Estimating survival probability using the terrestrial extinction history for the search for extraterrestrial life

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Kohji Tsumura


Several exoplanets have been discovered to date, and the next step is the search for extraterrestrial life. However, it is difficult to estimate the number of life-bearing exoplanets because our only template is based on life on Earth. In this paper, a new approach is introduced to estimate the probability that life on Earth has survived from birth to the present based on its terrestrial extinction history. A histogram of the extinction intensity during the Phanerozoic Eon is modeled effectively with a log-normal function, supporting the idea that terrestrial extinction is a random multiplicative process. Assuming that the fitted function is a probability density function of extinction intensity per unit time, the estimated survival probability of life on Earth is ~0.15 from the beginning of life to the present. This value can be a constraint on fi in the Drake equation, which contributes to estimating the number of life-bearing exoplanets.



Astrophysics and Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Planetary Sciences


Drake equation, extinction, SETI


Published: 2020-07-22 01:11

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GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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