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The Fermi Paradox - Where is Everybody?


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#1    StarMountainKid

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:19 AM

This is a great article, while not very long, it’s concise and contains a lot of information about why we haven't been contacted by ET. It ponders how many civilizations may be out there, the types of civilizations that may exist, the Great Filter, etc., plus a list of Sources as links to further reading.

I think any of the explanations stated could be valid, as there must be a reason why extraterrestrial civilizations have not made themselves known to us. Then again, maybe we’re lucky they haven’t.

http://waitbutwhy.co...mi-paradox.html

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#2    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:27 AM

Where is everyone?
Easy. They're down the pub.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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#3    Gomar

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:35 AM

Too bad this web site was not presented at the Congressional ET hearing [see my post].


#4    Hammerclaw

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:18 AM

At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.

"An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial."

#5    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:03 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 07 July 2014 - 03:18 AM, said:

At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.
SETI isn't trying to communicate, it's looking for SIGNS of communication and the like.
And frankly, given the other option is to do nothing, then I'd much rather have someone in our isolated village looking at the horizon hoping to see someone rather then all of us looking at the mud thinking "we can't see anything, so we might as well not look".

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

You may think you're cool, but you'll never be as cool as Peter Capaldi with an electric guitar, on a tank, playing the Doctor Who theme.

#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:05 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 07 July 2014 - 03:18 AM, said:

At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.
We can see smoke signals.


#7    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:25 AM

Thanks for posting the article; it is a good summary.  Personally I think we are probably very close to alone because the requirements for life to persist for billions of years unaided are rigid and very, very few planets are so "lucky."

However, I also think it likely that in a short time virtual realities will present themselves and our present physical existence will seem tedious and boring and dangerous and miserable, and off we will go, just as it is nigh impossible to get teenagers off their games.  Still, that possibility as a "great wall" seems unlikely -- there will always be those who find reality preferable.

I do worry about our survival long term.  The omens are hopeful -- a sustainable economy and ecology seems within reach -- except for the unfortunate fact that there are a few who would willingly destroy it all in egoistic self-righteousness, and technology will make it possible.


#8    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:40 AM

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 07 July 2014 - 02:27 AM, said:

Where is everyone?
Easy. They're down the pub.

That is where I am right now. I can confirm that there is no intelligent life here.

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#9    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 05:50 AM

View PostImaginarynumber1, on 07 July 2014 - 04:40 AM, said:



That is where I am right now. I can confirm that there is no intelligent life here.

An hours long investigation has concluded that there is no intelligent life at bars/pubs. I have become an expert in the field tonight

"You do not teach the paths of the forest to an old gorilla."


"It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired - you quit when the gorilla is tired."


RAPTORS! http://www.unexplain...pic=233151&st=0


#10    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:30 AM

I'm afraid the Fermat Paradox makes no sense to me at all. It argues that if the Universe was teeming with life, then we'd be bound to have met up with some of them by now. But then people (often the same people as quote Fermi's paradox to back up their arguments) also point out at every opportunity how big Space is and how remote and insignificant we are, and how unlikely it'd be for someone to either find us by chance or bother to make the effort to make contact with us. Well, surely that answers Fermat's Paradox right there.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#11    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

Space is big but the distances are not infinite, for Christ sake.  Systematic exploration would find everybody; we are not buried in some dark cloud or some huge void.


#12    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

I did have one major problem with the article.  It dismisses too quickly I think and without good basis the theory that the transition from single-celled to multi-celled organisms represents a significant barrier to the evolution of ET.

The basis for his dismissal is the assertion that it happened independently thirty-five times.  That claim is itself controversial, and even if so all strains but one quickly went extinct (failed) and all of them happened in a very short time period geologically speaking after billions of years of nothing.  It would appear some highly difficult precursor was needed.

The problem is that single celled organisms evolve to reproduce themselves.  This is their function.  To have a multi-cellular organism this has to be suppressed (cancer) and cells further have to be evolved that will self-destruct when told to.  All this runs strongly against what they had been evolving to do for a couple billion years.  Even today living organisms have not completely solved the problem and is the reason for the evolution of senescence and death (the only real way to deal with the inevitable rise of cancer sooner or later is to have the organism die).  Of course disease and predation are elements here that complicate this.


#13    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 07 July 2014 - 07:56 AM, said:

Space is big but the distances are not infinite, for Christ sake.  Systematic exploration would find everybody; we are not buried in some dark cloud or some huge void.
And maybe they have done? Maybe unmanned probes would account for a lot of UFo sightings. But would they consider it worthwhile making Contact? They might just be content to observe if they didn't consider it worthwhile saying that mythical Howdy.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#14    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

The probabilities on the surface say the galaxy should have millions of such species.  Your argument only makes sense if there are but one or two, which is the argument in the first place.  If there are millions at least some of them would not follow the rules so closely, since we presume they would each be different is various ways.


#15    toast

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 07 July 2014 - 03:18 AM, said:

At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to
them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.
We have the proof that radio waves can travel over a distance of 13,8B LY, so radio waves are a potential medium for
interstellar communication attempts or the modus operandi for such communications. It is likely that even a supposed
higher than humans advanced civilization may use this medium also in case they use another medium as it is likely
that a high advanced civilization would had use radio waves at an earlyer stage of their developement, so knowing that
radio waves are a sufficient medium for interstellar communication in general. So just saying that radio waves are just
an equivalent to smoke signals and not giving an idea for an alternative is just of polemic nature.

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