Drake Checklist

Yes, I think that point needs to be made more often, that the famous Drake Equation is not an equation at all, and should be more properly called the Drake Checklist.  When we  know all the numbers, when we have  values for things like ‘what percentage of planets have evolved life, then we will probably have already established contact  and tourists from Earth will be traveling far and  wide throughout the galaxy, and annoying the hell  out of everybody.

But I think the stickler might be ‘percentage of planets where life evolves which evolve technological civilizations.’  Perhaps I’m thinking a bit too much of ‘life as we know it, but it seems to me two  things are necessary for that – opposable thumbs  and the ability to work metal.  And that means any intelligent life that evolves in  an ocean  is probably out of luck, because you need  fire, and any airborne creatures wouldn’t be able to accumulate the raw resources, so you need to evolve  on a planet which has plenty of  water, and an  atmosphere, but also enough land to support a technological  civilization.  Seems to me, it might be  a rare combination.


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