Friday, February 06, 2009

ET civilizations: how many?

Number of alien worlds quantified





The discovery of more than 330 planets outside our solar system in recent years has helped refine the number of life forms that are likely to exist.

The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.

The work is reported in the International Journal of Astrobiology.


Chris Wren writes:

Sure, it's based on a simulation - a very complex simulation, but it beats saying "I didn't see any alien Von Neumann probes when I looked out my window this morning. We're obviously alone in the universe." Which is basically all the Fermi "Paradox" amounts to, no matter how people try to dress it up.

3 comments:

Bruce Duensing said...

The number "361" is simply another viral meme that now floats to the top of the pot. How many angels fit on the head of a pin?

Perhaps we could gather all the experts together around the scaffolding, props and sets of this film that has failed to launch.

This could be as in the end of Fellini's "81/2" and have the little circus band lead them in a circular dance.

Several grains of salt are a mandatory requirement.

Justin said...

Eh? Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius?

Intense said...

"The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000."

The many anthropocentric premises and assumptions underlying this paper of Horgan's are so manifold, all I can suggest is that those interested simply read his paper to see for themselves how this rather arbitrary range of estimated intelligent civilizations is based on false premises, supposition, and incomplete and inadequate data.

See: http://tinyurl.com/dbpe2j

Caveat emptor, indeed.