In a topic with very little definite (unclassified) information available, a well-regulated imagination is more important than math. Well, actually that goes for all topics. Math is not the foundation of the universe or the foundation of anything. It’s an occasionally useful descriptive tool.

Here’s what happens when academicians try to discuss life on other planets.

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*But a new paper has a new answer: maybe our Solar System doesn’t offer what long-lived, rapidly expanding civilizations desire: the correct type of star. To understand the Fermi Paradox, you need to understand the Drake Equation. The Drake Equation is a probabilistic estimate of the number of civilizations in the Milky Way. It doesn’t tell us how many civs there are; it summarizes the concepts we have to wrestle with if we want to think about how many civilizations there could be.*

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And then the article writes out the Drake Equation, full of random letters with random subscripts, laid out in LaTeX as always. Galaxy-brains always write in LaTeX. That’s how you can tell they’re sMaRtEr ThAn uS.

In the first fucking place it’s not an equation. An equation is a balance or ledger. This is just a pile of WILD GUESSES multiplied together to get a MULTIPLY WILD GUESS, falsely treated as a usable number. It violates the basic rules of metrology.

In the second fucking place you don’t need any multipliers to grasp the basic question. I grasped it before I learned multiplication in school. When you know that our sun is an ordinary star, and you know that there are an unlimited number of similar stars out there, you can be CERTAIN that some of those planets have something that might be called life.

The rest is pure imagination. We don’t even know how our own life works. We don’t know how much of the ‘soul’ is physical and how much is waves, and we strongly suspect that part of the ‘soul’ is widely distributed in a form that we haven’t measured yet.

Paraphrasing Hank Hill, these people don’t have a GotDang Math Problem, they have a GotDang Imagination Problem.