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The Fermi Paradox

Fermi Paradox Aliens Extraterrestrials Life

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#41
Raklian

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5.5 billion light-years away?

 

If the radio bursts really were emitted from an intelligence of some sort, we can't bother trying communicating back. It'll take another 5.5 billion years (plus more, factoring in the expansion of the Universe) for our response to arrive the originating source. In addition, whatever it was has either destroyed itself or has long transcended to a different level of reality, far far beyond what our minds can comprehend at the moment.

 

The best we can do is try figuring out what information, if coherent at all, is stored in these radio bursts and then acknowledge the "message". Perhaps, we could learn from the information and advance our technological pedigree by a range of several decades to several centuries. It's like the storyline in Mass Effect universe where, after humans found Prothean ruins in Mars and the mass relay (once thought to be the moon Charon) orbiting Pluto, mankind leaped forward through several centuries worth of technological advancements in a matter of few years.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#42
JCO

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This makes me think of what I imagine would be the case if SETI detected beamed communication between 2 inhabited stars. It is likely that the beam used would be at most an AU wide so between motion of the Earth and the Sun relative to the beam we would have at most a week before we were no longer aligned with the signal. Most likely that alignment would never recur so no later confirmation would be possible. Also the signal may not be constant which would reduce the amount of time available to detect it. To make it more difficult we would need to be looking in the right direction to see it. 


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#43
Ru1138

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The best we can do is try figuring out what information, if coherent at all, is stored in these radio bursts and then acknowledge the "message". Perhaps, we could learn from the information and advance our technological pedigree by a range of several decades to several centuries. It's like the storyline in Mass Effect universe where, after humans found Prothean ruins in Mars and the mass relay (once thought to be the moon Charon) orbiting Pluto, mankind leaped forward through several centuries worth of technological advancements in a matter of few years.

 

Unless it's a virus or some design for a knowledge enabled weapon, in which case it might be best left alone.

 

Edit: and doesn't it seem suspicious that these signals are being taken seriously as more and more jobs are offloaded to AI? Food for thought.


What difference does it make?


#44
JCO

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5.5 billion light-years away?

 

If the radio bursts really were emitted from an intelligence of some sort, we can't bother trying communicating back. It'll take another 5.5 billion years (plus more, factoring in the expansion of the Universe) for our response to arrive the originating source. In addition, whatever it was has either destroyed itself or has long transcended to a different level of reality, far far beyond what our minds can comprehend at the moment.

 

The best we can do is try figuring out what information, if coherent at all, is stored in these radio bursts and then acknowledge the "message". Perhaps, we could learn from the information and advance our technological pedigree by a range of several decades to several centuries. It's like the storyline in Mass Effect universe where, after humans found Prothean ruins in Mars and the mass relay (once thought to be the moon Charon) orbiting Pluto, mankind leaped forward through several centuries worth of technological advancements in a matter of few years.

 

The problem with that idea is where to send the message? After 11 billion year I think that definitely the star and likely the entire galaxy will no longer exist. Do you think they left a forwarding address? If they did, do you think they even remember sending the message? If someone responds to something to something I sent last year I am totally clueless about, what would I do with reply to a message I wrote when I was 5?


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#45
Raklian

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The problem with that idea is where to send the message? After 11 billion year I think that definitely the star and likely the entire galaxy will no longer exist. Do you think they left a forwarding address? If they did, do you think they even remember sending the message? If someone responds to something to something I sent last year I am totally clueless about, what would I do with reply to a message I wrote when I was 5?

 

 

Not true if the star this civilization orbits is a red dwarf.

 

Red dwarfs are theorized to last between 20 to 100 billion years. It is likely there are some that are as nearly as old as the Universe itself.

 

Still, the star can be of any kind, so we can't presume to know what's currently happening 5.5 billion light-years away at this moment.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#46
Ru1138

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?


What difference does it make?


#47
Raklian

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?

 

I'm pretty sure that there is a perfectly logical explanation for the Fermi Paradox but we don't have the tools at our disposal at this point to figure out what that is.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#48
Yuli Ban

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?

 

I'm pretty sure that there is a perfectly logical explanation for the Fermi Paradox but we don't have the tools at our disposal at this point to figure out what that is.

 

Here's some ideas!

 

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Great-Filter-EARLY2.png

 

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^^ About this one. As we know, there have been multiple human species throughout the last million years, some of them arguably as intelligent as we are. If the Neanderthals held up for just a few thousand more years, it's possible they could have eventually developed civilization. Maybe the denisovans as well. And some fossils suggest that there were multiple subspecies of Homo sapiens. Who knows what other humans we haven't found (like the one today). At one point about 500,000 to 1,000,000 years ago, there were as many as six human species living at once. 

 

We're the only ones left. It's wholly possible that we're the Great Filter, not just as a species, but as a genus. 

I mentioned that the Neanderthals possibly could have developed civilization. Here's a thought— what if they couldn't? What if there's some echelon of metacognitive processes necessary for a stable civilization to develop, that is nigh-impossible to evolve— and we did? Not only that, but we lived on. If we died out, then Earth-based life would have died out with our star. 

Perhaps, on habitable planets that host life, it's somewhat common for an alien species (hominid or otherwise) to reach even a Neanderthal level of development (which by itself is an incredibly advanced achievement), but it's incredibly rare for the neurons to rewire themselves in order to make that last huge leap?

Perhaps that planet just isn't as lucky as ours and their star pumps too much radiation onto the surface, or a gamma-ray burst wipes out any chances at civilized life. Perhaps whatever factor that led to sapiens didn't exist or wasn't around in large enough numbers. Perhaps there was a predator that evolved to keep this lifeform down, either driving them to extinction or leading to a radically different evolutionary path away from sapience and towards something else entirely.

 

So when this species looked at the night sky, it never wondered what else was out there or why it existed. If it did, it could never make any logical guesses why.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#49
JCO

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?

 

First, glad to see you back. As for not seeing life, we currently can only infer the existence of planetary bodies around other stars. One of the few object of human construction visible from the Moon was first built over 2,000 years ago. As I have said before, Apollo program did happen even if people cannot see the landing sites and the fact we cannot listen to their top 40 playing from 10 light years away is not evidence of the lack of intelligent life.


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#50
Ru1138

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?

 

First, glad to see you back. As for not seeing life, we currently can only infer the existence of planetary bodies around other stars. One of the few object of human construction visible from the Moon was first built over 2,000 years ago. As I have said before, Apollo program did happen even if people cannot see the landing sites and the fact we cannot listen to their top 40 playing from 10 light years away is not evidence of the lack of intelligent life.

 

 

So number eight on this list then?

 

Also, I've talked about the potential effects of a technological singularity on human civilization before.

 

1. As technologies powerful enough to destroy a civilization become cheap and inconspicuous enough to be used by unstable individuals,

    the likelihood of such an individual (or groups of such individuals) destroying a civilization asymptotically approaches 100%.

 

2. There may be a correlation between the processing power of an intelligence and mental illness. As processing power increases, the

    occurrence of mental illness could asymptotically approach 100%.

 

3. An intelligence greater than human baseline may discover something about the universe that leads to an inevitable existential despair

    and subsequent mass suicide.

 

 

Maybe one of these could be applied to extraterrestrial civilizations?


What difference does it make?


#51
Yuli Ban

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And then there's always the possibility: FTL travel is completely impossible, but it is possible to simulate the universe.

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#52
Ru1138

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And then there's always the possibility: FTL travel is completely impossible, but it is possible to simulate the universe.

 

The problem is that we'd need to travel to the more distant parts of the universe in order to simulate them. We don't know what's out there and on small scales spacetime has an element of randomness to it.


What difference does it make?


#53
Ru1138

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Found this site. It's old, but might contain valuable information.

 

http://www.fermisparadox.com/


What difference does it make?


#54
JCO

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It's strange how we haven't found any traces of life out there (aside from the possible Martian Mikes). There's, what? 100 billion stars out there? Surely not every member of every civilization out there just put themselves into the internet and lost all interest in space exploration?

 

First, glad to see you back. As for not seeing life, we currently can only infer the existence of planetary bodies around other stars. One of the few object of human construction visible from the Moon was first built over 2,000 years ago. As I have said before, Apollo program did happen even if people cannot see the landing sites and the fact we cannot listen to their top 40 playing from 10 light years away is not evidence of the lack of intelligent life.

 

 

So number eight on this list then?

 

Also, I've talked about the potential effects of a technological singularity on human civilization before.

 

1. As technologies powerful enough to destroy a civilization become cheap and inconspicuous enough to be used by unstable individuals,

    the likelihood of such an individual (or groups of such individuals) destroying a civilization asymptotically approaches 100%.

 

2. There may be a correlation between the processing power of an intelligence and mental illness. As processing power increases, the

    occurrence of mental illness could asymptotically approach 100%.

 

3. An intelligence greater than human baseline may discover something about the universe that leads to an inevitable existential despair

    and subsequent mass suicide.

 

 

Maybe one of these could be applied to extraterrestrial civilizations?

 

 

I would say the mundane explanation of 8. If the Great Wall was on Pluto we would need to use the probe headed there now to see it. Nothing else we have has high enough resolution. 

 

As for the suggestions of why there would not be intelligent life out there none are rational.

1. This comes from the myth that we could cause our extinction if we wanted to. If all out nuclear war happened tomorrow the human race would survive and recover. All of the world's nuclear arsenal and there after effects would not be able to kill all of the unprotected people in the world. There would also be thousands who would reach shelters specifically designed to allow their occupants to survive an all out nuclear war. This is something that requires the actions of a few unstable individuals but a concerted effort by the governments of the world and it would fail to cause our extinction. Within a century humanity will have a large permanent population off Earth. At that point it become exponentially more difficult to kill us all. The problem with this concept is it assumes that our ability to wipe out humanity is constantly increasing. The fact is that we reduce the destructive capabilities since 1960 and in that time the population of the world has tripled.

 

2. One there is no evidence more intelligence lead to more mental instability. The more we understand animals, the more we recognize they are subject to the same mental abnormalities we are. Most mental abnormalities are caused by mental stress. Human are much better at coping with mental stress than other animals so that suggest that the more intelligent the less susceptible to mental instability.

 

3. This one is basically restating 2 in a way that makes less sense.


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#55
Ru1138

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Here's some food for thought from The Killing Star.

 

When we put our heads together and tried to list everything we could say with certainty about other civilizations, without having actually met them, all that we knew boiled down to three simple laws of alien behavior:

  1. THEIR SURVIVAL WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR SURVIVAL.

    If an alien species has to choose between them and us, they won't choose us. It is difficult to imagine a contrary case; species don't survive by being self-sacrificing.

  2. WIMPS DON'T BECOME TOP DOGS.

    No species makes it to the top by being passive. The species in charge of any given planet will be highly intelligent, alert, aggressive, and ruthless when necessary.

  3. THEY WILL ASSUME THAT THE FIRST TWO LAWS APPLY TO US.

 

 

So civilizations are silent so that they can't be found from other civilizations which would strike first. Unfortunately we're noisy and too primitive to defend ourselves...


What difference does it make?


#56
JCO

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I think the first 2 are correct. The difference is that they will apply them to those within their civilization and other known competitors. How often does Goldman and Sachs consider a specific tribe along the Amazon in their corporate decisions. A civilization will not be quiet because a possible unknown competitor but they may use more efficient communication method, silent and invisible to us, to help gain advantage over known competitors either within their own civilization or other directly competing civilization. As we have not established any real foothold beyond our own planet even we could not be viewed as a competitor by intelligent outside our solar system. So until we try to reach another star it is unlikely any race will see us as possible opposition. 


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.


#57
Ru1138

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I think the first 2 are correct. The difference is that they will apply them to those within their civilization and other known competitors. How often does Goldman and Sachs consider a specific tribe along the Amazon in their corporate decisions. A civilization will not be quiet because a possible unknown competitor but they may use more efficient communication method, silent and invisible to us, to help gain advantage over known competitors either within their own civilization or other directly competing civilization. As we have not established any real foothold beyond our own planet even we could not be viewed as a competitor by intelligent outside our solar system. So until we try to reach another star it is unlikely any race will see us as possible opposition. 

 

The problem with that assumption is that once you move out into space you can scatter yourself into a lot of smaller and harder to hit targets. So a civilization looking to eliminate competing sentients would strike before we had a shot at space colonization.

 

Alternatively, the ones nearest us are so advanced that they just don't care about little old us.


What difference does it make?


#58
Yuli Ban

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This was in another thread, but I decided to post it here as well.


All the locations in the solar system where life is likely/possible, from our sun outwards.

Red is unlikely. Yellow is possible. Green is likely. Blue= life where we know it exists. Earth obviously has life. I'm also saying Mars has life because we accidentally sent it there with our rovers— which we forgot to clean, demmit.
 
1- Venus (life possible in the upper atmosphere)
2- Earth (has sapient, cybernetic life, and may house xeno-life in subsurface oceans)
3- Mars (now known to have Earth-borne life from unclean probes and rovers; possible native subsurface life, maybe in polar caps, as shown with methane burps and organic molecules)
4- various asteroids (perhaps by way of exogenesis and panspermia)

5- Ceres (now known to have an atmosphere and water vapor and subsurface liquid water)
6- Europa (life very likely at the bottom of its oceans, and some evidence of organic activity at the surface)
7- Callisto (also has subsurface oceans)
8- Ganymede (also has subsurface oceans)
9- Enceladus (also has subsurface oceans and evidence of organic activity)
10- Titan (has a well developed atmosphere, large oceans of methane, as well as more water than exists on Earth within crust, and exceptional evidence of life-esque organic activity)
11- Dione (has a thin oxygen atmosphere, and may have subsurface oceans)
12- comets (proven to contain water and basic organic materials)


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#59
Cosmic Cat

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Spoiler

 

You have to post the whole comic if you want to get a good punchline dammit.

 

God damn it, I can't find it anywhere. I'm just going to photocopy the comic and past it on imgur. That Calvin and Hobbes comic is too good.



#60
JCO

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I think the first 2 are correct. The difference is that they will apply them to those within their civilization and other known competitors. How often does Goldman and Sachs consider a specific tribe along the Amazon in their corporate decisions. A civilization will not be quiet because a possible unknown competitor but they may use more efficient communication method, silent and invisible to us, to help gain advantage over known competitors either within their own civilization or other directly competing civilization. As we have not established any real foothold beyond our own planet even we could not be viewed as a competitor by intelligent outside our solar system. So until we try to reach another star it is unlikely any race will see us as possible opposition. 

 

The problem with that assumption is that once you move out into space you can scatter yourself into a lot of smaller and harder to hit targets. So a civilization looking to eliminate competing sentients would strike before we had a shot at space colonization.

 

Alternatively, the ones nearest us are so advanced that they just don't care about little old us.

 

 

There are several problem with your theory. The first is that a civilization that tries to wipe out any other civilization that could be a threat guarantees antagonism from every civilization they meet. They will almost surely be wiped out the first time they encounter a more powerful civilization.


Confirmed Agnostic - I know that I don't know for sure and I am almost certain no one else does either.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Fermi Paradox, Aliens, Extraterrestrials, Life

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