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At Forbes: Humanity alone in universe?

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Alienigena.jpg Despite the fact that, as noted earlier, “Aliens are real. And astrobiology is exceedingly rigorous,” there are doubters like Ethan Siegel at Forbes:

There may never have been another intelligent, technologically advanced alien species in the entire history of the Universe. Last week, in the New York Times, scientist Adam Frank emphatically wrote that Yes, There Have Been Aliens, concluding that given all the potentially habitable worlds we know must be out there from our astrophysical discoveries, intelligent life must have arisen. What he fails to account for, however, is the magnitude of the unknowns that abiogenesis, evolution, long-term habitability and other factors bring into the equation. Although it’s true that there are an astronomical number of possibilities for intelligent, technologically advanced lifeforms, the huge uncertainties make it a very real possibility that humans are the only spacefaring aliens our Universe has ever known.More.

But Starfleet will always be fun anyway. Hey, boldly go.

See also: Not only is Earth just one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

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3 Replies to “At Forbes: Humanity alone in universe?

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    “somewhere between 80-100% of stars have planets or planetary system orbiting them, approximately 20-25% of those systems have a planet in their star’s “habitable zone,” or the right location for liquid water to form on their surface, and approximately 10-20% of those planets are Earth-like in size and mass.

    “So adding that all up, there are more than 10^22 potentially Earth-like planets out there in the Universe, with the right conditions for life on them.”

    Um, no. I’ve never seen ANY numbers like this ANYWHERE else (besides the Forbes article). And many of the exoplanets alleged to be in a star’s “habitable zone” are so rated ONLY on a guess at average surface temperatures that could allow liquid water (although of course there remains the question of “liquid at what AIR PRESSURE”…).

    In many cases, as with Europa and Jupiter, the exoplanet is so close to the star that the planet is CONTINUOUSLY bathed in sterilizing levels of radiation, which make the abiotic APPEARANCE of Life irrelevant since Life cannot SURVIVE on such planets.

    There are at least half a dozen other general disqualifiers, which quickly reduce the “10^22” back down closer to 10^-1.

    For as many exoplanets as we have found, not a single one could support complex life. And if you look at this in terms of estimating probability, 1 instance of “YES” (i.e., Earth) followed by 1,000 random instances of “NO” suggests that the actual probability remains “not bloody likely”.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    a few notes:

    The Privileged Planet – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ohuG3Vj_48&list=PLbzQ4aXdqWD-9kjFsSm-cxNlzgrkJuko7

    Here is the final summary of Dr. Hugh Ross’s ‘conservative’ estimate for the probability of another life-hosting world in this universe.

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability Estimates for the Features Required by Various Life Forms:
    Excerpt:
    Requirements to sustain bacteria for 90 days or less:
    Probability for occurrence of all 501 parameters approx. 10-614
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-303
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^22
    Probability for occurrence of all 501 parameters approx. 10^-333
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^311 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

    Requirements to sustain unicellar life for three billion year:
    Probability for occurrence of all 676 parameters approx. 10^-859
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-303
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^22
    Probability for occurrence of all 676 parameters approx. 10^-578
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^556 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle

    Requirements to sustain intelligent physical life:
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    Interestingly, when Dr. Hugh Ross factors in the probability for ‘simple’ bacterial life randomly happening in this universe, which is necessary for more advanced life to exist on any planet in the first place, the probability for a planet which can host life explodes into gargantuan proportions:

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
    Excerpt: In another book I wrote with Fuz, Who Was Adam?, we describe calculations done by evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala and by astrophysicists John Barrow, Brandon Carter, and Frank Tipler for the probability that a bacterium would evolve under ideal natural conditions—given the presumption that the mechanisms for natural biological evolution are both effective and rapid. They determine that probability to be no more than 10-24,000,000.
    The bottom line is that rather than the probability for extraterrestrial intelligent life being 1 as Aczel claims, very conservatively from a naturalistic perspective it is much less than 10^500 + 22 -1054 -100,000,000,000 -24,000,000. That is, it is less than 10-100,024,000,532. In longhand notation it would be 0.00 … 001 with 100,024,000,531 zeros (100 billion, 24 million, 5 hundred and thirty-one zeros) between the decimal point and the 1. That longhand notation of the probability would fill over 20,000 complete Bibles. (As far as scientific calculations are concerned, determining how close a probability is to zero, only Penrose’s 1 in 10^10^123 calculation, for the initial entropy of the universe, is, as far as I know, closer to zero)
    http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1

    Then there is the ‘axis of evil’:

    What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? – February 17, 2015
    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations.
    When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking.
    Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea.
    (Youtube clip on site),,,
    The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle.
    http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/

    At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system

    “Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the ecliptic\cite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropies\cite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sources\cite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4134

    Moreover, general relativity does not exclude a geocentric model of the universe

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
    – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    Verse and Beautiful timelapse video

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

    Mount Bromo HD Timelapse – video –
    https://vimeo.com/44543156

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    They are ignoring what the bible says. There can’t be any life out there. The universe is just for a original eternal mankind to occupy. We are way behind and other problems.
    Including these commentators in these newspapers for many reasons.
    First things first.

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