E.T. likely won't call us for another 1500 years

Only 1500 years to go until we contact life from another planet, or more accurately, life on another planet contacts us.  A new claim by some astronomers is that extra-terrestrial life maybe just as mediocre as we are.  These scientists say, that by using this theory, even with the hundreds of millions of other planets out there, it would explain why we haven’t heard from anyone else.

In the 1950s, a physicist named Enrico Fermi was credited for forming a paradox getting many scientists at the time to think if life may be out there.  The paradox states that if life is abundant in the universe, then it should have contacted Earth, yet there’s no definitive sign of such an interaction.  But this new theory would explain why no such communication has happened yet.

As we know, we live in the Milky Way galaxy.  But the part of the galaxy will live in is nothing special compared to what we know about the rest of the universe.  We are in an average part of the galaxy, in a pretty average orbit, around a pretty average star.  In fact, just over the last several years, scientists have now found hundreds of other planets nearby (considered to be “close” using astronomical distances) that could contain life.  These planets are in a similar spot in their galaxy, orbiting a similar star, and the planet is as similar to Earth as we could find.  Considering we haven’t figured out an easy way to contact life on other planets that are hundreds of light years away, why would any of these other very average species figure it out?

But what about this “advanced life” we have all imagined?  What if there is a race of Vulcans out there (Spock’s home world on Star Trek) or a race of E.T.’s or the Empire is rolling around in a galaxy far far away?  Well the truth is, there may not be advanced alien life.

Several scientists at the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) summer meeting in San Diego this year postulated that life on Earth likely evolved at an average rate, neither really faster nor slower than other potential life in the galaxy.  Considering it has taken so long for humans to evolve into what we are today, that life on other older worlds likely didn’t evolve any faster because of the complex mixture of heavy elements it takes to form humanoids in the first place.  These elements span lifetimes of stars and hundreds of generations of development to get right.  This would explain why it took so long for humans to get here and may simultaneously explain why there may be no other advanced life in the galaxy that would have contacted us by now.

So, based on these theories, a scientist at the AAS meeting calculated that the communication bubbles (radio and television signals that have been thrown into the galaxy at roughly the speed of light) that life would produce would only make up about a tenth of 1 percent of the Milky Way galaxy if average life really did exist in other parts of the galaxy.  With a number that low, it’s unlikely that Earth would have heard from any other “average” civilization yet.  He goes on to theorize that we won’t likely hear from alien life for another 1500 years with those odds.

This news is both disappointing and relieving.  It would be pretty incredible to know for sure that we aren’t alone in the universe and to talk to another species, but I don’t think humanity is ready for that yet.  Not to mention, if these aliens aren’t friendly and happen to be more advanced than we are, then we could be in for any number of very terrible outcomes.

Some of the information in this article is courtesy of Space.com