Over the years, I've done a lot of posts speculating about alien civilizations. My take is generally that while extraterrestrial life may be prevalent in the universe, complex life is rare, and intelligent civilization producing life is profoundly rare. This seems evident from our own history, where simple life appears to have started as soon … Continue reading Aliens and intergalactic spheres of influence
This is a pretty good description of the Kardashev Scale of civilization energy usage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhFK5_Nx9xY I initially thought the video overestimated how close we are to being a Type I civilization, but then I remembered that the whole scale is logarithmic, so maybe not. It also mentioned that we might "choose" to build a megastructure … Continue reading What do alien civilizations look like from afar?
A new analysis is getting some attention, one claiming to have refined the old Drake equation and produced firmer numbers, leading to this conclusion: Under the strictest set of assumptions – where, as on Earth, life forms between 4.5bn and 5.5bn years after star formation – there are likely between four and 211 civilisations in … Continue reading 36 civilizations in the galaxy?
This is the third or fourth video I've seen of Arvin Ash, and have been impressed with how level headed his thinking is. (In other words, his biases seem to match up well with mine.) This one on how alien life might evolve strikes me as right on the money. (The first few minutes end … Continue reading The evolution of extraterrestrial life
Science News has a short article discussing a calculation someone has done showing how small the volume of space examined by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is relative the overall size of the galaxy. With no luck so far in a six-decade search for signals from aliens, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “Where is everyone?” A … Continue reading SETI vs the possibility of interstellar exploration
Marc Defant gave a TEDx talk on the improbable events that had to happen in our planet's history for us to eventually evolve, along with the implications for other intelligent life in the galaxy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nCOhrYV7eg I find a lot to agree with in Defant's remarks, although there are a couple points I'd quibble with. The … Continue reading The extraordinary low probability of intelligent life
This weekend, I watched the movie 'Arrival'. It starts off with the now common scenario of several floating ships appearing in the skies around the world. But unlike most movies in this mold, it focuses on humanity's efforts to communicate with the aliens and understand why they've come. The protagonist is an expert in linguistics. I … Continue reading Arrival, the shape of aliens, and bridging the communication barrier
Martin Rees has an interesting article at Nautilus: When We Find Aliens, We Might Find Something Like the Borg This September, a team of astronomers noticed that the light from a distant star is flickering in a highly irregular pattern.1 They considered the possibility that comets, debris, and impacts could account for their observations, but each of … Continue reading Why alien life will probably be engineered life
The Fermi Paradox is the question that, if the conditions for life in the galaxy are as ubiquitous as they appear to be, so that there should be hundreds, if not thousands of alien civilizations out there, then where is everyone? Why have we found no evidence for any for those civilizations? And why aren't they here? … Continue reading Snowden’s answer to the Fermi Paradox and its assumptions
For those interested in the post about finding advanced civilizations in other galaxies by their heat emissions, Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams has a write up about the study, including links to additional material as well as the actual paper. I found that this part clarified the seeming contradiction in the Science Daily article. The currently reported work … Continue reading G-HAT (Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies)