The man alone in the universe, the impressions of the study finds



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E. T. has not phoned home because he’s not smart enough to know how to do it. Or simply said, he may not exist at all.

A new study of the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) at Oxford University, aptly named “the Dissolution of the Fermi Paradox,” suggests that humanity is only in the observable universe, put a damper on the theory that there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe.

“When the model is recast to represent realistic distributions of uncertainty, we find a substantial ex ante probability that there is no other intelligent life in our observable universe, and so that there is little surprise when we fail to detect any signs,” the study abstract reads. “This result solves the Fermi paradox, and if you delete an appeal should be made on the speculative mechanisms that civilizations would inevitably not have observable effects on the universe.”


The Fermi paradox, named after the physicist Enrico Fermi, is the contrast between the lack of any evidence that the Earth is visited by intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations and the great chance that one or more civilizations exist, due to a number of factors. The factors are: there are billions of stars in the milky way similar to our Sun; many of these stars with Earth-like planets; and some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, something that is now being discussed by the experts, including theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.

The study, which was published earlier this month, was carried out by Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, and Toby Ord.

Sandberg, Drexler and Ord also look at the famous Drake Equation, a seven-term equation that tries to look at the different variables that are relevant for intelligent life forms. This includes factors, such as the formed stars and their planets, the average number of planets that may have life. Other factors need to a fraction of those planets that can develop life, and only a fraction of these civilizations that are intelligent.

In this study, Sandberg, Drexler and Ord to move away from the Drake Equation, look at the adding of chemical and genetic transitions. She noted that through the integration of these into the equation, it brings a large amount of scientific uncertainties.


You speak with the Universal-Sci, Dr. Sandberg said:

“A lot of parameters are very uncertain, given the current state of knowledge. We have learned a lot about the history, since Drake and Sagan in the 1960s, we are still very uncertain about the probability of life and intelligence. When people are discussing the comparison, it is not uncommon to hear that they say something like: “this parameter is uncertain, but let’s guess and remember that it’s a gamble”, finally reaching a result that they admit that it is based on guesses. But this result is stated as one number, and that the anchors of our an *apparently* exact estimate – when should it be a considerable risk margin. This often leads to hubris, and worse still, the Drake equation is very sensitive to bias: if you hope for a little push to the top in a number of uncertain estimates give a hopeful outcome, and if you’re a pessimist, you can easily a low result.”

Sandberg further added that based on the comparison of the parameters, they looked at the smallest and largest values they might have and came up with a probability of 30 percent that the man should be alone in the universe.

“We find that even with the help of the guesstimates in the literature (we have them randomly in combination with the parameter estimates) may be a situation in which the average number of civilizations in the milky way can be quite high – say a hundred – and yet it is the chance that we are alone in the universe is 30%!,” he said. “The reason is that there is a very skewness of the distribution of opportunity.”

The results of the study have drawn the attention of several experts, including SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

This is the reason why we must preserve the light of the consciousness becoming a spacefaring civilization, and the extension of life on other planets

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018

“This is why we need to maintain the light of consciousness becoming a spacefaring civilization, and the extension of life on other planets,” Musk wrote on Twitter, after the study of the write-up in the Universal-Sci.

It is unknown whether we are the only civilization currently alive in the observable universe, but any chance that we are, is an additional impetus for the extension of life beyond Earth

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018

Musk continued: “It is unknown whether we are the only civilization currently alive in the observable universe, but any chance that we are, is an additional impetus for the extension of a life outside of the Earth.”


“If we take into account realistic uncertainties, to replace point estimates by probability distributions that reflect the current scientific understanding, we find no reason to be very sure of is that the galaxy (or observable universe) also includes other civilizations, and so no longer and discover our observations are inconsistent with our prior probability,” the study of the conclusion reads.

And further: “Whenever we update this prior in the light of the Fermi observation, we find a significant chance that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe (53%-99.6% and 39%-85%, respectively). ‘Where are they?’ — probably very far away, and perhaps further than the cosmological horizon, and forever unattainable.”


Despite the seemingly bleak nature of the research, the results of which, but that doesn’t mean extraterrestrials do not exist, or that we will never find. It means that on the basis of existing knowledge, the mankind is probably the only intelligent species in the Milky way.

Sandberg said that the results of the investigation show that the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) is not “useless”, but rather the opposite.

“There is a huge degree of uncertainty to reduce,” Sandberg was quoted as saying. “The paper shows that astrobiology and SETI can play a big role in reducing the uncertainty about a number of the parameters. Even earthly biology gives us important information about the probability of life emerging, and the circumstances that lead to intelligence.”

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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