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Drake Equation

In the Face Book group:
The post was about finding aliens and the Drake Equation.
My comment:



A reference to the Drake equation shows much of this article,  when trying to define the likelihood of finding aliens, is not about science. Only some descriptions of chemistry are not pure speculation.

The article stated the equation was meaningless; here is an elaboration.
Noted author Michael Crichton had this to say about that Drake equation during a lecture in 2003:

'
This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses-just so we’re clear-are merely expressions of prejudice.

Nor can there be “informed guesses.” If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It’s simply prejudice.

As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from “billions and billions” to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science.
'e.

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