The SA and the DA

From: Jeff Herrlich (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 15:15:20 MST

  I've also wondered about the relationship between the SA and the Doomsday Argument (based on my rather elementary understanding of both). They seem to me to reinforce each other. The SA seems to support the DA (and vice versa) through its proposition (1) That we are almost certain to go extict before reaching the Singularity (=doom soon). OR. through its proposition (3) that we are in fact in a simulation (which implies that the true population, including ourselves and our simulators is very large). Out of curiosity, does anyone know of any solid, logical refutation to the SA? I haven't found any yet.
  Best Wishes
  Jeffrey Herrlich
  Phillip Huggan <> wrote:
    The simplest refutation of SA is that it is either evil, or as Eliezer said pointless. You would in effect be playing a child's game for a human lifetime.
  A Fermi Paradox refutation is that life is probably too rare for another technological civilization to exist in the universe, let alone our own past light-cone. There are around 10^23 stars in the universe. How many of these are within our own past light cone? How many are 3rd generation stars suitable metal rich? How many are not binary or triple star systems (the norm)? How many reside within the edges of the outer arm band of a spiral galaxy sweet spot, where gamma ray emissions are rare but metals are not? How stars exhibit suitable Sol-like radiance regularity? How many have an earth-sized rock within the star's habitable ring? How many of these planets have a tilted axis suitable for regular seasons? How many of these! have a single Moon? How many systems have asteroid sweeper Jupiter? How many of these planets exhibit friendly plate tectonics? How many have oceans large enough to moderate climate, but not too large so as to stifle evolution?
  This is not considering prerequisite atmospheric phenomena, any "life effects", or geological prerequisites to technological progress (on this planet we have had everything handed to us on a silver platter). How many metal rich stars are in our own past light cone? That is the starting point to whittle the number of earth simulation actors down to a low decimal figure.

Dirk Bruere <> wrote:

  On 3/7/06, Russell Wallace <> wrote: On 3/7/06, Dirk Bruere < > wrote:
      I'm rather fond of the Simulation Argument (SA) not least because it seems the only hypothesis that neatly resolves the Fermi Paradox.

Suppose we grant the SA, why do you! think this resolves the Fermi paradox? If the simulation resembles "real world" pre-Singularity history, then there are no aliens to be seen in the "real world" either, so the paradox [1] remains. If the galaxy in the "real world" is full of aliens, why would they be omitted from the simulation?

Because intelligence, and singularity, only happened once and that spread across 'our' entire lightcone suppressing all else?

    [1] Personally I don't think it's a paradox because we have no a priori reason to expect there should be aliens in our past light cone, but that's another matter.

Well, we'll have to differ on that one given that our past lightcone that *might* have plausibly included aliens extends several billion years and contains m! illions (billions?) of galaxies.

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