On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 5:43 PM, Lawrence Crowell <
goldenfieldquaterni...@gmail.com> wrote:

> ​>​
> I suspect planets with complex life above that of prokaryotic-like life
> are few in number per galaxy. It is hard to know how even prokaryotic-like
> life starts.

The fact that it took 2 billion years for Prokaryotes to evolve
into Eukaryotas gives some support that your suspicion may be correct. And
even after complex animals have evolved on a planet that doesn't mean it
has a civilization. Richard Dawkins notes that flight evolved
independently 4 times and the eye at least 40 times and perhaps as many as
60, but intelligence, defined as the ability to make something as complex
as a radio telescope, evolved only once, and in the nearly 4 billion year
history of life that ability has only existed on this planet for about a
century. And yet when we use our telescopes to listen for sounds of
intelligence in the cosmos we hear only an eerie silence. Why? As Enrico
Fermi famously asked, where is everybody?   ​

Maybe we're the first, after all somebody has to be, or maybe some
catastrophe always happens to a civilization whenever it gets much beyond
the point we're at now.

  ​John K Clark​

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