Re: Existential Risk and Fermi's Paradox

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Tue Apr 17 2007 - 02:23:47 MDT

On 4/17/07, Kevin Peterson <> wrote:

This is my take on Fermi's paradox as well. There doesn't seem to be much
> pushing evolution towards intelligence as we have it. If not for the
> coincidence of the complex social organization and recent arboreal origin
> giving us hands that can use tools, we wouldn't be here. Consider that our
> only relatives similar enough to speak of are endangered and we see that
> while having, say, agriculture, fire and spears may be a distinct survival
> advantage, the precursor to that level of technology/intelligence isn't that
> big a deal.

We naturally assume that intelligence is something really special, and that
once it takes hold it will conquer the Universe. In reality, it may be that
intelligence is just another adaptive trait, about as specialised and
generally useful as the giraffe's neck. Life has spread over the surface of
the planet over billions of years doing very nicely without human level
intelligence, whereas complex abilities such as vision and locomotion have
evolved independently of each other many times.

Stathis Papaioannou

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