Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Researchers: We have dissolved the Fermi Paradox!

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War-of-the-worlds-tripod.jpg
Alien tripod by Alvim Corréa, 1906 French edition of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”

The question of, if there are aliens out there, where are they? In short, they ain’t.  From Dissolving the Fermi Paradox by Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Toby Ord:

Abstract: The Fermi paradox is the conflict between an expectation of a high {\em ex ante} probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and the apparently lifeless universe we in fact observe. The expectation that the universe should be teeming with intelligent life is linked to models like the Drake equation, which suggest that even if the probability of intelligent life developing at a given site is small, the sheer multitude of possible sites should nonetheless yield a large number of potentially observable civilizations. We show that this conflict arises from the use of Drake-like equations, which implicitly assume certainty regarding highly uncertain parameters. We examine these parameters, incorporating models of chemical and genetic transitions on paths to the origin of life, and show that extant scientific knowledge corresponds to uncertainties that span multiple orders of magnitude. This makes a stark difference. When the model is recast to represent realistic distributions of uncertainty, we find a substantial {\em ex ante} probability of there being no other intelligent life in our observable universe, and thus that there should be little surprise when we fail to detect any signs of it. This result dissolves the Fermi paradox, and in doing so removes any need to invoke speculative mechanisms by which civilizations would inevitably fail to have observable effects upon the universe. (public access) More.

From Daily Wire:

The authors conclude: When we take account of realistic uncertainty, replacing point estimates by probability distributions that reflect current scientific understanding, we find no reason to be highly confident that the galaxy (or observable universe) contains other civilizations, and thus no longer find our observations in conflict with our prior probabilities. We found qualitatively similar results through two different methods: using the authors’ assessments of current scientific knowledge bearing on key parameters, and using the divergent estimates of these parameters in the astrobiology literature as a proxy for current scientific uncertainty.

When we update this prior in light of the Fermi observation, we find a substantial probability that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe– Scientific Paper: It’s Likely We Are Alone In The Observable Universe – By HANK BERRIEN – June 26, 2018 More.

But we are never alone as long as we have imagination!

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

See also: Crackpot cosmology offers us a future worse than extinction

and

Question of the hour: Are space aliens hoarding stars in an expanding universe? If the aliens are really advanced, they can shop for stars in the past and the future and have them delivered. There’s nothing wrong with this stuff at all except that it isn’t science. It uses the trappings of science, in the same way perhaps as Hollywood Bible movies use the trappings of religion. The more “daring” the stuff is, the more likely it is to be off the track.

11 Replies to “Researchers: We have dissolved the Fermi Paradox!

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Quite interesting:

    The authors conclude: When we take account of realistic uncertainty, replacing point estimates by probability distributions that reflect current scientific understanding, we find no reason to be highly confident that the galaxy (or observable universe) contains other civilizations, and thus no longer find our observations in conflict with our prior probabilities. We found qualitatively similar results through two different methods: using the authors’ assessments of current scientific knowledge bearing on key parameters, and using the divergent estimates of these parameters in the astrobiology literature as a proxy for current scientific uncertainty.

    When we update this prior in light of the Fermi observation, we find a substantial probability that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe

    KF

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    When we update this prior in light of the Fermi observation, we find a substantial probability that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe

    We may be alone in the galaxy or even in the observable universe.

    Alien intelligence may already be here on Earth but undetectable to us.

    Earth may be quarantined by advanced alien intelligences because we are too primitive and our societies too unstable to be safely contacted at this time.

    We can – probably – assign probability estimates to each of these possibilities and any others we can imagine.

    Only time will tell which – if any – of these possibilities is true. Unfortunately, none of us may be around when that happens.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky holds out hope that “Alien intelligence may already be here on Earth but undetectable to us.”

    Too Rich! 🙂 Seversky apparently believes in undetectable Alien intelligence but resolutely refuses to ever believe in the detectable Intelligent Design that we witness first hand in the DNA of our very own bodies.

    “As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler once observed, “the creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity.” And, of course, he was right. Whenever we find information—whether embedded in a radio signal, carved in a stone monument, written in a book or etched on a magnetic disc—and we trace it back to its source, invariably we come to mind, not merely a material process. Thus, the discovery of functionally specified, digitally encoded information along the spine of DNA, provides compelling positive evidence of the activity of a prior designing intelligence. This conclusion is not based upon what we don’t know. It is based upon what we do know from our uniform experience about the cause and effect structure of the world—specifically, what we know about what does, and does not, have the power to produce large amounts of specified information.”
    – Stephen Meyer
    http://www.signatureinthecell......l-falk.php

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.
    Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    Scientists Have Stored a Movie, a Computer OS, and an Amazon Gift Card in a Single Speck of DNA
    “The highest-density data-storage device ever created.”
    – PETER DOCKRILL – 7 MAR 2017
    Excerpt: In turn, Erlich and fellow researcher Dina Zielinski from the New York Genome Centre now say their own coding strategy is 100 times more efficient than the 2012 standard, and capable of recording 215 petabytes of data on a single gram of DNA.
    For context, just 1 petabyte is equivalent to 13.3 years’ worth of high-definition video, so if you feel like glancing disdainfully at the external hard drive on your computer desk right now, we won’t judge.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/sc.....eck-of-dna

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 3

    Seversky holds out hope that “Alien intelligence may already be here on Earth but undetectable to us.”

    Too Rich! ???? Seversky apparently believes in undetectable Alien intelligence but resolutely refuses to ever believe in the detectable Intelligent Design that we witness first hand in the DNA of our very own bodies.

    If you read what I wrote, you will see that the presence of aliens on Earth was just one of several possibilities. I didn’t say that I believed in any of them. I don’t think we have enough data yet to decide between them.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states: “I didn’t say that I believed in any of them. I don’t think we have enough data yet to decide between them.”

    Seversky, as a Atheistic Darwinist who is, by default, committed to a reductive materialism, the is no “I” within your worldview to ever choose whether to believe in something or not no matter how much data you have.

    “You” are, according to your worldview, a mindless automaton with no free will of your own.

    “YOU” didn’t even write your post in 4, the laws of physics did and informed the illusion of you of the fact after it happened,

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt:
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 5

    Seversky states: “I didn’t say that I believed in any of them. I don’t think we have enough data yet to decide between them.”

    Seversky, as a Atheistic Darwinist who is, by default, committed to a reductive materialism, the is no “I” within your worldview to ever choose whether to believe in something or not no matter how much data you have.

    “You” are, according to your worldview, a mindless automaton with no free will of your own.

    “YOU” didn’t even write your post in 4, the laws of physics did and informed the illusion of you of the fact after it happened,

    A computer can be described as a plastic box fill with bits of metal, silicon, glass and plastic. It is an accurate description – as far as it goes. But it is far from being a complete account of what a computer does and how it does it.

    A human being can be described as a bag of water and chemicals. That is also true but far from being a complete account of what a human being is.

    The theory of evolution is an account of how life on Earth has changed and diversified over time after it had appeared. The life-forms being explained are physical beings, subject to the same chemical and physical laws as the rest of the Universe. But being material does not necessarily entail that they cannot generate consciousness – including a sense of ‘I’ – particularly as we are having a problem even describing what consciousness even is. Given that, it’s hardly surprising we don’t yet have a plausible explanation of how one can arise from the other.

    As for free will, it depends on what degree of freedom you mean. Do you mean the freedom to choose between a few available alternatives or the freedom to do literally whatever you will?

    Besides, as has been pointed out a number of times before, the Bible provides anecdotal evidence to support the claim that an omniscient deity with demonstrable foreknowledge of the future also precludes the possibility of free will.

  7. 7
    PaV says:

    Years ago, it was pointed out, here at UD, that the Drake Equation was silly. The “probability” of life emerging on another planet was ‘1’!!! That’s right. If it could happen, it will happen—only certain other conditions were necessary. After all, the ‘right conditions’ exist on earth and so does ‘life’!!

    This is like watching someone roll 6 dice at once and all six dice coming up as a ‘1’. Then you would say that the odds of rolling a ‘1’ on six dice in one roll is ‘1’, and not (6)^-6= 1/46656.

    How about cytochrome c coming about by chance just for starters?

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    PaV:

    How about cytochrome c coming about by chance just for starters?

    Natural selection makes the highly improbable virtually certain.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, small problem with all your spin on the insurmountable problem of consciousness and free will for atheistic materialists., it is refuted by empirical evidence. Specifically, by Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Contexuality and the Kochen–Specker theorem

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....mechanics/

    Needless to say, Atheists don’t like the “instrumentalist approach” of quantum mechanics since it, by letting free will into the picture, directly undermines the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, the “instrumentalist approach” is experimentally confirmed to be true by both contextuality and by the Kochen-Speckter Theorem.

    In regards to contextuality we find that In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.,,, and,,, Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study.

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    As Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    further note:

    Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?
    Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm
    By Bernardo Kastrup on April 19, 2018
    Excerpt: ,, according to the current paradigm, the properties of an object should exist and have definite values even when the object is not being observed: the moon should exist and have whatever weight, shape, size and color it has even when nobody is looking at it. Moreover, a mere act of observation should not change the values of these properties. Operationally, all this is captured in the notion of “non-contextuality”: ,,,
    since Alain Aspect’s seminal experiments in 1981–82, these predictions (of Quantum Mechanics) have been repeatedly confirmed, with potential experimental loopholes closed one by one. 1998 was a particularly fruitful year, with two remarkable experiments performed in Switzerland and Austria. In 2011 and 2015, new experiments again challenged non-contextuality. Commenting on this, physicist Anton Zeilinger has been quoted as saying that “there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure [that is, observe] about a system has [an independent] reality.” Finally, Dutch researchers successfully performed a test closing all remaining potential loopholes, which was considered by Nature the “toughest test yet.”,,,
    It turns out, however, that some predictions of QM are incompatible with non-contextuality even for a large and important class of non-local theories. Experimental results reported in 2007 and 2010 have confirmed these predictions. To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself, the science press felt compelled to report on this by pronouncing, “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality.”
    The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/should-quantum-anomalies-make-us-rethink-reality/

    Of course Seversky, since you are a Darwinist, I don’t ever expect you to be fair with the experimental results, but for the unbiased reader, I am sure they can clearly see who is being forthright with the science and who is blowing smoke.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    As to Seversky’s comparison of computers to humans, it is interesting to note that computers are intelligently designed. (Is Seversky trying to imply humans are intelligently designed?)
    Indeed, computers by themselves, by their ‘top down’ design, refute reductive materialism even though they have no free will or consciousness:

    As Ellis stated: “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”

    How Does The World Work: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? – September 29, 2013
    Excerpt: To get an handle on how top-down causation works, Ellis focuses on what’s in front of all us so much of the time: the computer. Computers are structured systems. They are built as a hierarchy of layers, extending from the wires in the transistors all the way up to the fully assembled machine, gleaming metal case and all.
    Because of this layering, what happens at the uppermost levels — like you hitting the escape key — flows downward. This action determines the behavior of the lowest levels — like the flow of electrons through the wires — in ways that simply could not be predicted by just knowing the laws of electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Structured systems such as a computer constrain lower level interactions, and thereby paradoxically create new possibilities of complex behavior.”
    Ellis likes to emphasize how the hierarchy of structure — from fully assembled machine through logic gates, down to transistors — changes everything for the lowly electrons. In particular, it “breaks the symmetry” of their possible behavior since their movements in the computer hardware are very different from what would occur if they were just floating around in a plasma blob in space.
    But the hardware, of course, is just one piece of the puzzle. This is where things get interesting. As Ellis explains:
    “Hardware is only causally effective because of the software which animates it: by itself hardware can do nothing. Both hardware and software are hierarchically structured with the higher level logic driving the lower level events.”
    In other words, it’s software at the top level of structure that determines how the electrons at the bottom level flow. Hitting escape while running Word moves the electrons in the wires in different ways than hitting escape does when running Photoshop. This is causation flowing from top to bottom.
    For Ellis, anything producing causes is real in the most basic sense of the word. Thus the software, which is not physical like the electrons, is just as real as those electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Hence, although they are the ultimate in algorithmic causation as characterized so precisely by Turing, digital computers embody and demonstrate the causal efficacy of non-physical entities. The physics allows this; it does not control what takes place. Computers exemplify the emergence of new kinds of causation out of the underlying physics, not implied by physics but rather by the logic of higher-level possibilities. … A combination of bottom-up causation and contextual affects (top-down influences) enables their complex functioning.”
    The consequences of this perspective for our view of the mind are straightforward and radical:
    “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”
    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.....-bottom-up

  11. 11

    BA77 @ 10: “As to Seversky’s comparison of computers to humans, it is interesting to note that computers are intelligently designed. (Is Seversky trying to imply humans are intelligently designed?)”

    Genius. Well done.

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