# Equation to Find intelligent life

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#### Helio

Only a dumb species like humans would ask why? There are too many potential answers. Results of collisions in protoplanet formation, types of star, distances from their star . . . . . . . . . . . .
Those are "how" questions; "why" is too much into the religious and philosophical realm, thus too far outside science to be fitting for this forum. But it is important enough to mention, IMO, lest we assume it's not, at least for many, if not most.

[Is that semicolon the best use of grammar? It's another weak area for me.]

But I do suggest that the numbers have to stack up in the billions in favour of 'low' life forms (as in less evolved) and, at a guess, millions of 'higher' forms of life.
Yes. Using 10^23 for the rough estimate for planets in the observable universe, then, say, 10 billion life-lovin' exoplanets would be 1 / 10,000,000,000,000 the fraction of planets. Given how accustomed we are with working with odds, it would sure be odd if that is a high fraction.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
"Meaning there are (more or less) 23 intelligent species in the universe"

Could be 1 or 23,786,712. All depends on how you rate the guesses.

Cat

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, "Those are "how" questions; "why" is too much into . . . . . . "

Not sure if I agree. "Why planets form is because protoplanets congregate . . . "
Why was I injured in a road accident? Because I ran across the road without looking and was struck by a bus." That is a "why". Why did planets form . . . . . . I agree how is a valid alternative, except for the bus.

BTW, I can't see the ; you refer to.

Cat

Helio

#### Helio

Helio, "Those are "how" questions; "why" is too much into . . . . . . "

Not sure if I agree. "Why planets form is because protoplanets congregate . . . "
"Why" often implies purpose and decision-making, which is why (my purpose ) for mentioning it. I favor the use of "how" in science. We use gravitational equations to explain how planets orbit, for instance. Science can't ask whether or not some intelligence created all this since there is no objective test at any effective level to affirm some reason behind all this. If they could, they might be able to answer "why". Perhaps all the planets are where they need to be in order to grant our evolutionary existence, assuming that our existence is purposeful, which I happen to think it is.

Why was I injured in a road accident? Because I ran across the road without looking and was struck by a bus." That is a "why".
Your degree of injury is in accord with the physics that tells us how impacts affect objects, including us.

But, why does somebody not bother to consider the consequences of not looking before leaping? This is more in the realm of psychology than physics, IMO.

BTW, I can't see the ; you refer to.
That's a good sign I'm right. It's after the 4th word.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, I see it now. I was looking in the wrong post. Technically, I suppose that ; is OK, but I would definitely use a full stop there. My reason? Single strong statement. Followed by elaboration in a separate sentence. Some might regard the ; as a link. A matter of taste I think. Doubtless some grammarian will intervene?

Now, that why. I was trying to gloss over the hoRrible word.

Cat

#### Helio

Helio, I see it now. I was looking in the wrong post. Technically, I suppose that ; is OK, but I would definitely use a full stop there. My reason? Single strong statement. Followed by elaboration in a separate sentence. Some might regard the ; as a link. A matter of taste I think. Doubtless some grammarian will intervene?
I understand your point since a separate sentence often makes a stronger impact. The nuance, at least this is my thinking, is whether or not the second sentence isn't too much of saying almost the same thing, but with some clarity. Such as to say A is true; but, just to be clear, B cannot be true. Versus, A is true and B is not true (because it's obvious).

I'm not comfortable with subtleties, hence my poor English grades.... every single year.

Now, that why. I was trying to gloss over the hoRrible word.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, OK. I was trying to avoid the R word. Yes, you got the A vs B bit. I like the strong A, but it is fairly open choice. I can't see anything wrong with the ;

Cat

#### Helio

Helio, OK. I was trying to avoid the R word. Yes, you got the A vs B bit. I like the strong A, but it is fairly open choice. I can't see anything wrong with the ;
Thanks, it is an area where I likely stumble.

[And I got your use of the R, of course. Religion ( a subjective realm) is very important in life but it is outside the realm of science (objective-based realm). I fear, slightly, that time may erode this important distinction to push things like "consensus science". There is a certain plague that comes to mind. ]

#### IG2007

##### "Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
I love the fact that a thread about the Drake equation has turned out to be an English class (not that I don't like it, I myself have some difficulties with usage of semicolons.)

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
IG, I am sure that intelligent life is bound to want to get its : right!

Cat

IG2007

#### vincenzosassone

I've noticed that this forum always change speech. Anyway, had I been good in english grammar, I would surely have entered the conversation...
On the other hand, even the previous speech was interesting. I want to say that we don't have to find life, but intelligence.
My family always say I'm repetitive, I hope not to bother you with this sencence cause I've used it in many forums, but now, I think, that's important.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Vincen, I, for one, am always pleased to hear from you. The fact that this forum is conducted in English must make it difficult for some with so much to contribute. Please keep contributing.

Cat

vincenzosassone

#### voidpotentialenergy

I understand your point since a separate sentence often makes a stronger impact. The nuance, at least this is my thinking, is whether or not the second sentence isn't too much of saying almost the same thing, but with some clarity. Such as to say A is true; but, just to be clear, B cannot be true. Versus, A is true and B is not true (because it's obvious).

I'm not comfortable with subtleties, hence my poor English grades.... every single year.

I tend to just type and get the idea out and then post.
A few times i reread my posts and laugh at the ugly English i have created.

The idea is more important than a language that doesn't exactly follow any realistic rules itself.

Anyone defending English needs to have a look at all the silly rules and spelling it has.

Catastrophe

#### voidpotentialenergy

"Meaning there are (more or less) 23 intelligent species in the universe"

Could be 1 or 23,786,712. All depends on how you rate the guesses.

Cat
Hitch hikers guide says 42

Drake at best is one long guess after another.
The formula i think will never get any realistic numbers.

Even if we visited every star in our galaxy we would still be ignorant about other galaxies and just have a number on our maybe freak galaxy.

Fun to try and put numbers in drake to make guesses but i think that is all it ever will be.

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Hitch hikers guide says 42

Drake at best is one long guess after another.
The formula i think will never get any realistic numbers.

Even if we visited every star in our galaxy we would still be ignorant about other galaxies and just have a number on our maybe freak galaxy.

Fun to try and put numbers in drake to make guesses but i think that is all it ever will be.
VPE, if I could give that 1,000,000 'like's, I would. You are absolutely correct ten million times over - in my humble opinion, of course.

As far as languages are concerned, I think English, though quirky, has a lot to be said for it - but of course I am biased. I speak French and German and a little Italian. French is OK once you get the accent right. German you can get by OK. I remember meeting a guy (not German) whilst in Germany. He said, you simply say duh everything. No der, die, das, den, die, das, dem . . . . . . . . . etcetera. - and everyone will understand you. Italian is a doddle. Now, at the moment, I am learning Russian. Apart from the alphabet difference, the good point is that it is supposed to be phonetic - what you see is how you pronounce it - but, then, there is the grammar - all those different endings. I shall have to try the 'German' method, once I get more into it. The 'duh' equivalent, if it exists. But the way all the other vowels, apart from the accented one, get dummed in Russian - that is a complication.

I do believe, if people used more punctuation, especially commas, in English, it would be a lot easier. But I have to agree the reign-rein-rain example is not unique!

Now how is that related to finding intelligent life? I think when you have a candidate, you just have to look at the conjugations in their language! (Intelligence test).

Cat

#### voidpotentialenergy

VPE, if I could give that 1,000,000 'like's, I would. You are absolutely correct ten million times over - in my humble opinion, of course.

As far as languages are concerned, I think English, though quirky, has a lot to be said for it - but of course I am biased. I speak French and German and a little Italian. French is OK once you get the accent right. German you can get by OK. I remember meeting a guy (not German) whilst in Germany. He said, you simply say duh everything. No der, die, das, den, die, das, dem . . . . . . . . . etcetera. - and everyone will understand you. Italian is a doddle. Now, at the moment, I am learning Russian. Apart from the alphabet difference, the good point is that it is supposed to be phonetic - what you see is how you pronounce it - but, then, there is the grammar - all those different endings. I shall have to try the 'German' method, once I get more into it. The 'duh' equivalent, if it exists. But the way all the other vowels, apart from the accented one, get dummed in Russian - that is a complication.

I do believe, if people used more punctuation, especially commas, in English, it would be a lot easier. But I have to agree the reign-rein-rain example is not unique!

Now how is that related to finding intelligent life? I think when you have a candidate, you just have to look at the conjugations in their language! (Intelligence test).

Cat
Thanks for the thumbs up Cat

I'm English speaking and i still don't get it.
So many crazy rules and things like (Doubt)=Dout Enough=Enuf
English needs a total rework.

Mostly long thoughts end up on a post and I'm to lazy to change them LOL

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Thanks for the thumbs up Cat

I'm English speaking and i still don't get it.
So many crazy rules and things like (Doubt)=Dout Enough=Enuf
English needs a total rework.

Mostly long thoughts end up on a post and I'm to lazy to change them LOL

You will not (sadly imho) have to wait long for the change. It is happening now.

Cat

#### IG2007

##### "Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
I would be so happy if that happens, Cat. It would be way easier to transliterate English to my mother-tongue then.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
IG, your English has always been so good, I thought it was your first language

Cat

IG2007

I am a Bengali.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Equation to Find intelligent life

I think that voidpotentialenergy has summarised the question in poet #89:

"Drake at best is one long guess after another.
The formula i think will never get any realistic numbers."

Cat

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
As a postscript (or obituary) to the Drake Equation, Avi Loeb (astrophysicist) has the following to say in his book "Extraterrestrial":

"One of the biggest limitations of the Drake Equation . . . was its myopic focus on communication signals, which are only one of the detectable traces that other civilisations might leave behind."
"However, there are lots of ways in which other civilisations might unintentionally broadcast their existence, and as we discover new technologies, the number of new avenues available to search for this evidence is increasing. How ought we to redefine the scope of our search? . . . . . . What should we be looking for? And where should we be looking?"

As I pointed out, if we include the question of where do we point our instruments (it seemed previously assumed that alien signals would be coming equally from all directions, like CMB) the possibility of finding intelligent alien life becomes much more difficult? Moreover, it seems to answer the Fermi Paradox.

Cat

vincenzosassone

#### Trevize62

As a postscript (or obituary) to the Drake Equation, Avi Loeb (astrophysicist) has the following to say in his book "Extraterrestrial":

"One of the biggest limitations of the Drake Equation . . . was its myopic focus on communication signals, which are only one of the detectable traces that other civilisations might leave behind."
"However, there are lots of ways in which other civilisations might unintentionally broadcast their existence, and as we discover new technologies, the number of new avenues available to search for this evidence is increasing. How ought we to redefine the scope of our search? . . . . . . What should we be looking for? And where should we be looking?"

As I pointed out, if we include the question of where do we point our instruments (it seemed previously assumed that alien signals would be coming equally from all directions, like CMB) the possibility of finding intelligent alien life becomes much more difficult? Moreover, it seems to answer the Fermi Paradox.

Cat
Absolutely right. Also, alien species could have senses and percerptions completely different from ours, being able to communicate in ways that we would not detect. In an interview on this topic, the famous SF writer and editor John W. Campbell (that also had a major degree in physics) evidenced this difficulty, saying that if an alien species would send a message to us using, for example, a telepatic machine (and he used this extreme example to remark this point), we could not detect the message in any way.

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Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Do we have any defenders of the Drake equation?

Cat

#### Trevize62

Do we have any defenders of the Drake equation?

Cat
I think it's very difficult to defend a concept so obsolete.

Catastrophe

#### Catastrophe

##### "There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
May I politely ask, if OP has no objection, that it may be in order to close this thread? Cat

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