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Fermi's paradox, Extraterrestrial Life and the Future of Humanity: a Bayesian Analysis

Vilhelm Verendel (Institutionen för energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori) ; Olle Häggström (Institutionen för matematiska vetenskaper, Tillämpad matematik och statistik)
International Journal of Astrobiology (1473-5504). Vol. 16 (2017), 1, p. 14-18.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

The Great Filter interpretation of Fermi's great silence asserts that Npq is not a very large number, where N is the number of potentially life-supporting planets in the observable universe, p is the probability that a randomly chosen such planet develops intelligent life to the level of present-day human civilization, and q is the conditional probability that it then goes on to develop a technological supercivilization visible all over the observable universe. Evidence suggests that N is huge, which implies that pq is very small. Hanson (1998) and Bostrom (2008) have argued that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would point towards p not being small and therefore a very small q, which can be seen as bad news for humanity's prospects of colonizing the universe. Here we investigate whether a Bayesian analysis supports their argument, and the answer turns out to depend critically on the choice of prior distribution.

Nyckelord: Bayesian analysis, biogenesis, extraterrestrial life, Fermi paradox, great filter



Denna post skapades 2016-12-06. Senast ändrad 2017-07-03.
CPL Pubid: 245905

 

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Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori (2005-2017)
Institutionen för matematiska vetenskaper, Tillämpad matematik och statistikInstitutionen för matematiska vetenskaper, Tillämpad matematik och statistik (GU)

Ämnesområden

Hållbar utveckling
Statistik
Astronomi

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