Just came across this paper from 2018 by Oxford University and funded through the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Curious what others think about this updated approach!

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1806.02404.pdf

Cutting to the conclusion, here's their take --

"*We have seen that a Fermi paradox arises if we combine a high and extremely confident prior for the number of civilizations in our galaxy with the absence of evidence for their existence. The high confidence that causes this clash typically results from applying a Drake-like model using point estimates for the parameters. These estimates, however, make implicit knowledge claims about processes (especially those connected with the origin of life) which are untenable given the current state of scientific knowledge.When we take account of realistic uncertainty, replacing point estimates by probability distributions that reflect current scientific understanding, we find no reason to be highly confident that the galaxy (or observable universe) contains other civilizations, and thus no longer find our observations in conflict with our prior probabilities. We found qualitatively similar results through two different methods: using the authors’ assessments of current scientific knowledge bearing on key parameters, and using the divergent estimates of these parameters in the astrobiology literature as a proxy for current scientific uncertainty.When we update this prior in light of the Fermi observation, we find a substantial probability that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe (53%–99.6% and 39%–85% respectively). ’Where are they?’— probably extremely far away, and quite possibly beyond the cosmological horizon and forever unreachable*."

PS - Please resist the urge to introduce theological considerations into this thread since that is outside the scope of and irrelevant to the Drake Equation and this updated Drake Equation. It would be nice to get other's take on what they think of this new approach to the Drake Equation rather than having the thread get locked due to some not respecting our CN community's TOS for discussions

**Edited by BillP, 28 October 2019 - 09:59 PM.**