Friday, June 24, 2005

Setting SETI’s Sights II: Abodes for Life?

Setting SETI’s Sights II: Abodes for Life?
Given the longevity of M stars, however, complex life on worlds circling such stars might get a second chance. “If evolution happens at a very slow pace, or if many times evolution gets started and gets truncated, because of some extinction events,” explained Jill Tarter, Director of SETI Research at the SETI Institute, “planets around M stars may get more than one chance, and they may be able to accommodate a slower evolutionary mode and still end up with telescope builders.”

That seems extremely overoptimistic, but it can’t hurt to keep searching. (Although, with the current rate of server outages, it might take a bit longer than what Seth predicted.)


Ashley said...

I think SETI and commemeorative plates on extra Sol system RSVPs are a really bad idea; perhaps the worst ever.

Imagine if you will the Aztecs of c 1400 eagerly filling thousands of clay pots with general information about themselves, their technology level, and where they could be found. Just hoping one would wash up on the shores of another land with creatures who could understand. Creatures like Coronado, Pizarro, and Cortés.

ashley said...

And now that I read the article... Drake's equation is almost useless and here is why. It includes an estimate (any can be plugged in) of the life-span of a space aware civilization; ie, is broadcasting radio or other EM signals.

If the average life-span of a civilized creature (like humans) is a million years then the equation predicts we should be seeing lots of intelligent life out there.

If, on the other hand, humans represent a particularly long lived civilization at 7 or 8 decades, then we can expect to see none. Galactic time spans are too long to ever see us overlap if we destroy ourselves so quickly after becoming aware of the universe. And the atom.

So, the fact that we have found no extraterrestrial intelligent life yet might only be a strong indication that Fate dictates we've just got another few years at the roulette wheel. Or... that God only created one world with life in His image.