googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The Drake Equation: It Might Sound Good on Paper

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Drake Equation: It Might Sound Good on Paper

Evolutionists are believers in junk science. I've know it for a long time yet I've never become used to their level of absurdity. These people, who claim to be the epitome of scientific inquiry and objective thinking, should simply resign themselves to the fact that they are producing science fiction and not actually practicing science.

Have you heard of the Drake Equation? According to Wiki, it's “a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.” The formula has been around since 1961, but in spite of decades of searching for extraterrestrial life, the actual number we've detected remains at zero. Of course, secular scientists remain undaunted. Their theory virtually demands there be extraterrestrial life so they continue under the delusion that the universe teems with alien civilizations and the Drake Equation is a way to estimate just how many there might be. From Wiki:

The Drake equation states that:

N = R* · fp · ne · fe · fi · fc · L

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fe = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
Now, I'm a firm believer in probability. In a recent post, I discussed the Law of Large Numbers where I explained that, given a large enough sample, we can predict the outcome with uncanny certainty. However, we can still calculate probability even in small samples. Consider a deck of cards: I know that there is a 1 in 52 chance of drawing the ace of spades at random. I know there is a 1 in 13 chance of drawing an ace of any suit. I also know there is a 1 in 4 chance of drawing any spade. I am able to calculate the odds because I know the number of cards in the deck, the number of aces, and the number of spades. As we read through the Drake Equation, though, we see a lot of variables have unknown values. How should we go about finding the probability of them? Let's look at a few.

R* is the rate of star formation per year in our galaxy. That's curious. What is the observed number of stars being formed each year? Would it surprise you to know that, even with all our advanced technology, we've never once observed a star ignite? We've seen many extinguished but none formed. Not one time. Ever! So the actual observed rate of star formation per year is zero. Since the rest of the formula is multiplying by R*, the product is necessarily zero but let's look at a few of the other variables for the fun of it.

fe is the fraction of habitable planets that actually go on to develop life at some point. Now that's funny. We've never once observed life formed spontaneously. Not one time. Ever! So how do we estimate the fraction the planets that would develop life? If we apply the scientific standard of observable and repeatable, then this variable must also be zero. That is the only scientifically valid possibility. Any value other than zero assigned to this variable is merely fanciful speculation.

If we understand the value of fe to be zero, then fi and fc must necessarily be zero as well. After all, if life does not form, then neither will intelligent life nor technology. Once again, any value other than zero assigned to these variables are merely invention. Any other value that scientists assign to these variables does not have any basis in science.

Drake himself assigned some crazy values to these variables. He estimate that 1 star per year has been formed over the life of the galaxy (remember, we've observed zero). He estimated that 1/5 to 1/2 will have planets and stars with planets will have between 1 and 5 planets capable of supporting life (we've actually discovered extra-solar planets so I'll not press this point). Here's where he really looses it: he says that 100% of planets capable of supporting life will not only evolve life but will also evolve intelligent life. Ha! We've never observed abiogenesis and he claims it happened on every planet that could support life. When it's all said and done, Drake believed there are between 1,000 and 100,000,000 civilizations in our galaxy! Incredible!! We've observed none and he believes there could be 100 million.

How does this kind of stuff not get laughed at by the rest of the scientific community? Where is “peer review” and critical examination? Where is going wherever the evidence leads? Are we really supposed to believe there is evidence for even a single, extraterrestrial civilization (never mind many)? This is obviously a case of having a conclusion then looking for the evidence to support it.

OK, I admit that Drake has his critics. However, a belief in extraterrestrial life is mainstream in the scientific community. Sagan, Dawkins, Hawking, and many others have all endorsed it. They have endorsed it without a shred of scientific evidence for it. They believe it merely out of faith in their theory. So even though some scientists might nit pick at Drake's equation, they will never dismiss his premise outright because they are too invested in the crackpot idea of ET.

The Drake equation might sound good on paper but it's no more scientific than an episode of Gene Roddenberry's, Star Trek. Drake might as well have calculated the odds of discovering Vulcan.


shpshftr said...

Sadly, they will think they were right all along if one of the lies people are told during the tribulation period is that the nephilim and/or fallen angels that make themselves known to the earth are actually aliens. And, even worse, that they were responsible for creating us and that it wasn't God at all. This would be a great deception.

RKBentley said...


Thanks for visiting and thanks for your comments. It's true that evolution is the great deception that plagues the church of this era. I've written before that evolution is probably the greatest obstacle preventing people from coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

It was probably Charles Lyell that did the most to make popular the idea that science must be divorced from religion. There is no objective, scientific reason to suppose that everything must have a natural explanation yet Christians have bought into this notion and so are quick to accept the doctrine of science over the clear reading of the Bible. How sad.

I'm far more interested in knowing what is true rather than knowing what is natural. If God created the universe supernaturally then that is what is true regardless of whether or not it is scientific.

Please keep visiting. God bless!!


Steven J. said...

"Evolutionists" believe that the universe is accessible to rational study and that evidence means something. Now, creationists frequently tell me that without faith in God (specifically the God of their interpretation of the Bible), there is no reason to expect nature to follow consistent laws -- but they invariably end up arguing that, in fact, nature doesn't follow consistent laws, and that there is no rational reason to suppose that the laws of nature observed in the lab apply in places and times we cannot directly observe.

Basically, they're arguing that science doesn't work if it yields results they don't like. People who aren't committed to this sort of view can model the behavior of interstellar dust clouds and stars using what is known of physics, observe to see if the predicted stages of stellar formation are seen (they are), and conclude that somewhere between one and ten stars are formed per year in our galaxy. That "newborn" stars they aren't as conspicuous as supernovae (which are very rarely observed in this galaxy -- the last one visible from Earth was centuries ago), and that their birth is a more protracted process than a supernova, doesn't mean that stars are not born.

Given that your blog occasionally draws replies, I'd think you'd be frequently reminded that we have strong reason to suppose that life originated on at least one planet. Depending on how broad one thinks the "habitable zone" about the sun is, between 33% and 100% of observed planets in their stars habitable zones have had life originate on them. That's a very small sample size, and a larger sample may very well drive the percentage way down, but the data we have militate in favor of a rate of life appearing higher than zero. How much higher, no one knows.

It is in fact very commonly observed by "evolutionists" that we don't know the values for any of the variables in the Drake equation beyond the first one (and that the rate for the second is greater than zero).

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

Secular science asserts that natural laws are un-designed, un-caused, and purposeless. If natural laws just poofed into existence, then on what scientific grounds can you assert they have never changed nor will ever change? Neither do you have any scientific reason to believe that they are uniform throughout the universe because you have not been everywhere to observe them. You have made assumptions about natural laws that amount to nothing more than faith-like beliefs that are no more “scientific” than my beliefs.

Nature is subject to natural laws. Always! It's not a person that can act as though it has an independent will. Nature is merely matter being acted upon by natural laws. God, however, is transcendent. He is Lord over His creation. He is Lord over the natural laws that He created. So if God moves contrary to natural laws as we understand them, nature has no choice but to comply. You would have me believe that miracles cannot happen on the shaky grounds that they violate natural laws. That's a very flimsy argument. You are trying to make natural laws greater than God!

It is precisely because miracles violate natural laws that we are able to distinguish between miracles and mundane phenomena. When Christ died on the cross, then rose to life again, He validated Himself as the Sovereign of the universe. Many scientists reject the Resurrection not because it lacks historical evidence, but because of their a priori bias against the supernatural. By not believing in the Resurrection, they've rejected the EVIDENCE for Jesus' lordship.

But back to the point of this post: you have suggested that since we are here, we have an observed example of life arising at least once. Of course, that's a little circular, isn't it? The fact remains that we've never observed abiogenesis – not even on the only planet we know has life. And since we have no credible, scientific theory on how life rose on earth, you have no grounds to say it is not of supernatural origin. No grounds, of course, except the No True Scotsman argument that the only “real” explanation is the natural one.

Thanks for visiting. God bless!!