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How do you explain the Fermi Paradox?

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How do you explain the Fermi Paradox?

Few, if any, other civilizations currently exist
3
38%
Communication is impossible due to problems of scale (too far apart in space or time)
2
25%
Humans are not listening properly
0
No votes
They are non-technological
0
No votes
They are too alien
0
No votes
Earth is purposely not contacted (The zoo hypothesis)
0
No votes
Earth is purposely isolated (planetarium hypothesis - beings may have simulated a universe for us that appears to be empty of other life, by design)
0
No votes
It is dangerous from them to communicate
0
No votes
The evidence is being suppressed
2
25%
Other
1
13%
 
Total votes : 8
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 1020
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2011, 15:17
Party Member
Post 20 Apr 2012, 22:42
How do you explain the Fermi Paradox (the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations)?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 20 Apr 2012, 22:46
Other: a complete misunderstanding of how statistics work
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Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Apr 2012, 22:59
In an case of uncharacteristic optimism I'm partial to the conjecture that posits that the period in the evolution of civilisations in which they inefficiently emit large amounts of em radiation is relatively brief, being preceded by the pre-technological period of millions/billions of years and followed by a super-efficient period of unlimited duration.

Quote:
Other: a complete misunderstanding of how statistics work


How so? Are you sure you're not confusing it with the Drake equation?
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 20 Apr 2012, 23:08
Whitten wrote:
In an case of uncharacteristic optimism I'm partial to the conjecture that posits that the period in the evolution of civilisations in which they inefficiently emit large amounts of em radiation is relatively brief, being preceded by the pre-technological period of millions/billions of years and followed by a super-efficient period of unlimited duration.


I gotta ask, what does that mean in layman's terms?

Whitten wrote:
How so? Are you sure you're not confusing it with the Drake equation?


The whole paradox boils down to confusing "very likely" with "certain" and "certain" with "obvious".

As for the Drake equation, it can't be considered anything more than a guessing game dressed up with fancy numbers.
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Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
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Soviet cogitations: 1020
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2011, 15:17
Party Member
Post 20 Apr 2012, 23:25
I disagree, Indie. We can all agree it is LIKELY that there are planets very similar to Earth in the Universe. My question to you is: do you think that there are aliens? If so, why haven't we communicated with them?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Apr 2012, 23:30
Quote:
I gotta ask, what does that mean in layman's terms?


The reason we haven't detected alien radio signals is because the paradox is based on the false assumption that once technologically advanced a civilisation will continue to pour em signals out into space at an exponentially increasing rate, rather than rapidly evolving to a point where its use of energy is so efficient that there's very little for us to detect. The extreme case would be a dyson sphere.
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 21 Apr 2012, 00:02
I'd admit to the possibility of intelligent life in the universe, but there's no reason to assume this is the case. Nor is there a reason to assume that we should have any evidence of it nor that they should be able to communicate with us, nor that they are extraordinarily advanced with respect to humans, nor that they are radically different in any respect. So I guess I'm kind of agnostic about the whole thing. I recognize such a thing is possible, even likely, but I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
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Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
Soviet cogitations: 3448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 21 Apr 2012, 00:21
Quote:
but there's no reason to assume this is the case


We have evidence that the existance of such life is possible. By virtue of the fact that it exists here on Earth.

Given the emergence of intelligent life from natural evolution it seems reasonable to assume that in a universe of broad possibilities that this is not a unique phenomenon.

Quote:
Nor is there a reason to assume that we should have any evidence of it


This depends. If a near by radio-based civilisation existed we should know about it, so the obvious conclusion is that there isn't one.

Quote:
nor that they should be able to communicate with us


1) They don'tneed to be actively trying to communicate with us for us to detect their existence.
2) This also depends on what you mean by communication. Communication of complex information would be difficult for obvious reasons, but that's a challenge not an impossibility.

Quote:
nor that they are extraordinarily advanced with respect to humans


The post primitive alien civilisation we could detect is one which has developed radio techology. So roughly a century behind us. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that any such civilisation out there is significantly in advance of ours, if they're not it suggests that there is a very limited life expectancy for post-atomic civilisation (Carl Sagan's rather pessimistic explaination of the paradox).
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Soviet cogitations: 1020
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2011, 15:17
Party Member
Post 21 Apr 2012, 00:41
Whitten wrote:
This depends. If a near by radio-based civilisation existed we should know about it, so the obvious conclusion is that there isn't one.


Or the government is suppressing the evidence.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 21 Apr 2012, 00:41
Whitten wrote:
We have evidence that the existance of such life is possible. By virtue of the fact that it exists here on Earth.


We don't have any evidence, simply theories that state the possiblity and the various likelihoods. The Rare Earth theory is equally plausible. I agree that it is possible, but there is no real reason to assume it is the case.

Whitten wrote:
This depends. If a near by radio-based civilisation existed we should know about it, so the obvious conclusion is that there isn't one.


How are you so sure?

Whitten wrote:
The post primitive alien civilisation we could detect is one which has developed radio techology. So roughly a century behind us. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that any such civilisation out there is significantly in advance of ours, if they're not it suggests that there is a very limited life expectancy for post-atomic civilisation (Carl Sagan's rather pessimistic explaination of the paradox).


You are again making a host of unfounded assumptions here.
1. That any civilization of intelligent life, if it indeed existed, would develop at exactly the same rate
2. That their development is an exact analogue of ours, meaning that they well have developed the exact same way and have the same length of life, and have a similar history
3. That radio signals are the only way that a civilization might contact us
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Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Oct 2006, 23:10
Politburo
Post 21 Apr 2012, 01:27
Planetarium Hypothesis?

If this one can be considered, then it is just as likely that the rest of humanity is also simulated.

I look at all the other options, and none seem much more likely than the next, nor should any of them be discounted. I mean, who really knows?
Soviet cogitations: 3448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jun 2006, 15:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Party Bureaucrat
Post 21 Apr 2012, 01:59
Quote:
Or the government is suppressing the evidence.


No. Goverment is responsible for this research and aren't competant enough to supress it.

Quote:
We don't have any evidence, simply theories that state the possiblity and the various likelihoods. The Rare Earth theory is equally plausible. I agree that it is possible, but there is no real reason to assume it is the case.


We don't have evidence that inteeligent life exists? What about us? From the acceptance that it can and does exist its a simple matter of scientific naturalism to reject unfounded claims that this is a unique phenomenon. Life on Earth has emerged as a consequence of laws of chemestry which are universal.

Quote:
How are you so sure?


A radio based cvilisation is one which emits clearly artificial em signals into space, signals which we are capable of distinguishing from background radiation and noise at a considerable distance. No such signals have been detected. Therefore it stands to reason that within this range no such civilisations can exist.

Therefore there are three possibilities:
1) There is no life within this range.
2) Life within this range is entirely pre-radio.
3) Life within this range is sufficiently advanced that they don't emit stray em signals.

Quote:
1. That any civilization of intelligent life, if it indeed existed, would develop at exactly the same rate


Not at all a necessary assumption. They could develop much faster or slower, my point turned on their current position along this path of development, not their rate of development.

Quote:
2. That their development is an exact analogue of ours, meaning that they well have developed the exact same way and have the same length of life, and have a similar history


Only within minimal constraints. It only requires that one advance leads to another, and that they won't develop the ablility to force space and time to submit to their will before mastering an AM radio...

Quote:
3. That radio signals are the only way that a civilization might contact us


Why would they be trying to contact us?
The moment one accepts the notion of 'totalitarianism', one is firmly locked within the liberal-democratic horizon. - Slavoj Žižek
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Soviet cogitations: 1201
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 21 Apr 2012, 05:01
Whitten wrote:
We don't have evidence that inteeligent life exists? What about us? From the acceptance that it can and does exist its a simple matter of scientific naturalism to reject unfounded claims that this is a unique phenomenon. Life on Earth has emerged as a consequence of laws of chemestry which are universal.


We don't have any evidence that there exists any intelligent life besides us. We are only proof of the possibility of intelligent life existing. We are not proof that there certainly is any intelligent life.

Whitten wrote:
Only within minimal constraints. It only requires that one advance leads to another, and that they won't develop the ablility to force space and time to submit to their will before mastering an AM radio...


But why should we assume that any intelligent society would develop along the same lines as us? The advances they achieve could be totally different.

Whitten wrote:
Why would they be trying to contact us?


I didn't say they were. What I'm saying is that the absence of radio signals doesn't signify an absence of of communication, because radio isn't necessarily the only way they would contact us if indeed they were.

Whitten wrote:
A radio based cvilisation is one which emits clearly artificial em signals into space, signals which we are capable of distinguishing from background radiation and noise at a considerable distance. No such signals have been detected. Therefore it stands to reason that within this range no such civilisations can exist.


Or we are simply incapable of detecting it. There's any host of reasons why this might be the case.
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Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 21 Apr 2012, 05:49
I fully agree with indigo. Assuming anything about aliens, outside the very likely probability that they in fact exist, is amazing unscientific. Radio was our way of developing mass communication but why would any alien species ever use radio waves in this way? The why of it can only be entirely imaginary as we have no experience with advanced life outside ourselves. It's also a fallacy to claim our technology to society ratio would resemble, whatsoever, the ratio of other advanced species. Perhaps a certain species could develop extremely advanced spacecraft that allow them to wander around the galaxy poisoning worlds with their shit, while another has only stick technology but extremely advanced philosophy/society.

Also there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe we aren't the most advanced species to ever exist. All extant evidence only points to that conclusion.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 26 Apr 2012, 07:38
To make contact, a lot of things have to happen:


1: One of the races have to have travel capability that let's them reach the other race within their lifespan.

2: They have to be located close enough to make travel a possibility.

3: They have to detect whatever signals are being transmitted by the other race

4: They have to correctly interpret those signals as originating from another race.

5: They have to decide to make contact

6: All of the above have to occur within the brief timespan, on a galactic time scale, the two races happen to coexist in a civilized stage.


While the nature of the universe statistically indicates there'd be more life out there, the odds of us encountering it are remote.
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