Re: Skeptics and extropians

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 19:29:51 MST

animated silicon love doll wrote:
> 2002.01.19 9:41:23, "J. R. Molloy" <> wrote:
> >Yes, you can *imagine* them to be any way you like.
> >That's precisely the point I was making. ETI is completely imaginary because
> >there's absolutely no scientific evidence to support the conjecture that it
> >exists. Hence, contact with ETI would unsettle science more than it would
> >religionism (which is based on imagination to begin with).
> but is there any hard scientific evidence that they DON'T exist? i'm not saying that i
> completely believe in the existence of eti... but i'm not going to discount it entirely and
> shoot myself in the foot when/if they show up.

Of course not, but presuming that they are more like europeans than
other humans is the absolute height of ethnocentricity. The fact that we
have no evidence that they DO exist means that your presumption is based
on absolutely no facts at all.

While it is quite acceptable to presume that, based on us being the only
current datapoint, other spacefaring technological civilizations we may
find are at least as likely to be more like us than less, the current
dominance of euro-derived cultures (specifically anglospheric culture)
on earth is preternaturally based on the state of events at this
particular point in time, and has absolutely nothing to do with how an
alien culture would have developed on a very different world, with
different climate, geography, resource distributions and ecological
evolution of various species.

Given trends into the future, it is as likely that they are more like
Chinese, if you are going to use that criteria.

I highly recommend Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" to anyone
trying to make any prognostications about what alien life and culture
will be like. What cultures develop at what pace is highly dependent
upon the species they co-evolve with and the geography and climate they
develop in.

> there is currently no detectable evidence of extra terrestrial intelligence. but in the dark
> ages, there was no detectable evidence of, say, quarks, or that the earth was not the
> center of the universe, or that a box the size of a big man's torso could calculate more
> complex equations and find more really really big prime numbers than any human could.
> but that doesn't physically disprove any of those things.

Actually, there was evidence in spades of quarks, of a sol-centric
planetary system, and that the earth was not the center of the universe,
they only required that people observe that evidence and draw the proper
logical conclusions from them using the scientific method and not
superstition. Furthermore mechanical calculators for calculating time
and astronomical movement have been found dating back to ancient greece,
and accurate predictions of lunar eclipses, comets, and planetary
movement for thousands of years have been performed.

That the ignorant superstitious types choose to refuse to acknowledge
existence of evidence is quite different from its actual absence.

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