So, What Are “Intelligent” Civilizations, Exactly?
Any intelligent civilization is generally one with the ability to use a written language and possess advances in the arts and sciences. Bear in mind that these scientists are not just referring to spacefaring civilizations with a fleet of starships at hand. They are referring to any carbon-based (perhaps even silicon-based) beings with the ability to reason, understand, perceive relationships and to communicate in a technical manner. The cosmologists are describing what are called “technologically-advanced” civilizations that have invented radio technology and have been broadcasting via radio, TV or by any other means into space.
Thirty-six Intelligent Civilizations
Published on June 15 in The Astronomical Journal, a paper titled “The Astrobiological Copernican Weak and Strong Limits for Intelligent Life” 2 estimated that there are roughly “36 civilizations within our Galaxy.” The paper was written by Tom Westby, Assistant Professor of Engineering, and Christopher Conselice, Professor of Astrophysics, at the University of Nottingham (UK). But let’s be clear, the paper’s authors claim that that number could be as high as 210 and as few as four civilizations, depending on their assumptions (that’s where the “strong” scenario and the “weak” scenario come into action). Their paper is limited only to Earth/Sun-like star systems, and that’s why the word “Copernican” is used in the title.
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