Drake Equation-fun tool


You have to try this out. Just fill in the blanks and hit 'Calculate'.

A great indicator from what we know in universal science knowledge and social Earth life [personal or professional].


Here is my take:
300 billion
1/2000 [.05%]
1/100000 [.001%]
1/2000 [.05%]
1000 years [1/10,000,000]
calulate = 4.950 [4-5] comunicating civilizations in our Milky Way. Personally I believe only 1 exists. I rationalized the box inputs to MY understandings of this complex universe, etc...your figure will obviously be different.

Interesting to see how others see the universe around them.



Is there anyone in here today? Why would anyone be interested in finding life in the universe, when finding life on this Mars Blog has a last entry more than 14 hours ago!

Anyway, for those of you left behind please read this
and see the article on,'Is There Anybody Out There?'


I heard this guy on the radio this morning I did not really think much about what he was saying. In my view there are too many stars in the universe to say we are unique and at some point past, present or future life can evolve on a planet or a moon or an asteroid if the conditions are right. When we classify intellegent life what do we mean? Humans? Dolphins? Whales, Ants? There is no telling that we might be the equivilant of a one celled creature in comparison to other alien races. I accept as time goes by things will change down here and sooner or later we shall cease to have a planet to live on but that is a long slow process. We flew just over a hundred years ago and went into space 50 years ago what will God only knows what we will be doing in 1000 years from now. My guess is living on other worlds and studying alien life forms how we work out their intellegence is another story as i doubt they will speak english!

We are not alone.



Thank you very much for the response.

I, on the other hand am not that optimistic. I don't know why, its just a feeling from a greater volume of circumstance. Before anything and above all, firstly, we have to live a total world-life of mindful good deeds in science to live peacefully and respect the very Earth human activity abounds on.[I'm definitely not superstitiously religious nor part of GP]. This can never be achieved the way we are presently headed. Even you know that. No one should make mockery through destruction on a world scale. Its not just their place to ruin.

Consider the great SF writers of the simple yet complicated movies of Star Wars, Battle Star Galactica, Storm Troopers, Chronicals of Riddick or any other movie that has a regimented look to it. Even the great 1936 movie Things to Come...wonderful piece of work, though looking 100 years into our future.

All of these movies have an inherent vein and that is, 'a military lockdown' to it. Seems like an adventure for Buck Rogers events in the 24C. The great show 'Firefly' really held my attention and imagination. They were not military, just trying to get away from it or them to live and do their worldly business. I liked the show very much it had a daily life quality to me which indicates everything in its place theme at the proper time and could possible be the future.

I think our only recourse is to 'EXPAND' the travel capabilities of man, not hinder him in dogmatic tragedies of the past Earth. Even the great movie 2001, had military underpinnings to create the essence of strength. Some humans conquered another to get where they were in the movie life.

In my world, intelligent life means association without conflict on either side no matter who or what it is. Therefore equality.

What I am saying is that individually we are beaten before we start, yet you can be an individual in the military, the military has the greatest hold on worldly events. In the movie Blade Runner, Dekert was an ex-policeman or hunter of some sorts for an agency, another regimented group finding runaway robots.

Don't get me wrong, I am not for communism, but some sort of organized state like THX 1138 portrayed in the future may be in our midsts to survive on EARTH and from one another.

Then, secondly we can actually make the break for another planet better organized and mentally equipped than we are today, even though today we are looking for that planet which may contain the rudimentary aspects and familiar elements capable of supporting human life for another epoch.

Anyway, I agree with the article with respect to time.


There is one thing too me that seems unbelievable strange:
Why doesn't SETI detect any intelligent radio signal at all, except the "WOW" signal ? I don't think we are alone, but that is a big question, isn't it?

I realize, to detect any intelligent signal, there is many circumstances to fulfill:

The basic concept: We must have the right technology to capture those signals.

The "sender" civilization must have the technology to send those signals, at the right time, at the right frequency, at the right modulations, at the right power, at the right angle towards Earth, ... there is lot of variables here.

I have a deep respect of the SETI's work, and maybe one day there is a signal there that make sense. What a day!

Mizar good friend>>>

Our conditions of science strength for detection is out there in the area of 300LY. Its a small circumference of coverage I'll agree too, that has been the limit of detection for other planets so far. Sure, there is the odd found planet at 1200LY, our investigations are at a beginning stage to say the least.
However SETI imagines its investigation into 'finding something' will take perhaps more time than we have and it may be a waist of it.

I'm in agreement within our time finding a 'noise' which should indicate an intellect of sorts, but their time may have already expired due to the enormous distance between us and us receiving their noise.

Don't forget Mizar, we have turned our communications satellite's inward toward the Earth now, we don't 'beam out' from the Earth as we did before in our primitive way of communicating over large distances on the face of the Earth to reach each other. That means WE now have LESS 'noise' beamed out into space for any intellect capable of receiving it, if they were, indeed listening! And I think ANY frequency is acceptable.

Specialized frequencies of hydrogen have been tried, but I think the more stupid we act towards finding an intellect on a special frequency would be irrelevant. Therefore any frequency modulation with varying pitch would do. I don't think it has to be special or difficult frequency to receive a noise in simple radio fashion. The Universe at large is not constructed of unknown things or elements that we don't know of. So why not work in a simple vein of detection?

dx :D


Another thing to mention.

Like us, I don't think that other intellects would send a noise on purpose into the great unknown in their undieing attempt of having a response. I think as on Earth, any signal that escapes into the universe, and ours is only at the 75 to 80 LY distance, that noise would be the noise of progress not one from science research, just everyday communications from TV and radio...etc. So, finding these noises would certainly be a needle in the haystack.
The movie 'Contact', I believe portrayed that quite well, with the exception of BIG Brother stepping in. And just why would any government be involved with a science issue anyway! They are only people like we are and could hardly provide aide to research, except through administration and accountability. But then again, scientists are accountable because they are professional individuals, beyond the call of duty in their field.


dx, I agree with some adjustments. :) In our com-satellite era our uplinks do act as a sharp light beacons from the Earth. They may hear us in the future, but that's may be well beyond our age. Anyway, the distances is too big to establish contact. SETI has listened as you said in the frequency of the hydrogen line in 21 centimeters band, which in properties easily passes through the Space without too much interference as I understand. Unfortunately this frequency isn't used to uplink to the satellites. Regarding us "Earth listeners", I think with better equipment in the future there is still possibilities to pick up a new great mother of the "WOW" signal, which may confirm that we're not alone. :wink:


I said it once in here and I'll say it again. One civilization per galaxy. Its a simple deduction of mathematics. If there are 2 or more individual civilizations in 1 galaxy I'd be very surprised. So as simple deduction just consider 1 organized civilization like on our Earth would more than likely be lurking in another galaxy, perhaps the great Andromeda right beside us. Just look up and to the right of Cassiopeia with binoculars or scope and you will see it.

However, consider the enormity of our Milky Way galaxy and also consider 4 quadrants within it. Then say 1 organized civilization per quadrant! You can even say that if you want. With the Drake equation above, that's basically what I came up with. What did you come with as an answer you believe could hold some truth to the matter?

dx :wink:

dx, both you and I obvious know that life on Earth has existed for some billions of years. The Earth's civilization has existed
for some thousands of years. The advanced technology era on Earth is only, say 100 years old. From this, we learn that life,
and to be more specific, a civilization must undergo several epoch to develop advanced technology.We are the lucky
whitenesses of all this, after billions of years of evolution. This is it, and this is all about the Drake Equation.

What I'll try to say is that the time for Earth (us) to listen to Space is exact NOW. Finally. At the same time, ok maybe
about 2.5 million years in difference of time (who cares, this is in the Space...) regarding the Andromeda galaxy, they
(the civilization there) must be on the same or better condition than us. And here is all the variables came in. Everything must
be tuned perfectly to be able to hear something. Our technology era is only on a snapshot in the deep ocean of time.
Accidents happen. Maybe we could hear something ?, or - maybe they hear us, but we'll never know that.

Well, the Drake Equation may help me:
My take is like a shoot in the Space with a sawn-off shotgun, but here is it:

N* = the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy: 300 billion
fp = fraction of stars with planets around them: 50%
ne = number of planets per star ecologically able to sustain life: 0.33
fl = fraction of those planets where life actually evolves: 30%
fi = the fraction of fl that evolves intelligent life: 0.5%
fc = the fraction of fi that communicates: 20%
fL = the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations survives: 1/10,000,000th(1,000 years)

N = the number of communicating civilizations in the galaxy = 1.4849999999999999


Wonderfully done! 2 per galaxy. Very pragmatic in your estimate to indicate that we seem to both think alike in the galactic development of alien intelligence by any one intellect.
If there was just one visiting intellectual civilization to Earth, perhaps we would know of 'others' from them....they would certainly have the capability to enlighten us. But this is a dream.[new movie hitting the BIG SCREEN soon...remake of 'The Day the Earth Stood Still- actually you can read the original story on the net called 'Farewell to the Master']

We have our own earthly science-minded methods of thinking and progressing, perhaps not up to par with a more slightly advanced alien intellect, but that's OK, our time MAY come and faster than we may be able to handle.[by slightly advanced-I mean several hundred years more than us and based on our time- we don't know their concept of time-do we?] It certainly would be incomprehensible to think about aliens overrunning the Earth, our Earth. How would we rid them of our total destruction at this point in our time?

I don't know how we would protect ourselves from this kind of thing. Too many pieces are missing from this puzzle.

Best just to listen, no sense in stirring up a 'hornets' nest'!:wink:


folks>>>this thread was started 2 years ago and had 3 very independent individuals in it discussing the very nature of intelligent life in the universe.

Does anyone else wish to try their hand at the Drake Equation and support it?



You can read about the original calculations by Drake and see the difference time and knowledge have taken on the Equation and the final estimate to date where N=2 today.[happy to say the both Mizar and I are right on the mark of believability]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

Its obvious that as more in-depth research and thinking about the various data science collects every year to hypothesize about the very nature of life in the Universe will continue to show perhaps an exact number to refine our world view.

But the truly bigger Q is; WHERE is it? We've got a number now but where is that world of worlds we want see.


Now fellas, there may be THOUSANDS of civilizations in this galaxy. They might be living in hogans and running around in chariots. Like Mizar wrote, "We are lucky to be witnesses."

There can never be ' THOUSANDS of civilizations in this galaxy' for the very simplified explanation provided above.

One can only be a 'witness' to anything if one was there to see the event for oneself. And so far there has been no such event. What you mention is loopy at best...as in a circle!

Keep thinking!


dx, what Mizar and I was refering to is being HERE at THIS point in time. The age of technology, science and knowledge. This message is getting to you INSTANTLY. No runners, no courier, no wait of weeks. I have a pain. No yak dung plasters, no having the shaman placing rocks on my belly. We have machines that can look into our bodies and see what is causing that pain. Two hundred years ago, both would have been science fiction. Yes, we are lucky to be witnesses. And there can indeed be thousands of civilizations in this galaxy. Just not "communicating civilizations." Ever been to Pompeii? Spend a day there. They might not have beamed electronic messages to the stars, but there is NO DOUBT of civilization. Loopy???? Keep thinking???? It is YOUR turn to think my friend.

Hi John>>>

have you tried the Drake equation and placed into the formula reasonable knowledge you contain.

Please try it...it may surprise you.


ok, here's my numbers, plus a mod.
number of stars: 300 billion
fraction with planets: 100%
percent of stars (not planets) capable of sustaining life for any duration: 0.07 (G type frequency)
fraction where life evolves: 100% (panspermia at least)
fraction that evolves intelligent life: 100% (life finds a way. Might just be a squid tho)
fraction that communicates: 100% (if it's intelligent, it will communicate)
fraction of planet's life civ, surives (estimated 10k years, par with our current capabilities) 2.2 X 10 - 6
NEW: fraction of stars in galactic habitable zone: don't get too close to the core
Number of communicating civs: 4,666
NEW Duration of civilization's use of Radio:
Number of civilizations detectable by radio: 46

NOW, how far can you see a general black body radio signal? 10 light years? 100?

Probability of detecting a civilization with radio? .046