Maybe, we are alone!
Since writing my article ‘Is there anybody out there’, I have continued to read material relevant to the topic and I am no longer as convinced that there is any other intelligent life out there. I still have high hopes but have to concede that the odds are stacking up against it.
It seems that from some of the latest research that the formation of life from non-life is such a long shot that it is a highly unlikely event and must be extremely rare in the Universe. And that if life does exist elsewhere in the Universe, the chance that an intelligent species would evolve, is even more unlikely.
So what has made me change my mind?
Since writing the original article, I have read and re-read two highly significant books.
The first one by Paul Davies, Theoretical Physicist from The University of Adelaide, entitled ‘The Fifth Miracle’ (ISBN 0-684-83799-4) deals with the big question, just how and where life began.
The second by Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Zoology, Professor of Geology at the Harvard University and Curator for Invertebrate Palaeontology at the University’s Museum, is called ‘Life’s Grandeur’ (ISBN 0-224-04132-0) (US Title ‘Full House’) and argues, “that progress and increasing complexity are not inevitable features of the evolution of life on Earth.”
Both of these well-written and easily understandable books offer valuable insights into the, still unanswered, original formation of life and the consequent path of evolution. For anyone that has an interest in, or wishes to know more about, our chances of meeting intelligent life forms other than ourselves, these books are highly recommended.
Hugh. May 11, 2004
© copywrite Hugh C Fathers 2004