Maybe We ARE Alone And Always Will Be
July 3, 2018 at 3:55 pm #9934
Using fresh statistical methods, the paper re-asks the question “Are we alone?” and draws some groundbreaking conclusions: We Earthlings are not only likely to be the sole intelligence in the Milky Way, but there is about a 50 percent chance we are alone in the entire observable universe. (source)
July 3, 2018 at 10:07 pm #9937
- This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Unseen.
The very fact they gave an estimate of the likelihood of life somewhere else, takes away all their credibility. You cannot possible make such an estimate considering our enormous ignorance, gaps of knowledge, known unknowns, unknown unknowns etc. Worse, they base their estimate on some statistical acrobatics using the various estimates people have given re the Drake equation (which they criticise as arbitrary) and then use the statistical mean of that and what they call “more reliable estimates” (which is pretty close to hypocracy) as some how a reliable base to make an estimate. That’s nuts.
Worse, they totally wave off dozens and dozens of reasonable answers to the Fermi paradox. The Fermi paradox cannot possibly be solved until we deeply explore and scan the universe or until someone shows up. Anyone who claims they have the answer, followed by a statistical likelihood of life out there, is utterly bananas…as seems to be the response of just about every philosopher and scientist on twitter and on some science blogs.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire that they came up with a figure of probability of life out there. I admire that. They are trying to refine estimates. It’s the dishing out of distain for other estimates that’s silly and their claim the Fermi paradox is possibly solved. No one on Earth is smart enough, wise enough or studious enough to solve it now. Unless they are a half breed of humans and some other ultra intelligent life from a galaxy far away.
July 3, 2018 at 10:09 pm #9938
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Davis.
We may be the “alone” in the milkyway – maybe – we may be alone in our universe – that is a slimmer maybe – but, there is no way we are totally alone in other places – Stephen Hawkings said it is possible that our universe may not be the only universe and that he believes there are multiple universes-maybe hundreds of universes-maybe millions of universes…..If this is true then it stands to reason that there is bound to be other “intelligent” life in the other universes also. I love this thought-it is so inspiring and out of the box thinking. A lot of research and evidence started with out-of-the-box thinking. And because we know so little, other “intelligent life” is certainly possible.
July 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm #9941
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by garnet.
We may be the “alone” in the milkyway – maybe – but there is no way we are totally alone in other places – Stephen Hawkings said it is possible that we are not in the only universe and that he believes there are multiple universes-maybe hundreds of universes-maybe millions of universes…..If this is true then it stands to reason that there is bound to be other “intelligent” life in the other universes also. I love this thought-it is so inspiring and out of the box thinking. A lot of research and evidence started with out-of-the-box thinking.
Indeed Gamet. That’s just one of literally hundreds of reasonable explanations of the Fermi paradox (multiple universes). A few more which particularly stick out are:
*We’re in a deserted part of the galaxy/universe
*Other life forms are uninstered or afraid of travel or are xenophobic hermits
*We cannot recognise or interact with some exotic form of life
*We don’t have the means to detect signals or signs of life
*We are uninteresting to other life
*They are observing us from afar
*The prime directive (don’t interfere with pre-interstellar travel species)
*They’re visiting us amongst us disguised
*They become to extended in their search of an enormous universe and not reach Earth
*We are one of the first few life forms all incapable of interstellar travel at the moment
and then the humerous:
*We should be grateful they haven’t found us yet
*They are planning to enslave us and put us to work on the acid mines of Xorg-Xorg in the Zox-Zox galaxy.
*Michael Jackson was the first alien to visit Earth
*Aliens learnt as much as they could by anal probing Americans and took off
*We are quarantened by an association of aliens as wreckless god believing nutcases, deemed a possible menace and they’ve put a forcefield around our solarsystem making future travel impossibleJuly 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm #9949
They don’t rule out the existence of life anywhere, but just talk about probabilities and draw the totally possible (however [un]likely, depending on one’s opinion) that we’re a one-off. We’re not clear on how much of the universe is unobservable, be that in the part that is too far away to observe or perhaps even in the “dark” part of the universe existing in parallel and on the same real estate as our own. Who knows what’s in there.
You are right that they are deep into hypothetical territory, just like Drake, but in the end they are just stating the obvious: that Drake may be wrong.
July 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm #9951
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Unseen.
More from Dr. Anders Sandberg, one of the study’s authors:
One can answer [the Fermi Paradox] by saying intelligence is very rare, but then it needs to be tremendously rare. Another possibility is that intelligence doesn’t last very long, but it is enough that one civilization survives for it to become visible. Attempts at explaining it by having all intelligences acting in the same way (staying quiet, avoiding contact with us, transcending) fail since they require every individual belonging to every society in every civilization to behave in the same way, the strongest sociological claim ever. Claiming long-range settlement or communication are impossible requires assuming a surprisingly low technology ceiling. Whatever the answer is, it more or less has to be strange.
Many parameters are very uncertain given current knowledge. While we have learned a lot more about the astrophysical ones since Drake and Sagan in the 1960s, we are still very uncertain about the probability of life and intelligence. When people discuss the equation it is not uncommon to hear them say something like: “this parameter is uncertain, but let’s make a guess and remember that it is a guess”, finally reaching a result that they admit is based on guesses. But this result will be stated as single number, and that anchors us to an *apparently* exact estimate – when it should have a proper uncertainty range. This often leads to overconfidence, and worse, the Drake equation is very sensitive to bias: if you are hopeful a small nudge upwards in several uncertain estimates will give a hopeful result, and if you are a pessimist you can easily get a low result. (source)
I think it’s likely that civilizations simply don’t last long in terms of astronomical time scales. Our own seems to be circling the drain, doesn’t it?
July 6, 2018 at 1:00 am #9965
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Unseen.
Wait but why offers an excelent overview of common possible answers to the Fermi paradox, and it is also entertaining and insightful as all of his posts are on the site (I belive FronkeyFarmer is a fan of WaitbutWhy)
If you want to get deep into the Paradox, this book is phenomenal (though I cannot say I’ve read all of them in-depth, it includes some very surprising solutions I never ever would have come up with). It covers 75 anwers.July 6, 2018 at 8:17 am #9966July 7, 2018 at 2:53 am #9967
We need to remember that the universe is still in an infantile state. Maybe we’re just the first of many to come. Unfortunately, we may be long gone before any evidence of other advanced civilizations finally arrives.
On a different tack, here’s a video with some thoughts/solutions re: the Fermi paradox:July 7, 2018 at 2:59 am #9968
While there are various estimates of how much of the universe is invisible to us, let’s use 95%. Maybe this represents another universe occupying the same real estate our universe occupies but in what might be called a parallel dimension. If this is so, maybe there is plenty of intelligent life there and we are just a fluke in our 5%.
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