What are the chances we will ever make contact with other species?
Question asked by: mrquestion
Asked on: 26 Jan 2010
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No-one knows, though estimates have been made about the amount of life out there, no-one knows how to cut that down to contactable species.
In part it depends on how humans proceed with their technological advances and whether it will continue to snowball or whether a plateau will be hit. And also how long humanity lasts - if some nutter gets hold of a powerful weapon for instance then they could blast us all off the face of the earth pretty shortly. The good thing about having no technical know how in the past was that no nutter could threaten everyone on earth, now with the powerful weapons humans can create someone could finish us all off. So technological advancement is a double edged sword.
As for us being contacted, the amount of life out there is uncertain.
The percentage of that which would be multi cellular is more uncertain.
The chance of intelligent life arising is uncertain, but it seems a safe bet that there would be much less intelligent life than single celled organisms.
Then that lifeform has to be interested in contacting other civilisations which may not necessarily be the case. Then it has to build some way of contacting others, which the other planet then has to pick up on. Or perhaps they build a vessel of some sort and go through space. Then whether they reach anyone in a reasonable timeframe depends on what percentage of light speed they travel at.
In other words there are so many variables in the equation, and the probability of each of those variables is either very uncertain or pretty much unknown: multiply uncertainty by lots more uncertainty and you get an awful lot more uncertainty... simple answer, no-one has much of a clue!
Replied at: 26 Jan 2010Rate Answer
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