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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2011 Dec;41(6):609-19. doi: 10.1007/s11084-011-9260-3. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

A mathematical model for evolution and SETI.

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International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Co-Chair, SETI Permanent Study Group of the IAA, Via Martorelli, 43, Turin, 10155, Italy.


Darwinian evolution theory may be regarded as a part of SETI theory in that the factor f(l) in the Drake equation represents the fraction of planets suitable for life on which life actually arose. In this paper we firstly provide a statistical generalization of the Drake equation where the factor f(l) is shown to follow the lognormal probability distribution. This lognormal distribution is a consequence of the Central Limit Theorem (CLT) of Statistics, stating that the product of a number of independent random variables whose probability densities are unknown and independent of each other approached the lognormal distribution when the number of factors increased to infinity. In addition we show that the exponential growth of the number of species typical of Darwinian Evolution may be regarded as the geometric locus of the peaks of a one-parameter family of lognormal distributions (b-lognormals) constrained between the time axis and the exponential growth curve. Finally, since each b-lognormal distribution in the family may in turn be regarded as the product of a large number (actually "an infinity") of independent lognormal probability distributions, the mathematical way is paved to further cast Darwinian Evolution into a mathematical theory in agreement with both its typical exponential growth in the number of living species and the Statistical Drake Equation.

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