How probable is it that we’re alone in the universe?

alone
Image credit: Greg/CC0

Earlier this year I wrote about two ways of looking at the probability of there being advanced alien civilizations – the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox, and how to resolve any apparent conflict between the two. The Drake Equation is simply a series of probabilities of all the factors necessary to have technological civilizations.

All we can do is input a range of possible answers and see what range of results it spits out. That is exactly what a new study from Oxford researchers did.

This “study” does not include any new information, it is simply a new analysis of the Drake Equation, inputting what they authors think are the most reasonable figures, including the full range of our uncertainty. They argue that the uncertainty is even greater than has been previously considered the case, and when the full range of uncertainty is taken into account, the answers to how many civilizations there are out there varies by orders of magnitude.

Related article:  Pangalactic intelligence: Here’s a guess about how many aliens in the universe

Most importantly, the range of possible answers to the Drake Equation equals 1 – meaning that humanity is the only technological civilization in the known universe.

They argue that their results resolve the Fermi Paradox, which is simply a question asked by physicist Enrico Fermi – If there are any alien civilizations out there, where are they?

Read full, original post: Oxford Study – Reanalyzing the Drake Equation

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