Physics 20E. Life in the Universe. Lec. 15: Intelligent Life: Where is Everybody? - Hulu Magazine

Physics 20E. Life in the Universe. Lec. 15: Intelligent Life: Where is Everybody?

UCI Physics 20E: Life in the Universe (Spring 2015)
Lec 15. Life in the Universe — Intelligent Life: Where is Everybody?
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Instructor: James Bullock, Ph.D.

License: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA
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Description: An overview of the scientific quest to discover life elsewhere in the universe. Topics include the origin of life on Earth, Mars, extra-solar planets, interstellar travel, and extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Recorded June 2, 2015

Required attribution: Bullock, James. Physics 20B (UCI OpenCourseWare: University of California, Irvine), [Access date]. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. (

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  1. Alphatucana Gameplay, Travel & Vlogging

    January 12, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Life on Earth may have been given a considerable head start by the Moon – the very high tides when the Moon was new (after the Earth had settled down again of course) would have provided a huge amount of chemical mixing and churning in the oceans, with tides miles high daily. The day was only some 6 hours long then too. Or, it may have been seeded from space, of course, in which case that doesn't matter, I suppose.

  2. John Walker

    January 12, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Elephants have been around for as long as homo sapiens – why don't they understand pythagorean theorem?

  3. Chris Yokum

    January 12, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Interesting video, I would like to throw in a conjecture that addresses the Fermi paradox.

    I often hear this term "filter" used to indicate how a species could become extinct before reaching sentience a common example is mass extinction events.

    Now, evolution is the adaptation of an organism to its environment such that it can increase its rate of procreation thus rate of adaption. However, I suggest we consider that the rate of adaptation decreases when equilibrium is reached in that environment, and  *increases* when the environment is more dynamic. Like the" Goldilox zone", the acceleration toward intelligent life is bounded by stimulus. Not to little. Not to much.

    Of course Earth is thought to have had five major extinction events. We often think of this as a limiting factor, but it is possible that the stimulus of of these events "stirred the pot" so looking for stars that have been around a long time, may not be enough. Perhaps we want to look for stars, with planets, at the correct range from the stars, that have been stimulated with moderation.

    Random final thought:
    If we were to choose places in order to look for intelligent life forms with advanced technology in our own galaxy, I think it is reasonable to assume life would expand away from the giant black hole in the center of the Milky way. So we should look toward the arms of our own galaxy. Also, we want to send signals to arrive at these positions at the same time that the arms of the galaxy reach those positions too. Particularly those galactic arms that are in cosmic opposition to the Suns alignment and the galactic center. We already know this causes problems simply communicated with Mars.

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