The Drake Equation Extension

A had a thought a few days ago, and it had to do with the Drake Equation, which is not  so  much of an equation as it is  a checklist, and a couple of those items have already  been ticked off, since there’s so much more we know about space  than we did  in 1961, when Frank Drake wrote it.

N=R_{\ast }\cdot f_{p}\cdot n_{e}\cdot f_{\ell }\cdot f_{i}\cdot f_{c}\cdot L

Now we know that there there are lots and lots of suns which have planets, some have lots and lots of planets, lots of planets and even moons and comets have water, so we’re getting real close to the ‘planets with life’ number being really, really high.
It seems likely that intelligent life would be really  high, too.  Human beings are not the largest animal on the planet, not the swiftest, not the most numerous. not the stealthiest or best camouflaged, not the one with the keenest hearing, eyesight, sense of smell, or taste, or anything.  We dominate the planet, we dominate the food chain, we are at the peak of terran evolution because we are intelligent.  A very useful power.

It seems logical that this development should occur wherever evolution occurs.

Now, to the last part, and the next part.  Length of time you can expect an intelligent species to last before it self-destructs, or its planet gets burned up in s Super Nova, or whatever.  And I suspect we can split  those into two groups.  On our planet, so far, it’s 65 billion years and counting.  But, 20 thousand, 65 million, or 100 billion, those will be one kind.  The other kind will be ‘never.’  Once a species colonizes a few planets beyond their own solar system, there  is no reason to assume they will ever go extinct (unless the whole universe does, which  may or may not happen billion of years from now).

So, among the space faring species (this is the idea I had, the point  I am trying to make in this blog) there are probably 3 types, based on the different ways they might inter-react with us.

There are the malevolent ones, the monsters.  They mutilate cattle, they kidnap people and anally  probe them, they want to destroy the Earth, or enslave us, or eat us, or something.

There are the benevolent ones, who want to invite us into the Federation, teach us  more about the universe and aid us in our development as a species.

There are the indifferent ones.

So, where is everybody?

We know type 1 and 2 have never visited, because they would have made themselves known.  The indifferent ones, however, may pop into the atmosphere and take a look, before moving on.  I can’t say as I blame them.


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