Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The uncertainty of science: An analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and Kepler suggests that the Earth might be one of the first planets in the universe to harbor life.
I label this result uncertain because it is based on what I consider to be a very poor sampling of exoplanets as seen by Kepler. Kepler might have found a lot of exoplanets, but the numbers are still small and skewed by the limited types of suns observed and the short time frame of its observations. Moreover, the data from Hubble is rich, but also quite small, leaving great uncertainties for all of these conclusions.
At the same time, this conclusion might help explain why, after almost a half century of looking, we have yet to detect any evidence of radio communications from any other civilizations. You would think we would have detected something by now. Maybe they don’t exist, and we are the first.