Aliens and intergalactic spheres of influence

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

What do alien civilizations look like from afar?

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?

36 civilizations in the galaxy?

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?

SETI vs the possibility of interstellar exploration

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

The extraordinary low probability of intelligent life

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

Arrival, the shape of aliens, and bridging the communication barrier

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

The necessity of dexterity for civilization

Today's SMBC highlights something about humanity that is often overlooked, something that any extraterrestrial intelligence that builds a civilization would have to have. Click through for hover-text and red button caption. Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Mammal Conspiracy We often talk about the intelligence of dolphins, whales, cephalopods, elephants, and other species.  But … Continue reading The necessity of dexterity for civilization

Searching for advanced civilizations in other galaxies: 50 possible candidates found?

At first, this article seems like a bit of a downer: Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies -- ScienceDaily. After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if … Continue reading Searching for advanced civilizations in other galaxies: 50 possible candidates found?