Sunday, June 21, 2009
The extreme age of the universe and its vast number of stars suggest that if the Earth is typical, extraterrestrial life should be common. In an informal discussion in 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi questioned why, if a multitude of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy, evidence such as spacecraft or probes are not seen.The wikipedia article & articles linked to it give a fair overview of the question. Since Fermi asked this we have seen & heard orders of magnitude farther & deeper into the universe than they had then & the lack of any evidence of other intelligent life is even more obvious.
I have discussed this before & I think it boils down to 2 options. The pessimistic one being that intelligent life finds it's capacity for self destruction growing geometrically until we destroy ourselves. The optimistic one, because it assumes we have passed the risky bit, is the Rare Earths Hypothesis &/or that the chemical formation of life itself is so improbable that it is only likely to form once, if that. This is part of why searching for microbial life on Mars, whether related to Earth life having been carried there, or slightly more likely here, by meteors or light pressure.
Which brings me to a further paradox which I mentioned in a recent throw away comment to Brian Dunbar. I have said that I think the Everett-Wheeler Multiverse theory probable. If so there exist an effective infinity of universes, some of which, well actually an effective infinity of which, will be more technologically advanced than us. I believe the 2 slit experiment shows information, namely location of photons in all the other alternates, being measured here. It may be that what we are seeing is the enormous number of possible alternates of the possible positioning of the photons in the experiment (& enormous number of attached universes) collapsing into 1. Nonetheless it does seem to show transferance of information across alternates. Since that is observed then communication is theoretically possible too. So where are they?
Where are the Professor Burroughs with his/their Continua Devices? & the Paratime Police of H. Beam Piper.
To be continued.... here