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

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?

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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.

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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

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

 

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