Space

Scientist Tells House Panel Chance of Alien Life "Very High"

It's a big, big universe

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) — The likelihood of life on other planets is "very high," a planetary scientist told a House committee in a hearing some Democrats chided as evading U.S. issues.

"The chance that there's a planet like Earth out there with life on it is very high," Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary science and physics Professor Sara Seager told the House Science Committee.

"The question is: Is there life near here, in our neighborhood of stars? We think the chances are good," she said, answering a question from Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who asked: "Do you think there's life out there, and are they studying us? And what do they think about New York City?"

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  1. I do hope so. In fact we should have the entire U.S. Congress (House and Senate) loaded into a space ship and launch them out there on a fact finding tour. Maybe they can run for office there and screw the place up as much as they have the U.S. Let’s get NASA cracking on this immediately!!!

  2. We think the chances are good

    On the basis of nothing but arbitrary assumptions.

    The chance that there’s a planet like Earth out there with life on it is very high

    So long as “very high” means “very high”, as in an adjective and not an actual number, because it can’t be quantified. You can pretty much say whatever you want that way. It works like this, here is the Drake equation:

    N = N* fp ne fl fi fc fL

    N is the number of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy.

    N* is the number of stars in the galaxy, which is unknown. fp is the percent of stars that have planets, which is unknown. ne is the number of planets per star, which is also unknown. fl is the number of planets where life has evolved – unknown. fi is the percentage of that unknown where life has evolved to be intelligent, double unknown. fc is to allow that only a fraction of those intelligent civilizations can or want to communicate with us, also unknown. And fl is the length of time for which those unknown civilizations exist, which is certainly unknown.

    So as you can see, an unknown times an unknown times an unknown times an unknown times an unknown times an unknown times an unknown equals whatever the fuck you want, thus Science.

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