RE: Aliens, Space Travel and Ultratechnology (part 1)

Billy Brown (
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 14:12:04 -0500

On Tuesday, July 27, 1999 12:41 AM, Ross A. Finlayson [] wrote:
> Maybe in the interval from when a species achieves sentience to some
> where they leave this plain of existence altogether is not so great that
> endeavor to spread throughout a large material area but rather before
> massive undertaking is accomplished they have ascended.
> If there are an infinite number of alternate realities, maybe the truly
> advanced aliens have left us in this one to either observe or ignore us.

Sure. And maybe every human being on Earth will decide to have Cheerios for breakfast every day for the next million years.

Again, it doesn't matter if "many", or "most", or even "99.99999%" of all races do something that would make them invisible to us. What you're looking for is an absolutely airtight, 100% guaranteed, absolutely escape proof mechanism for making them invisible. If you don't have that, you still have to explain why that occasional oddball species (or splinter group, or individual) that decides to stick around isn't busily rearranging the cosmos.

> Whatever may be the case, until such time as the aliens are well verified
> more or less come forward for themselves or not, those that would like
the idea
> of alternate intelligences can feel good that there are millions upon
> of galaxies, each with millions upon millions of stars, each possibly
> habitable planets per the Drake equation, that might foment intelligent
life as
> we know it.

If you are serious about adressing the problem of the Great Science, one of the first things you have to do is stop plugging arbitrary numbers into the Drake equation. That kind of speculation is fun, but it is utterly useless for estimating the number of sentient races that actually exist. As long as you are assigning arbitrary, reasonable-sounding numbers to those terms, you are pretty much certain to be wrong. For all we know, one of those tems could be 10^-20.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I