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Thread: 60 Years Later, is it Time to Update the Drake Equation?

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    60 Years Later, is it Time to Update the Drake Equation?

    On the 60th anniversary of the famous Drake Equation, a new study considers whether or not it is still of value to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)
    The post 60 Years Later, is it Time to Update the Drake Equation? appeared first on Universe Today.


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    Yes, it's time. We now have some approximations based on more than imagination to fill many of the variables in the equation, and have probably thought of many new variables to add to it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Yes definitely long over due, but unfortunately at present doing so dosen't really change much on the final outcome of the figures due to the approximations, rather than definitive figures.

    Fingers crossed, expected new observations and data from the exo planets will reveal some definitive results.

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    Funny, I always thought the Drake Equation was a calculation of the temperature at which Spanish wood burns.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Yes definitely long over due, but unfortunately at present doing so dosen't really change much on the final outcome of the figures due to the approximations, rather than definitive figures.

    Fingers crossed, expected new observations and data from the exo planets will reveal some definitive results.
    Well, we do know about how common planets are around stars and roughly how often terrestrial planets show up. That's far more than we knew when Drake wrote it. We're also more clued into the many variables that can go into complex life, we had a fairly simplistic view of what was needed at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Well, we do know about how common planets are around stars and roughly how often terrestrial planets show up. That's far more than we knew when Drake wrote it. We're also more clued into the many variables that can go into complex life, we had a fairly simplistic view of what was needed at the time.
    Yes, but most of the numbers are still unknown. Sure, update the equation but it still doesn’t get us anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, but most of the numbers are still unknown. Sure, update the equation but it still doesn’t get us anywhere.
    Nope. It's nowhere near useful yet. Lacking any one of the variables makes it an abstraction at best. But we're slowly starting to fill in the slots with numbers instead of all question marks.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Nope. It's nowhere near useful yet. Lacking any one of the variables makes it an abstraction at best. But we're slowly starting to fill in the slots with numbers instead of all question marks.
    I'm just confused about the English usage I think. Normally I thought that "Nope" is used when you are disagreeing with someone, but you are agreeing with Van Rijn and just using "Nope" to mean, "you're right, it doesn't get us anywhere"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm just confused about the English usage I think. Normally I thought that "Nope" is used when you are disagreeing with someone, but you are agreeing with Van Rijn and just using "Nope" to mean, "you're right, it doesn't get us anywhere"?
    That's correct. Sorry for the confusion.

    I also think, even though it's not yet useful, it will become useful as we fill in more information and gather more data about the variables.

    I grew up hearing about the Drake equation, with various random numbers plugged in by various professional and amateur scientists and laymen. All purporting to "determine" that intelligent life was common or uncommon. But all the actual numbers to fill those empty numerical Mad Libs were unknown except galactic star population and type of stars... which turn out now to have been wrong estimates anyway.

    So, to me at least, having something other than blue-sky guesswork to contribute seems like some form of progress. We're at least reducing our ignorance about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm just confused about the English usage I think. Normally I thought that "Nope" is used when you are disagreeing with someone, but you are agreeing with Van Rijn and just using "Nope" to mean, "you're right, it doesn't get us anywhere"?
    You can be agreeing in a negative sense. Like “Nor me” or more correctly “Nor I” after “I don’t agree”. Nope is colloquial as an emphasised No. like “No Way” came into use. Directly disagreeing is usually avoided in polite usage, like the diplomatic “ you may be right” which means “I think you are wrong but this is is not the time for an argument” so it is possible that Nope is used more often to agree with a negative than to disagree with a statement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm just confused about the English usage I think. Normally I thought that "Nope" is used when you are disagreeing with someone, but you are agreeing with Van Rijn and just using "Nope" to mean, "you're right, it doesn't get us anywhere"?
    Yeah, it can be confusing, especially in text rather than in speach. A term that I hear often that really aggrevates me is "I don't know nothing" meaning they don't know anything.

    Anyhow back to the topic, Though the new data doesn't make much difference to the outcome, as Noclevername says, each step closer is better than no steps at all. Me personally, any new discoveries towards better understanding always adds fuel to my interest.

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