Feo3: Findings in Martian meteorites...

Posted by Feo Amante on Jan 22, 2004 at 10:20

Re: Feo2: Findings in Martian meteorites... (Pasti)

The input data isn't unreliable, it is non existent.

In this context, the formula is also without credibility because it is based on non existent factors and so without context.

Which means that each part of the formula is formuless. Each part is a speculation based on a consideration of a single point: our own planet, or solar system, or culture, or stage of evolution.

With a single galaxy that numbers in the estimated billions (and perhaps there are as many as a trillion) stars, there is no science to be had with this equation. There are already points in the equation that, simply as a starting point, just a bare framework on which to theorize using known variables, fracture.

For example:

Fl is the fraction of planets in Ne where life evolves.
At activemind.com, they correctly show that Current estimates range from 100% down to close to 0%.

Fi is the fraction of Fl where intelligent life evolves.

Again, the estimate is anywhere from 100% to 0%.

The next part,

Fc is the fraction of Fi that communicate

is flawed from the very begining, because SETI assumes that if an intelligent lifeform is out there they will be communicating using our math standards
(with which we control the frequency of our radio com.)
and radio waves. Which is hardly the only method for a life form to communicate - if it want's to do so on an interstellar level. These are incredibly
(and by that I mean fantastic - not in a good way)
broad assumptions in the equation.

It also fails to acount for the fact that any intelligent life out there that is using radiowaves and is trying to communicate with another advanced intelligence capable of responding and has acheived our level within a 1000 year framework could be far more advanced than us, but still out of communication with us, because what solar system with planets is that close?

fL is fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.

Doesn't adequately address this because of the previous assumption in the first place.

Now Drake's Equation is fine for imaginative flight's of fancy and day dreaming/wishful thinking. But the point of this thread was for some student, using the Drake Equation, to demonstrate why we are the only intelligent lifeform curently in existence.

And that is where the junk comes in. There is absolutely no way to prove or disprove or even build up to a valid hypothesis, using the Drake Equation, the presence of intelligent, communicative life beyond our own planet.

That hasn't stopped tons of students from trying (and, unfortunately passing) by writing their thesis based on DE. It also hasn't stopped bestsellers being written, by otherwise intelligent people, who represent the science community (Rare Earth, by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee - though they use a derivitive of the DE and confess that its all hypothetical).

Sagan and Drake modified the DE, and using the equation thought there might be millions of intelligent life out there.

Ward and Brownlee look at all the catastrophes either from space or naturally occuring ones on earth, and go the opposite way, saying there may be none.

Using the Drake Equation, they are both right, so proving that the DE is useless for any scientific endeavor because the equation itself is flawed.

It cannot help anyone to understand the Universe in any way. It is akin to me creating an equation that allows both evolutionists and creationists to both prove their own point and disprove the belief of the other.

How useful is that?

Squat useful.

Just like the Drake Equation.

I think the real problem here - that has given the DE such undeserved momentum - is that both Drake and Sagan were likable, well respected scientists, and for that, no one wants to say, "Hey, they were dead wrong on the DE thing."

But they were also human beings, subject to their own very human fantasies and potential for being wrong - however intelligent they were.

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