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The Drake equation


popeye85

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Having just read a article on the Drake equation it has got me thinking (probably only natural) about the whole SETI thing.

From what I can gather the crux of the matter all comes down to weather you are a optimist or pessimist. A optimist will say that given enough time then anywhere that life can form it will form and given a bit more time then intelligence will rise so of course there is intelligent life that exisits elsewhere in the galaxy. A pessimist will say however why must it? Out of all the species of life on this planet only one has gained a high level of intelligence so it might well be just luck that intelligence rises.

It also strikes me that all though it is fairly certain that over the next few decades that if there is any other life forms  in the solar system we will probably discover it but short of receiving some sort of message it is very unlikely that we will ever process the technology to travel to distance stars and find intelligent life out of the solar system so the question will probably always be a philosophical question.

Thoughts? Let's see how many optimist and pessimists there are!!

P.s at the minute I am just thinking about our galaxy. I think that the nearest 100,000,0000 stars are enough to be comptiplating for now!!

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It was exactly the same just 20 odd years ago with whether their were actually any other planets outside of our own little solar system .. "but their might not be" many would say, no matter what.

Need I say more ?

The human race is very strange beast indeed. I dare not go any further than that on here with my thoughts about it.

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There has to be other "life" out there; the caveat is what constitutes life, and whether the life forms existed in the past, now or will in the future. I am sure that life on earth happened by chance (we run the risk of getting into an area which will result in people's blood pressure rising and the thread getting shut down), and with so much space out there and so many potential places for life to form, the chances of life forming elsewhere seems to me to be just as likely as it was on Earth.

I'm not clever enough to understand it all, but I do wonder if the constraints of limited understanding of things hinders our ability comprehend / detect / acknowledge other forms of life other than those which we see around us every day on Earth. I also wonder, and again I don't know enough to know if this is a valid argument, if maybe the constraints of physics as we know are different in other parts of the universe - and the universe may only be a small part of a much bigger whole.

So yes, I think life will at some point exists elsewhere other than Earth, but as to whether man will ever know about this for sure, I suspect not.

James

 

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"It's life Jim, but not as we know it"

That's just one of the problems in detecting life on other worlds. We automatically assume life is as we know it here on Earth. There may be life forms beyond our comprehension.

There's no guarantee intelligent life will develop from more primitive life.

Intelligent life may not be at the same stage of development as we are and so may not be advanced enough to communicate.

They may be so advanced as to be the same to us as we are to ants.

They may be so far away as to be undetectable by us.

There are a lot of circumstances which need to be just right for us to identify life on other planets. The only was to be sure is to go visit, but, that is beyond our capability for now.

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4 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

I'm optimistic about there being "life" out there but pessimistic of being able to detect it.   :icon_biggrin:

I don't think our problem will be detecting life activity on any particular planet, I tend to think direct communication as we currently know it to be will be our hindrance, don't you think ?

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Even if life is abundant in the universe detecting it will be a big task, there are certainly a few places in our own system where life could have got going but we are incapable of seeing it with our current technology.

I do think AI might be more common than we think, it has a couple of advantages one being it can be given an objective and it could produce many generations in a very short time.

Alan

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The poor souls charged, in hospitals, with keeping microbial life down will tell you it's very resistant. I think the universe will be teeming with life but I'm perfectly aware that I could be wrong.

As for communication, we cannot really communicate with chimps with whom we share something like 98% of our DNA. That doesn't sound good from a communication point of view!

As I have said before in these conversations, one our our more anthropomorphic assumptions is that high intelligence will always lead to high technology. We use technology because of our particular relationship with our evironment, our fellow creatures and each other. If creatures had entirely different circumstances from ours they might evolve high intelligence without evolving high technology.

Olly

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I am optimistic about there being lifeforms on other planets. I think there is a chance that life will start to exist, given the right circumstances. Maybe the chance that this happens is small, but given the sheer amount of stars With potential planets, this chance must manifest several times.

I have no real opinion on whether life will turn intelligent. We know that living on a planet is vulnerable to forces of nature or froces of the universe. Life on Earth was regularly set back by big impacts.

What I am pretty certain about is that we will not be visited by aliens in a spaceship. If there are intelligent aliens out there who want to investigate Our solar system, they will probably a swarm of probes, just like we might do when exploring another galaxy.

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I'm convinced the galaxy and universe is teeming with life, but I am confused by the obsession with the search for intelligent life. Our current sample of planets known to hold life is 1, and we're yet to find anything close to intelligent life there!

Finding anything would be good enough for me, we're likely to be considered very annoying and dangerous by any other life with intelligence, it's best we steer well clear!

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Intelligence with technology looks to be a random event even if the conditions are perfect, the earth has produced intelligence in most species but only one example that had the opportunity to develop thinking as a pastime. The conditions dont rely on the length of time either the dinosaurs had plenty of that and the ability to surpass our level of thinking but as far as we know they didn't unless they all migrated in space ships before the meteor struck.

Alan

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and on the only planet known to harbour life it is uncertain if it is sentient let alone intelligent because I am observing a subset of it that cannot even start on topic let alone stay on topic - the topic was The Drake Equation ! Only one post, not even the first one, has discussed it.

:duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie: & runs  :angel7::hiding:

That's the trouble with " these sorts of discussion " :blob1:

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8 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

and on the only planet known to harbour life it is uncertain if it is sentient let alone intelligent because I am observing a subset of it that cannot even start on topic let alone stay on topic - the topic was The Drake Equation ! Only one post, not even the first one, has discussed it.

:duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie: & runs  :angel7::hiding:

That's the trouble with " these sorts of discussion " :blob1:

 

Erm, I've forgotten the question.

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But you cant actually do anything with it, plot it's distribution in space, integrate it over,, time, nor anything else ! ?

Even before we get to intelligence and communication : well we can communicate with our nearest&dearest 95%, chimps can tell us what they want, where something is hidden, but are they thinking or mostly just reacting ?

It is unfair to accuse ourselves of not being able to communicate with other lifeforms because the only life we might have been able to do that with ie. that may have been intelligent enough to be able to communicate with it , died out ? got killed off? or just plain integrated < oh look we are back to equations :)

 

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The Drake Equation always seemed too simplistic to me.

Everything was sort of guessed at and the factors were not detailed enough. First aspect was simply Number of Stars surely number and type of stars, even location of stars, then age of stars and we are still on Stars.

Went to a talk on Second Earth or similar title (basically chance of life on another Earrth) and the presenter had a chart showing about 30+ factors required for "life". I did get an electronic copy of the talk and it appears that it was 2 halves and I have the half without the diagram.

Also I believe Carl Sagan was a big influence in it and he was trying to drum up enthuasium for NASA aand space flight, he did a good job I will say, but maybe his input biased it.

I would guess that it has been since Drake that evolutionists have found that humans took great steps after prolonged ice ages. So just a planet in the right place orbiting a similar star to ours is not the only factor. A suitable tilt and climatic changes could well be a factor. Do we need a stable star, a planet at the right place in a stable orbit but with just the right amount of instability. One big thought is that source of light pollution we have called The Moon. At a guess I would say that planets with a moon of relevant size will be very rare, and if hat has "caused" us to exist then things drop rapidly. Without tides we would have a pretty stagnant ocean I suspect.

I would say that anyone considers the equation, in whatever form, many have already decided if they think there is life or not, so any values input to the "Drake Equation" will be biased one way or the other.

One way I look at it is that if there are 12 factors for life, and if each has a 1 in 10 chance then there are not enough stars in the Milky Way. Now 12 is not in many ways that many, whether 1 in 10 is too strict I do not know.

One aspect I always find a little amusing is that life here did not start with an Oxygen atmosphere, our initial atmosphere would have killed all life we more or less know of just about instantly. At the early stage of life here the sea was red/brown with iron compounds. Which raises the question- Do we even know what we are looking for?

 

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2 hours ago, SilverAstro said:

and on the only planet known to harbour life it is uncertain if it is sentient let alone intelligent because I am observing a subset of it that cannot even start on topic let alone stay on topic - the topic was The Drake Equation ! Only one post, not even the first one, has discussed it.

:duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie::duckie: & runs  :angel7::hiding:

That's the trouble with " these sorts of discussion " :blob1:

Well, my excuse is having brain damage. So I can't be totally sure of my own sentience. Although, technically, I have stayed with the topic as AFAIK the Fermi Paradox was a direct counter to the Drake Equation. And even if it wasn't, it should be. lol

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15 minutes ago, Mak the Night said:

 the Fermi Paradox was a direct counter to the Drake Equation. And even if it wasn't, it should be. lol

:laughing4: I agree that it should be ( I'll tell him when I see him next :) ) but perhaps it is more akin to 1/2 of the Sagan wit  " ,,, if not then what a waste of space " :D

Another thing about calling it an equation, it does maths a disrespect. Maths is beautiful telling us succinctly, which this one does,  what otherwise a volume of words would be needed, but also predicts and tests, which this one does not, and often proper equations need absurdities to make them match & work, like singularities which shows us where we are wanting, or even makes us do new maths to get rid of those absurdities. This one does none of that, it just sits there with its thumb in its mouth saying " Idunno " !

I admit I am taking a little m... just for discussion amongst species, you understand ;)

 

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I love the assumptions  that we are an intelligent lifeform, we may well be, are far as the Earth is concerned.

But in the universe as a whole, we may well be bumbling bacteria.

Beware of what you wish for, in contacting other  "Intelligences"

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2 hours ago, SilverAstro said:

:laughing4: I agree that it should be ( I'll tell him when I see him next :) ) but perhaps it is more akin to 1/2 of the Sagan wit  " ,,, if not then what a waste of space " :D

Another thing about calling it an equation, it does maths a disrespect. Maths is beautiful telling us succinctly, which this one does,  what otherwise a volume of words would be needed, but also predicts and tests, which this one does not, and often proper equations need absurdities to make them match & work, like singularities which shows us where we are wanting, or even makes us do new maths to get rid of those absurdities. This one does none of that, it just sits there with its thumb in its mouth saying " Idunno " !

I admit I am taking a little m... just for discussion amongst species, you understand ;)

 

Yeah, I never got the 'equation' aspect of it either. You could almost put any figures into it.

Carl explained it so well though I could watch him explain it billions and billions of times.

 

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