Life Beyond this Solar System
Name: wildman jackson
Date: 1993 - 1999
I have been pondering the question of whether life exists beyond this
solar system. Since there are so many millions of stars and planets, I
was thinking that the chances of life are very great. My former calculus
teacher, on the other hand, has an equation which he says assures me of
no other life. I don't believe that too much though. What do you think?
There is an equation that is supposed to give the probability
of life elsewhere in our galaxy or elsewhere in universe. It's
called the Drake equation after Frank Drake the astronomer who first
proposed it. Most people use the Drake equation to show that life
MUST exist, it all depends on your choice of numbers that you plug
into the equation.
There was a very interesting commentary article in the last (May or
June) edition of Discover dealing precisely with this question. The author's
conclusion was that it was mathematically unlikely that intelligent life
can exist elsewhere in the galaxy which were technologically advanced
enough to attempt or respond to communication. In essence, he was
predicting that the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will
fail. He did not rule out that life could not exist, or that even
intelligent life could not exist elsewhere, but for that life to
evolve technologically to what humans have achieved would require so
many variables to fit that it would be statistically impossible.
But then again, before the sound barrier was broken, respected the
physicists "proved" that was impossible!
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Update: June 2012