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"The Undetectability Conjecture" -- A Radical Theory for the 'Great Silence'

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy http://tinyurl.com/6g8xhrt And I thought that the aliens all shut up once they saw the TV broadcast of the 1936 Berlin
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2011
      URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy

      And I thought that the aliens all shut up once they saw the TV broadcast of
      the 1936 Berlin Olympics!!

      Actually, this premise has been used by Arthur Clarke in a story
      speculating why there is a high abundance of supernovae in a small section of the
      sky, by Gregory Benford in his Galactic Center series (starts with In The
      Ocean of Night), Saberhagen in his Berserker series, and Zebrowksi and
      Pelligrino in Killing Star. There are undoubtedly other authors, but I can't
      recall them now.

      IMHO, aliens are communicating in ways that we can't detect right now
      because we are not sufficiently advanced. Imagine you are an Indian living in
      North America and you communicate either with drums or smoke signals or
      signal fires. 3000 miles to the east Europeans (just as an example) are
      communicating with telegraphs. How would you ever know?

      First few paragraphs
      "The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of
      the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the
      lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. As Enrico Fermi
      asked if the Universe is conducive to intelligent life, “Where is everybody?

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      A new answer proposed by Adrian Kent of the University of Cambridge and
      Perimeter Institute, is that extraterrestial life sufficiently advanced to be
      capable of interstellar travel or communication must be rare, since
      otherwise we would have seen evidence of it by now. This in turn is sometimes
      taken as indirect evidence for the improbability of life evolving at all in
      our universe.

      “Intelligent species might reasonably worry about the possible dangers of
      self-advertisement and hence incline towards discretion” -- the “
      Undetectability Conjecture,” put forth by Beatriz Gato-Rivera, a theoretical
      physicist at the Instituto de Fisica Fundamental (previously Instituto de
      Matematicas y Fisica Fundamental) of the CSIC (Spanish Scientific Research Council)
      in Madrid. According to Gato-Rivera, we may find ourselves in a universe
      in which there exist intelligent technological civilizations but they have
      chosen to be undetectable, camouflaging themselves mainly for security
      reasons (because advanced civilizations could also be aggressive).

      “Evolutionary selection, acting on a cosmic scale," Kent adds. "tends to
      extinguish species which conspicuously advertise themselves and their

      “It often seems, Kent concludes, "to be implicitly assumed, and sometimes
      is explicitly argued, that colonising or otherwise exploiting the resources
      of other planets and other solar systems will solve our problems when the
      Earth’s resources can no longer sustain our consumption. It might perhaps
      be worth contemplating more seriously the possibility that there may be
      limits to the territory we can safely colonise and to the resources we can
      safely exploit, and to consider whether and how it might be possible to evolve
      towards a way of living that can be sustained (almost) indefinitely on the
      resources of (say) our solar system alone.”

      (I reject your reality and substitute my own)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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