This article, “We’re all alone: Oxford study says chance of intelligent life elsewhere very low – Paper uses statistics to examine how long it took life to evolve on Earth and how likely each step was; concludes highly unlikely other intelligent civilizations out there”, prompted me to republish one I wrote back in 2010.
April 19, 2011 (Republished Dec. 5, 2020, with minor changes)
Business is humming if you’re in the business of extra-solar planets, exobiology or exoenvironmental studies.
Recently, it was announced that scientists had determined that liquid water and hydrocarbons were present on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. They made this determination using Cassini’s plasma spectrometer, which had found specific ions characteristic of water in motion. (It never ceases to amaze me how scientists can tease information out of data using the most obscure scientific facts.)
That makes at least 4 worlds (Earth, Mars, Enceladus, and Europa) in our solar system where liquid water and other ingredients necessary for life have been found to be present now or in the past, or probably so. Continue reading