The Drake equation is a tool, not a law. It is something we use to find boundary conditions or model constraints, not something that we use to get a deterministic or quantitative answer. Most definitely not nonsense.
Want even more mind-blowingness? Those couple of stars called [something] Cephei are a special type of star called Cepheid Variables. We call them that because they expand and contract, almost pulsate like a beating heart, and they do so in scales that dwarf our entire solar system!
These Cepheid Variable stars are one of the most important tools we use to measure distances between galaxies, thanks to their unique spectrographic signatures and changes in brightness.