Chances Of Past Civilizations Having Existed Just Got Higher
An incredible new study now suggests that the likelihood of a past civilization, having had existed across the universe, show that what has happened here on Earth with humanity has is astronomically high.
The probabilistic argument used to arrive at an estimate of the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy was first described in 1960 by American astronomer and astrophysicist, Frank Drake, known as the Drake equation, was giving an new revision by two astronomers and the results are astounding.
The University of Washington’s Woody Sullivan and the University of Rochester’s Adam Frank published their assessment in the May issue of Astrobiology and Frank is now in the process of a follow-up for the New York Times.
Frank stated “While we do not know if any advanced extraterrestrial civilizations currently exist in our galaxy, we now have enough information that they almost certainly existed at some point in cosmic history.”
By using data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, the astronomers are getting a good handle on the first three terms of the Drake equation; the number of stars, planetary production and the prevalence of habitable planets.
“Think of it this way” Frank explains “Before our result you’d be considered a pessimist if you imagined the probability of evolving a civilization on a habitable planet were, say, one in a trillion. But even that guess, one chance in a trillion, implies that what has happened here on Earth with humanity has in fact happened about 10 billion other times over cosmic history!”
He goes on to point out that “The universe is more than 13 billion years old, that means that even if there have been a thousand civilizations in our own galaxy, if they live only as long as we have been around — roughly 10,000 years — then all of them are likely already extinct. And others won’t evolve until we are long gone. For us to have much chance of success in finding another ‘contemporary’ active technological civilization, on average they must last much longer than our present lifetime.”