Re: Fermi Paradox in the news

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 19:05:52 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eugene Leitl" <>

> > Any rational individual must be aware of the fact that we live in place
> > where matter, under certain circumstances, self organizes into a state
> > intelligence. Rational and -curious- people will begin to inquire as
> > what those circumstances are, and whether they exist elsewhere.
> Sure, but what has this to do with the issue at hand?

Everything. We have an example. We have a single data point. To the
question: "Does intelligence emerge as a result of the nature of the
universe?" we can answer yes. (Unless you believe in a 'Creator.' Er,
nope, actually, even then.)

Does this mean that there is necessarily intelligent life elsewhere in the
universe? No. It doesn't. If we discover one other intelligence, does
this mean that there is necessarily more than two intelligences in the
universe? No. It doesn't. It is an observation that gives us insight into
what's going on 'out there' and leads us to make predictive statements.
Theory my man, theory. Assumptions in the face of limited knowledge.

> In absence of other data points our existence is
> evidence for our existence, and nothing beyond that. (Ok, I promise to
> lay off bad acid for the future).

No, actually, our existence is *proof* of our existence and *evidence* of
other intelligent existence.

> > show that the events that occurred on earth could not possibly be
> > elsewhere...?
> Principia non sunt. Burden of proof. (=You lose).

Come now, you know that doesn't work here. You don't have to observe each
and every instance of a particular event before you can begin to make
predictive statements. Or, to be more clear: do -you- hold the belief that
the events that occurred on Earth could not possibly be replicated

> In absence of further data, the simplest explanation to Fermi's
> paradoxon is that we're not in anybody smart/powerful light cone.

Is the simplest explanation the most likely explanation when the subject is
necessarily complicated? (i.e. Far more intelligent than us.) Do you
believe that future terrestrial intelligences will be understood by current
terrestrial intelligence in a meaningful and simple way?

I think you believe, as I, that the arrow of intelligence approaches a
singularity. There is great mystery left in the way the universe works.
Who knows what level of reality -we- will inhabit when we punch through.

> would like to amplify that by stating that we would not be holding
> this discussion if it was any different. Double anthropic principle.

The anthropic principle does not protect your argument, because it actually
says very little about reality. Can I use a veto on this argument, or do we
really have to spiral off in this direction? Your call I guess.

> > Can't we, Doug, at the very least, attach probabilities to the
likelihood of
> > intelligence spontaneously arising at other spatial coordinates in our
> > existence matrix?
> Not in good faith, since our planetary accretion models nor our
> steriliztion-catastrophe models nor our evolutionary kinetics models
> are validated, and we don't have very-large-baseline interferometry
> and very-large-aperture spectroscopy instruments to gather data points
> on remote planet composition, size and orbit distribution/stability at
> least in our stellar neighbourhood.
> We Need More Data.

Is the discovery of a single neutrino enough data to speculate the existence
of 'more than one' neutrino?


::jason.joel.thompson:: ::founder::

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