Re: Are we "special"?

Paul Crowley (
Tue, 03 Dec 96 16:57:45 GMT

In article <01bbe064$0bf86440$LocalHost@dan-pc> "Rohinton Collins" writes:

> Paul Crowley <> wrote in article
> > Frank Tipler suggests that
> > Darwinian imperatives require that the first intelligent
> > species will colonise the whole galaxy in about 300 Myr.
> > It could do this by travelling within the speed of light and
> > stopping off at each inhibitable planet for about one hundred
> > years at a time - to allow for the renewal of resources and
> > duplication of space ships, etc. 300 Myr is nothing in
> > relation to the life of the universe. So if there was
> > intelligent life out there - it would be here.
> Oh and of course this Mr Tipler is always right? Sounds like bollocks to
> me. Do you have any idea how long it would take to travel to the nearest
> inhabitable planet? And then perhaps to find that it isn't inhabitable
> after all. It is far, far too early to start making such assumptions as
> have been made above

I think you are a little out of date here. There have been
some recent dramatic advances in astronomical techniques.

In effect, we have only just begun to look for such planets - it
is only with the repaired Hubble, and some greatly improved
terrestrial arrays, that it has become possible. And planets
have been found in association with many stars. It was expected
that they would be, because planets are thought to be a natural
concomitant of star creation.

With improved "Hubbles" and other similar technology there should
be no difficulty in identifying habitable planets within a ten or
fifteen million light-year radius. I think Professor Tipler's
arguments are strong.

This has much bearing on paleanthropology. If intelligent life
was as easy and inevitable as is commonly made out -- well where
is it all?