Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Head-first evolution and why “Are we alone?’ is THE question

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - What is the potential habitability of Tau Ceti, the nearest G-type star (other than Sol) to Earth? See article.
g Abodes - A groundbreaking study led by University of Miami (UM) scientist Shimon Wdowinski shows that earthquakes, including the recent 2010 temblors in Haiti and Taiwan, may be triggered by tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons), according to a presentation of the findings at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. See article.
g Life - The history of evolution is periodically marked by explosions in biodiversity, as groups of species try out a wide range of shapes and sizes. With a new analysis of two such adaptive radiations in the fossil record, researchers have discovered that these diversifications proceeded head-first. See article.
g Intelligence - Chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos make more sophisticated decisions than was previously thought. Great apes weigh their chances of success, based on what they know and the likelihood to succeed when guessing, according to a study of MPI researcher Daniel Haun, published Dec. 21 in the online journal PLoS ONE. The findings may provide insight into human decision-making as well. See article.
g Message - If we are not alone in the Universe, why have we never picked up signals from an extraterrestrial civilization? Known as the Fermi paradox after physicist Enrico Fermi, who first posed the question, this long-standing puzzle remains one of the strongest arguments against the existence of intelligent aliens. See article.
g Cosmicus - Are we alone? For space exploration, that is THE great question. It is one of the fundamental questions for all mankind, an existential query that could answer — or create — basic questions about the fundamental nature of existence. See article.

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