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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > May > May 22

Re: Problems With von Neumann Replicators

From: Kentaro Mori <kentaro.mori.nul>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 10:28:38 -0300
Archived: Tue, 22 May 2012 08:50:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Problems With von Neumann Replicators

>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 17:17:15 +0100
>Subject: Re: Problems With von Neumann Replicators

Hello, Ray,

>Right, but Fermi was a child of his time (as we all are) and
>simply thought that any ETs - who are statistically likely to've
>evolved millions or billions of years ahead of us - would still
>be organic beings and recognizable as such.

>Many folk, notably the profs Stewart and Cohen. have pointed out
>that truly advanced beings are probably not still organic
>(because they don't have to be) and, due to their technology
>also don't even have to be visible unless they want to be. So
>the `paradox' probably doesn't exist.

Do not undersestimate the Italian physicist! :-)

Fermi was famous for his approximations given very limited
available information. He went to the basics and prodigiously
managed to get answers. Even quantitative ones.

Though sadly he never formalized his question - see the post I
wrote about the origins of Fermi's paradox - he probably applied
such reasoning to the subject.

No matter what form a civilization my undertake, the single
fundamental piece of Science as we know it are the laws of
thermodynamics. They would use energy. Their engineered,
intelligent use of energy would be noticeable, for instance -
such as the energy pattern of a Dyson sphere.

Of course, one could suggest a sufficiently advanced
civilization would be so efficient in its use of energy that it
would not be distinguishable from natural entropy. It may well
be, but then almost by definition such a civilization would be
equivalent to a non-existent civilization.

Perhaps some of the standing puzzles of astrophysics may be
answered in fact by teeming Galactic civilizations - dark matter
could be the result to their work, perhaps. But again, the fact
we can model and understand so much of the whole Universe
without resorting to artificial constructs is the point of
asking "where are they?".


>And as to `signs of intelligent life in the Universe' - we just
>don't know what to look for, or how to analyse what we already
>see. At the moment we simply assume that all astronomical events
>are 'natural' - that assumption could be wildy wrong.

Indeed, but again, the fact we have been working with that
assumption and been so successful in understanding and
predicting astronomical observations billions of light years
around us is the point of Fermi's paradox. The discovery of
pulsars is one such example: first suggested as signaling
"Little green men", natural explanations for them quickly became
better working hypothesis and now no one thinks they are

If they are all around us, they should be obvious here on Earth,
our solar system, Galaxy, the Universe. Our planet certainly is
living in the Anthropocene, where our own presence is a major
factor, influencing from geology to biology and even the
climate. No intelligent ants oblivious to us on Earth would be
able to understand much of the planet without finally noticing
us humans. They wouldn't ask "where are they", they would see
our shoes stepping on them.



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