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"Human Species May Be Among Early Advanced Life in the Universe" (Today's Most Popular)

 

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Intelligent life may be in it's "very young" stage in the observable Universe. Its 200 billion galaxies show a clear potential to continue on as we see them today for hundreds of billions of years, if not much longer. Because planets and life are so young in our Universe, says Harvard's Dimitar Sasselov, perhaps "the human species are not late comers to the party. We may be among the early ones."

That may explain why we see no evidence of "them" and may go a long way to explaining the famous Fermi Paradox, which asks if there's advanced intelligent life in the Universe, where are they? Why haven't we discovered any evidence of their existence?

The story of the Universe according to Sasselov in is new study, The Life of Super-Earths, looks like this: generations of stars made enough iron and oxygen, silicon and carbon, and all the other elements from the original hydrogen and helium about 13 billion years ago to be able to form the Earth we live on and the planets the Kepler Mission is discovering today.

Stable environments in galaxies that were enriched enough to have planets only became available some nine billion years ago and rocky Earth-like planets and larger super-Earths, only some 7 to 8 billion years ago. And Life had to wait until that time if not later to begin its emergence throughout the Universe. Between 7 and 9 billion years ago, enough heavy elements were available for the complex chemistry needed for life to emerge were in place along with the terrestrial planets with stable environments necessary for chemical concentration.

Enrico Fermi argued that given the old age of the Universe and given the large number of stars and planetary systems and the incredibly short timescale it took humans to develop technology that other origins of life and civilizations in the Milky Way could have had a significant head start and should be significantly more advanced than we are.

Sasselov concludes that the statistical argument for Fermi's Paradox "holds true only if the timescale for the emergence of life is much shorter than the age of the universe, but not so if the two are comparable." The future for life in the Universe looks excellent, says Sasselov.

Planets may be just a tiny fraction of the Universe because of their small size, but there are so many of them that the probability of life grows exponentially. The Universe is passing through the stelliferous era --its peak of star formation--but appears to be still peaking in its formation of planets. There are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on Earth and there are an equal number of planets.

There are 200 billion stars in the Milky Way and 90% are small enough and old enough to have planets in orbit. And only 10% of these stars were formed with enough heavy elements to have Earth-like planets with 2% of these --or 100 million super-Earths and Earths-- will orbit within their star's habitable zone.

Sasselov's argument in The Life of Super-Earths is compelling. One has to wonder, however, that if another planet out there in the Milky Way (and billions of galaxies beyond) is only a billion years older than Earth, how much more advanced and detectable would their technology be? As Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote, any advanced alien technology would be indistinguishable from magic.

The Daily Galaxy via The Life of the Super-Earths, Dimitar Sasselov (2012)

Image credit: http://globaladrenaline.com/destinations/south-america/ecuador

Comments

if you had a choice of civilizations, would you stop here, or quarantine the place?

Don't stop the universe, we are still in the stone age compared to advanced civilizations that have a million year advance on us!

Four or more catastrophic extinctions here. Halve that or less and you have a race from another planet of the same age who are literally over a hundred million years older than we. Makes "young" kinda moot.

We are at the cusp of the technological era of humankind, and with a tiny bit of knowledge we now think we are know-it-all's. Not only do we love our reflection in the reflecting pool; we think we are all that and a bag of chips. We are the the primal essences of intelligent life in the universe. We scanned the heavens for intelligent life in the universe and can't find any, so where are they? Conclusion; we are the first intelligent species in the universe. The universe will go on for 100 billion plus years, so there will be others that will follow in our footsteps. As backwoods hillbillies, we take pride in our country living and disdain the live of city slickers that live in the metropolitan center of the universe (galaxy-scrapers and everything). If there is intelligent life in the universe,or here on Earth, why would any advanced civilization want to contact people who are just emerging out of "Dark Ages"? If they are intelligent they would stay far enough away till we get our own heads screwed-on-right; maybe four of five generations from today.

There must be life in most of the solar systems. As far as advanced civilizations, someone has to be first so why not us being one of the first. At this point there may be many galaxies separating us from each other so we all think we may very well be alone. In a few thousand or maybe a few million years as we spread out [through colonizing other planets and possibly galaxies] we will get close enough to start detecting one another. This is still the early age of the universe and if we are going to dream, we may as well dream the positive dream.

Oh, we're dreaming, ok. Sleepwalking, if the premise of this piece is to be seriously entertained.

For such an imaginative species we sure like to convince ourselves from the obvious. Why? Maybe because 'sacred' institutionally imposed paradigms are so relentlessly enforced and reinforced. Maybe we don't burn witches in the square anymore, but we sure do know how to ice contrarian observation, bow to militarized authority and accept spoon fed propaganda as truth while our planet's ecosphere is ravaged by our controllers.

Perhaps we should be a bit more attentive towards areas of physical science whose observations of particle behaviors suggests a much more cogent idea about the selective nature of human consciousness, behavioral science in how it's manipulated and the mechanics of how our fantasy is controlled to our immense disadvantage.

I suppose I'll have to keep asking this-"are we the anthill in Central Park?"

This article expresses a very naïve and simplistic viewpoint based upon the singular notion of the theoretical "goldilocks" habitable zone. There is far more to the equations of life evolution and its technical possibilities than the mere location of a planet about its star.
Far more important are things like the size, composition and density of a planet - because those are the things that determine the possibility space for the utilization of intelligence. Gravity and compositional resources will control the utilization of energy which will then determine resource consumption.
For example, size and density will determine gravitational factors which will then determine the energy required for escape velocities needed for space exploration. In fact, gravitational factors may well be a significant determinate for the possibilities of brain development for organic life.
There are millions of other significant items to consider when estimating the possibility space of intelligent life for technological advancement.
When you consider everything in terms of limiting factors, it may turn out that the present state human life on Earth is about as good as it can get, and an extremely rare thing in this Universe.

I think it's funny that this becomes the excuse as to why we haven't had any direct conversations with any other life forms, like Radio is the only means of communication, or that we have the arrogance to believe that they should be talking to us. Just look at how we treat each other on a global scale? We have a world wide system of killing Gay people because they are different. We have yet to stop racism (when technically there's only one race). We're allowing the greediest of us to pollute and destroy our resources and when we try to do something about it, the most ignorant and poor of us tell us it's okay the world is coming to an end. And finally we are killing each other to this day over which god is more peaceful. I'd ignore this planet too if I saw all that from space! Duh!

Life on Earth has been flourishing, differentiating and evolving for over 3 billion years - millions upon millions of species have come and gone. And yet, only one species has evolved a degree of higher level intelligence and technological capability - Humans. And when we stop to consider all the tiny coincidences that were required for that to happen, we really need to rethink the possibilities of extraterrestrial technological intelligence. Imagine, for example, that humans had not developed the idea of clothing, especially that needed to at least cover genitalia. Had that not happened, humans would probably have just devoted most of their spare time to sexual relations rather than to the pursuit of technological science and industry. Much like Bonobos.
Such a simple thing as clothing and psycho-sexual modesty can perhaps be deemed a necessary step toward scientific advancement.
Does the Drake equation consider sexual abstinence as a requisite precursor to intellectual advancement?

I am convinced that life exists elsewhere, as I indicated in this article.

http://ukzambians.co.uk/home/2012/12/03/is-anybody-out-there-water-mars-the-philosopher-by-malama-katulwende/

It's rob... stop doubting :)

Intelligent life in Earth is a secular super miracle, there are few probabilities that intelligent life exists in the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy. However, since the Universe is incommensurable because is it infinite, and very, very old, as eternal, without beginning and end, in other very remote places of it must have intelligent life. Although the Earth is in heliocentric movement around the Sun, it is probable that the Earth be the center of the Universe concerning Intelligence and plurality of life.

Consider that to our cosmic neighbors all humans are ugly, even those to whom we deem the most beautiful. Then consider that all humans, even collectively, may reign at the bottom of technology in terms of intelligent awareness. Follow this by considering that some distant civilizations may have special abilities far beyond even that of the human imagination which represents the furthest we can stretch human thought. Finally, imagine pure thought manifesting itself in a given location without any physical presence at all and by what means that might be made possible. We can't, but who knows, that and more is most likely a cosmic probability. I find it so absurd that we continue to debate whether we have cosmic neighbors - even our own gut instinct and the DNA in our cells shouts at us that they must be there...

I honestly think we're living in separated space and time and for a good reason, we're not advanced. Universal life probably pass through the same stages of life, over and over again. The man himself can conquer the whole universe and it's planets if he wanted to, even if took over 2000 billion years (freaking fictional time) for, why whouldn't other races/species make the same? If there were other species reachable out there we'd be in war, just like we're in war with ourselves. And it wouldn't never over until the whole life in universe disappear. We're separated for a reason, and it should stay like that.

why should we doubt the Almighty presence.How could all such mighty celestial bodies be held in boundless soft forces with very minimal accidents. I have studied cosmology since my teen years. The propulsion was Lewis'book,"The Silent Planet ". Something keeps tickling me, my intelligence, my reasoning, my whole self, that there is some power, other beings, other forms of life, elsewhere. It could be trillions of years for us to link up. But mother will already be dead. This is the very reason that we look for life somewhere else.

The Earth is the most advanced world in the universe.

What if the human imagination is the key "integrity of the universe;" not given for the purpose of pleasure, rather the purpose of understanding life and the possible future-scenario's we find ourselves a part of. For every minuscule moment we chose the wrong path(s), it may be light-years from finding the right path to finding the purpose of existence and life. I have no doubt past life gave great strides that humans waste daily. In my humble opinion, what we are capable of in potential, is greater than what we are capable of accomplishing accurately, therefore, the obligation is the integrity of our world to exist, before we are ever present at the "table" of life of all existence.

Hello,

I'm working on a theory for some time in trying to combine science with religion, looking for an answer to the question "What is the purpose of life in Creation?" Finally thanks to science and space exploration in the universe, we got all to agree on the fact that we are not the only planet that is hosting life. Einstein studied very much the universe, we know it all and came to the conclusion that it is too big and too complex, not be governed by something like a higher energy "From nothing you can not do something he was saying" Big Bang could not be created from nothing so simply out of nowhere and give rise to a complex mechanism so full of laws that creates (suns, planets, solar systems etc etc)In my opinion something above our understanding govern, lead, use, observe the universe,So helped by logic I suppose that we have solved one of the mysteries of mankind.

Of course, as in any mechanism at some point unpredictable errors may occur. From here starts a series of questions more or less strange ..

It is possible that life to be just an error in our Universe?
The existence of life be allowed, because we can not affect, interact with the true purpose of the universe?In conclusion we feed from details provided by religion,religious books etc Living just a big illusion, (Heaven, hell, afterlife, judgment day etc) ?? When the Great Architect actually has nothing to do with us?I ask you now, there is perfection? Universe,Creation itself is perfect?
If yes, then my theory is wrong.

Or He sent (prophets like Abraham, Solomon, Jesus, Mohammed, etc.) on all habitable planets in the entire universe possible multiverse?From here another series of questions that lead always other and other questions.

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