Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Calculating Intelligent Life

Do you know the Drake Equation by heart? If not, here it is. Good luck!

Don’t worry… it’s French to me too. Here’s a basic explanation for us uneducated folks.

The Drake equation (also sometimes called the "Green Bank equation", the "Green Bank Formula," or often erroneously labeled the "Sagan equation") is a famous result in the speculative fields of exobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

This equation was devised by Dr. Frank Drake (now Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz) in 1960, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of such extraterrestrial civilizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give your Mr. Carl Sagan.



Hmm, seems to me like a lot of speculation. If you go over to ActiveMind.com, they’ve got a Drake Equation Calculator that does all the hard work for you.

In my next post, I'll run the numbers and we'll see how many E.T.s this equation determines are running around up there...

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