The Drake equation

For those that don’t know. It’s a formula that was proposed by a dude named Drake that estimates the odds of intelligent life out there in the universe.

It does not mean that these ET’s are visiting earth and anal probing our neighbors or creating cool patterns in corn fields. It just estimates the odds of intelligent life starting elsewhere in the universe.

There are a couple of unknowns with the equation and a few criticisms but with 160 billion planets in our galaxy alone it’s very hard to imagine that we are the only “intelligent” life to evolve.

I personally feel that there is life out there now but even if it does not exist now. I think in the 13 billion years that the universe has existed, intelligent life has come and gone many times.

Now why would intelligent life vanish? Does technology, for all the good it brings, eventually lead to our demise? Do we all hit some evolutionary bottleneck that we can’t recover from?

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The Goldilocks Principle at play, too. Not too hot, not too cold. Frank Drake got people thinking seriously about intelligent life, how would we communicate, would they (or us) still be alive when we hear from each other across the vastness of space?

What we know about physics suggests we’ll never get outside the solar system with manned spaceflight. No warp drive, no magic wormholes. It still is fun to think about.

Yup. If a life existed 20000 light years away it would take 40,000 years to send and receive a message. Not sure how that would work.

I think Einstein suggested that the universe is like a piece of fabric the is folded upon itself and that left a possibility of traveling great distances if you could bypass the layers rather than going the long way. Anyway we are nowhere near this type of stuff but the fact that it’s been theorized means there is some truth to it.

Here was an update on the Drake Equation taking in account PAR estimates, that puts a big dent in there being other earth like planets in our galaxy.

I suppose there could be different non-carbon based chemistry life out there, but it would
probably be very weird.

But as an optimist, keep in mind we don’t even have all the laws of basic physics worked out when you consider dark energy and dark matter.


Wow, I only count 8 planets in our solar system, was 9 when I was a kid but Pluto got relegated. :grin:

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you need to get woke bro!, Naw, just kidding. I messed up. I meant to say in our galaxy. Good catch OldtimeCoog. I just fixed it.

I figured you meant the galaxy but I just couldn’t resist a little goon natured poking.

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Billions of years of evolving life on this planet and for all the progress life (as a whole) has made it’s only advanced to the point where it is able to leave this planet temporarily in tiny capsules. Meanwhile, all it takes is one giant asteroid colliding with our planet and the whole chance of our entire solar system had of springing life beyond itself is dashed in a galactic instant.

I think our fantasies about what might be or could be accomplished by alien civilizations can and does go far, far beyond reasonable expectations. Sometimes fiction becomes reality but not as often as people dream it does.

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“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” Hawking said. "I imagine they might exist in massive ships … having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”

The 68-year-old scientist said a visit by extraterrestrials to Earth might well be like Christopher Columbus arriving in the Americas, “which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

The Drake equation and others like it have so many guessed at variables that it becomes meaningless.

Who said intelligent life exist on this planet?

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Until our new alien overlords arrive, we’ll have to just guess aided by a bunch of hard data about stars and planets. The math says lots of goldilocks planets exist, but that doesn’t guarantee life springs up.

What makes you think they aren’t already here?

Well, they helped the Yankees steal signs, so you are correct.


Although i don’t believe any form of life is traveling though space. If it was and it found us then we would be in big trouble.

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Yeah, I’d be skeptical with alien visitors of an advanced civilization being totally benevolent types.

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The belief in aliens as creators of crop circles has to
be one of the top ten bizarre thoughts to have come from the human species in the last 50 years.


Always figured that had to be teenage aliens. Hey lets use our ability to travel the universe to mess with humans by putting designs in their vegetation.

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