Borra Trottier Revisited

I’ve seen a couple of people today posted this article on Facebook, which I read, and think it’s rubbish, actually. It’s as if magazines need to find articles to fill up space, so they hire somebody to string some words together, and there you go.
The article is about a ‘scientific study’ that has determined that there are a grand total of 36 other planets in our galaxy that have intelligent life. They came up with some way of filling in a few numbers in the Drake equation, like the average length of time an intelligent civilization will survive (100 years? Seriously, 100 years?) and popped out the number 36.
They’re just guessing. Or maybe speculating would be a better word. Certainly a more generous one.
It could be 0. Maybe it’s a total fluke that life evolved at all. Maybe a lot of planets have life, bacteria and trees and stuff, but self aware life is a total fluke. Maybe lots of planets have self aware life, six legged giraffes and flying pigs and stuff, but technological life is a total fluke, that has only happened on Earth. Maybe.
But, if there’s one other planet like ours, it seems likely that there are thousands, maybe millions, given the fact that there are, like, a billion billion solar systems in our galaxy. And that’s what I believe to be the case.
It makes me think, though, as I occasionally do, of the Borra Trottier discovery, and how completely that has disappeared from the discussion. In 2016 Ermanno Borra and Eric Trottier, at Laval University in Canada, discovered signals emanating from 234 different systems (all of which have Earth type suns, by the way) and speculated that maybe these solar systems contained intelligent life.
Well, the scientific community did worse than reject their claims. They ignored them entirely. They ignored them so thoroughly that when I tried Googling Borra and Trottier separately today, I found a few firms named Borra, and a cave somewhere in Italy, and a Canadian hockey player named Bryan Trottier.
I did, however, find a scientific paper which supposedly was a refutation of their claim. Now, since it was a scientific paper a lot of it was way over my head but right in the first paragraph it said “In their analysis of 2.5 million spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Borra & Trottier(2016) report periodic spectral modulations in 234 stars, and suggest that these signals may be evidence of extra-terrestrial civilizations. To further evaluate this claim, we observed a total of three of the 234 stars with the Automated Planet Finder Telescope and Levy Spectrometer…”
So, they looked at 3, out of 234, and they used a different method than Borra and Trottier, and they’re ready to call it refuted.
Well, I call bullshit. It looks to me like Borra and Trottier found something very interesting, and the rest of the scientific community is trying to repress it. Maybe they fear making contact with aliens (there is some logic to that), or maybe they’re just afraid of signing on to something that sounds a bit crazy, or maybe it’s professional jealousy, or maybe they are actually aliens themselves and want to keep all humans in the dark until the invasion fleet arrives.
In any event, I think a more serious, open minded study (like one that looks at 234 out of the 234 systems, instead of 3) is warranted. Not holding my breath, but I hope it happens some day.

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