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Thursday, January 06, 2005


In 1961, Dr. Frank Drake, now president of the SETI institute, developed an equation that allows us to make an estimate by multiplying seven factors required for the prevalence of life.

These factors are as follows:
  • R= the number of suitable stars (stars like our sun) that form in our galaxy per year. astronomers estimate this number to be around ten.
  • Fp= The fraction of these stars that have planets. probably at least half of all stars have planets.
  • Ne= The number of Earth-like planets (meaning planets that have liquid water) within each planetary system. For our solar system, the number would be one, our very own earth.
  • Fl= The fraction of Earth-like planets where life develops.
  • Fi= The fraction of life sites where intelligent life develops. Intelligence, from our perspective is based on things like symbolic language like our english language, mathematics, ect. sinse these are required for communication.
  • Fe= The fraction of intelligent life sites where communication develops. There could be early civilizations that may not yet have developed technologies such as radio telescopes. (We humans belonged to this category up untill the twentieth century). or there could be others that can, but dont for their own reasons.
  • L= The "lifetime" (in years) of a communicative civilization. Humans have been communicative for less than a meager 100 years.
  • N= The number of communicative civilizations within our own Milky Way galaxy. Dr.Frank Drakes current estimate is at 10,000 communicative civilizations in our Milky Way galaxie alone! Think of the possibilities, considering there are trillions of galaxys in the universe. It would be a mathemateical impossibility for there not to be astronomical amounts of these civilizations. We are NOT alone my friends. (I.M.H.O)