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Uh oh...Is Drake's Equation really reliable?

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posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
Slippery slope here guys.

Without proof or evidence all we have left is faith.

Many will argue the point, however every single religion on earth believes in something greater than themselves without a shred of evidence. Oh and with a really big book of some sort.

And everytime there is some claim of religious evidence. Usually it's as sparse as a claim of ufos.

go figure.



Spot on......here is some more on this.www.abovetopsecret.com... not alot of discussion on this line of thought, which i think is dissapointing as it is a very credible explanation for some phenomena we see more and more of....especially here on ATS.

[edit on 17-4-2008 by atlasastro]




posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by atlasastro
 


You might be confused. That link has little to do with this discussion.

It's about the psychological basis for alien abduction stories.

The Drake equation is about the potential for sentient communication.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 07:59 AM
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reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


exactly, IF there is a creator, then he would know. But anyone else would never be able to simply make an equation and call it accurate, at most something to be discussed/debated about.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by IchiNiSan
 


Huh? So no one can make estimates based on current hypotheses but god?

Drake's estimate is just a theory, and certainly is open to improvement. Will we know for sure someday? Possibly, but possibly not. It depends on whether we are able to go beyond LEO habitation, and/or if any alien space-farers are ever able to come here.

Given the new doubts about human travel to Mars due to deep space radiation, I'm doubtful that will occur; certainly not in our lifetimes, unless there's some monumenal breakthrough.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by Badge01
reply to post by IchiNiSan
 


Huh? So no one can make estimates based on current hypotheses but god?



Let me elaborate my statement. What I mean is that the universe is way too big and too immense that it is doubtful any hypothesis will hold up to ca;culate what is going on on the other side of the universe. Estimate is fine, but like someone else said the off ratio is counted in such a magnitude that it becomes unrealistic to even make such an estimate at the first place. You can only start to make a realistic equation when over 50% of the universe is explored and data collected, we would be talking about every galaxies and every dimensions.

Ps. I do not believe in a god.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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Several terms in the Drake equation are largely based on pure conjecture. Here's another way of looking at the odds:


The Universe is so huge in fact that we’ll have to play around with scales so one can get a better idea.

Let's imagine that the entire universe that we have seen in all the worlds telescopes, all the galaxies, all trillion of them, extending out 13 billion light years in every direction is shrunk down to the size of a golf ball.

If we do a volume calculation, the actual universe contains 10 to the power 60 of those golf balls! Wow, I guess we didn't shrink things down far enough, but this will have to do. So how big a volume would 10 to the power 60 golf balls fill up? Try a sphere 850 light years across! So imagine a mass of golf balls that big, and each one of those golf balls contains all the stars and galaxies that we can see through our telescopes!!


Intelligent Life in the Universe

Now in all this lets see if there’s any intelligent life in this huge universe…


For arguments sake, lets imagine that primitive life happens once in the lifetime of a trillion galaxies, and out of those only one in a trillion ever evolves out of its womb planet into a space-faring civilization. In this example then we are still left with an astounding 10 to the par 75 advanced societies - more alien cultures than the number of atoms composing planet Earth!

Again, for some perspective on such a gargantuan number, there are more advanced civilizations partying it up around the galaxies than there are atoms in every single grain of sand on all the beaches and deserts in the world, and then some.


Now what would Drake say to this?

But according to Fermi's paradox, why haven't we discovered these alien civilizations as yet? We may already have. Ask the The Secret Shadow Government. They probably know!! And they're not going to disclose it. At least not just yet!

Cheers!


blissful.co.nz...



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by MrPenny
 


As one poster put "no it's simply not reliable" due to the number of variables it uses.

In this case, where mathematical methods fail, empirical ones do not.. check out this report!



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Scramjet76
 


What about the theory mentioned in the article I cited in the opening post? Would using our planet as an evolutionary example produce more firm numbers for the supposition? 'Cause, we ( me and my mouse ) have at least a good guess of how the flora and fauna has evolved here. From that template, couldn't a good guess be formulated for other planets within a "habitable zone"?



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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In my opinion this scientist is a disinfo on a government payroll.

It's a completely arrogant and close minded world view based on what?

How many stars have we visited? NONE.

I'm sure certain institutions finance these kind of 'statements'.

The world is waking up and they try to counter that movement.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by mikesingh
Now what would Drake say to this?


He's say it's irrelevant since there's NO UNIVERSE in the Drake Equation.

It's about the Milky Way Galaxy ONLY.

HTH.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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I keep getting the feeling that posters are just NOT reading the Drake Equation.

It's just a template.

There -is- a correct answer. It's just a matter of picking the correct guess.

Guesses range from less than 2 to a million. That's NOT a huge range.

Remember this is ONLY an estimate of communicating civilizations, nothing else.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by MrPenny
 




What about the theory mentioned in the article I cited in the opening post? Would using our planet as an evolutionary example produce more firm numbers for the supposition? 'Cause, we ( me and my mouse ) have at least a good guess of how the flora and fauna has evolved here. From that template, couldn't a good guess be formulated for other planets within a "habitable zone"?


So you essentially asked which model will (as in future tense) get cited more often in discussions on ATS? I would guess the Drake Equation would still get cited more due to pure familiarity. In that sense, it was good of you to make this post and bring Dr. Watson's study to the table so ATS members can compare them.

As Dr. Shostak pointed out:


"We have, of course, only one example of intelligent life (indeed, of life of any type). That means we cannot possibly estimate from this single instance what is the probability of life on other worlds unless we are completely confident we understand all the relevant evolutionary processes.


This same argument can of course be used against the reliability of the drake equation. I find both studies to be worthwhile, yet as I previously indicated... I believe there to be better methods for answering "the question."

Good thread



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by Scramjet76
I believe there to be better methods for answering "the question."

Good thread


What do you think "the question" is.

Just want to be on the same page.

People keep saying that the presence of sentient life on Earth proves that the 'answer' is at least "1(one". But that's not strictly true.

We are not -yet- a broadcasting civilization, except in the passive sense.

We are "Listening" but we're not broadcasting a multi-Gigawatt beam. We don't yet have enough power to spare for that kind of effort.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 02:42 PM
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I agree with what the head of SETI is saying about Dr. Watson's findings:



Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, had this comment on Watson's work: "We have, of course, only one example of intelligent life (indeed, of life of any type). That means we cannot possibly estimate from this single instance what is the probability of life on other worlds unless we are completely confident we understand all the relevant evolutionary processes. Watson argues that intelligent life will be dismayingly rare: There is no way to prove that is true. On the other hand, if the converse is the case — if the galaxy is home to many intelligences — that is amenable to proof. We should do the experiment."


www.msnbc.msn.com...


[edit on 17-4-2008 by Palasheea]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by MrPenny
'Cause, we ( me and my mouse ) have at least a good guess of how the flora and fauna has evolved here.


Do we? You and your mouse need to explain it to me. Aside from some supernatural entity whipping up life out of the mud, I'm not even aware of any decent preliminary theory (other than my own, that is) being set forth that explains how life came to be on this planet. Of course, once life "appeared," then we have a relatively reasonable model to show how over the course of a billion years various critters had various differences that were able to help them survive changing environments.

But as for how that first little batch of chemicals happened to magically arrange itself into a living thing that eats, poops, and reproduces... well, my weak inverse time/psychokinesis notion is about as good as any that doesn't require a boogie man. Otherwise, we have no freakin' clue. And that puts a serious hurt on the equation.



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


Ah Badge. I seem to recall you from a different thread to which I never got back to you after my browser crashed on me after writing a 40 min response.




What do you think "the question" is.


Are we alone?




People keep saying that the presence of sentient life on Earth proves that the 'answer' is at least "1(one". But that's not strictly true.


Agreed. It all depends on how one defines something. I say this because "sentient" life is often defined as a lifeform having human characteristics such as free will. Personally, I do not believe humans have free will, so if one defines sentient in those terms, I do not believe we are sentient lifeforms.



We are not -yet- a broadcasting civilization, except in the passive sense.


Again agreed. Although an advanced civilization of great intelligence would undoubtedly have noticed our passive broadcasts. As far as human science is concerned you would think we might still be flying under the radar! After all, we have only been broadcasting for about 100 years so any civilization farther than 100 light years from Earth hasn't heard us yet. IMO I feel these "aliens" have a far better understanding of their environment than we do and thus are not limited by conventional ways of thinking.



We are "Listening" but we're not broadcasting a multi-Gigawatt beam. We don't yet have enough power to spare for that kind of effort.


Also, good luck passing that in congress.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:18 AM
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Originally posted by Badge01
reply to post by atlasastro
 


You might be confused. That link has little to do with this discussion.

It's about the psychological basis for alien abduction stories.

The Drake equation is about the potential for sentient communication.


I think it is you that is confused. If you read my post i think you will find that it is a reply to another members comments. I stated that i agreed with the line of thought in that post and offered the link as further information of interest. I think its called sharing. But thanks for your innocous reply. BTW. This thread is about Drakes equation.....not nit picking.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Nohup
Otherwise, we have no freakin' clue. And that puts a serious hurt on the equation.


Well, the theme of the thread, Drake's Equation, and the slightly different theory offered by Watson, is the development of "intelligent" life. I think it can be safely assumed that any type of life can happen. We, and the squiggly things in the puddles, are proof of that. Regardless of the chemistry required to make it happen, it happened at least once. You're right; exactly how that spark occurred is vague.....but it did.

The question is; are we unique? If not, what are the odds that another intelligent life managed to rise above the primoridial ooze of another world....given the relatively short span of habitable terrain?

Yeah, the equation could use some more variables.....but at least it has the value of "1" to work with.



[edit on 18-4-2008 by MrPenny]

[edit on 18-4-2008 by MrPenny]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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I believe that the Drake Equation is, in fact, quite correct and can be used to accurately calculate number of alien civilizations. Our problems do not lie in the fact that because of that equation our calculations are incorrect.

Incorrect results are because we do not know the values for these "constants". For example, it is impossible for us to know what the value for Fi is unless we keep an determined mind and explore most of the universe. How could we know the value for something that is defined as "number of planets in where intelligent life is developed"?

With that one single parameter alone - Fi - we are faced with many problems. One is that we have not yet correclty defined what intelligence actually is and how it is defined in the first place. Second is that we cannot really know what the reasons for developing an intelligence for a species in evolution is (there are many, of course).

What we need with that single value alone is observation of evolution on another planets that

- already have life that can be observed
- an observation preioid of time that is long enough for us to determine how many of those ecosystems actually develop intelligent life.

Other things will follow, as most of these variables are something that can be known only by observing what is happening.

I will of course admit that we can calculate an average number of planets on planetary systems, birth rate of stars and all that sort of physical things. We also could observe transmissions (Fc in drake equation) from other planets and duration of those transmissions (L).

However, we always fail with the fact that some of these things have to be observed while already on the planet that has life, thus we cannot use this equation to determine anything before we know the averages.

Thus, it is impossible to know value of N before we have already

- got contact with intelligent life
- observed alien life that is already known about
- met intelligent civilizations
- have observed and confirmed existence of an intelligent species.

I hope I did not spoil all the fun, but these in my opinion are the facts. Drake's equation works perfectly, but it does not neccessarily give you the results you want.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by rawsom
I believe that the Drake Equation is, in fact, quite correct and can be used to accurately calculate number of alien civilizations.


I basically agree with your comments, but, again, the DE is not designed to calculate if we are 'alone', or the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy.

There may be thousands of Type 0.5 agrarian civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy without the means or intelligence to broadcast a signal.

There may be lots of civilizations that are able to passively search for signals, but don't have the means or power requirements to broadcast actively.

In fact there may have been many thousands of civilizations that rose to prominance a million years ago but died out before Man first started walking upright.

Remember each planet is a closed biosphere. It's like a culture that lives in a glass bowl. Without the presence of some kind of renewing event, like plate tectonics or deep ocean currents, the lifespan or 'greenspan' of a typical Earth-sized planet may be short as they pollute their environment and die a toxic death.

2 cents.




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