Dr. James Pierce's

Favorite Quotes from Life in the Universe Essays:

— Lifetimes —

Every term, each student in my Astronomy 115 course (Life in the Universe) was assigned to write an essay giving his or her opinion on the following question:

"Do extraterrestrial technical civilizations currently exist in our Galaxy?"

This group of quotes is about the lifetimes of civilizations. (The typos and misspellings are real, but they are not mine.) The material is presented here without comment; you will have to make up your own.

    Essay Quotes: Lifetimes

  1. On earth an asteroid took out the civilization of the dinosaurs. It could be likely that one of these types of problems could end an Extraterrestrial Civilization before it even started.

  2. To estimate this life expectancy I figured out how long we would be around onour planet. With our limited resources I have come up with an estimate of five thousand years. This is because we create such a great demand for resources like parasites.

  3. There are one factors that severely limit the number of technical civilizations that I would estimate in our galaxy: the length a technical civilization would last. I believe that technical civlizations would be shorter than most scientists seem to estimate.

  4. The lifetime that a civilization may have might affect if they currently exist.

  5. Time makes it very dificult for another civilization to occur during the lifetime of humans on Earth.

  6. Stellar evolution has shown that meteor and asteroid impacts are common throughout the universe. All it took was one asteroid to extinct all the dinosaurs off our planet. Being a technical civilization, the possibility that they have created nuclear warfare or some other form of warfare that could be used to destroy their civilization is very possible.

  7. Even if there is another planet just like Earth, intelligent life may have not been able to survive upon it do to readily mass extinctions, like our dinosaurs.

  8. A technical civilization wouldn't exist if everyday comets, asteroids, and other space debris were hitting them and killing large amounts of people every time.

  9. Since there are many factors that could destroy a planet and it's technical civilization, we could not say that they were not there. This could be happening at any time to any civilization in the galaxy that we have not been able to locate.

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Created May 12, 2013; last modified March 19, 2021
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