash of tidal forces result in the planet still having an appreciable rotation?
Since I'm not an astrophysicist, the answer to that is beyond my puny maths, but it would be interesting to hear the take of someone with more knowledge on this, since I haven't heard it mentioned in discussions of planets in close orbits of red dwarfs.
Do you think each world has been made by a different God, or did one God make them all?
If it was one God, then he's up to 600 days work already (since each world will clearly believe their Earth to be the only one). Now call me cynical, but I'm fairly sure that breaches the European Working Time directive, not to mention several Health & Safety rules.
If it was more than one God, then clearly religion is bunk.
"If it was more than one God, then clearly religion is bunk."
Unless of course God's (or the gods) intention is to seed millions of intelligent lifeforms with slightly different spiritual perspectives. The progression of life is the slow adaption and integration of these beliefs systems into their single shared common thread. At that moment we all obtain a clear insight into the meaning of the universe.
Or maybe I just made that up to counter a pretty juvenile attempt to turn and interesting science article into an excuse for religion bashing.*
[And I say that as an ardent atheist]
Its some kind of competition, where each God seeds his randomly selected rock with a life form of his (or her), design and a winner takes all game develops, it's probably broadcast on the heavenly equivalent of BBC2.
"Your puny humans don't stand a chance against my mighty Xargons"
Actually, giving this more thought, I suspect that this activity is limited to a somewhat nerdy clique of Gods.
Maybe god literally hip-spewed out into the uniwerse, a partly base and acidic blend of life stream? Life has a rhythm, a melody, once we tune in to it. We can swim in it and still be on the shore. We can feel the current, but not be sucked in.
That must be that unseen matter/force that keeps pulsing and pushing the uniwerse to expand. Now, if the uniwerse expanded and contracted rhythmically, it might be a cosmic orgasm, adding more musical terms to life.
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It's quite likely that the first interstellar explorers to depart this solar system will not be human. Our ambassadors will probably be the product of our species' ongoing research into robotics and artificial intelligence. They're unlikely to be hampered by such short lifespans, or the need to eat, drink and breathe.
........crapping themselves in the face of this kind of evidence. I.e. Religious fundamentalists (of all stripes) who, by definition, believe that there is only one Deity and he/she or it created us as unique images of the godhead. In other words it is essential for them and their beliefs that we are alone in the universe (we saw who was behind the killing of federal support for the SETI project in Congress several years ago did we not?) and the possibility that they may have to face up to a theological question that they would above all else like to pretend does not exist must be causing them to shit themselves. Personally speaking the more evidence of this kind that shows that it is increasingly unlikely that we in fact are unique the better I am pleased. The sooner that cosmic reality kicks the legs out from under the godbotherers (regardless of which religion we are talking about) the better.
This gives me a problem.
Given the magnitude of this area of research, it is unlikely that we will see real proper bonafide aliens in my lifetime (circa 50 years left), which means I want reincarnation to be real, so I can live again and see some weird shit straight out of Dr Who.
When aliens are discovered and (if?) we all look drastically different, then yeah, religion is bunkum.
But I want to see the ETs!
Gaah, my head hurts.
.................that we will see real proper bonafide aliens in my lifetime (circa 50 years left), which means I want reincarnation to be real, so I can live again and see some weird shit straight out of Dr Who."
You and me both old chap, you and me both. -:)
"crapping themselves in the face of this kind of evidence. I.e. Religious fundamentalists"
Quite the contrary. I suspect that within days of scientists announcing they've spotted life on other worlds, the various televangilists will be in full voice:
"Friends! Do you want to spread The Word Of Our Lord Jaaaaysuuuus to those poor unfortunate souls out there? Of course you DO! We need a bazillion dollars to build our Ark Of The Word, the spaceship Of The Lord Our God! Send your donations to 'Mission(ary) to the Stars!'"
(I'm not afraid of alien overlords - if they are hostile we are screwed. I am far more frightened of an alien ship opening, and them saying "Have YOU accepted GLORB as your personal saaaaviooooor?")
You might wish to do some more research before stating such conclusions. The vast majority of religions have already answered this question and there will be no general crapping should alien life be a) discovered or even b) intelligent. Oh sure there are a few nut jobs out there, and the press with a variety of atheists will work very hard to find them and generally portray their sentiments for the entire religious community, I have no doubt. But by and large any such announcement will be a momentous occasion simply because it represents that many more possible converts, not a repudiation of any religious dogma.
...Mine's the one with the Bible in the pocket, thank you...
"You might wish to do some more research before stating such conclusions. The vast majority of religions have already answered this question"
You might care to justify that very grandiose claim. What I suspect you are saying is that religious denominations you are comfortable with have managed to square the circle (yet again) to their satisfaction and convenience. You may perhaps however have noticed that fundamentalism (in several monotheistic flavours) has been on the rise for the last couple of decades or so - it should not need much "research" for you to notice that. The "nutters" are not a small marginal fringe, they are very influential in a number of very dangerous contexts (albeit out of proportion to their absolute numbers) - and yes, they would still regard the discovery other sentient life as a theological disaster.
Actually, fundamentalism has been on the decline in monotheistic religions, have you bothered to look at the factioning of various sects over the past 20 years or so? About the only place on Earth with a solid core of fundamentalism is among African Christians, who are now sending missionaries to Europe and America, to try and bring them back to the fold.
And again, "nutters" are only portrayed as mainstream by atheists and the press. The former to bolster their arguments and the latter to gain sales/hits.
You really think we "religious" types ignore science? What a laugh, we review everything published, every discovery, every journal. We talk about implications of scientific research, the latest findings and theories/revisions to theories. And, the vast majority of time, scientific advances have little or nothing to do with our personal walk with God. Sometimes they do (and we can have that argument elsewhere), but alien life, or the discovery of intelligence elsewhere in the Universe will not. There will be no rioting in the streets, no tearing of robes, no self-immolation, probably just a LOT of discussion about how this news may or may not impact our personal relationship with God. And frankly, unless the little green buggers are invading Earth and laying waste to the surface of the planet, it probably won't have any impact at all. The only rioting/problems will probably come from those who run around scared all the time anyways, such as the survivalists, who represent a tiny minority of opinion, but somehow rank high in visibility.
Really, have you failed to notice what has been happening in the US and the Middle East over the past twenty years or so? Radical fundamentalists in both the Islamic and the Christian conservative traditions? They are not some missionaries from Africa, they have very fundamentalist religious perspectives and considerable political influence. Take a look at what is happening on the right wing of the Republican party in the US if you have not already noticed. Take a look at the internal balance of power within the right wing in Israel. Take a look at what the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia have been up to in recent decades (clue - Osama Bin Laden to name an infamous example). Take a look at what has been happening in Iran since the fall of the Shah. In short, take a look and start doing some thinking. The influence of fundamentalists within all of the Abrahamic religions is significant and highly pernicious in its effects . Common to all of them would be an utter hatred of beings that not only would likely not recognise their God but in many ways from the fundamentalist's point of view the very existence of such beings would be a denial of the existence of their Deity.
A quick look at the wiki page on interstellar probes shows nothing that can travel the ~2m AU (30ly) in anything close to 100 years. Here's hoping that there are some breakthroughs in that field fairly soon. I have about 70 years left on this rock, I'd really like to see these worlds studied in my lifetime. At least, it would be nice to see this topic become a major field of research.
I wonder if there's some way of using the interstellar medium as the fuel?
Billions of more-or-less earthy worlds. Zero artificial-like signals. Fermi's paradox: Where ARE they? Either:
a) We're really special -- one of a very small number of worlds that grow a civilisation, or
b) Civilisations don't survive.
I don't believe a) and I really dislike b).
Or c) - Only those civilisations that survive get invited into the grown-up club. If you can achieve cheap energy, cheap orbit and not screw your homeworld in the process then it's yippee! Everyone gets a t-shirt and some blue dude turns up to explain how numbers really work to the three humans capable of grasping it and passing it on. Also the fundies get to meet-n-greet the angels (who turn out to really like Dr Scholls, and look shifty when the subject of begetting is raised) and we all get to holiday at the Galactic CentrePark (nice views, but don't drink the water...)
c) they are hiding from us
d) this universe is a simulation. Advances in computing will allow us to build a computer so powerful it can simulate the human brain. Then we might build a simulation earth and seed it with simulated people to play out scenarios we are interested in. Why would we bother putting aliens in this simulated universe?
In short: Fermi's paradox misses the real question. The real question is statistically how can we NOT be in a simulated world? Of all the worlds out there the simulated ones should outnumber the real ones - a real world species can be expected to play about with millions of different simulations. So odds are we should be running in a simulation. Ironically this provides an answer to the God question that both theists and atheists won't like.
"Why would we bother putting aliens in this simulated universe?"
Maybe because we to some egg stint are mass-o-kisseds?
Maybe we actually like and need fear, "from outside". So, if we only have ourselves to fear, even in a fermented simulation, the next, evolutionarily real stimulation is simulation of fear beyond our control.
In short, we may be wired to stupefy ourselves on a regular basis....
Here is my current subroutine in play: "God" is a glitch in the program, an unresolvable subroutine that was reconciled as an anomaly to be proved later due to the expensive clock cycles consumed on the analysis. The program became delusional and spilled the 1s and 0s into its simulated beings whose firewalls and IDS were no match for the halo-effect of expended energy, thus imprinted with more glitches. Essentially, God is part virus, part Trojan, part worm, part spam, part bot, part honeypot and part honeynet. The whole s/hebang embedded in the infrastructure -- and for those codebases that took it to the hilt of the simulated coccyx, the end-frah-structure.
Maybe Fermi frightens and tightens?
Even if your A and B are real (and, i, too don't want A or B to be the case), we should find ruins or artifacts of some sort, eventually, unless the timescale is billions of years since their demise.
Even so, it would really be inspiring if we find telescopically planets with climates. I mean, I'm so irritated by people who winge about the rain. Unless one is caught in a death-bringing flood, say in The Philippines, Brazil, a mountain range in China, or Tennessee, people need to quit bitching about the rain!
When I look into the stars at night, on a clear night, and when I've looked into starfields through telescopes (as a visitor on an open tour) at CSM (College of San Mateo), mesmerization, euphoria, hope, are just a few indescribable emotions that come to mind. I also feel a sense of disappointment, despondency, and irritation that the might not be reincarnation, and if there is, we're very limited in our ability to derive utility and excitement from "coming back again".
So, when I look up and see clouds, rain, and imagine being a bird, I cannot HELP but feel that RAIN IS ONE OF THE MOST *BEAUTIFUL* THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE. So far, in my limited reading, we have not as a species found, recorded, and published actual existence of planets that have landscapes, oceans, and rain and climates that are just right for us if we were able to arrive physically at them in a space craft with a drop-ship. But, it would be nice if when we can arrive one for colonization that there are no advanced life forms to displace or send into extinction. Arriving a few billion years before evolution as we understand our own evolution means we should be likely to do damage to an environment that is mostly lush forests, swaths of deserts, and arable-capable fields/plains.
THAT could be the holy grail: Finding lush, uninhabited planets within 20 light years, giving us a chance (yet another chance in our continuum) to try to work together as a PLANET and not a system of power-jockeying, bork-minded governments bent on domination and subsumation of other cultures or consumer bases.
"lush"? Meaning, 'with life of some sort', presumably. Even plant life could be mobile, in the short-to-medium-term sense, (rather than outright ambulatory, which would, in the current scheme of things, incline toward a categorisation of 'animal'). And that plant life (even if it isn't ambulatory) may prove to be omnivorous and swift (in some ways), perhaps a quick 'learner' or a 'rapid-evolver', and possibly quite deadly.
The pot at the end of the many, many light-years is a planet without so much as microbial life, but water, an atmosphere that isn't actually toxic to life-forms from this planet, and something less than a constant hemisphere-wide sandstorm--though chances are good that by the time humans can reach even the first highly-promising candidate it will also be possible to terraform on almost any scale, including customising the entire atmosphere.
Wouldn't mind being "The Man Who Awoke" for that first landing, but by then there'd probably be many more horizons towards which to lean.
For the last 4 billion years, we haven't existed either. Give us another few thousand and we won't be detectable by someone with our current level of technology, unless we want to be. (We'll be able to see them, of course...)
So just why is it called Fermi's <it>paradox</it>?
If the article about the number of potentially habitable worlds is right, it puts several terms in the Drake equation to high values. So the remainder, like development of life, followed by the development of sentient beings, followed by them developing technology, IS very, very improbable.
We ARE special. Probably the only technically advanced civilization currently alive in the galaxy.
again. there's nothing much out there that cares enough to look at us or that has sent anything vaguely like a signal in any noticable wavelength in any of these hypothetical signal shells from these theoretical planets. ..
also, 'space is big, really really big..'
still, quite cool and it only took six years and a bugdet of some sort..
sorry, can't help the trollage, i know they probably contribute to the planet's over all quality of life .. but i can't help but feel they're all quite good at mostly contirbuting to their own quality of life first.. ..
This is a great statement to make about the probability of earth like planets within a 30 light year span. But you know what is really scary, finding life in these planets and to findout that we are the only ones that are technologically advance…
Imaging the damage we could bring to a world that has intelligent life, but are in their prehistoric period…we will be Gods to them…and we still are an aggressive species that cannot resolve our own differences…Imaging the impact, not only to them, but to us as well.
Thirty lightyears isn't "close" or doable. Just stop. And who wants faunacide anyway?
Thirty years in space would destroy any human anatomy not under conscious control (exercise isn't enough).
Only a Seed Bank can make it. And why should infect another ecosystem?
See "Planetary Caravan" by Pantera (original song by Black Sabbath): www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWChhdIgT6Q
Err its only 30 years to the outside observer. Relativity says that the traveller will not experience that time... so assuming they can travel at just under the speed of light, it'll seem like the journey took less than 1 second.
Flip side is, perhaps realisically, it'll take 100+ years (to the outside) observer, and so internally there will be generations who live and die in on the trip.
"Relativity says that the traveller will not experience that time... so assuming they can travel at just under the speed of light, it'll seem like the journey took less than 1 second."
Relativity also says the mass of an object increases as its velocity increases so whoever's making that journey had better have a big appetite.
The definition of 'Earth-like' adopted by the study seems to be "planets between 1 and 10X Earth mass, at a distance from their star that allows for liquid water".
Firstly, just because the surface temperature on some or all of a planet is in the 0-100 - Celcius range does not mean that there is water there in any significant quantity (see Mars). Also, I would hope the scientists have enough sense to tweak their 'Goldilocks zone' to something more like 0-50 Celcius range. It's not going to be very habitable if there is liquid water at an average surface temperature of 80 C.
Secondly, the range '1-10 earth masses' seems a bit far out to me. Even accounting for the fact that the surface gravity will not scale exactly with the mass of the planet, it's unlikely that human life could thrive at anything anything outside a range of maybe 0.75 - 1.5G, so that rules out a whole other large set of planets.
Finally there is one other rather unique characteristic of Earth that supports life, which is the liquid magnetic core that provides the Earth's magnetic field, and therefore, protection from cosmic radiation. Although this can be overcome by localised protective domes or underground living quarters, it's still an important missing factor.
I don't want to be a killjoy here, in fact seeing the vast numbers mentioned in the article it's still likely that there is at least a handful of planets within, say, 50 light years, that match the tighter criteria I outlined. I'm also sure that as astro-boffinry advances along the same lines as interstellar travel technology, that by the time we have a starship, we will also have a few well-defined destinations to aim for.
while I agree that "earth-like" might be stretching is a bit with those ranges, I would like to point out that life right here on earth is certainly happily thriving at up to 120°C (not all life, mind).
The first goal is to find life out there, not to plonk down holiday homes, you know.
I hear you, but godbotherers are a slippery bunch. Your friend will simply say that their god created the planet's inhabitants, too, and that they must "be saved" or "submit" and the entire charade will play out as it has here.
Look what happened to the New World when it was discovered by the Christians. I doubt we've changed all that much.
Well, for one: why did God so love THIS world that he gave his one-and-only begotten son to save us? With countless billions of other inhabited worlds in the universe (there are a lot of galaxies out there, even the tiniest, weeniest probability multiplied by that much space will turn up a lot) what made us that special?
Does He just really dig arrogance, perhaps?
Why assume that Jesus only saved THIS world through his sacrifice? I don't remember anything in the Bible claiming that salvation was limited to planet Earth. Indeed, I thought a large part of the point of Chrisitianity is that, unlike Judahism, it is Universal, and that one should therefore spread the good news.
Reading my other El Reg posts of today, it's clear that I'm a life form truly ill-adapted to this planet. Perhaps a sky with red light would soothe my personality more than a blue one.
On a planet circling a red star, going out in the midday sun should be safe for us mad dogs and Englishmen--at least the UV won't get us!
Now how do I get there?
Oh only 30 light years eh? Project Daedalus Britsh designed unmanned space craft that can eventually reach 12% the speed of light, currently the fastest possible design the human race has.
It'll only cost 100 trillion quid to build (roughly) and reach our nearest star (4 light years) in only 42 years!!!!
Ohh! we'll be there in no time! and with a debt to last the duration of the voyage!!!!
Oh dear wake up dreamers! Lmao!
Well, kicking that one off would certainly make Keynesians and Central Bankers cream their pants. 100 trillion quid of money printing is sure to kickstart the dead economy something fierce. Even the Military-Industrial-Complex should not be against this one. They don't even need to bomb asians, sun people or sand citizens and get beautiful mansions regardless.
FUND IT WITH IMAGINARY MONEY!
if they're now picking up TV from the early '80's (with very sensitive receivers)
Your comment on programs and the possible interpretations they place on them would be welcome. I'll assume they've not learned the lingo.
From Knight Rider, the Dukes of Hazard etc they will beleive our cars are starting to learn to fly.
Much as I would like it to be otherwise, the most optimistic estimates for the VASIMR engine's speed have a probe getting to the NEAREST star in something like 11,000 years. How are we going to send a probe out 30 ly in decades? And is your sci-fi probe sending its data back on subspace?
>>Of course these worlds may - probably do - lack any life at present<<
of course ??
we have no clue whether different conditions within a certain range would develop life faster or slower than here, whether intelligent life would develop faster or slower, and I'd think the process could have started a couple of billion years plus or minus on other planets
iow .. it seems just as likely life on another planet could be a billion years less advanced or a billion years more advanced .. and it's a huge stretch to say planets that are life friendly would "probably ... lack any life at present"
Looking at the numbers , Carl Sagan thought that in our own galaxy , the chances of life as we understand it , ie self replicating organisms ,was most probable .
however, it seems to me that the reason we havnt had any tangible results from all the seti analysis thats been done is,
that the leap H sapiens made that other orgasnisms here havnt is our mastery of fire.
that opened up the mastery of metals , which ultimately led to the development/understanding of electricity, and the development of radio communications.
It is still the case we happened to be in the right place at the right time in the evolution time frame here on our lovely blueworld.
Or, it could be Iron. Iron is a tricky metal to extract, if you don't know how. If memory servers, only one or two cultures discovered iron independently; everyone else got it via cultural diffusion.
Without Iron, the magnetism half of electromagnetism is a lot harder to get started on.
Well, except for the tight-binary pairs that have eaten them all, and the hyperspeed stars that have come too close to a black hole. And the planets are interspersed in such a fashion that no whole planetary orbit could fit between 'em. And further, there are 2-4 planetary bodies in orbit around what we would call the "Goldilocks zone" of every star - and if the planets are too big for Men to live on, they have moons. Always.
This is a side effect of the way that stellar systems are formed from clouds of gas and dust, and the fall-off of gravity's effects, centripetal force, angular distance, the distribution of prestellar masses of gas and dust. It's universal.
That's a bloody good idea. It would be relatively cheap to pull off, and you could just drop balloons full of bacteria into the atmosphere as Earth normal atmosphere is a lifting gas in the Venusian environment.
Why aren't we sending probes to Venus with a few bacteria on board, and maybe some marmite to get them started?
Its about time our overlords came to wipe us out anyway, we've nearly done extracting all the usable heavy elements from the crust and refining them into usable grade metals/alloys. Much simpler to upskill a bunch of monkeys and let them dig them out for a few years than get their own hands dirty.
Job nearly done! We've nearly finished the terraforming phase for our CO2 breathing masters as well, what good underlings we are!
Funny how Lewis Page jumps right onto this bandwagon when it contains no actual evidence other than speculation and probability. Yet when it comes to believing scientists of a similar educational standard who present actual evidence about our own planets' changing climate he guffs it away as nonsense.
The guy is a bell end.
Fermi figured all this out years ago. Given the age of the galaxy is over 5 billion years yet it's only a few hundred light years across, there has been plenty of time for any number of spacefaring intelligences to have colonized the entire galaxy several times over even without FTL technology. So why haven't we met them or at least seen signs of their past colonization? The fact that we haven't means that we won't.
Note that this "Fermi Paradox" doesn't mean intelligent life doesn't exist, it just means we will never meet them. All of the following "objections" actually support the hypothesis.
* Maybe they exist and we just lack the ability to detect them? Exactly...that means we won't meet them.
* Maybe they came and went and left no trace we could detect?
* Maybe there's a physical reason that makes interstellar colonization impossible?
* Maybe civilizations tend to destroy themselves?
* Maybe when civilizations reach a certain level they lose the desire to colonize and expand?
So, the fact that there's so many habitable planets so close to us makes it extremely unlikely that we'll ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence. It's been 5 billion years and with all those planets no life form has been able to colonize the few hundred light years to our solar system?
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