Drake Equation

Reconciling The Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox

The Drake equation famously calculates the potential for life in the Universe, and given those parameters, it should be just about everywhere.  The chances that life only exists on the Earth is so statistically small as to be insignificant. Hence, the associated confidence. The Kepler probe and others are finding potential candidates by the thousands. It is only a matter of time before demonstrable evidence is produced. The Fermi paradox then postulates that if there is life everywhere in the universe given the Drake equation, then where is it, and why can we not detect it in any way? These two postulates seem at odds with each other and reconciling them has been something science has struggled with for decades.

Modern Science Fiction Is

There are essentially two primary methods for interstellar travel depicted in the major media releases and serials on the network ‘warp drive’ and ‘hyperspace’. The former is from Star Trek and the latter Star Wars. They are incompatible with each other, but at the end of the day, fiction is allowed some degree of liberal application. JJ Abrams, in my opinion, does not know which lines of science cannot be crossed. He is a poor science fiction director and screws up more ‘realm cannon’ than he creates, but this is not about film or production values. Warp drive is thought to be a derivative of the Alcubierre Drive.

Hyperspace is something made manifest from the minds of science fiction authors for many decades, and it is a derivative of M2 and M1 thinking. There are a number of groups who fervently believe that humanity is close to building star drives capable of such feats. These folks are forgetting something. The science they are basing their thinking on can not close to unification, but they do not understand the implication of that fact. Nor do they understand almost all of them are committing Langer Epistemology Errors.

Mode Shifting The Discussion of Interstellar Travel

Science fiction authors are going to hate me for this, but it is what it is. The Emergence Model is not going to be kind to those wishing to conduct interstellar travels or the engineering associated with accomplishing the feat. Look at how The Emergence Model’s logical view M5 defines space. Theoretically, rapidity based velocities could be achieved with a ‘managed Severance field drive’ under Emergence Model rules, potentially including inertial damping fields, but that is not the primary factor. You also need deflectors to move stuff out of the way. You also need some very sophisticated computers, that do not currently exist. We’ll talk about quantum computers in another article later. Those are not going to help. Here’s the basic scenario: Severance fields will work fine so long as they have something real to interact with. What they have zero help with is empty space as defined by M5. They don’t do squat there. The implication of this is pretty dramatic. It means you have to know exactly where your target destination is going to be before you leave your source location. And if you miss, you travel on that vector until you perchance encounter something real large enough for the Severance drive to once again provide some modicum of assistance. The challenge is that where something may be at some future time may not necessarily be where you thought it ought to be. There are quite a few variables involved in that calculation. So all the UFO hunters out there need to understand. If aliens have ever visited Earth, they are likely still around somewhere. However, these various details are not insignificant. So much so as to warrant adequate reasons to pursue Dyson Spheres. We should point out that in the Kepler list of extrasolar planets, there is a growing list of stars exhibiting characteristics consistent with such devices.


The reconciliation then of the Drake equation and the Fermi paradox is problematic of civilizations realizing the implications of what we just have (e.g. Elegant Reasonism derived models closing to unification). Life may be everywhere, but it is stuck where it is because the challenges of interstellar travel are significantly more complicated than we ever imagined. Warp drive is fiction under The Emergence Model because you can not warp dimensionless nothing. Such a thing under that model is meaningless. Hyperspace is just as meaningless and for the same reasons. The only potential for high velocity are managed field drives capable of controlling The Fundamental Entanglement Function, limited by Severance.

Because of these various issues it makes a great deal of sense to reconsider strategic sustainability for the biosphere in which life exists, and that’s exactly what civilizations pursuing Dyson Spheres hope to accomplish. Their motivation is simple, to endure and live a good life. All of these issues will likely provide fodder for science fiction for quite some time to come.


Communications require signals and signals require carriers. The carrier for such signals would likely be neutrino based. The problem presented by such is not only in transmission but in reception. Humanity struggles to even detect passage of neutrinos much less employ them in communications signals. So today at best these are wishful thinking, but they also provide great fodder for science fiction authors.

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By Charles McGowen

Charles C McGowen is a strategic business consultant. He studied Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University '76-'78. IBM hired him early in '79 where he worked until 2003. He is now Chairman & CEO of SolREI, Inc. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2439-1707