Dead civilizations in the Milky Way

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The Milky Way is probably full of dead civilizations

Live Science, Rafi Letzter, December 19, 2020

Quote:That's the takeaway of a new study, published Dec. 14 to the arXiv database, which used modern astronomy and statistical modeling to map the emergence and death of intelligent life in time and space across the Milky Way. Their results amount to a more precise 2020 update of a famous equation that Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence founder Frank Drake wrote in 1961. The Drake equation, popularized by physicist Carl Sagan in his "Cosmos" miniseries, relied on a number of mystery variables — like the prevalence of planets in the universe, then an open question. 

This new paper, authored by three Caltech physicists and one high school student, is much more practical. It says where and when life is most likely to occur in the Milky Way, and identifies the most important factor affecting its prevalence: intelligent creatures' tendency toward self-annihilation.

(...)

Modeling the evolution of the Milky Way over time with those factors in mind, they found that the probability of life emerging based on known factors peaked about 13,000 light-years from the galactic center and 8 billion years after the galaxy formed. Earth, by comparison, is about 25,000 light-years from the galactic center, and human civilization arose on the planet's surface about 13.5 billion years after the Milky Way formed (though simple life emerged soon after the planet formed.)

In other words, we're likely a frontier civilization in terms of galactic geography and relative latecomers to the self-aware Milky Way inhabitant scene. But, assuming life does arise reasonably often and eventually becomes intelligent, there are probably other civilizations out there — mostly clustered around that 13,000-light-year band, mostly due to the prevalence of sunlike stars there.

(...)

Most of these other civilizations that still exist in the galaxy today are likely young, due to the probability that intelligent life is fairly likely to eradicate itself over long timescales. Even if the galaxy reached its civilizational peak more than 5 billion years ago, most of the civilizations that were around then have likely self-annihilated, the researchers found .
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I wish I had the magic crystal ball that let me know that alien civilizations have a tendency to self annihilate that these guys have, I could also become a high paid scientist. Seriously I almost wonder if a lot of people who do this kind of research lack self awareness sometimes. All it takes for all of this to be worthless is for aliens to not be or act like humans. Little super intelligent worm that makes cities out of mud and never wants to leave their planet compared to just acting like humans are the gold standard.
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This new "study" is just another futile attempt to squeeze information out of a nearly informationless field - namely most of the coefficients in Drake's equation. They are still unknown. So the authors sneak in their own preconceptions and still try to call it scientific. Probably the main motivation for this paper is the common pressure in academia to "publish or perish". 

For instance, their initial assumption that life is widespread in the Galaxy and the Universe. The fact is, we have no idea how life could have originated, therefore have no idea of the prevalence of life long term or in our tiny slice of the Universe's time span. Some Darwinian evolutionary biologists have estimated that given the extreme unlikelihood of so many of the twists and turns that evolution actually took to get to intelligent hominids, even given abiogenesis of the first organisms (probably vanishingly improbable in itself) the probability of intelligent life evolving is extremely small. Yet these researchers, since they seem to have the "Star Trek" populated Galaxy preconception, assume intelligent life commonly arises. Opinions based on very little facts, disguised as science.
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(2020-12-26, 02:12 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: This new "study" is just another futile attempt to squeeze information out of a nearly informationless field - namely most of the coefficients in Drake's equation. They are still unknown. So the authors sneak in their own preconceptions and still try to call it scientific. Probably the main motivation for this paper is the common pressure in academia to "publish or perish". 

For instance, their initial assumption that life is widespread in the Galaxy and the Universe. The fact is, we have no idea how life could have originated, therefore have no idea of the prevalence of life long term or in our tiny slice of the Universe's time span. Some Darwinian evolutionary biologists have estimated that given the extreme unlikelihood of so many of the twists and turns that evolution actually took to get to intelligent hominids, even given abiogenesis of the first organisms (probably vanishingly improbable in itself) the probability of intelligent life evolving is extremely small. Yet these researchers, since they seem to have the "Star Trek" populated Galaxy preconception, assume intelligent life commonly arises. Opinions based on very little facts, disguised as science.
Only the I'm poorly informed mistake this for science.
(2020-12-26, 03:47 AM)Steve001 Wrote: Only the I'm poorly informed mistake this for science.

Which part do you mean? All of it?
(2020-12-26, 04:18 AM)Smaw Wrote: Which part do you mean? All of it?

Quote:Yet these researchers, since they seem to have the "Star Trek" populated Galaxy preconception, assume intelligent life commonly arises. Opinions based on very little facts, disguised as science.
Right now this new starting assumption is just speculation.
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Oops, accidentally rated this thread as 2/5 stars. Now I feel like I ought to chip in and say I agree with the overall responses of the other posters. The Drake equation is a fun toy, but don't take it too seriously. On the other hand, the research is simply saying that the dead outnumber the living, which is hardly controversial.
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