According to a new study from Oxford University, their statistical opportunities for other intelligent life in the universe are “exceptionally rare.”
In the study, scientists at Oxford’s Future Humanitarian Institute believe that as life on Earth evolves, in many cases it depends on a series of “revolutionary changes”. Given how late intelligent life evolved on this planet, the chances of similar advances occurring on other planets, before they could no longer sustain life, were not very likely, they said.
“It took about 4.5 billion years of continuous evolution, resulting in a brilliant life on Earth,” they wrote. Paper published last month. “In another billion years, the rising light of the sun will make the earth uninhabitable for complex life.
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“Along with the scattering time of major evolutionary changes and reliable predecessors, it can be concluded that the expected transition times may be longer than the lifespan of the Earth, perhaps by several commands,” he wrote. “In turn, this suggests that intelligent life may be exceptionally rare.”
To reach their results, the scientist looked at statistical models to determine the probability that the sequence of evolutionary changes that took place on Earth might occur elsewhere.
“We used the assumption that what happened on Earth was common to what was happening on other planets – not just the right times, but there are some tricky steps that need to be taken continuously to create intelligent viewers,” said Anders Sandberg of Oxford. Daily Mail.
That article points to the fact that life took more than a billion years to progress from prokaryotic (single-celled organisms) to eukaryotes (single-celled organisms), and such a move is unlikely.
It also notes that humans have only been on Earth for the past 6 million years, with Homo sapiens, only about 200,000 years ago.
“Some changes seem to have occurred only once in the history of the earth, and if the ‘life tape’ were to be reactivated, it would be a hypothesis reminiscent of Gold’s assertion that” the likelihood of anything like human intelligence disappearing becomes small. “The paper quotes evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Gold.
“What we added is a statistical approach that allows us to get estimates of how unlikely the steps are,” Sandberg said. “We guess when things happened on earth and how many steps there were, and in return we get into trouble.”
“[These] Yes, to indicate that we are an impossible planet, ”he said.
However, Sandberg noted that just because scenes of intelligent life are impossible in other plants does not mean that humans should stop searching.
“Just because we got our results, doesn’t mean looking at the real universe is a waste of time,” he said. “Data always wipe out rationality and statistics very carefully.”