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Drake's equation

  1. Mar 30, 2016 #1

    wolram

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    Why do people believe that life on other planets exist along side our own at the right time for us to find?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2016 #2
    Why do people believe that life doesn't exist on other planets along side our own at the right time for us to find?

    There really isn't strong evidence one way or the other yet :)
     
  4. Apr 1, 2016 #3
    Because if even 99.99% of civilizations destroy themselves or simply die out, .01% of them, building up in the few billion years that complex life could have exists is a still a non-negligible number.
     
  5. Apr 1, 2016 #4
    Considering the vastness of the cosmos, it isn't too much of an assumption that the conditions which led to life on Earth could arise elsewhere.
    Intelligent life within a reasonable communicating distance from Earth (Say 20 ly?) is way more speculative, but the fact is we only have one example of any kind of life so far, which is Earth of course.
    Until we find at least one other everything in the Drake equation is just guessing really.
    (Number of systems harbouring rocky planets seems to be looking good lately though)
     
  6. Apr 3, 2016 #5
    Best question for Dr. Drake: "Why would they care about us?"
     
  7. Apr 3, 2016 #6

    phinds

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    Why should they NOT believe it?
     
  8. Apr 3, 2016 #7
    There's no real reason either way, we don't have the information make an informed guess.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2016 #8

    phinds

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    Yes, *I* understand that. I was addressing the OP's question and trying to get HIM to think about that.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2016 #9
    Didn't say you were doing anything else.
     
  11. Apr 3, 2016 #10
    Didn't say you said he said he didn't say.
     
  12. Apr 3, 2016 #11
    Gesundheit.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2016 #12
    Isn't Drake's initial prediction for extraterrestrial life in our galaxy, let alone modern predictions, enough to assume that life does exist somewhere in our galaxy other than earth?
     
  14. Apr 3, 2016 #13
    It's not really a predication, just a formula into which various parameters can be put.
    Most of those parameters remain highly uncertain at the present time.
     
  15. Apr 3, 2016 #14
    Fair enough, but an answer seems more explicit if we do ever encounter another life form, considering that a larger and more thorough sample in a survey makes for better results, for the lack of a better analogy.
     
  16. Apr 3, 2016 #15
    Exactly. We really do need to discover another instance of life apart from that on Earth before any estimations are meaningful.
    Even if it's only primitive slime mould or something similar.
     
  17. Apr 4, 2016 #16
    First we'd have to know if it was a valid conjecture. And then we'd have to have the numbers to plug into it. But Drake doesn't, IIRC, account for distance from Earth. If they're 10 billion light years away we may not hear from them.
     
  18. Apr 4, 2016 #17
    Good point. And if aliens had visited Earth at almost any time during the period when we had life here they wouldn't have found intelligent life. (At least not until the dolphins evolved.)
     
  19. Apr 4, 2016 #18
    Finding other life wouldn't fully help us with the Drake equation, it'd still leave one major variable that would have no information. What would be more interesting is finding the ruins of a dead civilization.
     
  20. Apr 4, 2016 #19

    wolram

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    Hi phinds, after giving some thought to his i think it will be impossible for us to know, either the distance from us will be to far to communicate and very unlikely for intelligent life to exist at the same time as us.
     
  21. Apr 4, 2016 #20
    Far more likely to find TWO unicorns in your back yard.
     
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