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Darwin's Extraterrestrials

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy http://tinyurl.com/cstnk6q This has been a somewhat common theme in science fiction. Pellegrino and Zebrowski used it
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2011
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      URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy
      http://tinyurl.com/cstnk6q


      This has been a somewhat common theme in science fiction. Pellegrino and
      Zebrowski used it in Killing Star, and Alastair Reynolds used it in his
      Revelation Space series. Who else?

      First few paragraphs
      "“Evolutionary selection, acting on a cosmic scale, tends to extinguish
      species which conspicuously advertise themselves and their habitats.”

      Adrian Kent, Centre for Quantum Computation, University of Cambridge




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      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?


      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).

      “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.”



      Chris

      (Just a pawn on the great chessboard of life)


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