Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Longevity of Habitable Planets and the Development of Intelligent life

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 21, 2016
Filed under
The Longevity of Habitable Planets and the Development of Intelligent life

Why did the emergence of our species require a timescale similar to the entire habitable period of our planet?

Our late appearance has previously been interpreted by Carter (2008) as evidence that observers typically require a very long development time, implying that intelligent life is a rare occurrence.

Here we present an alternative explanation, which simply asserts that many planets possess brief periods of habitability. We also propose that the rate-limiting step for the formation of observers is the enlargement of species from an initially microbial state. In this scenario the development of intelligent life is a slow but almost inevitable process, greatly enhancing the prospects of future SETI experiments such as the Breakthrough Listen project.

Fergus Simpson
(Submitted on 19 Jan 2016)

Comments: 11 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1601.05063 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1601.05063v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Fergus Simpson [view email]
[v1] Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:18:21 GMT (21kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻