Billions of Earth Sized Planets Equals Trillions of Aliens?

Aliens

Does the discovery of billions of Earth sized planets equate to the possibility of trillions of aliens? The news broke this week that there are many billions of earth-sized planets existing in the universe and that many of them could potentially be able to host life; yes, life. That means, in no uncertain terms, that there could be an astronomical amount of slithering, slimy, creepy and maybe even bloodthirsty aliens just lurking around in space attending to their alieny business.

In fact, some experts feel that the chances for alien life existing are very high. An expert from the University of Hawaii said: “Our galaxy has 40 billion chances for life to get started and evolve. Today, more than ever we need to focus on searching for intelligent life.”

Other scientists agree. Imperial College London researcher Dr. Subhanjoy Mohanty, has explained that the finding “certainly increases the chances” that there could be billions of aliens swarming all over space, and said “this is an added impetus for planned future missions which will study the atmospheres of these potentially habitable planets, enabling us to investigate whether they are in fact habitable or not and also whether their atmospheres show actual biosignatures of existing life.”

Scientists say that a whopping 22 percent of stars in our own galaxy live in what is considered the perfect habitable area of space where conditions are not too hot, not too cold; but just right for hosting abundant life. This has lead researchers to calling these areas “Goldilocks zones” because of the similarity to the popular children’s fairy tale in which the character of Goldilocks deems the bears’ oatmeal too hot, too cold and just right.

That’s just in our galaxy though; imagine the number of potentially life-sustaining planets when talking about the whole universe.  Since the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe are now much higher than ever thought previously, the layperson’s mind inevitably and understandably wanders into the rather funky realm of speculating about just what those trillions of aliens could possibly look like.

Since life on Earth is carbon based, it stands to reason, say scientists, that alien life could also be based on carbon. There are some experts who feel that it is possible aliens could have a similar evolutionary process as humans in that alien civilizations could eventually develop not only some basic physical components such as eyes and brains, but that they could also evolve to create complex intelligent civilizations and even form similar moral and ethical codes as we have (we hope!)

On the popular science blog IO9, bioethicist George Dvorsky writes that there are some assumptions which may be safe to explore, including the possibility that alien civilizations could follow some of our evolutionary benchmarks, like different ages of development. He writes:

First, we can assume that a certain subset of technological civilizations go through similar developmental states, including stone age and agrarian culture, industrialization, globalization (cultural, economic, and political — and in that order), and an information age.

The Kepler telescope has revealed billions of Earth sized planets. Does that equate to trillions of aliens? If it does, we should definitely hold out hope that the experts are correct, especially about the moral and ethical code development part. While scientific discoveries often invite huge amounts of debate, it’s safe to say that one thing on which we can all agree is that none of us would look forward to becoming the midnight snack of an alien being.

By: Rebecca Savastio

Forbes

Discovery

Daily Mail

Christian Science Monitor

Io9

NBC

2 Responses to "Billions of Earth Sized Planets Equals Trillions of Aliens?"

  1. Robert Boyter   November 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Probably mostly micro-organisms, or trilobites, or life-forms we’ve never thought of. Comparably intelligent life forms, who knows if there are any. Surely, with all the SETI research we’d have had a hint or two.

    Rob

    Reply

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