Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Intelligent Life. Out There.

Ya gotta love the news media. Give them a slow news day, and they'll jump all over the most ridiculous things...

Some researcher in Scotland was playing around with "computer models" and decided he could determine how many "intelligent civilizations" there are in the Milky Way galaxy. Depending on how he tweaked things, he came up with numbers as low as 361 and as high as 37,964.

And this is all over the news. No one has actually observed anything, no one has actually measured anything, and yet because some glorified video game came up with a number (actually several very different numbers), we're supposed to believe it means something.

I wish I could get a job like that.

But I'll provide a number for you, for free. My number is: 2,000,000+ . That's right, I say there are over 2 million intelligent societies. But not "out there". Right here on Earth. I arrived at that number because that's how many species have been defined right here on Earth. Scientists like to guess that the number of species may be as high as 100 million, but I'll stay conservative and stick to 2,000,000+. It should be enough to keep us busy.

That's two million societies, right here, right now, observable by anyone who is willing to pay attention. We don't have to imagine there are 361 or even 37,964 somewhere out there that we will never see or hear. All we have to do is open our eyes and our minds.

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