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Elon Musk Says We Have More Reason To Colonize Space Now

Jun 26, 2018 11:19 PM EDT
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A new study reveals humans are likely alone in space — and Elon Musk answers by stressing how important it is for humankind to build civilizations throughout space.

Musk Doubles Down On Space Colonization

Musk has long been an advocate of interplanetary colonization, working toward that goal through his company SpaceX.

With new research suggesting that there are no other advanced civilizations occupying the other planets of the observable universe, the CEO and founder of SpaceX is even more convinced of his mission.

On Twitter, Musk explains that the new paper about the likelihood of humans being alone in the universe only makes extending humanity's reach beyond Earth more important.

It's not the first time he has spoken out about this, as one of Musk's plans is to send 1 million people to colonize Mars within 50 years.

In a 2017, the CEO penned a paper in New Space titled "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species."

"History is going to bifurcate along two directions," he wrote. "One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event. I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event."

The only other alternative, Musk stresses, is for humanity to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species.

We Are Alone, New Study Says

Musk's belief in humanity's future in outer space is bolstered by the recent study by the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford University, which supports the likelihood of the observable universe empty of other intelligent life forms.

While the famous Fermi Paradox and the Drake equation both assume a high probability of alien existence, this new paper argues that these probabilities are based on highly uncertain parameters.

Instead, the researchers used uncertainty ranges in their equation, also factoring in the chemical and genetic transition models of the paths to the origin of life. Using this, it was determined that humans are likely the only intelligent civilization in the galaxy and the entire observable universe.

Three acclaimed researchers are behind the new paper: Anders Sandberg, Research Fellow at FHI and Martin Senior Fellow at the Oxford University; engineer Eric Drexler, who is known for popularizing nanotechnology; and Toby Ord, who is a renowned moral philosopher.

Photo: NASA Kennedy/Kim Shiflett | Flickr

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