Re: Skeptics and extropians

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 09:37:36 MST

J. R. Molloy <> Wrote:

>the mere existence of ETI has no shock value.

Oh I think quite a number of people would be shocked.

>The probability that it [ET] exists millions and millions of light years
>from Earth has been established mathematically.

Nothing has been established mathematically. Yea, plug the correct
5 or 6 constants into the Drake equation and you'll get the probability
of ET existing, but at best the numbers are educated guesses and for
some just guesses. For example, what is likelihood a planet that has
evolved life will also produce intelligent life? Judging from Earth's history
It's probably pretty low, there has been life for 4000 million years but
intelligence for only about one million, but nobody knows how low.
Even worse, what is the probability that a technological civilization will
destroy itself in any given year? Nobody has a clue, the trouble is we
have only one example and it's hard to derive accurate statistics from
just one sample.

            John K Clark

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:35 MST