For all time of existence of mankind – and according to various estimates it has between a 2.4 to 2.8 million years – we never met intelligent life outside Earth. It is not surprising that we ultimately believe in their own uniqueness. But is life on our planet by accident? The results of the latest scientific studies show that the emergence of life on Earth actually had an event quite likely and predictable,the chances of intelligent life are small. But if life is ubiquitous in the Universe, where is everybody?
Is there life in the Universe?
The answer to the question formulated by the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, “Where is everybody?” researchers are not the first decade. But despite all the technological advances and scientific skills, we still found no signs of life beyond the home planet, not to mention the signs of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that even remotely resemble our own. Reasons why we feel lonely drifting in an infinite Universe, a great many. So, aliens could visit the Earth a few million years ago, and maybe we just can’t see them or they want it.
Anyway, given the number of open in recent years exoplanets (planets outside the Solar system), it seems incredible that countless uninhabited worlds. An excess of exoplanets in the observable Universe and our own existence suggests that other life forms inhabit rocky and gas planets throughout the Universe. But, maybe not. The only proof of the existence of life in the Universe is Earth. But life on our planet may not be intended for prosperity, and the emergence of Homo Sapiens and completely unforeseen accident.
Theory of probability and life on Earth
In the new study, astronomer David Kipping of Columbia University with the help of the statistical method known as the Bayesian method, studied the chances of the emergence of life (including intelligent) on the Ground. Let me remind you that Thomas Bayes (1702-1761) was a little known preacher who was fond of mathematics. His name is world science remember thanks to a mathematical formula, showing how to use new data to adjust probabilities – Bayes ‘ theorem.
Simply put, this is the type of statistics that uses probability to take into account the subsequent information that gives him an advantage over simply comparing sets of numbers. Read more about what other research using Bayes ‘ theorem I was told in this article. Recommended reading!
Writes Science Alert, this is not the first time that scientists use Bayes ‘ theorem as a theoretical means of quantifying the likelihood of life on other Earth-like planets, but Kipping made to the formula, some changes. In the course of work Kipping had calculated, based on the evidence that life in planetary history of the Earth arose quickly, and intelligent life appeared approximately 4 billion years.
In a paper published in the journal PNAS, Kipping weighed the evolutionary possibilities of the origin of life on Earth: life in the Universe is common, but intelligent life is common; life is common but intelligent life is rare; life is rare. but intelligent life is common; life is rare and intelligent life. Looking at these potential outcomes, Kipping came to the conclusion that the arguments in favor of rapid development of life on Earth is very strong.
If future research will confirm the evidence of an earlier origin of life on our planet, from the point of view of statistics the conditions on Earth were quite suitable for the origin of life, but this does not mean that intelligent life was bound to appear. Thus, the probability that the intelligence is extremely rare and our planet a kind of “exception”, quite wealthy.