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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Jan > Jan 9

Re: Fermi's Paradox

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2011 13:39:56 -0700
Archived: Sun, 09 Jan 2011 08:01:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Fermi's Paradox 


>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2011 15:33:40 -0000
>Subject: Fermi's Paradox

<snip>

>They then claim that:

>"Therefore intelligent life cannot exist elsewhere in the
>Universe"


Ray,

I don't think anyone sensible is claiming that Fermi's Paradox
forces the above conclusion. That is one possible resolution, but
for a variety of reasons (e.g., the principle of mediocrity), not
a very compelling one.

>
>The falsity of that claim and of the whole `paradox' can be seen
>if you ask yourself some questions:
>
>1) `Do humans bother to `communicate with' or to `leave messages
>for' any gnats, ticks or bacteria they might come across during
>a stroll in the countryside?'
>
>2) A corollary question: `Do humans invade the property of other
>humans solely in order to communicate with any gnats, ticks or
>bacteria resident there?'
>
>3) Could humans achieve such an objective? That is, `Could
>gnats, ticks or bacteria form any meaningful conclusions, from
>physical evidence, about the existence of humans as self-
>conscious intelligent beings, or about the motives of such
>beings?'

The "gnats, ticks, and bacteria" concept is a valid perpective
to consider, although, in my opinion, it does not provide a
satisfactory resolution.

Given a potential head start of millions or even billions of
years, it is entirely plausible that ET life could evolve or
self-modify into forms, and be engaged in activities, that we
have no capacity to even detect, let alone recognize as
'intelligent' per se.

But as with life on earth, and given the many trillions of
worlds where it could (nay, should) have arisen elsewhere, we
must consider the likelihood of transitional or intermediate
forms. Gnats may not have any clue about human activity, but
dogs and cats certainly do.

That is to say, under the reasonable presumption that ET life
includes a broad spectrum of intellectual and technological
development, there should be at least some fraction of it at a
level roughly commensurate with our own. Gnats among ticks, so
to speak.

Now, one may argue that such civilizations are not capable of
interstellar travel, and that any ET activity in our vicinity
derives from unrecognizable super-beings on an entirely
different level of development. Perhaps. But consider how close
we are to interstellar travel ourselves... indeed, we already
have craft traveling beyond our solar system that represent
unambiguous, physical evidence of intelligent life.

It's really the prodigious numbers involved that give the Fermi
Paradox its potency. Unless something very extraordinary indeed
(dare I say supernatural) is taking place here on earth, they
suggest that not just somebody, but _lots_ of somebodies,
_independently_ , should be leaving at least some recognizable
clues, even if inadvertently.

I leave open the possibility that some UFOs are in fact those
clues, but even if so, a host of troublesome issues remain.
Suffice it to submit for now that the primitive state of human
development is neither necessary nor sufficent to explain this
relative, if not total, silence.


Mike

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