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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Feb > Feb 22

Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox - Tarbell

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 12:53:03 -0700
Fwd Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 16:17:52 -0500
Subject: Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox - Tarbell

>From: Stanton Friedman <fsphys.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 17:23:23 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox

>>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 12:22:41 -0700
>>Subject: Re: The Other Side Of The Fermi Paradox


>>I must confess that the Fermi paradox continues to trouble me.
>>This is primarily because I have the nagging feeling that the
>>presence of ETs should be _glaringly_ obvious, leading to some
>>rather contrived scenarios as to why it isn't. Suggestions are

>Enrico Fermi did not say there are no aliens. He and his
>companions had noted that it should only take a few million
>years to colonize the galaxy once somebody got started. He was
>known for using questions as a teaching tool.

Hi Stan,

Thanks for pointing this out. Some posts on this topic have
given the impression that the paradox led Fermi to actually
conclude that ETs did not exist, but I had thought that he
remained essentially neutral on this point. However, I am not
familiar with the context of the original discussion, nor its

>There have obviously been a lot of answers. Obviously one answer
>could be they are all over the place, but pretty much leave us
>alone because we are a primitive society whose major activity is
>tribal warfare.

>"We have let your leaders know that we won't tolerate their
>leaving the solar system to practice their brand of friiendship.
>Meanwhile we will do what we please. We have never acted as
>badly towards earthlings as they have acted towards their own

While this would certainly be an appropriate message, I cannot
take seriously the idea that any formal communication between
ETs and our government(s) has taken place (and I suspect neither
can you). Indeed, I consider it unlikely to ever occur.

>Clearly the simplest solution is that because our civilization
>is so young compared to the age of the planet, and of the
>neighborhood, we can't possibly be treated as equals anymore
>than I treat the squirrels in my yard as equals.

However, I think it's fair to say that the squirrels are quite
aware of your existence.

Let us make your analogy more extreme: we are a cluster of
protozoa on some piece of undersea coral, utterly oblivious to
the myriad of creatures swimming around nearby.

As you point out, we are young compared to the age of the
planet, and far younger yet than planetary formation in general.
Any given ET civilization selected at random should be vastly
older than ourselves, perhaps by billions of years. A case might
be made that they have evolved into something unrecognizable, at
least to our protozoan level of awareness.

Having laid that out, I must say that I find it unsatisfying.
The issue of these profoundly ancient civilizations is quite
troublesome. A billion years seems like plenty of time to solve
the problem of interstellar (or even intergalactic) travel... we
should literally be swimming in ETs. It seems unreasonable that
they are _all_ imperceptible.

This has led me to consider another alternative: perhaps
intelligence itself is quite new to our universe. We know, or at
least strongly suspect, that the universe is evolving
asymmetrically in time, and its history is punctuated by various
threshhold events (e.g., the decoupling of matter and
radiation). Perhaps intelligence is a 'phase' of the universe,
even literally in the thermodynamic sense, and the pot has only
recently come to a boil.

This would clear up the messy ancient civilizations problem. If
everyone came 'out of the gate' relatively recently, perhaps
only a handful of civilizations have progressed to the level of
interstellar travel.



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