Mistake in Drake Equation about extraterrestrial civilizations

The Drake equation, deduced by astrophysicist Frank Drake in 1961, examines the question of why we still do not find traces of other intelligent life in space. Taking into account various factors such as the number of stars with planets, the rate of star formation and the proportion of planets on which life can exist, the equation tries to estimate the probability of people meeting with another civilization. However, no signs have been noticed so far. The lack of obvious evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations on a huge scale of the universe is also called the Fermi paradox.

The “worlds in the aquarium” are not capable of interstellar communication due to their total isolation on huge planets. Illustration: Gencraft

However, Professor Elio Quiroga Rodriguez from the University of Atlantico Medio in Spain, in his new article for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, expresses the opinion that the Drake equation is incomplete. The professor believes that extraterrestrials living in water or other liquids, as well as civilizations on planets larger than Earth, are hostages on their planets due to physical limitations, even if they have a desire to leave them. 

Rodriguez points out two problems. First, civilizations on super-Earths require significantly higher speeds to overcome the planet’s strong gravity. And if this speed is too high, they will not even be able to take off using the available fuel, and the rockets will not withstand the loads. Secondly, he considers “worlds in an aquarium”, where the development of long-range communication technologies is very primitive, since the message travels over vast distances without the need for amplification using complex technologies in a liquid medium.

“Worlds in an aquarium”. Illustration: Gencraft

Quiroga argues that for such civilizations, communication between individuals over long distances may be possible without the need for communication devices, but is a biologically innate feature, like whales in Earth’s oceans. “Such a civilization would not be “communicative” and would not be contemplated in the Drake equation,” explains Elio Quiroga Rodriguez.

So, this is an addition to the mystery of whether there are aliens in the oceans or civilizations trying to overcome enormous difficulties on their planets. This remains an open question in our search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Earlier, we reported on how SETI launched the largest search for aliens in history.

According to phys.org

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