Re: Fermi Paradox

From: Eugen Leitl (
Date: Sat Apr 27 2002 - 11:45:52 MDT

On Sat, 27 Apr 2002, Dani Eder wrote:

> 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.

Anthropic principle renders this inference null and void.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, it was true. It took about 4 billion
years to arrive at the primate stage. It requires a rather sheltered
environment for the first few gigayears, and extremely sheltered
environment for the last one, because higher life is very vulnerable to
minor variations in the environmental conditions.
> 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.

Or it is extremely hard to do; we don't know. Anthropic principle again.
If there are other instances of life in this solar system not derived from
a common source you have a cause, not before. This measurement is
perfectly biased.
> The problem is making any kind of statistical
> statement from a sample of one. Where the

Not just a sample of one, but a perfectly biased sample of one (life can't
observe its nonexistance, sentient life will always observe itself with
probability unity).

> 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.

Would suffice to find life on Mars or Europa, which is not derived from a
common source with us. Unlikely, though: this dish is too
> This makes the 'high tech doesn't last long enough'
> hypothesis more likely, which should worry you.

Can't quite believe we nuke us before we get into space. That window is

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:38 MDT