Sometimes I think there are not abundant intelligent life forms wafting about the universe. We would see things in our careful, highly accurate, detailed looking at a sampling of the universe. But, I suppose we’ve only been scanning with super amazing instruments for a few years, and only scanning a small fraction of the universe. But certainly, in a decade or two we’ll be able to say that radio-communicative or emitting intelligent life is either out there somewhere, or not likely to be. Absence of evidence will evolve into evidence for pessimism, at the very least.
Meanwhile we get these little quirks. And, the latest is a burst of radio-info that the experts on this all seem to be saying is not a thing, looks like lots of other things that are also not things, but one guy somewhere put out a press release so now everybody thinks it is a thing.
But it is not. Not a thing. Nothing.
First, I should say right away that the planet that has been in the news so much lately is not known to be “earth like” … depending on what you think “earth like” is. What we know is that the planet orbits its star in a position that allows for the possibility that water on its surface could be liquid. But, the possibility that the planet has a “surface” … as opposed to some increasingly dense gaseous layer like Neptune … has not yet been established. Not that this would favor life one way or another. For all we know, getting life started on a hard crust covered earth is way harder than on a gaseous liquid water rich blob of a planet.
Either way, it is very interesting that, according to reports, the US Air Force is paying SETI to restart its operations and focus on this new planet to see if we can pick anything up.
Which makes a remarkable amount of sense, don’t you think? If there’s liquid water, there’s probably life. If there is life, there is probably Milton Berle.
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