The quest for finding alien life is something that has been fascinating humankind.
We’ve been wondering if we are alone in the universe for a really long time. We know from geological sources that life started relatively quickly – just as soon as the Earth‘s environment was stable enough to offer it support.
More than that, it’s also a known fact that the first multicellular organism which produced today’s technological civilization took a bit longer to evolve – about 4 billion years.
Despite knowing when life first appeared on Earth, experts still don’t understand how life exactly occurred and this has essential implications for the chances to find life somewhere else in the universe.
A new paper analyses potential scenarios
In a new paper that was recently published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences today, David Kipping, an assistant professor in Columbia’s Department of Astronomy, highlighted how an analysis that makes use of a statistical technique called Bayesian inference could be showing how complex ET life might evolve in alien worlds.
“The rapid emergence of life and the late evolution of humanity, in the context of the timeline of evolution, are certainly suggestive,” Kipping said.
He continued and explained, “But in this study, it’s possible to actually quantify what the facts tell us.”
For his study, he used the chronology of the earliest evidence of life and the evolution of humankind.
His question was how often we would expect life and intelligence to appear again if the planet’s history were to repeat itself – this involves re-running the clock over and over again.
As Phys.org revealed, there are four possible answers: “Life is common and often develops intelligence, life is rare but often develops intelligence, life is common and rarely develops intelligence and, finally, life is rare and rarely develops intelligence.”
We recommend to check out his analysis more in-depth, but also note that this does not provide any guarantees or exact answers.