Chance of life, sentience and sapience

jedion357's picture
February 6, 2013 - 1:21pm
I was blogging on the difference between sapience and sentience

In looking as sentience one could say that there is a lot of it on earth but with sapience you pretty much have only one species. Looking up the number of species on earth living now its an estimated 5-100 million with only 2 million identified by science. I tend to use the larger number to somewhat account for the stuff that is already extinct.

This gives you odds for sapience at 1 in 100 million species, though I dont guarantee those odds are correct.

Now if you have a planet with abundant life (like Earth) we could expect that there would be 5-100 species which almost guarantees a sapient species for every world with abundant life. Of course the odds of the occurance of a world with abundant life are another matter.

I was thinking of a table in the vein of traveller world gen tables where:
0 = no life
1 = trace microbes
2 = ubundant mircobes
3 =
4 =
5 =
6 = 100s to 1000 species
7 = 1000s to 100,000 species
8 = 100,000s to 1 million species
9 = abundant 10 to 100's of millions of species
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
February 7, 2013 - 11:26am
I would suggest 0-4 = no life. (Better yet, roll percentile. If you roll a 100, there's life. Now roll to determine how much. Because if you're rolling on the table, you're either rolling randomly to determine IF there's life, or you already know that there's life, in which "no life" is simply an annoyance.)

In science, "species" includes microbes, which take up the majority of life on earth, and chances are "trace microbes" likely means a few hundred species, and "abundant microbes" likely means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of species.
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