ET, the Deafening Silence

We choose to search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence because as Americans, we are free, permissive, non-conformist, incorrigible, and preoccupied with our choices.

Searching for intelligence is like looking in the mirror and asking ourselves, where did we go wrong? The need for a messiah? Searching for life is like looking out the rear view of a bus and asking ourselves, how did we get here?

But dare we ask the question why did we get here? Brother Guy Consolmagno says the Bible is about the Creator and science is about the creation. In this context, science cannot answer why, it can only answer how. Religion does not answer how, but it can answer why even though we may not like the answer.

Utilizing Earth as a guide, life took 3.5 billion years to evolve, complex life 3 billion years, modern humans, the civilization-potential intelligent life (CPIL), about 100,000 years, and 10,000 to become a sophisticated intelligent civilization (SIC). Assuming a continuous life starting process somewhere in the Universe, a life bearing planet has a probability of exhibiting complex life of 86%, a civilization-potential intelligent life (CPIL) of 0.003% and sophisticated intelligent civilization (SIC) of 0.0003%, respectively.

But there is a gap.

William Borucki, Kepler mission principal investigator articulates, there are 300 billion stars in our Milky Way. Of that, 10% or 30 billion have planet(s). Of that, 10% or 3 billion have planet(s) in a life hospitable zone. The gap is, what proportion of these 3 billion stars with life hospitable planet(s) are life bearing? Or what is the hospitable-bearing probability? For example, assuming this number is 1% gives 30,000,000 life bearing stars, 900 CPIL and 90 SIC stars with planets like ours.

Classifying civilizations like ours as electromagnetic spectrum sophisticated civilizations (ESSC), —> Read More