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The octopus and E.T.

Is intelligence a forced move?
RELATED TOPICS: EVOLUTION
Hester_Jeff
It’s been 55 years since Frank Drake introduced his famous and eponymous equation, a product of rates and probabilities used to estimate the number of technological civilizations in our galaxy. Drake could only guess at most of the terms’ values when he conceived of the equation, but we’ve learned a lot since then. We know the rate at which Sun-like stars form. We know that planetary systems surround almost every star, and that potentially habitable Earth-like planets are common.

For some terms in the Drake Equation, Earth is our only guide. Terrestrial life arose quickly, but it took almost half the current age of our star before diverse complexity exploded on the scene. In contrast, once hominids appeared it only took a thousandth the age of the planet to go from stone tools to walking on the Moon. How long advanced technological civilization will survive remains to be seen.

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