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Re: Drake's Equation

The gales of laughter over the comment that the estimate for one 
civlization in the universe is too high prompts a response that for every 
idiotic product attributable to the civilizations of our tiny planet, 
there is a wealth of magnificent accomplishments -- museums, libraries, 
schools (yes, let's not forget that everyone on this list probably went 
to a school that contributed in at least a small way to his/her own 
accomplishments), the invention of writing, the concept (if not the 
reality) that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law...

One of the reasons that we are searching for evidence of intelligent life 
elsewhere in the universe is to find out if any civilizations survived 
their growing pains to become truly "civilized." If we are indeed the 
only intelligent beings in the universe (so far) it becomes incumbent 
upon us to set an example for whatever primitive civilizations arise in 
the future.

I am optimistic that there are at least a few advanced civilizations out 
there. One of the few reasons I would consider transferring my 
intelligence into a cybernetic alter ego would be to maximize the 
likelihood that I would be "alive" to witness a First Contact. I forget 
the source of the observation that the universe (or future) is not only 
stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we CAN imagine... and if 
that's true, then I think it may be a bit premature to assume that there 
is little likelihood for intelligent life anywhere else.

----- Amado Narvaez                     "Somewhere, something wonderful
      anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu              is waiting to be known."
                                                        -- Carl Sagan