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Drake's Equation Question Set: What fraction of planets with intelligent life are capable of interstellar communication?
The first question in the series, with more explanation, is here
The model in question uses probability distributions over seven input parameters.
In this case we will be addressing the sixth parameter in the Drake's Equation, .
It is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
Anything that would produce an unambiguous resolution that a planet bears intelligent life suffices. Radio signals are the technology that most suspect will bring about that resolution, but laser light, physical relics, and even gravitational waves can be considered.
Given our definition of intelligences as having both tool use and language, it seems unlikely that this parameter should be miniscule; nonetheless we give a range extending down to , open at the bottom, to be safe.
The resolution to this question will be the scientific consensus 100 years from now, regardless of any remaining uncertainty.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.