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Avi Loeb talks to Sean Carroll at Preposterous Universe about why he thinks Oumuamua represents extraterrestrials


He ends up, we are told, sounding like an ID type:

The possible existence of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations — not just alien microbes, but cultures as advanced (or much more) than our own — is one of the most provocative questions in modern science. So provocative that it’s difficult to talk about the idea in a rational, dispassionate way; there are those who loudly insist that the probability of advanced alien cultures existing is essentially one, even without direct evidence, and others are so exhausted by overblown claims in popular media that they want to squelch any such talk. Astronomer Avi Loeb thinks we should be taking this possibility seriously, so much so that he suggested that the recent interstellar interloper `Oumuamua might be a spaceship built by aliens. That got him in a lot of trouble. We talk about the trouble, about `Oumuamua, and the attitude scientists should take toward provocative ideas.

[name], “Avi Loeb on Taking Aliens Seriously” at Preposterous Universe

Like, the “design inference” and all that.

But he might keep his job anyway.

See also: Avi Loeb on why he thinks Oumuamua might be an alien signal. “Nature does not produce such things”

Weird, I was able to, momentarily, comment on the "Philip Cunningham argues:" thread but not now. Someone has tweaked the settings and stuff is not working properly. JVL
Bornagain77: (from the Philip Cunningham argues: thread) Godel’s proof is a large part of my argument that there will never be a mathematical ‘theory of everything’ that bridges, i.e. ‘renormalizes’, the ‘infinite infinities’ that separate the macroscopic descriptions of general relativity from the microscopic descriptions of quantum mechanics, i.e. “the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. But you are misapplying Godel's work as physics does not match the requirements of his theorems, i.e. physic is NOT "a system of axioms equipped with rules of inference, which allow one to generate new theorems". The quotes you offer do not bridge that gap except in a very abstract sense. So, for the moment, Godel's work is NOT applicable to physical sciences because they do not meet the givens of his theorems. JVL
Kairosfocus: (on the Philip Cunningham argues: thread) It's clear from your reiterations of Godel's incompleteness theorems that their application to anything outside of mathematics is highly debatable. For example: is physics "a formal system is a system of axioms equipped with rules of inference, which allow one to generate new theorems"? I'd say no. In which case Godel's work is not applicable. And there's this:
A common misunderstanding is to interpret Gödel’s first theorem as showing that there are truths that cannot be proved. This is, however, incorrect, for the incompleteness theorem does not deal with provability in any absolute sense, but only concerns derivability in some particular formal system or another.
Viola Lee and Steve Alten2: I too am being shut out of certain threads, including the "Philip Cunningham argues" thread which is actually discussing some mathematics. I guess Kairosfocus is no longer interested in my mathematical insight. Perhaps I'll just post my comments to this thread instead . . . . JVL
Viola Lee, what’s even more interesting is that your comment is included in the list of recent comments but doesn’t appear when you click on it. Or it just might be Devine intervention. :) Steve Alten2
Hmmmm. Over on the Jesus and the Theory of Everything thread, I got a comment box, but when I posted my comment didn't appear, and I didn't have a comment box again. I saved my comment to Querius, so maybe someone will fix the system. Viola Lee
Interesting. I have a comment box on this thread, but not on other threads. Something is broken. Viola Lee
Excellent interview. Carroll made one counterintuitive point that I'd never heard or thought of before. Loeb was saying that we need to be humble. We shouldn't assume that we are special. Aliens could well be vastly superior. Carroll responded that assuming we're just ordinary is ALSO arrogant, because it assumes that our type of life is the norm. polistra

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