Re: Fermi Paradox

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Sat Apr 27 2002 - 09:13:35 MDT

. Does
> anyone have good
> reason to make any sort of claims about how likely
> intelligence is
> to evolve, for instance, or how likely it is that
> amino soup will
> evolve into something with metabolism?
> --

Intelligence defined as tool use and language
eveloved in our case in a few million years from
our primate ancestors, which is evidence that the
step isn't very hard from an evolution standpoint.

The Earth is supposed to have formed by aggregating
bits of the solar nebula. In the latter stages
it can be described as an intense asteroid
bombardment that tapers off around 4 billion years
ago. There is still some loose junk that
occasionally hits a planet, but by 4 BYA it has
tapered off enough that planet surfaces are no
longer molten due to constant bombardment.

There is evidence that life started around 3.5
BYA, which isn't long after conditions permitted
it (~500 MY), again evidence that it isn't very
hard to do.

The problem is making any kind of statistical
statement from a sample of one. Where the
Fermi Paradox becomes relevant to the Singularity
is if we get evidence that makes some hypotheses
more unlikely, the remaining ones become more
likely. For example, if a next generation
Space Telescope finds lots of planets around
other stars with oxygen atmospheres, the extreme
rarity hyposthesis becomes less likely.

This makes the 'high tech doesn't last long enough'
hypothesis more likely, which should worry you.


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