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The problem with the Drake Equation?

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posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 09:32 PM

The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.[1][2] The number of such civilizations N, is assumed to be equal to the mathematical product of

R∗, the average rate of star formations, in our galaxy,

fp, the fraction of formed stars that have planets,

ne for stars that have planets, the average number of planets that can potentially support life,

fl, the fraction of those planets that actually develop life,

fi, the fraction of planets bearing life on which intelligent, civilized life, has developed,

fc, the fraction of these civilizations that have developed communications, i.e., technologies that release detectable signs into space, and
L, the length of time over which such civilizations release detectable signals,

for a combined expression of:

N = R ∗ ⋅ f p ⋅ n e ⋅ f l ⋅ f i ⋅ f c ⋅ L [displaystyle N=R_[*]cdot f_[mathrm [p] ]cdot n_[mathrm [e] ]cdot f_[mathrm [l] ]cdot f_[mathrm [i] ]cdot f_[mathrm [c] ]cdot L]

So here is the problem.

One consideration to life like us would include realistically all the mass extinction events that occurred on Earth and could seriously have a lot to do as to why we are having this conversation.


edit on 11.29.2017 by Kandinsky because: fixed typo

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 09:35 PM
It seems apparent to me that this offers a new definition of the term Goldilox zone in relation to modern science.


posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 09:42 PM
Mathematically given this situation it is possible that at present the possibility of life in a galaxy, from the frame of the conservative?

Could actually be consistent with one planet, with life equivalent to our own in relation to the Galaxies generally defined as the "Local Group",

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 09:46 PM
At least 2 trillion galaxies and you think we are the only intelligent ones?

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 09:52 PM
a reply to: ATSAlex

Actually no but this could potentially be a factor to us.

Does the Milky Way Live in a Void?

See in consideration at issue with us is the extent we actually understand whatever it is we are trying to deal with.

In a general way actually.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:01 PM
The equation is over fifty years old, please remember that.

It's based on what was known, and presumed, at that time. Nor was it meant to be the be all, end all, of the question. It was only ever meant as a stimulus of discussion.

Every part of the equation is a variable. There's nothing concrete about it. It's only real validity is as a conversation starter.

"Why did you use that number instead of this number?" Etc...

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:05 PM
a reply to: seagull

Sooo,do we know more...or less. Hard to say really eh?

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:06 PM
a reply to: seagull

Hense the purpose of begging the conversation?

It is possible that in reality, we are the only civilization capable of doing what we are doing in the Milky Way Galaxy.



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:07 PM
a reply to: hiddenNZ

Oh, I'd say we do know more, but we also presume more based off of that... Know more, or presume more...good question.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:08 PM
a reply to: Kashai

There's absolutely no way of knowing. I'm presuming that no we're not, but--having said that--someone had/has to be first...

Given a number of factors, I'd have to say no, we're not alone.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:13 PM
a reply to: Kashai Oh what's the point of even thinking about it? Every single ATS user knows it is ridicules to believe that life exists out there.........

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:14 PM
well a star 11 light years away was thought to be source of interesting radio signals last year has recently been found to show signs of a planet in the habitable zone so i thing the discovery of intelligent life could come any day. god help us if they ain't peaceful.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:18 PM
a reply to: seagull

I am not suggesting we are alone but rather if in fact, we were to encounter alien it would have come from another Galaxy, potentially.

It's like Chemistry in relation to a planet like earth involving, the causes of Mass Extinctions.–Ordovician_extinction_event

See a point would be that life like us developed because of everything that happened to our planet.
edit on 26-11-2017 by Kashai because: Added content

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:23 PM
Other considerations are as to if we would recognize a more advanced communication systems. Radio frequency even in analog and digital TV signals still primitive. Really no more advanced than the buzzes and hisses that predate the telegraph and early wireless radio.

Even if we find an active, noisy planet awash in RF communications, they could be a long dead world whose signal outlasted their span. An evolutionary dead end that lead to infertility after 2 million generations for example. Which is something that could happen to us truth be told.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:29 PM
a reply to: Allaroundyou

Based on, current estimates the known Universe is.

How large is the universe?

According to calculations, the comoving distance (current proper distance) to particles from which the CMBR was emitted, which represent the radius of the visible universe, is about 14.0 billion parsecs (about 45.7 billion light-years), while the comoving distance to the edge of the observable universe is about 14.3 billion parsecs (about 46.6 billion light years), about 2% larger.

Actually, the odds of life are enormous but the conditions in which it can form to the extent of human technology today could actually be rare enough, to be equivalent, to one such form of life per Galaxy today.
edit on 26-11-2017 by Kashai because: Added content

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 10:51 PM
a reply to: Ahabstar

Ok so here is a really cool situation.

Say for example we identify an Earth-like planet and comprehend its history and discover that planet went through, as many mass extinctions as earth.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 11:03 PM
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 11:13 PM
a reply to: FlyingFox

OK, so seriously there is archeological evidence that during a rather nasty, ancient mass extinction one of the rather few survivors was a worm that had a mouth, nose, and eyes and this was incorporated into what we generally define as what looks like a face.


Scientists have finally succeeded in studying the development of a tiny Swedish worm. Its mouth and its anus are in the same spot and the worm is a primitive form of man.

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 11:24 PM
Yes we are alive today because of earth's ever changing environments. Mass extinction events have allowed certain species of plants and animals to evolve to a changing world.

Why would anyone think any different of any other planet capable of harboring intelligent life forms. But what if their planet was one where extinction level events never happened, or happened less frequently, or more frequently? We do not know.

The only thing we have on our side is time. Hundreds of millions or billions of years for life to thrive, evolve, and cope with a changing environment.

Who really knows until we find it?

posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 11:34 PM
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