I saw this tonight, which highlights an insignificant something that has been bugging me for awhile:
While we wait to establish contact, one technique we can use back on Earth is an equation that American astronomer Frank Drake formulated in the 1960s to calculate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations may exist in the Milky Way galaxy.
It is not a rigorous equation, offering a wide range of possible answers. Instead it is more a tool used to help understand how many worlds might be out there and how those estimates change as missions like Kepler, a telescope that is currently searching for Earth-like planets, begin to discover more about our universe.
This brought back to mind something I had written in my personal journal a few weeks ago:
On some podcast, someone said that in the case of an alien invasion, they would rather be killed by an alien rather than in the panic of people, because then they would know that humanity is not alone in the universe.
First of all, if there were alien life in the universe, I think the point most people miss is how fundamentally different their form of intelligence is likely to be. I doubt communication is even possible. Continue reading