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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Intelligence in the Milky Way

Stephen Hawking says that there may be intelligent life but just not anywhere nearby in our small spiral of the galaxy. Hawking says that he has concluded that it is improbable for there to be any 'intelligent life' in any nearby star-solar systems in our spiral of the Milky Way galaxy simply because SETI hasn't detected any ET radio waves since it started listening about 50 years ago (1960).

Hawking also stated that it is very rare that life evolves to the point of intelligence that humanity exhibits or that intelligent life probably nukes itself out of existance or dies out due to problems of environmental neglect or natural disasters when it does eventually arise. Add to that fact that the universe is only 13.7 billion years young and that true intelligent life on our planet only arose about 50,000 years ago, which implies that it is quite rare.

Here is my take on that however: I consider life to be the necessary equalizer of semi-stable molecules in the universe wherever there is a sufficient energy source that doesn't quite spontaneously stabilize such molecules but requires a means of storage, capture, and motility for stabilization. Of course, in order for that to occur there requires the proper nutrients, solvents, and molecules containing sufficiently different polarities for the life structures to arise and be sustained. However, wherever it does arise, this molecular stabilization presents a physical necessity for the existance for life, and can even be considered an entire meaning for existance.

Of course, I'm not sure if Hawking considered a couple other possibilities enough in drawing his conclusion, and I would like to reiterate them here . . . .

(1) the possibility where intelligent life exists but SETI hasn't quite discovered their radio waves yet because the planet that is transmitting the radio waves has so much orbiting space debris or icy rings so that the radio waves automatically get attenuated.

(2) Intelligent life has arisen but stopped transmitting radio waves because it collapsed backed into the dark ages either before or after discovering radio waves.

(3) Intelligent life doesn't transmit in analogue waves.

Perhaps those three considerations tip the cosmic scale slightly more in favor of intelligent life existing in our own Milky Way Galaxy :)