Guillermo Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Iowa State University. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from the University of Washington. He has done post-doctoral work at the University of Texas, Austin and at the University of Washington and has received fellowships, grants and awards from such institutions as NASA, the University of Washington, Sigma Xi (scientific research society) and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Gonzalez has extensive experience in observing and analyzing data from ground-based observatories, including work at McDonald Observatory, Apache Point Observatory and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. His current research interest in astrobiology focuses on the "Galactic Habitable Zone" and captured the October 2001 cover story of Scientific American.
Professor of astronomy and physics, Guillermo Gonzales (privilegedplanet.com), discussed the odds of life in the universe and explained his Privileged Planet hypothesis. According to Gonzales, the places in the universe that can host intelligent life (like Earth) are also the best places for viewing and analyzing the universe. He believes such "privileged" places are extremely rare in the universe.To prove his point, Gonzales refactored the Drake Equation -- a mathematical method to determine how many intelligent civilizations are in our own Milky Way galaxy. After citing a less than 1% chance of intelligent life Gonzales concluded, "In my opinion, we're alone in the galaxy." He went on to say that while there could be as many as one billion civilizations in the rest of the universe, "we're probably alone."Gonzales asserts that the chances for intelligent life increase greatly if the universe was designed. This is because "the Designer would have created the conditions ... More »Host: Art Bell