(ORDO NEWS) — We will not learn about the existence of living beings near alien stars, even if someone lives there. And there is strong evidence for that.
We still have not found traces of aliens for the reason that intelligent life occurs in the Universe extremely rarely. She must disappear very quickly or hide from the rest. But the explanations given by some scientists are very strange and often unrealistic.
More than half a century ago, American astronomer Frank Drake developed a formula for calculating the number of civilizations in a galaxy that could be contacted in an attempt to estimate the chances of finding extraterrestrial intelligence and life.
Physicist Enrico Fermi, in response to a rather high estimate of the chances of interplanetary contact using the Drake formula, formulated the thesis, which is now known as the Fermi paradox: if there are so many alien civilizations, then why does humanity not observe any traces of them?
Scientists tried to solve this paradox in many ways, the most popular of which was the “unique Earth” hypothesis. It boils down to the fact that for the emergence of intelligent beings, unique conditions are necessary – an exact copy of our planet.
Other astronomers believe that we can’t communicate with aliens because galactic civilizations either disappear too quickly for us to notice, or because they actively hide the fact of their existence from humanity.
There is another explanation for the Fermi paradox, which is based on the spread in the values for the initial parameters used in the Drake equation when calculating the number of sentient beings.
Mathematics of life
Many scientists, when estimating the number of civilizations in the Milky Way and in the Universe, simply ignore the probabilistic and inaccurate quantities used, whose values can sometimes differ by 7-8 orders of magnitude.
As a result, they do not receive a very wide range of answers, but rather a “specific” figure, which does not correspond to reality, but is close to the expected one.
And what if we calculate the Drake equation taking into account all possible errors and scatter in its arguments? These include, for example, such things as the rate of star formation in the galaxy, the proportion of stars with planets, the number of Earth-like planets, and the typical lifespan of civilizations.
Combining the results of these calculations with the help of statistics, you can find that the Galaxy is completely devoid of intelligent life in 30% of cases, although for some combinations of parameters the number of extraterrestrial civilizations is very high.
Such results suggest that the Fermi paradox does not make sense – the absence of life in the observable universe can be fully explained using the Drake equation. Most likely, humanity really remains the only intelligent group of beings in the galaxy, although other civilizations could exist in the future or in the past.
But that doesn’t make the SETI (Extraterrestrial Search Institute) and Breakthrough Listen initiatives pointless. Such observations are extremely important in order to narrow the spread in the values of the parameters of the Drake equation and to find a real answer to one of the main questions of the Universe.
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