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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 29

Re: Deficiency In SETI's Drake's Equation

From: Ed Stewart <ufoindex@jps.net>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 09:16:00 -0800
Fwd Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 12:47:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Deficiency In SETI's Drake's Equation

>Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 14:05:37 -0800 (PST)
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj@proaxis.com>
>Subject: Re: Deficiency In SETI's Drake's Equation

>I was speaking in reference to Drake's equation and SETI's use
>of it on their website. There they listed N as the number of
>civilizations in our galaxy whose radio emissions are
>detectable. So that's their slant on it; I don't recall that
>Drake himself made that limitation, though radio emissions are
>his thing.

The factor in the Drake equation you mention refers to the
number of extraterrestrial civilizations that have achieved the
level of technology to be able to communicate with other
extraterrestrial civilizations. That question is all that it
refers to.

You miss the main point about the Drake equation.  It is only a
WAG - a wild ass guess. It is not a scientific formula. It is
only used as a tool to make people think about the
possibilities. Most of the questions it asks, we still don't
have a clue as what the real factors are to be imputed. It only
allows people to play a what if game about the realm of
possibilities. One can derive both an optimistic or a
pessimistic result depending on the factors selected.  Most of
the factors that anyone will pick are not based on real
knowledge simply because we yet don't know.

There is no agreement among SETI scientists of what the answer
should be. Every individual will choose their own factors.

As a consequence, both optimistic and pessimistic results
derived from the Drake equation are nothing but a WAG, never a
scientific solution to govern a scientific program. There is no
consensus what the output from the Drake equation should be.

The Drake equation does not influence the procedural searches or
ways of conducting research by the SETI community.

To make more of the Drake equation than what it is designed to
do, to make people think, is ludicrous and only shows the
ignorance of the individual that tries to interpret the Drake
equation otherwise.

Your "solutions" to the Drake equation are just as relevant as
anyone elses, wild ass guesses! They have nothing to do with
reality, SETI operations, or how the SETI research community
conducts science.

Ed Stewart
Ed Stewart ufoindex@jps.net|So Man, who here seems principal alone,
There Is Something         |Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown.
   Going On!       ,>'?'<, |Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal,
Salvador Freixedo  ( O O ) |'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
----------------ooOO-(_)-OOoo------- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man -----

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