Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Avalon Explosion and predicting reactions to evidence for an otherworldly intelligence

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - Last June, a group of scientists visited Iceland, one of the most active volcanic places in the world. In some ways, Iceland resembles what the young Earth was like, so studying modern bacteria that colonize Iceland’s rocks may provide clues about early life. Aude Herrera recalls the scientist’s recent rock-collecting adventure here in her journal. See article.
g Life - Scientists have identified a new period in Earth’s history where life experienced an evolutionary explosion. Dubbed the ‘Avalon Explosion’, this period occurred about 33 million years prior to the previously identified ‘Cambrian Explosion’, and sheds further light on the early evolution of animals. See article.
g Message - Separating static from signal is a classic problem for SETI researchers. Whether such a viable signal might be more promising if it were broad-spectrum or sharp like a tuning fork, has an influence of how much message it can carry and how far it may travel. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Aftermath - How to predict reactions to receipt of evidence for an otherworldly intelligence? Some scientists argue that any unpredictable outcomes can only be judged against our own history. See article.

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