The hypothesis of the existence of alien not only provides themes and inspirations for many science fiction novels and movies, but also stimulates people's enthusiasm for exploring the universe to some extent. However, according to a report by the American physicist organization network on July 28, an article published on the internationally renowned academic website arXiv.org questioned the foundation of this hypothesis-the Drake Equation (Drake Equation). .
David Spiegel from Princeton University in the United States and Edwin Turner from the University of Tokyo in Japan used Bayesian Reasoning to conclude that Drake’s formula may be unreliable, and it cannot be based on life alone. The emergence on the earth leads to the view that "life can naturally evolve and multiply if the environment is similar to that of the earth."
Drake’s formula, also known as Sagan’s formula, was proposed by American astronomer Frank Drake in the 1960s. It is an equation that calculates "the number of extraterrestrial intelligence civilizations that may come into contact with us" by means of probability statistics. The data comes from the known universe and observation data of mankind, that is, the number of stars and quasi-solar systems discovered, and the number of galaxy systems that are similar to the earth's environment and suitable for life. According to this formula, many people think that human beings are not alone. Extraterrestrial life not only exists, but it is also very likely to have their own civilization, and some may be sending radio signals to the earth. But the disadvantage of this formula is that most of the variables in it come from estimated values, so the results obtained vary greatly. According to foreign news agencies, there was once a PhD from the University of Warwick, who tried to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK through the Drake formula.
Bayesian inference is an inference method developed on the basis of estimation and hypothesis testing. Compared with the classic statistical inductive reasoning method, Bayesian reasoning must not only base on the current observed sample information, but also based on the past experience and knowledge of the reasoner when drawing conclusions.
Researchers said that, including the Drake formula, almost all judgments about the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life are based on the view that "life can naturally evolve and multiply if the environment is similar to that of the earth." However, through Bayesian inference calculations, they found that throughout the universe, the emergence of intelligent life on Earth was originally a small probability event, and the emergence of many necessary "lucky factors" was also very accidental. In addition, the emergence of life is also related to other factors that we do not know or understand. Therefore, it cannot be concluded that the same thing will happen on another planet in the universe as long as the known conditions are met.
In any case, to verify the existence of extraterrestrial life, there is at least one thing that is reliable and can reach a consensus, and that is to find them.
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