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The Fermi Paradox

Fermi Paradox Aliens Extraterrestrials Life

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#1
Ru1138

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http://waitbutwhy.co...624938964843750

 

Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.

 

Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”


What difference does it make?


#2
joe00uk

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The Fermi Paradox really isn't a paradox at all - aliens won't talk to us because they know humans are a bunch of egotistical idiots who's wish seems to be for self-destruction :p Why would they want to talk to a species like that? xD I think that if they exist and are highly advanced, they've been studying us for a long time and are divided on whether to communicate with us or not because they know that there's a mixture of intelligence and ignorance among us. If they do exist, then their governments or whatever authority figures they have prohibit contact with humanity.



#3
Ru1138

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The Fermi Paradox really isn't a paradox at all - aliens won't talk to us because they know humans are a bunch of egotistical idiots who's wish seems to be for self-destruction :p Why would they want to talk to a species like that? xD I think that if they exist and are highly advanced, they've been studying us for a long time and are divided on whether to communicate with us or not because they know that there's a mixture of intelligence and ignorance among us. If they do exist, then their governments or whatever authority figures they have prohibit contact with humanity.

 

Or maybe we're just very very lucky.


What difference does it make?


#4
joe00uk

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The Fermi Paradox really isn't a paradox at all - aliens won't talk to us because they know humans are a bunch of egotistical idiots who's wish seems to be for self-destruction :p Why would they want to talk to a species like that? xD I think that if they exist and are highly advanced, they've been studying us for a long time and are divided on whether to communicate with us or not because they know that there's a mixture of intelligence and ignorance among us. If they do exist, then their governments or whatever authority figures they have prohibit contact with humanity.

 

Or maybe we're just very very lucky.

 

I would only consider it lucky if the aliens had malicious intentions.



#5
Ru1138

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Or maybe we're just very very lucky.

I would only consider it lucky if the aliens had malicious intentions.

 


That article is about the great filter.


What difference does it make?


#6
joe00uk

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Or maybe we're just very very lucky.

I would only consider it lucky if the aliens had malicious intentions.

 


That article is about the great filter.

 

Ah, yes, I must read it.



#7
Ru1138

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Gamma ray bursts may repeatedly wipe out life

 

Deadly invisible jets of high-energy radiation may short-circuit life throughout the universe. A studyreported in the Dec. 5 Physical Review Letters concludes that these gamma-ray bursts occur frequently enough in about 90 percent of galaxies to sterilize planets, including Earthlike worlds that would otherwise be ideal for life. Earth itself has been zapped, the study suggests, perhaps contributing to one or more of the planet’s mass extinctions.
 
Some scientists say the study doesn’t properly account for the resilience of life, particularly if that life is protected by an ocean or an ice shell. Nonetheless, the paper’s sobering conclusions may temper recent optimism about the prospects for extraterrestrial life, particularly regarding the discovery of Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars.


Sadly, it's a subscription only article, but here's an abstract of the cited study.


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#8
kjaggard

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This was a great read on the likelyhood of extraterrestrial life and why we see no indications of it.

http://gizmodo.com/t...rths-1580345495


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Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#9
Raklian

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I agree, it's a very interesting read. As I read the article, I was wondering if one of the enumerated reasons for the Fermi Paradox is actually the correct answer.

 

 

Also, the mention of "superpredator civilizations" reminds me of the Reapers from the Mass Effect saga. :)


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#10
kjaggard

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I suspect that the real truth is a little bit of all those reasons.

 

My only other issue is the reliance on the Kardashev scale for measure of advancment. I think of it like judging civilisation vs barbarism based on how much food people consume. Especially when you consider it doesn't take into account population size. The sci-fi writer in me can imagine some sort of non sentient fungal mat growing in space that envelops a star at around the venusian orbit level and uses the entirety of the energy of a stars output. Meanwhile a single person could achieve immortality, have a matter replicator, and spend their eternity self contemplating, exploring via slow boat craft, and exploring the works of cultures encountered via vitual reality... and they'd use less energy than any nation on earth today.


Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#11
Ru1138

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My apologies for bursting your bubble, but I posted this article (from a different source) a while ago and even started a thread for discussing it.

 

http://www.futuretim...-fermi-paradox/

 

Maybe the threads should be merged?


What difference does it make?


#12
OrbitalResonance

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There has been like 30 threads on the Fermi paradox since the forums inception.


We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. - Carl Sagan


#13
Ru1138

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There has been like 30 thread on the Fermi paradox since the forums inception.

 

That's why I'm suggesting a thread merger. Heck, maybe if we merge the two threads like I suggested, we could have it stickied.


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#14
OrbitalResonance

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Yah, it seems to be so popular that it warrants its own permanent thread.


We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers. - Carl Sagan


#15
Ru1138

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Yah, it seems to be so popular that it warrants its own permanent thread.

 

Threads merged, though Wjfox gave a reason not to sticky it. So we'll just have to keep this thread active. :p


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#16
Ru1138

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This sounds like an interesting read on how we might have lucked out on having a planet conducive to complex life.

 

Let’s face it. It’s likely that there are billions, perhaps trillions, of Earth-like stars in the cosmos. Can we plausibly argue that our Earth is somehow special, that it alone of all similar worlds possesses complex (which is to say multicellular) life?

 

Well, yes we can. With the limited data available to scientists we can’t say with any degree of certainty that Earth is the only planet that hosts complex life. But we can certainly make the argument that Earth is exceptional – and Waltham does so beautifully.

 

Lucky Planet gives the most accessible treatment I’ve yet read of the anthropic selection effect. Our planet has enjoyed four billion years of clement weather, and this climate stability has surely been key to life’s continued existence. Earth’s climate could easily have followed a trajectory towards ice or fire, turning the planet into a snowball or a boiling hell; the climate could have done rapid flip-flops between periods of frigidity and periods of heat. Instead, the average surface temperature of our planet has seen a gentle cooling trend on top of which are relatively minor fluctuations, measured in tens of degrees. With this climate life has been able to thrive.


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#17
Unity

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Sometimes I wonder if the ability to love and cooperate acts as a sort of universal filter for societies to survive the transition from say a type I to type II civilization.   If they cannot then their too quick technological advance and the resulting environmental and social damage does them in.  Any more advanced civilization knows that going through this process is necessary for the development of wisdom and character so they do not interfere.  They could not make the decisions for us, because they would be robbing us of the changes we need to make to ourselves and our societies to be viable.  Maybe aliens are rare because that kind of love, intelligence, responsibility, trust, courage, industriousness, fortitude, etc are rare.



#18
Ru1138

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Sometimes I wonder if the ability to love and cooperate acts as a sort of universal filter for societies to survive the transition from say a type I to type II civilization.   If they cannot then their too quick technological advance and the resulting environmental and social damage does them in.  Any more advanced civilization knows that going through this process is necessary for the development of wisdom and character so they do not interfere.  They could not make the decisions for us, because they would be robbing us of the changes we need to make to ourselves and our societies to be viable.  Maybe aliens are rare because that kind of love, intelligence, responsibility, trust, courage, industriousness, fortitude, etc are rare.

 

Interesting concept. Stephen Baxter mentioned something like that in Manifold: Space. Namely that species that are more cooperative than competitive are more likely to become space faring.


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#19
Ru1138

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Also, for anyone interested in pondering Fermi's Paradox, please read this book.

 

Here's a review for it.

 

I’ve mentioned the book before, in my Fermi Paradox solution post. Most of what I wrote in that post, and some others, was inspired by this book.

 

To summarise what’s inside, Webb begins with an introduction to Enrico Fermi, his paradox and a few other important titbits. Then the meat of the book (book meat, euh) begins and Webb gives us 50 solutions to the paradox. Each is discussed intelligently, in detail, but all science is kept to a level that a lay person can easily understand, and Webb has clearly done his research on each, as many explanations have surprisingly long histories. Overall he divides the solutions into three categories ‘they are here’, ‘they exist but have not yet communicated’, and ‘they do not exist’, arrogantly ignoring my own categorisation, see Some Fermi Paradox Answers: some cool, some lunatic, some faintly disturbing.


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#20
Ru1138

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This sounds like an interesting read on how we might have lucked out on having a planet conducive to complex life.

 

Let’s face it. It’s likely that there are billions, perhaps trillions, of Earth-like stars in the cosmos. Can we plausibly argue that our Earth is somehow special, that it alone of all similar worlds possesses complex (which is to say multicellular) life?

 

Well, yes we can. With the limited data available to scientists we can’t say with any degree of certainty that Earth is the only planet that hosts complex life. But we can certainly make the argument that Earth is exceptional – and Waltham does so beautifully.

 

Lucky Planet gives the most accessible treatment I’ve yet read of the anthropic selection effect. Our planet has enjoyed four billion years of clement weather, and this climate stability has surely been key to life’s continued existence. Earth’s climate could easily have followed a trajectory towards ice or fire, turning the planet into a snowball or a boiling hell; the climate could have done rapid flip-flops between periods of frigidity and periods of heat. Instead, the average surface temperature of our planet has seen a gentle cooling trend on top of which are relatively minor fluctuations, measured in tens of degrees. With this climate life has been able to thrive.

 

 

I ordered Lucky Planet through the library system. I'll let you all know of any interesting tidbits I find in it. :)


What difference does it make?






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