17
   

The Fermi Paradox

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 12:05 pm
That's right, you're a perfect example. As you are following your typical MO of just arguing for argument's sake, and seem to have nothing to say about the topic, i will be ignoring you from now on.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 12:29 pm
@Setanta,
Oh master of arrogance, your ignorance of poor little me is too big a favor already!
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 06:39 pm
@fresco,
Actually, number 7 and 8
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 09:13 pm
Having never encountered a species far ahead of us, or evidence of a species far ahead of us, we've never had our view of ourselves challenged. We just stay here in our little bubble, on this one rock, ruling over an empire of people with equally little knowledge of what else exists.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 08:04 pm
@Brandon9000,
I like exploring the Fermi Paradox, even though I think Fermi went a bit too far with some of his assumptions for forming the "Paradox".

The basic problem I see with his "Paradox" is that we simply don't have enough data to form a true paradox. But putting that aside for a moment and taking a few guesses for granted, I still find myself wondering why we don't see more evidence of intelligent activity in the Universe. Also, I extend the paradox beyond biological colonization and I include bio-mechanical or exotic "organisms" and I also include the mere observation (radio, light or other signals) into the Paradox.

Self replicating mechanical contrivances seem more likely to swarm over a galaxy than biological organisms, and who can say what might be the motivations and capabilities of crystalline or silica-organic life forms (if such a thing can even exist).

Given the prevalence of organics within the raw materials of solar system structure (asteroids and dust) along with recent evidence of finding planets and moons around a majority of stars, I do think that rudimentary biological life is probably very common, possibly on the order of 90% of solar systems. Given the number of stars, the depth of time and the ubiquity of the evolutionary process within biological systems, I also suspect that complex biology is also pretty common. However, I'm inclined to think that the combination of "technological intelligence" along with some type of motivation (whether innate behavioral, or economic or survival mandatory) is probably much more rare. There also may be other places to go besides "out into space". I've heard it said that there is as much to explore going down into the micro quantum world as there is in the macro cosmological world. In the end it may simply be that intelligent species find it more attractive to go "down" into the quantum rather than "out" into space.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 02:33 am
Carl Sagan had an interesting take on self-replicating or von Neumann probes. From the Wikipedia article on that subject:

Quote:
A response came from Carl Sagan and William Newman. Now known as Sagan's Response, it pointed out that in fact Tipler had underestimated the rate of replication, and that von Neumann probes should have already started to consume most of the mass in the galaxy. Any intelligent race would therefore, Sagan and Newman reasoned, not design von Neumann probes in the first place, and would try to destroy any von Neumann probes found as soon as they were detected. As Robert Freitas has pointed out, the assumed capacity of von Neumann probes described by both sides of the debate are unlikely in reality, and more modestly reproducing systems are unlikely to be observable in their effects on our Solar System or the Galaxy as a whole.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 07:37 am
@Setanta,
I feel that intergalactic travel will be a possibility in the future > All itll take is to unlock some loopholes in physics that we yet don't know that we don't know.
We are, in that technology, about as advanced as Aristotle was when the word "Atom" meant "indivisible". Now we not only recognize atomicsubstructure and energy levels in the realms or the quantum world, but we use these quirks daily and no one gives a sideways glance.

Iheard on NPR this AM where Jeffereson predicted that it would be "a thousand years, but that AMerica would one day stretch and reach the sea"(Pacific).

AT least we sorta know where the bottleneck lies.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 08:06 am
@farmerman,
Why intergalactic? There are at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and the distances between galaxies are large compared to the distances between stars. Why would we explore other galaxies when billions of stars in our own galaxy remain unexplored?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 09:37 am
@Brandon9000,
yeh whatever.


We would, by the rules of polar geometry, have to start with intragalactic travel before we achieve intergalactic travel. I thought I didn't have to extract the fly **** from the pepper . This aint a scientific paper Im trying to have published.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 10:58 am
@farmerman,
The problem i have, and what shapes my thinking on this subject, is the complete lack or any evidence that FTL travel is possible. Absent FTL travel, it is highly unlikely that we will ever explore other galaxies. There is a also social factor which lead me to label Fermi naïve. Why would the people left behind want to make sacrifices for decades or even generations to benefit a handful of people they will never see again, and whose colonization efforts will never benefit the home planet? That ain't human nature.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 11:36 am
@Setanta,
Maybe the "left behind" would look at thi as a "one way adventure" .
Im kind of amused that we didn't really embrce a space program until it was mostly take away.

If string theory has any legs, it mildly suggests that time can be achieved by "interdimensional travel".
WhO KNOWS??

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 11:57 am
@farmerman,
As i understand it from my reading, the string hypothesis (no confirming data, no experimental protocols, no predictive success--it ain't got the credentials to be called a theory) posits six dimensions other than the four spatial-temporal dimensions. The other six dimensions, where the putative strings exist, are measured on the Planck scale--1.616252×10−35 m. It seems to me to be a dubious proposition that we could access such a realm for our purposes.

What i mean about the attitudes of those left behind is that it would take gargantuan amounts of energy and material to send colonists out into interstellar space. Unless and until we have the resources to feed everyone, provide clean drinking water, shelter, health care and retirement security, and have a gargantuan excess of material and energy resources, nobody's electorate is going to go along with it. That means no politician is going to get involved--end of story.

The space program was sparked and long sustained by the military implications of sputnik. The Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs demonstrated that we had the same ICBM capacity as the evil Russkis, and that kind of took the oomph out of the program. We really haven't done **** since then.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 12:40 pm
@Setanta,
Maybe some day the Russkis will start acting evil again... one can only hope.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 12:44 pm
@maxdancona,
They're doing a pretty good job right now, but it hasn't reached the level of ICBMs yet.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 12:49 pm
@Setanta,
I doubt it'll ever reach that stage, but the real 64 thousand dollar question is when is the world community going to act on this murder of 298 people by a Russian missile?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 01:10 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
The problem i have, and what shapes my thinking on this subject, is the complete lack or any evidence that FTL travel is possible. Absent FTL travel, it is highly unlikely that we will ever explore other galaxies. There is a also social factor which lead me to label Fermi naïve. Why would the people left behind want to make sacrifices for decades or even generations to benefit a handful of people they will never see again, and whose colonization efforts will never benefit the home planet? That ain't human nature.

If we sent people on a trip within, say, 30 light years, they could at least radio their status from time to time. The radio waves would have a major Doppler shift, but we could handle that. Then, some of the people launching them would know what they found at the other end. That would be enough for me, and, in fact, I would do it just for the species. I realize that my views on the subject aren't typical.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 01:13 pm
@Brandon9000,
That's an idea that has some potential and promise, and I agree. It's no different than the risks our first astronauts took in their flight into space.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 01:17 pm
@Setanta,
Both of these issues are addressed by a very simple possibility. Light speed is (based on all of our knowledge now) an unbreakable limit.

However the human life span is apparently unlimited. The longer humans live, the farther we can go under the light speed limit and the longer we can wait for our return on investment.

There are credible scientists who are saying that we might reach the capability of stopping the human aging process in the next 50 years. After that point, colonizing other star systems seems more possible.

Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 01:17 pm
@Brandon9000,
Without intending any offense (because i feel the same way), that's not what those left behind will likely think, and politicians are essentially cowards. They don't lead, they follow what they believe public opinion to be.

As we've discussed before, we need to slowly spread out in our star system, and work from there. I liked EB's idea because i can see, with what we know of physics now, a scenario in which we went out to the asteroid belt to get our materials, and construct a hollow orb the size of a plenetesimal, set it spinning to create an artificial environment of, say, .5 G (one G would be better, though), and then set up on board "farms." We could steal the water from Saturn's rings.

First, though, we have to get out there. I think that's within a reasonable scope, but i also despair of the government and public opinion. Politicians fear monger, and the public will pay for weapons systems faster than space programs. Sadly, i think to myself, not in my lifetime.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 01:40 pm
@maxdancona,
The size of any spacecraft also matters. If they can take several generations by ship into space, they can continue to travel long distances based on generational expansion, and enough supplies to grow their own food and other necessary medical needs. I'm not sure how they can continue to provide oxygen and water for that length of time.
 

 
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