The Universe In Steven Dick's The Biological Universe

Improved Essays
The idea Earth is hurtling through space as the sole bearer of life, of myriad species who have come and gone through millennia, presents a lonely view of the universe. Conversely, if the universe is biological in nature and life is an eventuality given correct parameters, it’s difficult to ignore the absence of evidence. Considering the age and size of the galaxy, there should be remains of long abandoned settlements, if not other life forms themselves. Despite being unsubstantiated, there still exists a number of hopeful probability estimates for the existence of alien civilizations. One source of these estimates is the Drake equation, created by Frank Drake of SETI, in which the number of civilizations capable of communication is derived …show more content…
It’s less equation and more statement of the components needed for a communicating civilization. However, Steven Dick, astronomer and author of The Biological Universe, would contend this equation is more than a discussion tool, but a reification of cosmic evolution. The Drake equation steps through the currently observed evolution of the cosmos, from the creation of the universe to the birth of the solar system, in terms of the biological, social, and astromical. Finally, Dick noted in his book the importance of social evolution, based on the final term of the equation, and reemphasized not taking it literally.
Of course, this doesn’t deter people from doing so. In an application of and a lecture on the Drake equation by Carl Sagan, he posits the average number of habitable planets in a system is two, half of which develop life, that a tenth of those planets develop intelligent life, and a further tenth of those are communicating planets. Based on two different final terms, the lifespan of communicating civilizations, his two results were ten and, more optimistically, millions of civilizations in the galaxy, a drastic
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This includes the possibilities that Earth is a unique or rare instance, aliens lack the ability to communicate, and, somewhat darkly, intelligent life naturally destroys itself or others. Despite these explanations, the Fermi paradox not only casts doubt on the validity of the Drake equation, but the idea that the universe is biological, a concept closely related to cosmic evolution. If the equation is based on false premises, that there isn’t a natural progression from creation to life to communicating civilizations, then the nature of the universe may not be inherently biological. The conditions that gave rise to Earth are such that they are not, and perhaps cannot be, replicated across the

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