Is there Intelligent Life in the Universe?

We can write down a statistical equation to estimate the number of civilizations which currently exist in our Galaxy .

This equation has three parts:

- An astronomical part which basically predicts the number of planets that exist in the galaxy which have a liquid surface
- A biological part which basically estimates the probability that intelligent life will evolve on those planets which have a liquid surface
- A socio-economic part which determines the survivability of the civilization on that planet

Remember, we seem to be part of this Process Our choice now is which divergent path do we choose? - the long term one or the short term one?

So, here is the equation:

- The Astronomical part is the first three terms
- The Biological part is the next two
- The socio-economic part are the final two terms
- The uncertainty associated with each term grows as you move down the right hand side of the equation

Remember, that if you want the final answer to be 1 then you have to identify which term is unique (that is, it only happened here). Here are my estimates which are then explained below:

- The Astronomical Part: Basically, observations suggest
that planetary formation is a natural consequence of star formation. Nearby
stars exhibit dusty disks in orbit about them which are likely solar systems
in the process of formation. For every star of some temperature, there is
a zone around it called the habitable zone in which the temperature is
right for the condensation of water vapor. The width of the habitable
zone depends on the temperature of the star. If you make planets via
the acretion of small grains then it is likely that one of the acreting
planets will land in this habitable zone. In our case, if the sun were
a cooler star we would have this class on the second planet from the
sun, if it were hotter, we would be Martians. Hence, I regard the formation
of planets with a liquid surface as ubiquitous.
- The Biological Part: I believe that given enough time, chemistry,
mixing in the liquid surface, local concentration of organic molecules,
etc, will eventually lead to a self-replicating system. That process took
a billion years to happen on the earth so maybe all you need is time.
But, since the planet is subject to random catastrophe, there are all
kinds of problems that species have to overcome, I rate the probability
of reaching intelligence as only 10% (of course it could be much smaller!).
- The Socio-Economic Part: Okay, does intelligence begat Technology?
Is it the manifestation or the asshole of Intelligence? Does the capacity
to destroy our planet mean that we can never really be Intelligent?
And what about our lifetime as a technical civilization, will it be
short or long? I assume again only a 10% probability of intelligent
civilizations becoming technological (maybe most are smarter than US?).
So overall, I have assumed that on only 1% of all planets with a liquid
surface does a civilization which builds radio telescopes arise.
For the lifetime I adopt the following argument:

- 99% of all technological civilizations extinct themselves after 100 years
- The remainin 1% survive, in harmony with their planetary resources for 1 billion years.
- This leads to an average lifetime of 10 million years (1% of 1 billion)

- Notice, that the number of civilizations which currently exist is strongly
correlated with your estimate of the average lifetime.
- Multiply it all together to get one million civilizations which now exist. This is actually a small number.

Implications of the above argument:

- We are it we are suppose to colonize
- Multi-generational committment to this scheme is impossible and therefore it is always doomed to failure
- Why would the blue dots choose to colonize?