Re: *Bzzzt* Fermi Paradox

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 17:35:52 MST

gary tripp writes:
> If all advanced space faring races have avoided interfering with the natural
> evolution of life on planets, such as ours, because they wish to see that

If space faring civilisations exist, they must tread terribly
lightly/be nonexpansive.

This makes no sense at all.

Due to (postbiological) evolutionary species radiation you must have
heterogeneity, even if you have to pass through a diversity bottleneck
(e.g. step into space), and hence there is evolutionary pressure to
fill new niches, whether ultracold (inter) stellar periphery or inner
solar systems.

Nonsentient systems can be capable of interstellar travel and
autoreplication. (Though intelligence is probably a necessary initial
condition for emergence of any brawny spacefaring life).

I can only be moral if I'm sentient (and even then this is necessary
but not sufficient. Morality is an artefact of iterated interaction
among more or less equal partners).

Hence no starfaring culture (or even a population of starfaring
cultures) can remain nonexpansive and hence nonobservable over any
relevant time spans.

> latent potential realized then would they act to prevent natural disasters,
> such as earth-asteriod collisions, in order to preserve that potential?
> Evidently, if such advanced races exist, they don't care much about life as
> they certainly did not intervene during near fatal earth-asteriod collisions
> of the past.

Occam's razor says they don't exist (or are not
observable/noninteracting, which means exactly the same thing).

Solar system screened for planets so far seem to indicate our
particular system is pretty special. With better instrumentation
(e.g. space based large-aperture ultra-lage baseline optical
interferometry) we might make our data set more exhaustive, and even
look for spectroscopic life signatures (nonequilibrium) in our stellar
neighbourhood (photons bounced of small planets in life belt are
awfully scarce). My guess is also that the rate of nucleonic synthesis
is making observations over distances more than 200-500 Mlightyears
too stale. Civilisation nucleation rate is probably very low
intrinsincally because proper planetary systems (chemistry, location,
long-term orbit stability) and early hatching rate as well (isotopic
abundancy has to be right). Things should have sped up by now, but
we're limited to our local galactic group for fresh data.

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