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

Snowden’s answer to the Fermi Paradox and its assumptions

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

G-HAT (Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies)

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)

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?

Three conditions are necessary for SETI to succeed

Tom Hartsfield has a post up at Real Clear Science criticizing both the Drake equation and SETI: If you like science fiction, you're probably familiar with the Drake equation. This famous one-line formula solves for the number of intelligent alien civilizations within our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Supporters of the … Continue reading Three conditions are necessary for SETI to succeed

Complex life in the universe may be much rarer than previously thought

At least, according to a couple of astrophysicists: Complex life may be possible in only 10% of all galaxies | Science/AAAS | News. The universe may be a lonelier place than previously thought. Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a … Continue reading Complex life in the universe may be much rarer than previously thought

Eavesdropping on E.T. and the possibility of interstellar travel

Gabriel Popkin as an article at Inside Science about a study that looks at the possibility of intercepting communications between other alien civilizations.  The idea is that communicating across interstellar distances is best done with lasers. So far, the optical search for extraterrestrial intelligence has focused mainly on the hope of receiving—and recognizing—an intentional, laser-encoded … Continue reading Eavesdropping on E.T. and the possibility of interstellar travel