The Drake Equation is represented as follows:
Obviously, when you look at the questions behind the various parameters – How many stars are there in the milky way? How many stars have habitable planets? etc. – there’s a considerable amount of guesswork involved. As we learn more, parameters can be slowly refined and N can be calculated with a tad more certainty.
The real value of the Drake Equation is not in the answer itself, but the questions that are prompted when attempting to come up with an answer
The video below pulls-together both equation and paradox – and then neatly dovetails the concept of The Great Filter hypothesis.
Dan Carlin engagingly explains how it all fits-together.
A really interesting video.