How can it be that fools like this chap get grants to produce such utter twaddle, and worse, get media coverage for it?
Intelligent civilisations are out there and there could be thousands of them, according to an Edinburgh scientist.
The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.
“It’s a process of quantifying our ignorance,” said Duncan Forgan, the University of Edinburgh researcher who carried out the work.
“It is important to realise that the picture we’ve built up is still incomplete,” said Mr Forgan.
From the BBC, no less. [story] While I’m all for astronomy and pure science research, this seems like it was put out for a drunken bet. For “estimates”, replace “first number that popped into my head”. I was going to make a joke about the University of Edinburg (a pub with a subscription to The Times) but I’d better not, I’ll get letters.
The notion that a scientist has recently claimed there are thousands of other intelligent civilisations out in space is nothing new. You’re quite right to question the funding of such research and I would love to know how he arrived at the precise figures. There are probably as many stars and planets in the universe as there are grains of sand in the Sahara and only the stupid and arrogant (or dare I say fundamentalists?) believe that we are the only form of life. The researcher’s comment “It is important to realize that the picture we’ve built up is still incomplete” is about as intellectual as most reports by publicity seeking so called researchers wasting their time and our money on worthless research.
I suspect that Duncan Forgan, the University of Edinburgh researcher who carried out the work should now attempt to quantify his own ignorance.
The reason why they get media attention is that most editors are so short of “news” they’ll report anything and invent the rest. I no longer read the press because all you get are the views of the editor or as in many cases the owners’ view.