Sunday, February 28, 2010

Was Enrico Fermi Half Right?

In this Discovery New online article, the Fermi Paradox is again addressed. Well not the paradox directly which asks with all the supposedly populated planets in our galaxy, we should have been contacted by intelligent lifeforms by now. Since we haven't, where are they? - Instead the Discovery article is a good new bad news affair.

From the article:
  • The good news, the Milky Way could be abundant in intelligent life forms. The bad news, we may never hear from them.
Kinda grabs your interest huh?

The American Association for the Advancement of Science met recently and were asked,
  • ... how long will it be before we receive an interstellar greeting from an extraterrestrial civilization?
Responses varied widely from it may have already happened and we missed it to 250 years in the future. One wonders what these estimates are based on. Simply the estimates are based on the fact that the number of stars being reached in SETI optical and radio searches is growing exponentially because there are more and better telescopes dedicated to the search.
In fact, the article states that in the next two years more stars will be scanned than in the first 50 years!

However some scientists have said that we should hope to see something by 2035. Saying that if we still haven't seen a signal within 25 years then there is something wrong with our fundamental assumptions. Then there are those that agree that life is likely to be very common but that intelligence is an evolutionary crap shot and therefor very rare.

From the article:
Rare Earth hypothesis proponents say we'll never hear anything because (we're) .... likely to be the only sentient life in the galaxy.

Then there is the argument that evolution has tried twice for intelligence in two different branches therefor making intelligent life common place. hummmm

Anyway, this article does make some very interesting points, but at times reads like a rant on wildlife parks (currently in the news) so I would suggest reading with a critical eye and take away what you like.

Read the complete Discovery News article here

No comments: