Searching for a Standard Drake Equation

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J. A. Molina (2019), JBIS, 72, pp.259-265

Refcode: 2019.72.259
Keywords: Drake equation, SETI, Techno-signature, Anthropic-type civilizations

In the 20th century the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence began, and the Drake equation was proposed to estimate the number of alien species humanity could attempt to detect, N. This paper discusses the need to update and standardize this equation. A new and more accurate expression is deduced which contains the classic equation as a particular case, and its advantages are discussed. A necessary condition is also stated for its use in scientific contexts: if N is defined as the total number of civilizations like ours then N = 1, given that we exist, and consequently the working hypothesis of the SETI project can be expressed as N >1. In this case, the Drake equation is being applied in a scientific way, because it is trying to test a hypothesis based on evidence.

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