[ RadSafe ] Evolution, radiation, space travel, etc.
rstrickert at signaturescience.com
Thu Aug 11 12:25:28 CDT 2011
The probability of intelligent life in the Milky Way galaxy, other than our own (which itself may be debated elsewhere ;-)), is extremely small. The reasons for this extremely minute probability are the increasing number of rather unique (low probability) features being found for our planet, moon, and solar system that, if not required, allow intelligent life to exist and prosper over long period of time. Even billions and billions of stars are not likely to significantly increase the probability that we are alone in the galaxy. Because of the distances, whether intelligent life exists in other galaxies, groups, or clusters of galaxies is of little significance.
Some of these features are discussed by Howard A. Smith, in "Alone in the Universe" (American Scientist, 99:4, July-August, 2011, pp. 320-7). Smith, while noting the "anthropic principle," promotes a "misanthropic principle," which he defines as "the idea that the possible environments and biological opportunities in this apposite cosmos are so vast, varied and uncooperative (or hostile), either always or at some time during the roughly 3-4 billion years intelligent life requires to emerge, that it is unlikely for intelligence to form, thrive and survive easily."
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