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The Drake Equation: The number of technological civilizations that might exist among the stars

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posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 08:37 PM
I'm still not convinced that the equation solves for time.

Sure, it has the 'lifetime of the civilization', but not during which period of time in history.

If one civilization lived for 1 million years, 5 billion years ago, it's not going to help us much now, is it?

They need to work on how many of those civs can exist in the same frame of time as humans. ie right now!

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 10:46 AM
According to cosmologists conditions in the galaxy were suitable for advanced life to develop over 5 billion years ago.

we look out into the cosmos and see hundreds of dead stars like giant cosmic tombstones, was there ever any planets around those stars? what about life maybe even intelligent life? Did they manage to migrate to a diffirent star before thier home world was destroyed?

once our methods of detection improve i think we will have a definitive answer to whether technological civs are rare or common in our galaxy. I think we will know either way by 2025 im ready for the answer even if its bad news

[edit on 23-11-2007 by yeti101]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 10:54 AM
The number one most exiting job in the future might well be exoarchaeology.

I would LOVE that job!

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:03 AM
The question is "does life exist outside our own world?"

For me the answer has always been as simple as this: "If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere."

There are a LOT of anywheres out in that universe...

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:25 AM

Originally posted by dionysius9

The question is "does life exist outside our own world?"

No, that's not the question.

If you had the chance to ask an all-knowing superbeing or galactic computer a question about life would you simply say 'does life exist elsewhere?'

No, that wouldn't tell you much except maybe there are a lot of single celled primitive bacteria out there.

Ideally you'd want to know if there was sentient life with whom we could communicate and exchange knowledge.

Even asking 'is there sentient life out there' is not revealing enough, since that life could based on another element like silicon. It may have a life span on the scale of geologic time and we wouldn't be able to communicate with them.

We want to find life that's not too dissimilar from our own.

[edit on 23-11-2007 by Badge01]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:26 AM

There are a LOT of anywheres out in that universe...

yeah sure but the universe is a big place. We need at least 10,000 civs in our own galaxy if we are realistically going to detect them. If theres only 1 civ per galaxy we are unlikely to ever detect another.

edit: agree with badge01

[edit on 23-11-2007 by yeti101]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by yeti101

We need 10K civs to detect? Where do you get that?

We only need one with a sufficiently robust method of sending out an active signal and a method of attracting our attention.

The main problem would be temporal. The light from any signal would take millions of years to reach us.

[edit on 23-11-2007 by Badge01]

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 12:04 PM
well i said "realistically" sure 1 civ with a powerful signal transmitting non stop for millions or thousdands of years will do. But i dont think its realistic infact i would call it fantasy land , sorry.

i dont expect we will get an intentional direct signal for another 2000 years and thats if theres 10k civs in the galaxy.

Realistic for me is detecting leaked signals from a planet within 60,000 light years. ATA 350 will have the ability to do that and so will the square km array due to be built in 2016. We also need to factor in how long it will take to search , it could take searching over 1 million stars to detect anything so we need more than 1 if were going to stumble across any in my lifetime- unless were EXTREMELY lucky

[edit on 23-11-2007 by yeti101]

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 12:01 AM
reply to post by

the drake equation doesnt include the artificial proliferation of life.

if an an advanced ET wished,it could spread life throughout a galaxy.

[edit on 24-11-2007 by welivefortheson]

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 12:57 AM
Well, Drake or no Drake, here's what we're looking at.
So what do we have here?

The Universe

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!!

That’s not all!!

Now let’s try it with speed. Ready? Imagine traveling so fast that you can go from on end of the galaxy to the other in just one second. At this speed the entire galaxy would be in reach before you can say the word "go", and wham, you're there! At this speed, you could travel to the nearest galaxy Andromeda in 22 seconds flat. And you could cross from one end of the visible universe to the other in 72 hours.

So, lets speed up our warp vehicles again, so that we can travel a quintillion light years every second. At such a speed we could cross the known universe 100 million times in one second.

So, how long would it take to cross from one side of the universe to the other?
…………….3.7 BILLION YEARS!!!………………

If that’s the size of the universe, then what are the odds of intelligent life there?

Intelligent Life in the 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!

So now we have a universe that could be teeming with millions of technologically advanced civilizations.

But for more check it out here.

Well, that's it! My brain has become toast trying to comprehend it all! So this calls for a beer to cool off some, what?


posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 04:20 AM

Originally posted by Badge01
If you were trying to communicate with someone from a distance, say a bunch of boy scouts setting up tents in a valley below, would you use a microwave transmitter sending binary code?

No. You'd send smoke signals or use a mirror to flash the sun, or use a campfire at night.

I wouldn't bother communicating with them at a distance if I could just hop in my car and drive there.

What I mean is that they aren't way out among the stars trying to send radio signals to us. How useful would a conversation be between a wizard and a fool? They aren't trying to communicate with us in that way.

What they ARE doing, however, is coming here and observing us directly.

They might have means for long distance communication, but they certainly wouldn't be using radio waves.

Also, it would be highly irresponsible for any technological civilization out there to send out a broadcast like the one shown in the movie "Contact".

Civilizations will have to mature at their natural rate and demonstrate responsibility with technology among themselves, before they reach the status of becoming a participating member of interstellar communication.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:27 AM

Also, it would be highly irresponsible for any technological civilization out there to send out a broadcast like the one shown in the movie "Contact".

its too late our tv signals have been travelling for nearly 50 years and continue further evryday. If any aliens are listening the first contact from earth will be an episode of "i love lucy" , The same would be true for other civs assuming they have developed radio/tv

i think its unlikely an alien civ will broadcast a deliberate powerfull signal as it will be seen as a waste of resources.

[edit on 24-11-2007 by yeti101]

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