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Could alien life have already gone extinct ?

Posted on Thursday, 21 January, 2016 | Comment icon 67 comments

The fragility of early life might make it particularly prone to extinction. Image Credit: NASA
Even if we do find a habitable planet, could its indigenous life forms have already died out long ago ?
Astronomers at SETI have been listening out for signs of extraterrestrial civilizations for years but despite their best efforts have so far come up empty.

While many believe that the reason for this is that the distances between worlds is too great or that it is unlikely anyone within range would be at the same technological level as we are, astrobiologists at the Australian National University maintain that life on any nearby habitable worlds might have simply gone extinct long before we ever started looking.

"The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens," said study lead author Dr Aditya Chopra. "Early life is fragile, so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive. Most early planetary environments are unstable. "

The emergency of life on other worlds may be limited by what the scientists have called the 'Gaian bottleneck' which concerns the need for early organisms to modify and regulate the environment of a planet in order to ensure their own survival - something that did happen here on Earth.

"The mystery of why we haven't yet found signs of aliens may have less to do with the likelihood of the origin of life or intelligence and have more to do with the rarity of the rapid emergence of biological regulation of feedback cycles on planetary surfaces," said Dr Chopra.

Source: Mail Online | Comments (67)

Tags: Extraterrestrial, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #58 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard on 5 February, 2016, 19:46
I'm going to assume you were trying to be funny, so allow me to pile in as well. Yeah, I agree. So many dolphins have taken themselves to the Moon and back, have perform heart transplants, have created computers, and have established civilizations that it's so completely embarrassing to be a human at this time.
Comment icon #59 Posted by badeskov on 5 February, 2016, 20:20
If only you knew...... Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #60 Posted by DONTEATUS on 5 February, 2016, 21:14
Remember "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish"
Comment icon #61 Posted by Derek Willis on 6 February, 2016, 8:11
I think dolphins are overrated. They are undoubtedly intelligent (but have yet to split the atom!) but they are not as nice as people seem to think. They sometimes kill their own young, often for fun. I think we nasty humans elevated dolphins to almost god-like status to satisfy our own needs. You know, "why can't we all live in peace and love each other like dolphins do?"
Comment icon #62 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard on 6 February, 2016, 18:27
Just because some dolphins are nice doesn't mean they all are. An argument used many times for many different peoples/races/critters.
Comment icon #63 Posted by DONTEATUS on 8 February, 2016, 3:54
Just Keep your Towels close by and Peanuts fresh ! "Dont Panic"
Comment icon #64 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 17 February, 2016, 4:45
"The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied."
Comment icon #65 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 10 April, 2016, 17:43
Maybe we could drop by one still at the ancient egypt era n play god with them..
Comment icon #66 Posted by AbyssWalker on 11 April, 2016, 9:31
I think alien life may be out there and *maybe* we're being visited, but listing 'known races' like it's common knowledge, without trying to present any kind of evidence makes this ET/UFO community look like a joke. If there is some truth to all this then we should rather focus on actual sightings and accounts. Start with whatever knowledge we have and then go up, not rely on lame star-trek fan fiction writers to make up their own 'known races'.

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