We May Be All Alone In the Known Universe, a New Oxford Study Suggests
Wednesday June 27, 2018. 09:00 AM , from Slashdot/Apple
A new study by Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute determined that it's quite likely humans are alone in the observable universe. Fortune reports: The study looked at the Fermi paradox -- the apparent discrepancy between the seeming likelihood of alien life, given the billions of stars similar to our sun, and the scant evidence that such life actually exists. The paradox was named after physicist Enrico Fermi, who famously asked his colleagues at Los Alamos, N.M.. 'Where Is Everyone?'
The study authors then examined various hypotheses and equations used to resolve the Fermi paradox. The results weren't pretty: 'Our main result is to show that proper treatment of scientific uncertainties dissolves the Fermi paradox by showing that it is not at all unlikely ex ante for us to be alone in the Milky Way, or in the observable universe. Our second result is to show that, taking account of observational bounds on the prevalence of other civilizations, our updated probabilities suggest that there is a substantial probability that we are alone.' SpaceX CEO Elon Musk cited the study's conclusions as an 'added impetus' for humanity to become a spacefaring civilization capable of extending life beyond Earth. He tweeted: 'This is why we must preserve the light of consciousness by becoming a spacefaring civilization & extending life to other planets...'
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