An Equation so Lovely, Who Cares if it Works?

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An Equation so Lovely, Who Cares if it Works?

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Transhumanist bigwig George Dvorsky thinks the Drake Equation — developed in 1961 by Francis Drake to predict the likelihood of advanced extraterrestrial intelligences, and still cited in connection with projects like SETI — ought to be retired. He’s probably right, but it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate just how cool the equation is: N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which we might hope to be able to communicate and: R* is the average rate of star formation in our galaxy fp is the fraction of those stars that have planets ne is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets fl is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point fi is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life fc is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space L is the length of time such civilizations release detectable sig

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