SETG (was RE: seti@home IS WORKING)

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Tue, 13 Jul 1999 16:35:07 +1000

> ----------
> From: Spike Jones[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: Tuesday, 13 July 1999 15:25
> To:
> Subject: Re: seti@home IS WORKING
> > Primes are prime in any base.
> >
> Rob Harris Cen-IT wrote: Spike old boy,...
> Thats *middle aged boy* please. {8^D
> only in a mathematical context. What I am suggesting
> is that we cannot assume that Mathematics in the form that we know
> and use
> it is the ONLY paradigm that can be used by ANY "intelligent"
> species to
> describe conceptual relationships and natural laws etc...
> Rob I followed your argument in this and later posts that perhaps things
> are waaaaay different in other parts of the universe, and we cant possibly
> know or assume annnnnything about other intelligences. OK I will
> entertain
> those notions for the sake of argument, however, when I really ponder
> the idea, I still reject it. What really seems the most likely to me is
> that if other planets ever give rise to life, it is most likely carbon
> based,
> and recognizable as a lifeform to humans. Granted it would look really
> strange, like the precambrian lifeforms perhaps. If any of these
> lifeforms
> inhabited an ecological niche that encourages intelligence as we know it,
> then that species would need to count, and would discover primes, as
> we know them on this particular rock.
> That other intelligences could arise that are *not* based on anything we
> recognize as intelligence, I will grant. Certainly your point is well
> taken,
> that we haven't (what was the term you used?) "jack" to base our
> assumptions upon. We dont know! But at least *some* of the others
> *could* develop intelligence, the kind recognised by humans, and would
> perhaps wish to send signals out to enlighten emerging societies, such as
> ours. The unknowns here alone seem to justify the SETI experiment. spike
Intelligences that are not based on anything that we recognize as intelligent would probably be missed by us anyway. We could indeed be living amongst such entities - who is to say that granite is not a life form beyond our ken, whose intelligence is so fundamentally different from ours that we mistake it for inanimate rock?

Probably there is a good pragmatic reason for concentrating on lifeforms like us (if they exist), which is that we have some hope of detection and useful communication with such forms. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Granite is a dead end.