Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Drake Equation

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Here’s a little hard science for you.
Ever heard of the Drake Equation? Well, among other things, it’s what good, old Gene Roddenberry used to justify all the intelligent, space-faring races on Star Trek. Mainly, though, it’s a hotly debated estimate of the habitable worlds that might have produced an intelligent species which we might possibly encounter in our galaxy. Named for Dr. Frank Drake, who devised the equation in the 1960s. The main purpose of the equation was to let scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which might determine the possible number of extraterrestrial civilizations.
In recent years, the various inputs have been debated on not only their merit, but their optimisim. Many feel that they are overly optimistic, especially in light of the fact that we haven’t seen any of these alleged potential civilizations yet. Nor, really, any sure evidence that such a thing might exists. Still, as a writer, I like to err on the side of hope. The hope that one day, we may find other beings who live differently than we do. From whom we can learn, as well as we might teach. The potential synergy of such a meeting could be staggering! I imagine that’s why old Gene liked the idea so well himself.
Either way, the idea that Drake was right or wrong, can produce some great fiction.

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