Most of science believes it is a virtual certainty that life (and intelligent life) exists elsewhere, maybe even in our own galaxy. It's as close to
certain as it can get without being 100% certain (because nothing is 100% certain.
originally posted by: ColaTesla
I cant remember the exact equation, But its been worked out and its a mathematical certainty.
If you mean the "Drake Equation" (developed in 1961), it does not give a % certainty of life elsewhere; it is only used to estimate the potential
number of intelligent civilizations (specifically those whose communications we could receive), based on certain variables. That equation is:
The Drake equation is:
N = R* ⋅ f
p⋅ n
e⋅ f
ℓ ⋅ f
i⋅ f
c ⋅ L,
with "N" being the number of civilizations in our galaxy that may have communication that we can receive.
Even though "N" represents civilizations whose communications we might be able to hear -- and NOT just "Number of intelligent Civilizations" --
variations of the Drake Equation could be used to estimate the number of planets with intelligent life.
However, the Drake Equation relies on many assumptions (albeit educated assumptions) when filling in its variables; not all of the variables have
values that have been determined by science. The first three variables have been determined with some accuracy...
R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
f
p = the fraction of those stars that have planets
n
e = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
...although the value for "f
p" is a number that science is still fine-tuning, and the value for "n
e" has only recently
been studied, and that value may change.
The values of the final four variables are as follows:
f
ℓ = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
f
i = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent civilizations
f
c = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
The values for these Drake Equation variables are not known. Any value assigned to these variables is pretty much a guess. It may not be quite a
"wild guess", because some research and hypotheses have been put into trying to determine the values, but not enough to have any certainty whatsoever
in those values...
...I mean, how have they determined f
i, for example? How have they determined a value for
"the fraction of planets with life that
actually go on to develop intelligent life"?
So The Drake Equation is a useful tool, but it has not told us about the certainty or uncertainty of intelligent life elsewhere.
edit on 2016-10-4 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)