Re: Fermi Paradox in the news

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 17:05:59 MDT

Jason Joel Thompson wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Eugene Leitl" <>
> > Yes, two blips are very much different from one blip. I recommend to
> > ask google for "anthropic principle".
> Hi Eugene.
> I'm very aware what the anthropic principle is-- which is the reason I
> pretty much ignored your use of it. A few questions:
> If dolphins were intelligent, would this be a two blip, or a one blip? Why?
> If we discover a lost African tribe next week, is this a two blip, or a one
> blip? Why?

Because we are not only talking about intelligent races per se, we are talking
about worlds that produce intelligent races. While depending on who you talk to,
you could say that over a 2 million year period from this point on, there are
pretty good odds that possibly as many as half a dozen species could naturally
evolve intelligence. Our ecosystem is at a pretty ripe time right now, the weak
species are getting rubbed out and there will then be a significant period of
those niches being filled by new species. So on the basis of intelligent
species, its a good question, but we are searching for intelligence bearing
worlds that exist within the current light cone of our present day. Keep in mind
that technological species may only broadcast in the radio band at high power
for a mere century or less, which makes the odds of spotting other species in
existence NOW rather unlikely, even if intelligent species have evolved only a
few dozen light years away.

> Do you believe that the anthropic principle is a "good enough" answer as to
> the origin of existence?

Its not an answer, its a tautology

> Do you believe that real world science should treat the (strong) anthropic
> principle as a fundamental truth?

No. Its a cop-out that suffices in the absence of further information.

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