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“The spreading of intelligent life from one star system to another would probably not appeal to truly intelligent creatures,” says Frank Drake, former Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, and creator of The Drake Equation that revolutionized the search for intelligent life in the cosmos.

“Once they calculate that, even travelling at, say, only one-tenth the speed of light, it takes more than a million times more energy to establish a colony around another star than required to establish one of the same size near their own,” continued Drake. “There is plenty of material available in the satellites and asteroids of stellar environments, assuming they resemble ours, to create a multitude of habitable, planet-like abodes right at home.”

As for panspermia, Drake notes that “it would be far more efficient to send by radio the data to replicate the creature’s DNA, to clone duplicates of themselves.” And such signaling, of course, might be detectable.

In an article posted today by SETI.org and continued below, senior astronomer Seth Shostak writes:

“Peruse the chapters of any introductory textbook on astronomy and you’ll find the second-most celebrated equation in science: The Drake Equation. Eclipsed in fame only by Einstein’s E = mc2, this formula was concocted by astronomer Frank Drake in 1961 as an agenda for the first formal meeting on the prospects of future SETI experiments.

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Category: Science