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Showing posts from November, 2015


We've been conditioned by television and movies to accept the likelihood of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.“Of course there’s intelligent life out there; I saw it last week on Star Trek.” We’ve seen it all, from the cute and cuddly ET to the fanged monstrosity of Alien. We've seen many sci-fi and super hero movies like Thor, Avengers which showcases alien life in a brief manner. However they're imaginary and made up stories.
But is it likely that we’re not alone in the universe? And if intelligent life is out there, why haven’t they contacted us yet?
The first person to address this question in a systematic way was Frank Drake, who invented the Drake equation to predict the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the galaxy. His equation is rather complicated, but here’s a simple version of his argument. First, let’s count how many stars are in the galaxy. To quote one of my predecessors, “Billions upon billions!” And how many of those stars have planets? …