Dr. James Pierce's

Favorite Quotes from Life in the Universe Essays:

— Drake Equation —

Every term, each student in my Astronomy 115 course (Life in the Universe) was assigned to write an essay giving his or her opinion on the following question:

"Do extraterrestrial technical civilizations currently exist in our Galaxy?"

This group of quotes concerns the Drake Equation. (The typos and misspellings are real, but they are not mine.) The material is presented here without comment; you will have to make up your own.

    Essay Quotes: Drake Equation

  1. Since we are the only technical civilization tha I know I have just came up with a rough estimate to determine this fraction. That estimate is one out of one hundred because wwe have only been a technical civilization for the past two hundred years.

  2. There are many methods used to determine this. The drake equation is one method used to help determine this. In the drake equation you separate all the different variable and factors that would go into determining this.

  3. If a person were to believe that Earth was the only technical civilization currently around, the result of the Drake Equation would be so immensely small, that it is not probable that another technical civilization exists.

  4. The amount of stars with no planets at all must be averaged with the multi planetary solar system. But because planets can form into many different variations they must be fractioned as well.

  5. There are many different answers for the Drake Equation. No one is right or wrong for thinking what they think.

  6. A famous method to look at is with the Drake equation. This equation takes factors that are necessary for intelligent technical life.

  7. The final number given each and every time that the Drake Equation is done, even if you change all the numbers you use, zero is never given as the final answer.

  8. Then you take the average number of planets that are Sun-like and you need the fraction of planets that are Earth-like.

  9. I have personally thrown out the Drake equation because it is based off of the Law of Mediocrity.

  10. Technical Civilizations, although rare, can have an assumed existence due to the Drake Equation.

  11. The sixth factor is fi. This factor is equal to the fraction of the planets that intelligent life has evolved.

  12. Lastly we come to the fraction of planets that a technical civlization has developed.

  13. The Drake Equation essentially categorizes the maximum possible sites for life, and then deducts the miscellaneous factors required.

  14. It is my belief, however, that the inception of our technical civilization is about 6,000 years, during which time we have existed and continue to age at the same rate as our inception, making the final factor (L/t) to be 1.

  15. Every other number you put into the equation can be what you could be the number that you plug into that part of the equation.

  16. The most important factor in the equation is the Drake equation, which is composed of many variables.

  17. To look at my Drake equation answer and say that only 23 technical extraterrestrial civilizations exist in our galaxy is quite small.

  18. This equation can seem very confusing, very complicated, and it is confusing and complicated. However, this equation is designed to tackle a very confusing complicated subject. This equation is taking all the variables that contribute to the possible existence of technical life in our galaxy, so if it were easy, something would be wrong.

  19. I do not believe that any form of extraterrestrial technical civilization currently exists in our galaxy because when I filled out the Drake equation I got a number that was less than zero, which predicts that we are the only technical civilization in our galaxy.

  20. The next factor which is Np is the average number of planets per Sun-like star. There is not enough information to make a precise guess, but I will say 13.

  21. The fact that there is the drake equation shows that the belief of extraterrestrial life is not for the crazy.

  22. The drake equation was created to take the number of possible candidates for planets, which could contain life and then weave out the candidates, which are less likely to have them.

  23. "The Drake Equation" is the closest educated guess at to approximately how many locations in the galaxy life could form, along with planets formation and the probability that a planet similar to ours will form in the galaxy.

  24. A third factor that plays into the Drake Equation is the amount of earth like suns that exist within our galaxy.

  25. All things put aside either life is going to be intelligent or its not, so I am going to give it a 50% chance.

  26. Fi represents the fraction of planets up to this point that intelligent life has actually evolved.

  27. After I calculated our all my factors I came up with .09 for the fraction of Earth-like stars or Es.

  28. This is a factor that would have never been thought of, when asked that question, before this class.

  29. The next part is dealing with how many planets on average are around a sun-like plant. ... If we are on the high end then there are some on the lower end and this makes the average go down.

  30. I choose 1/16 for fe because there are 2 out of 8 planets in our solar system that could or already does support life. That is 1/8 to get 1/16 I multiplied 1/8 by 1/4.

  31. The number I choose to represent fc is 1/50 because I think that it takes at least 50 intelligent spices to get one that will become technologically advanced.

  32. The equation is taking a person's entire guess and putting it together to figure out the chance.

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Created May 12, 2013; last modified March 19, 2021
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