Are we alone in the universe? ‘There is a pretty decent chance’

p xsw
Image credit: BBC

In the past, experts trying to make sense of the Fermi Paradox have looked to the Drake Equation to put a numeric value to the likelihood that extraterrestrial (especially intelligent) life exists anywhere other than Earth.

[R]esearchers found that there’s anywhere from a 53 to a 99.6 percent chance that ours is the only civilization in the galaxy, and a 39 to 85 percent chance that we’re the only intelligent life in the universe.

To learn more, we reached out to Anders Sandberg, a senior research fellow at Oxford University.

Futurism: I came across your work through articles with headlines saying that new research concluded we were definitely alone in the universe. But your actual work seems to present a more nuanced view. Sure, there might be a 99 percent chance that we are the only civilization out there, but there also might be a 40 percent chance. Do you think the coverage thus far has been fair or accurate? Has it been frustrating at all?

Related article:  Artificial intelligence that can predict the future—or at least a small piece of it

AS: The paper deals with a rather abstract idea — handling uncertainty about an unknown probability. That is at least two steps removed from everyday, solid reality. So in many ways I am thankful people have not misunderstood it worse.


Our conclusion is basically “there is a pretty decent chance we are alone, given what we know, even if we are very optimistic about alien intelligence.”

Read full, original post: The Scientist Who Reevaluated The Drake Equation Still Thinks Alien Life is Out There

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend