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Fwd: Alien expert illuminates audience on extraterrestrial possibilities

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  • Herbert Schumacher
    ... wrote: Source: http://www.wistechnology.com/article.php?id=632 Alien expert illuminates audience on extraterrestrial possibilities Leif Griffin, 03/01/04
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2004
      --- In partsofthewhole@yahoogroups.com, Nat Epstein <natepstein@e...>
      wrote:
      Source: http://www.wistechnology.com/article.php?id=632


      Alien expert illuminates audience on extraterrestrial possibilities
      Leif Griffin, 03/01/04

      MADISON - Some of extraterrestrial expert Frank Drake's beliefs may
      leave
      people bewildered. Speaking to an audience of 300 at the University
      of
      Wisconsin-Madison Feb. 19, Drake, director of the Search for
      Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute in Mountain View, Calif.,
      explained
      the reasons why he believes intelligent life exists in the universe
      and
      highlighted potential methods of communicating with far-off
      civilizations.

      "I think all of us who are well-read at all, or know anything about
      the
      universe, have at some time realized that it could well be that there
      are
      other intelligent beings in space," Drake said. "Many of them could
      be more
      advanced, more sophisticated and with more of a history. It would be
      fascinating just to find out what they are like."

      He emphasized the importance of persistence and repetition in the
      search
      for extraterrestrial life.

      "Detecting alien life is like winning the lottery, and to win any
      lottery
      we have to make many, many bets," Drake said.

      Luckily, Drake asserted, there are also many, many solar systems that
      are
      that are capable of incubating civilizations. Of the estimated 400
      billion
      stars in the Milky Way, 10 percent are similar to our solar system
      and are
      able to support life, Drake said. Furthermore, it is only certain
      that 40
      billion stars are unable to support life due to their relatively
      brief
      existence and rapid resource exhaustion. According to Drake, the
      remaining
      80 percent of stars in the Milky Way are smaller than our sun but may
      prove
      just as useful in the quest for life.

      "For a while scientists thought [the less massive stars] were not
      suitable
      for life, but now it appears they too could be abodes for life, and
      even
      perhaps better ones than the stars that are like the sun," he said.

      The potential provided by myriad life-supporting stars bodes well for
      the
      discovery of intelligent life and Drake discussed methods of
      communication
      required to detect extraterrestrial activity.

      "We have the means, if we work very hard, to detect intelligent life,
      and
      get access to all of the wondrous things they can provide us with,"
      Drake said.

      Utilizing rockets to make contact with extraterrestrial life would be
      costly and a doomed venture because of the distance, Drake said, so
      the
      best method of detecting alien civilizations is through
      electromagnetic
      messaging. According to Drake, it is possible to send a 60-second
      telegram
      at the speed of light to the far side of the galaxy for only a
      dollar's
      worth of energy. The conventional method of powering a space shuttle
      to
      complete the same task would take around 500,000 year's worth of
      energy.

      Drake also briefly discussed his famous equation, Drake's Equation,
      and its
      implications. Drake created the seven-factor equation in 1951 to
      estimate
      the number of alien civilizations in the Milky Way. Using those
      factors,
      which account for the rate of star formation and civilization life
      span,
      Drake estimated there are at least 10,000 such civilizations in the
      Milky Way.

      Phillip Morrison, emeritus professor at the Massachusetts Institute
      of
      Technology, wrote of Drake's Equation: "Next to Einstein's equation,
      it is
      the most recognized equation in science."

      Nat Epstein

      "Parts of the Whole" Metaphysical Web Site:

      http://users.erols.com/natepstein/partsofthewhole
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/partsofthewhole
      --- End forwarded message ---
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