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Thread: Fire & the Drake equation

  1. #1
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    Fire & the Drake equation

    When calculating the number of detectable alien civilisations, should the number that develop fire be a major term?

    Could an alien race that never developed fire send radio signals?
    Would gold and mercury be the only metals they could use?

    Planetary oxygen levels look to be very critical in the probability of civilisation developing the use of fire.
    Would I be ok going with, below 15% oxygen and fire does not release much energy, above 25% fire is too dangerous to play with?

    Should too wet be included?
    Would life on/in a water planet ever develop fire?
    See: 'The God Kit' -- 'The Brigadier And The Pit' -- Carl N Graham -- Sci-fi blog: The Alien Reporter

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    To elaborate, this section of the forum is for astronomy and space exploration questions with straightforward, generally accepted answers.
    I think this question is neither straightforward, nor does it have a generally accepted answer.

    I'm moving this thread from Q&A to Life in Space for discussion.
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  3. #3
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    The Drake Equation uses a small number of factors which are mostly composed of subfactors. This fits into the fraction which develop technology. Others in that fraction might be species with manipulative organs (dolphins have yet to transmit a radio signal, smart as they are) and species with a form of communication facilitating keeping records (would a scent communicating species be able to build on previous generation's work?).
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  4. #4
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    I was just thinking, the oxygen level is a term that could be measured from a distance by a future generation of exoplanet hunting telescopes.
    The oxygen levels required to smelt copper in order to leave the stone age are even narrower at about 19% to 22%. (at 1 atmosphere)

    On the other hand an oxygen atmosphere may not indicated life, and methane breathers could have all kinds of metals at their disposal.
    See: 'The God Kit' -- 'The Brigadier And The Pit' -- Carl N Graham -- Sci-fi blog: The Alien Reporter

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetTastic View Post
    Would gold and mercury be the only metals they could use?
    Beaten copper. Others: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_metal

    Only gold, silver, copper and the platinum metals occur in nature in large amounts.
    (That's under Earth conditions, of course. Your chemistry may vary.)
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2018-Sep-26 at 02:02 AM.
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