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

Ross A. Finlayson (
Wed, 28 Jul 1999 13:14:07 -0400

Billy Brown wrote:

> On Tuesday, July 27, 1999 12:41 AM, Ross A. Finlayson
> [] wrote:
> > Maybe in the interval from when a species achieves sentience to some
> level
> > where they leave this plain of existence altogether is not so great that
> they
> > endeavor to spread throughout a large material area but rather before
> this
> > 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.

Well, besides this, we either assume that a) they are, only in ways we can't determine, or b) we are alone. Something in the next galaxy over (Andromeda?) could be as huge as twenty suns and we couldn't discern it.

One thing that I was thinking was that as civilizations reached some point where they had the power to alter cosmological framework, perhaps those beings that had already gotten there would be able to alter their course. This is obviously pure speculation.

> > Whatever may be the case, until such time as the aliens are well verified
> and
> > 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
> millions
> > of galaxies, each with millions upon millions of stars, each possibly
> with
> > 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

I think the idea of the Drake equation wasn't so much to give the exact probability of intelligent life besides humanity, but rather to isolate the probabilisic variables that would yield some kind of intelligent life as we know it. Now, there could still be life and civilization that doesn't depend on the variables of the Drake equation, for example some form of life that didn't require a "habitable" planet to form. So, the Drake equation can't give us an absolute probability, it is just a guideline. Sure, there are general figures for each of the variables, but we cannot verify each of these or if they are all of the variables.

Whether or not we consider the Drake equation to determine the probability of other intelligent civilizations, it is a tool to determine this.

At any rate, Earth is a miraculous thing. I say that not necessarily to require "higher power" for its being, but it is just great.

Now if the aliens would just come forward and answer these questions we would be in great shape. Personally, I feel the universe is too large for humanity to be the only intelligent race.

Super high technos!

Have a nice day, thank you for your time,

Ross A. Finlayson