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← New Drake Equation To Quantify Habitability?

mmurray's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by mmurray

Our unremarkable, average little star has eight planets and those planets have no less than 170 moons orbiting them--yes, that's right, 170 moons, don't forget the potential for life to evolve on moons too. Given there's billions of stars just in our galaxy, there must be BILLIONS OF PLANETS also. Just the sheer number of possible planets and moons alone means billions of places life, intelligent or not, could evolve. There's life out there (just speculation on my part) but, there it is.

@Crazycharlie: While I share your excitement and I think you are more likely right than wrong I still don't think we can rule out the possibility that our unremarkable, average little star has one really remarkable feature namely it is the only place in the universe where life has evolved. I just don't buy the probability of argument because we don't know the numbers. Sure there are 10^22 stars but if the chance of abiogenesis is 10^23:1 then we are lucky to be here and one planet with life in the whole universe is better than expected.

I would love to be wrong on this and it does seem planets are common but realistically we far we have found life on only one planet. Personally I think we need

1. A good model for abiogenesis. If we knew this we would have some feel for how rare it is going to be.

2. Definite proof that life evolved separately on Mars. That would probably settle the question of the rarity of abiogenesis as well.

3. Some data from Kepler. The preliminary data is really amazing.

4. One of these guys

Feel free to say this is bullshit it is certainly not my area expertise and it is certainly exciting to be alive now and watching this unfold.


Wed, 23 Sep 2009 07:41:00 UTC | #400093