The Drake equation (Dr. Frank Drake) helped ignite what has become an international fascination with finding and communicating with aliens from distant planets. The equation, developed in 1961 to estimate the number of technological civilizations that might exist in our universe.
Even if you tweak the variables in the equation to be conservatively low, the calculation establishes that not only is there advanced life out there, but there is most likely millions of other civilized species in our universe.
Most advanced countries had SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) institutes during the 60’s and 70’s largely based on the strength of the Drake equation. Now, I think the US SETI is the only one left. The problem, as you mentioned, is that even if intelligent does exist in our universe, it would most likely be so far away that even at light speed travel, the great distances are well beyond our reach (it might take billions of years to get there). The aliens would be confronted with the same problem in getting here.
But don’t rule out the possibility of us being visited by petite aliens with big eyes too quick. Many scientists think quarks and black holes may be windows that could allow space travelers to quickly pop out many billions of light years away from where they entered. There is also the possibility of time travel.
The problem here is that when you plug in the variable for the amount of time required for life forms to evolve to such an intelligent degree, the number of possible intelligent life forms is greatly reduced or eliminated.
One has to suspect that if there are super advanced aliens visiting us, their mission would not include hanging outside Stan Romanke's window in Denver.
Hate to tell you but the Drake Equation has been pretty much discarded if only because "X" is irrelevant without some starting point or baseline. Not only that, we've discovered 50 or so more planets and what is becoming rapidly clear is that our own solar system is probably extremely rare - much more than one in a million. Most planetary systems contain one or more of these "hot Jupiters" where most of the accretion disk formed close to that sun - too close for liquid water to exist.
ed.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 31.05.2008 @ 10:34
Pragmatism or resignation? I’m not sure which way you are going here but your frustration comes through in the article.
I share your frustration and agree these are important times ahead for our country. And, unfortunately, most of what you have written about Obama; good and bad, is detailed and compelling.
I don’t mean to put words in your mouth but, I think you are really frustrated because we have John McCain as our candidate. At best, you have been luke-warm in your occasional support for McCain. Maybe I am just seeing things through my anti-McCain glasses, I don’t like or trust him, and most likely, could never vote for him even if Obama picked Oprah as his VP.
I hate to sound as naive and bull headed as Hilary Clinton, but, I’m still hoping something will happen between now and the convention that will give me some hope for the national election.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 29.05.2008 @ 12:41
In response to retire05, 4:18 pm, Post #13
retire05 said: “But to say conservatism, as a political belief, is dead is dead wrong.”
Sorry if I wasn’t clear in post, I consider myself to be a conservative. In my post I mentioned that “Conservatism is robust and relevant in America” - accept my clarification; Conservatism is not dead!
BTW: Enjoyed your posts!
In response to jambrowski, 10:24 am, Post #20
jambrowski said: “the real problem lies in the basic two party system in the US. a two party system is not a democracy, and i would almost say that we have two theocracy’s”
Great post, I totally agree, the current two party system is no longer serving the needs and wants of the American people as evidenced by a recent (May 21, 2008) Reuters/Zogby poll, Index: Mood of Americans Turns Dour. The survey showed:
23%, Job approval rating for President Bush (an all-time low)
11%, Job approval rating for Congress (ties the previous all time low)
73%, Likely voters believe the nation is on the wrong track
The Democrats and Republicans earned these dismal ratings through their arrogant disregard for the people’s preferences, sound fiscal policies and countless violations of the rule of law and our Constitution. Instead, they serve special interest groups, party loyalty, lobbyists and dangerous global neo-conservatives.
If the two parties don’t reform and put our country’s interest first and foremost, then I think we will see one or more new political parties emerging.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 28.05.2008 @ 19:01
WHAT AILS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY?
Not, as you stated - WHAT AILS CONSERVATISM?
You miss the whole point by lumping conservatism with the current batch of Republicans. Conservatism is robust and relevant in America but has been shunned and abandoned by too many politicians running and serving under the auspices of the Republican Party.
I, like most conservatives, would remind you that we are conservatives first and Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, et al; second.
What ails the Republican Party? One word – neo-conservatism.
The term neo-conservatism is misleading in that it implies that it is some off-shoot or variation of conservatism. Neo-conservatism is no more similar or akin to conservatism than liberalism or fascism. Neo-conservatives see the role of the US as a superpower that must establish and maintain their prescribed global order by military force, interventionism, pre-emptive war, nation building and more foreign aid.
Neo-conservatives; through President Bush, hi-jacked the Republican Party and took America on a dangerous foreign policy adventure that has left our economy reeling and on the verge of collapse. Sound fiscal management was thrown out the door. Huge deficits were run and the fed printed enormous amounts of money in order to sustain the dominant neo-conservative policies.
You are not the only one to lump conservatives to the state of the Republican Party. This is a neo-conservative tactic. They have been successfully working to slip neo-conservatism into the Republican platform by calling it conservatism. If they lose this cover, they will be naked and forced to explain their goals to the American people.
Rupert Murdoch; the neo-con supreme, has been hugely successful in subtly blending neo-conservatism with conservatism. Murdoch’s “fair and balanced” Fox news has effectively branded itself as the outlet for “Republicans and conservatives.” They constantly inject neo-conservative ideology as being in some way, either Republican or conservative. It is not.
What are core conservative values? (IMHO)
Conservative core values include small government, greater individual liberties, fiscal responsibility, strong national security and sovereignty, fair trade, reduced taxes and the rule of law prescribed in our Constitution.
You are free to suggest a new course for the Republican Party but you should not mislead your readers by implying the Republican Party, neo-conservatism and conservatism are one in the same.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 27.05.2008 @ 13:29
(Note post 3) Surabaya Stew Said:
"...one can only hope that this series attracts more notice than your articles on Lebanon did."
Rick's articles on Lebanon were great and I hope he will continue writing about this important subject that was ignored by the MSM.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 26.05.2008 @ 12:47
I’m looking forward to your series on “What Ails Conservatism?” This is a timely and important discussion that should generate a lot of interest.
I hope you will touch on what I consider to be a key issue; the flawed primary system within the GOP. How does a party based on conservative principles elect a non-conservative candidate? Is McCain’s victory representative of party ills or is he just an aberration of a flawed primary system?
Many of us had an “anybody but McCain” mindset as we carefully watched for an emerging conservative early in the process that would surely include Romney, Thompson or Giuliani. The problem was that the conservative candidates were competing for the same votes while McCain had most of the anti-bush, liberal and independent votes. And of course, we had the unsavory Huckabee-McCain collusion to “dump” Romney.
Being from Pennsylvania, the primary was essentially over with McCain the declared winner before I ever got to cast my vote for Ron Paul. My preference would have been to vote for Romney or Thompson but they had already dropped out.
In moving forward, my choice will again be limited in the national election by the two party system. For me, and many voters, a choice between McCain or Obama really isn’t a option, it’s an ultimatum.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 26.05.2008 @ 12:38
edward cropper, post number 10, 2:39 pm:
First, funny stuff at your website!
Don't give Rick too much grief; someone has to try and find something good about McCain. I do the same thing, I keep hoping McCain has enough positives to outweigh his many negatives. The math just doesn't work.
My personal anti-McCain rant of the week is his loud silence through-out the senate and house big oil Inquisition. Why didn't he step up, and say "we need to get out of the way and support the exploration for oil reserves! Nope, he's a new eco-neocon.
I have no idea what constituency McCain represents but it is out of touch with anything that resembles conservative values.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 23.05.2008 @ 17:10
In the past, the GOP has compromised the rights of the individual in order to pander to popular and powerful evangelical extremists like Hagee. When GOP candidates accept and pursue their endorsements they are effectively legitimizing their bizarre and hateful theology.
I think there are two distinct religious ideologies that should be shunned by civilized countries and people. First is the “apocalypse now” group that welcomes the end of the world and the second is the “intolerant judgmental” group that sees satanic evil in those who disagree with their rigid beliefs.
The “apocalypse –now” sibylline would have us believe that the prophesized messianic return will lead to the end of the world and that we should actively welcome and hasten the demise of mankind as our spiritual duty.
The ghastly apocalypse -now theology of Hagee is not limited to Christians. Many Shiite Muslims, like Iran’s Ahmadinejad, are actively pursuing the same basic theology through the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. And, the Jews have groups of apocalypse -now advocates.
Many Jewish political leaders have also embraced Hagee. Sen. Lieberman (I-Conn.) spoke to Hagee's group last year, and Hagee has been invited to speak to the lobbying organization American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The “intolerant-judgmental” group includes people like Rod Parsley who are actively waging a war of sorts against those who disagree. The traditional targets have been gays and other religions that are different (heathens, infidels and goyims).
Again, Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly. Muslims have Sharia Law, Wahhabis and the Taliban who think others are infidels with no human rights. And the Jews have many Talmudist’s who consider others to be dumb “Goyims” who do not deserve ethical and equal treatment.
None of these groups should be pandered to by the GOP. I find it disingenuous that John McCain accepted Hagee’s anti-Catholic rants but finds offense when the holocaust is mentioned.
John McCain uses people and groups to his convenience. This has become a theme with McCain. He recently fired five staffers because they had links to lobbyists. The reformer McCain used the lobbyists when his campaign couldn’t afford a non-partisan staff and now drops them like hot potatoes when the GOP sends him money.
McCain uses conservatives by using the fear factor, that is, vote for me or you will get Obama. A choice between two undesirable candidates is really not a choice at all.
The reality is that the two party system is disenfranchising many Americans. One would think that in a country of 300 million people, perhaps three or four political parties might better represent the wants and needs of the people.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 23.05.2008 @ 12:22
I wish the Republicans had a candidate who created some excitement and hope. And, don’t be mislead by the sparkle; Obama is a serious candidate with a huge cash flow and a grass roots operation second to none. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), an early McCain backer in the primary, called the “Obama juggernaut “a formidable thing to deal with.”
McCain’s campaign pales in comparison. He has recently fired five staff members because they were lobbyists. This, is supposedly in keeping with his image as a reformist? Why did he hire them in the first place?
He hired them because he didn’t have enough money to do anything else. Now, he’s getting some money from the GOP and he no longer has use for the lobbyists – how convenient.
I can only hope that McCain may energize the ticket by adding Mitt Romney or another conservative as his VP (forget Huckabee). Otherwise, we will have to be content enjoying the irony of McCain getting routed by a Democrat who, through McCain-Feingold, generates several times the funds that the GOP can offer.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 22.05.2008 @ 11:20
Well said Surabaya Stew...and I would add...
America is weary of the non-ending war in Iraq. It is destroying our economy and stretching our military to the breaking point. The real fear is that McCain will likely attack Iran in some limited fashion, and under the assumption that they won't dare retaliate in earnest, and who knows what happens next.
Republicans should be careful in attacking Obama as being naive to negotiate with our enemies and predisposed to peace. This just validates the notion that the GOP is the "war party" run by neocons.
America will never be secure with a weak economy that depends on loans from China, Saudi Arabia, et al.
It is a fallacy that the war is "stretching our military to the breaking point." It is stretching the army and the Marines to some extent. But it has hardly touched the Navy where 6 carrier strike forces could deliver enough firepower in a single day to wipe out most countries. And the Air Force is hardly stretched at all - including a long range bomber force that could pulverize several cities in a few hours.
You can say that the army is strectched to the breaking point - and even saying that can cause an argument in most militay quarters. But to say our "military" is stretched is ridiculous.
ed.Comment Posted By DrKrbyLuv On 21.05.2008 @ 09:44