HugodeCrevellier8 karma2019-05-08 17:29:07 UTC
Once, a long time ago but in this here galaxy, I took an undergrad bioastronomy course. It fit the description 'fascinating fun!' perfectly. But fun was also the only reason I took it. Would a student today have to be similarly motivated? Are you optimistic about the field?
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HugodeCrevellier2 karma2019-05-08 18:01:33 UTC
Personal pet peeve about Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1).
This was the first and only interstellar object ever detected to pass through the Solar System. It also behaved peculiarly. All we could see of it of course was a mere blinking point of light.
But all the illustrations in pop publications showed close ups of some cigar-shaped rock, which were widely believed by the pubic to be an accurate representation of whatever Oumuamua was. It seems that these renderings and illustrations, which were conjectural and preconceived, may have harmed public understanding of how interesting an object it actually was.
Thoughts on Oumuamua?
HugodeCrevellier2 karma2019-05-08 18:50:54 UTC
HugodeCrevellier1 karma2019-05-08 20:30:34 UTC
Tough it's apparently unpopular, you make a good point.
Life on our planet had been around for a very, very, very, unfunckingbelievably long long long time and yet, if it weren't for us humans just now (so to speak), never may any serious intelligence, let alone civilisation, have ever emerged. And even with humans, there have been Amazonian, African, Sentinelese, etc., stone age tribes the lifestyle of which seemed not to differ, in an essentially sense, from those of our other hominid 'great ape' cousins.
So, we may conclude that even if life itself is common in our galaxy, intelligence/civilisation may be extreemely rare ... if not unique ... as on our own planet, one teeming with life for a long time.
If that's your position, that's a perfectly reasonable one and people may simply not have understood it.
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