Extraterrestrial life Fine tuning Intelligent Design

Researchers: If exoplanets are ocean planets, we won’t see ET

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We are warned: We will see few extraterrestrials if a great many promising exoplanets are Waterworlds. Interestingly, Earth just missed being that type of planet. But while we’re talking about this stuff anyway:

Seriously, there is considerable evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life. Maybe we should look at a simpler explanation than many we have considered:

Life has probably existed on Earth for four billion years but it is only in the last century and a half that humans have been serious about space travel. If other planets in our galaxy that could possibly host intelligent life are affected by the same physical constraints as Earth, their intelligent life forms could be on a schedule roughly similar to ours. They don’t visit us for the same reasons as we don’t visit them: They may suspect we’re out here. But they don’t have the technology to find out.

It’s nothing new. Around 600 AD, the Maya civilization in what is now Guatemala was highly developed. So was the Chinese civilization. They never interacted. They couldn’t. No one had the technology to cross the Pacific reliably so there was no way they could know each other existed. Today, Chinese tourists can visit Maya cultural treasures.

Most likely, the question of whether other planets in our galaxy feature intelligent life can only be resolved in the same way, by further advances in technology. It is, however, fun and useful to continue to develop hypotheses in the meantime.

News, “We won’t find ET on ocean planets, researchers say” at Mind Matters News

See also: Particle physicist offers 75 reasons we don’t see aliens. But Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute gives high odds that we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy. No matter whose theory about why we don’t see extraterrestrials is right, we are bound to go on wondering and searching.

One Reply to “Researchers: If exoplanets are ocean planets, we won’t see ET

  1. 1
    Fasteddious says:

    It seems myopic to assume that, with our less-than one millennium of technology vs. the 13+ billion years of Universe, that any other intelligences in the galaxy would be at about the same technological level as us. That is the Star-Trek view of reality. So either we are the first, or such intelligences are extremely rare. I tend toward both being the case – obviously if very rare then we are probably the first anyway. Perhaps the designer only seeded one planetary system in each suitable galaxy?
    Any intelligence that developed interstellar travel would likely populate, or at least explore / visit the entire Galaxy within a million years or less. Of course their civilization may have died out before then, but once they get to several self-sustaining colonies, the risk of dying out seems remote. Since we have no hard and recurring evidence of alien intelligences, we may assume that has not happened, so it seems likely there are no other civilizations more advanced than we are. I discount both the many supposed “reasons” why ET would avoid Earth, as well as the anecdotal “evidence” for visits by ET to Earth. And I do not include angels as “alien intelligence”, although one could argue that. Indeed, one could argue that a sufficiently advanced people would operate like angels from our perspective.
    But no, I will stick with the null hypothesis that says extra-terrestrial intelligences are so rare that there are none in the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. If and when SETI or others get hard evidence that can be widely examined, then I will be willing to reconsider.

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