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Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox - Davenport

From: Peter B. Davenport <director.nul>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 10:11:31 -0800
Fwd Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 16:04:51 -0500
Subject: Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox - Davenport

>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:20:19 -0700
>Subject: Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox

>>Source: The Space Review - Rockville, Maryland, USA


>>Monday, February 19, 2007

>>The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox
>>by Michael Huang


>>Webb's 50th solution is the one that he believes is the most
>>likely. Unfortunately for extraterrestrial enthusiasts, the
>>solution is depressingly pessimistic: "...the only resolution of
>>the Fermi paradox that makes sense to me - is that we are
>>alone." Webb's preferred solution is highly controversial, but
>>it satisfies Ockham's razor; out of all the Fermi paradox
>>explanations, it is the simplest one. On the other hand, the
>>solution is only as good as the evidence it is based on. New
>>evidence could lead to a different solution to the paradox.

>It is absurd to claim that "We Are Alone" follows from
>application of Occam's razor. While it may be the most simply
>stated, it is by no means the 'simplest' solution. Indeed, it
>presents a vastly greater paradox than that posed by Fermi.

>If in fact we are alone, it is hard not to conclude that our
>entire experience here is some kind of experiment or theater,
>and that the vast majority (if not all) of what we observe of
>the universe is simply an illusion.

>Indeed, this brand of razor eventually cuts through to the
>'simplest' hypothesis of all, the 'I Am Alone?' solution: there
>is in fact no objective reality... all that exists is a single
>stream of consciousness, namely my own. Makes me feel rather
>silly posting this.

There are at least two arguments that I believe can be leveled
at the Fermi Paradox, and which in fact make it obsolete.

First, how did Fermi know that UFOs were not being seen? His
paradox is based on his assumption that they were not. Based on
what we now know about sightings prior to June 1947, his
observation was incorrect.

As evidence in support of this notion, I invite anyone to visit
the NUFORC website to read those cases which antedate 1947.

A more convincing document might be the July 1968 NASA
publication by astronomer, Barbara M. Middlehurst, in which she
documents peculiar sightings by the world's leading light
astronomers, going back as far as 1540 A.D.. Would Fermi have
proposed his observation if he had known about the Roswell

In 1950, when Fermi first proposed his "paradox", our ability to
detect UFOs was still quite primitive. However, even more
significant, the ability of a U. S. citizen to report a sighting
of something peculiar bordered on the non-existent. The only
means available was to write a letter, or to place a very
expensive long-distance telephone call to some government
office. The chances that the individual would be able to choose
the appropriate office to report such an event would be
vanishingly small. The likelihood that he would be taken
seriously would be, at best, slight. And whether the information
would be passed along reliably to some office where it would be
preserved and made available to other interested parties is
doubtful. Most such communications prior to 1950, I suspect,
almost certainly would have been discarded.

In conclusion, UFOs may have been being detected by U. S.
citizens as frequently as they are today, and Fermi never would
have known it! Given that out of perhaps a thousand sightings
today, all ufology succeeds in capturing only one of those
reports, I can only imagine what the situation must have been in
the 1940's, and earlier!

Second, I wonder if Fermi would have proposed his paradox if he
had been familiar with the existence of "dark" matter and black
holes. Just because something cannot be seen does not, by any
means, suggest that it doesn't exist. Had Fermi known about the
existence of these peculiar phenomena, it might have caused him
to apply the same lesson to the question of flying discs...just
because we don't see them in front of us does not mean they
don't exist.

In conclusion, I propose that we in the UFO community rename the
paradox to "Fermi's Obsolescence," or perhaps "Fermi's Mistaken
Assumption, Which Has Now Been Shown To Be Wrong." Modern
communications, and items like computers, database programs,
modern radar, and cell phone cameras, I believe, allow us now to
consign Fermi's observation to some dusty shelf in a UFO museum,
next to the Flat Earth theory. Let's focus on with what we now
know to be the case, and discard old, misdirected theories!

Peter B. Davenport, Director
National UFO Reporting Center
Washington State

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