Re: seti@home is SORTA WORKING
Sun, 11 Jul 1999 14:38:49 -0700

Greg Burch, <>, proposes an unusual scenario:

> Perhaps, with cosmic time and ultimate computational resources on their
> hands, at least some SIs will come to play the Brahma "god game". If so,
> then there will be perhaps many, many quite potent intelligences in the
> universe -- intelligent far beyond our current level -- but still not at any
> particular time fully in possession of all of the knowledge and power of a
> "complete", unitary SI. Such "lesser deities" might well be interested in
> communicating with us -- in the gentle way of Krishna, or perhaps in the more
> dramatic ways that Shiva upsets the apple cart. In this regard, there might
> be specifically-crafted "level crossers" that are intentionally "designed" to
> play that role in some SI's "god game", or who might evolve into that role on
> their own.

I think this speculation is every bit as valid as the less imaginative ones where we "know" what SIs would do. I really don't see how we can claim to predict their actions! Claims that SIs would do this or must do that are completely unfounded, in my view.

Here's another explanation of our astronomical observations. Maybe the entire solar system is surrounded by a giant TV screen. On the other side, the SIs live and project whatever they want for us to see. (The actual universe is far more dense than the one we are shown, hence there is plenty of matter and energy for them to accomplish this.) This is all done so that we can evolve free of molestation; the universe we are presented is a puzzle which can be understood once we develop the right concepts.

Once you accept the notion that the universe as we see it is fundamentally structured by intelligence, how can we reject these absurdities? If everything we see might be an artifact, then what is the role of science and reasoning on the basis of natural laws?

We have faced many puzzles throughout the scientific era which seemed intractable in their time. Nothing we see today in the universe is inherently more difficult to understand. We have come up with solutions in the past based firmly on natural law, without having to posit divine intervention. There is every reason to expect that we will continue to do so in the future.