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Great Debate About Frequency Of ET Life

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 10:38:11 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 10:38:11 -0500
Subject: Great Debate About Frequency Of ET Life

Source: The Daily Galaxy - New York, New York, USA


February 13, 2007

Lonely Planets? A Great Debate About The Frequency Of
Extraterrestrial Life

NASA's Astrobiology Portal has published a series of six Great
Debates as prominent scientists sift through the available
evidence to reach what are sometimes directly opposing
conclusions. The first debate will explore the factors required
to make a planet habitable and the question of whether complex
life like that on Earth is common or rare in our galaxy.

When the book Rare Earth was published two years ago, it raised
a great deal of controversy among astrobiologists. Written by
Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, the book's hypothesis suggests
complex life is rare in the universe, and may even be unique to
Earth. If life does occur elsewhere, the authors contend, it
will only be in the form of single-celled life such as bacteria.

The "Rare Earth" hypothesis is directly opposed to the cultural
assumption that there are many alien civilizations, derived from
the famous estimate by Frank Drake - known as the "Drake
Equation" - that was later amended by Drake and Carl Sagan. They
arrived at an estimate that there are perhaps a million
intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy alone.

The participants in the Great Debate include Donald Brownlee and
Peter Ward, co-authors of Rare Earth and professors at the
University of Washington, Frank Drake, and David Grinspoon, the
2006 Carl Sagan Award winner and astrobiologist.

Great Debate Link:


[Thanks to Stuart Miller of http://uforeview.net/ for the lead]

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