Re: FUTURE: Fermi Paradox

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 11:56:54 -0700 (PDT)

The Low Golden Willow writes:
>} We see two things: an old universe and an empty universe. This theory
>} explains one (emptiness) at the expense of the other (age). Your
>} choice between this theory and a theory that advanced life is just
>} very very unlikely depends on your prior expectations. If you can't
>} swallow life being that unlikely, you might rather swallow us remaining
>} in such a remarkably old universe.
>I don't get it. I assume "this theory" refers to "Changed space-time
>kills people off"; the point of the poster I forwarded was that life
>still has to be unlikely, or we'd be dead already because the universe
>is old. So it doesn't help anything.

We don't know that life like us isn't terribly unlikely. What we
observe is that, conditional on observing anything at all, we observe
an empty and old universe. The fermi paradox is the the conflict
between our observation of an empty universe and expectations that we
should see it full of life.

Robin D. Hanson