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Fwd = Shostak: Fermi's Paradox III: Zookeepers, Alien Visitors, Or Simple Life

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) URL: http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_fermi3_011129.html Original Date: Thu, 29 Nov
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 29, 2001
      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      URL: http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_fermi3_011129.html
      Original Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 13:07:44 -0800

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================


      Fermi's Paradox III: Zookeepers, Alien Visitors, Or Simple Life;
      How Can We Explain Our Isolation?

      By Seth Shostak
      Astronomer, Project Phoenix

      posted: 07:00 am ET
      29 November 2001

      We seem to have the Galaxy to ourselves. At least, that's the obvious
      conclusion from the apparent lack of aliens in the neighborhood.

      But this conclusion might be a bit too obvious, and possibly wrong.
      In previous articles, we've considered why extraterrestrial
      intelligence - even if common - would have restrained itself from
      spreading to every half-decent star system in the Galaxy. It's
      possible that the aliens have done cost-benefit analyses that show
      interstellar travel to be too costly or too dangerous to warrant
      ambitious colonization efforts. An alternative suggestion that would
      explain our apparent solitude is that the Galaxy is urbanized, and
      we're in a dullsville suburb.

      Yet another resolution for the so-called
      Fermi Paradox is that we've been singled out for special
      treatment: we are an exhibit for alien tourists or sociologists. Our
      world may be known to the extraterrestrials, but they observe us
      through a sophisticated type of one-way mirror.

      While there's no evidence to give credibility to this last idea (known
      as the "Zoo Hypothesis"), many would argue that evidence does exist
      for another possibility - namely, that the Paradox is just a red
      herring because the aliens are in the neighborhood. In fact, they're
      in our back yards, or just above them.

      Many thousands of sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are
      reported each year, and polls show that one-third to one-half of the
      population believes that at least some of these aerial apparitions are
      alien spacecraft. The presence of aliens on Earth would neatly resolve
      the Fermi Paradox.

      But while this is a prevalent idea among the public, the evidence for
      alien visitation has failed to sway most scientists. To convince
      researchers, who are inherently skeptical, unambiguous and repeated
      detection of flying objects by satellites or ground-based radar would
      be required. Better yet would be some indisputable physical evidence,
      such as the landing lights from an alien craft. In other words,
      something better than witness testimony is necessary, since such
      testimony isn't good enough, no matter how credible the witness.

      Consider the fact that lots of people claim to have seen ghosts, and
      will be pleased to tell you what they saw. But the case for the
      existence of these shrouded spirits isn't what you would call
      convincing. You don't read a lot about the parameters of ghosts in
      scholarly journals.

      Until and unless better evidence is collected, few scientists are
      inclined to accept the premise that the Fermi Paradox can be resolved
      by the claim that aliens are either soaring through the stratosphere,
      or are stashed away in meat lockers at Area 51.

      Of course, there's no doubt that aliens in the neighborhood would be
      dramatic news, and that's part of the appeal of such claims. But the
      opposite circumstance would be similarly startling. What if we have
      failed to espy the extraterrestrials simply because there aren't any?
      After all, the evolution of intelligence may be a rare occurrence,
      even if biology is common. Could it be that in the enormous reaches of
      the Milky Way, ours is the only planet with thinking beings? That
      would neatly solve the puzzle posed by Fermi. And no matter how
      discouraging (or otherwise) the thought of being unique may be, we
      still haven't the proof that it isn't true.

      While possible resolutions of Fermi's Paradox are as plentiful as gas
      stations, we still have no idea which, if any, is correct. Perhaps the
      universe is teeming with societies so subtle we can't prove their
      presence. Or haven't yet. On the other hand, maybe we're alone.

      It's all a bit perplexing, but in fact there's hope. SETI experiments
      offer the promise of relegating the Fermi Paradox to the dustbin of
      historical curiosities by proving that other intelligence is out
      there. So while it's interesting and instructive to consider the pros
      and cons of galactic colonization, we should also make sure that we do
      some careful observing. In science, speculation is desirable, but
      experiment is definitive.
      _________________________________________________________________

      �2001 SPACE.com, inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      References

      1. http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_fermi2_011108.html

      ========================== Forwarded message ends ========================
    • Roger Anderton
      No sufficiently rigorous scientific evidence of some UFOs = aliens; okay. ... Okay. So no proof that some UFOs = aliens. But there is evidence that
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2001
        No sufficiently rigorous scientific evidence of some UFOs = aliens; okay.

        These skeptical scientists want :

        >>>>>>unambiguous and repeated
        > detection of flying objects by satellites or ground-based radar would
        > be required.

        Okay. So no proof that some UFOs = aliens.

        But there is evidence that "unambiguous and repeated detection of flying
        objects by satellites or ground-based radar" has not be allowed for
        researchers, reason : National Security. Conclusion is therefore: Cover Up.
        Why do these supposed "skeptical scientists" deny the existence of
        Conspiracy? It is a necessary condition for the Society we live in. Their
        attitude of mocking the Conspiracy Theorists is unfounded, and just another
        part of the Cover Up, which they are either willingly going along with, or
        unwittingly going along with.

        Fermi's Paradox is not Paradox, it merely means that we are not allowed
        access to the relevant data, to be able to provide an answer to the question
        'are aliens here?' Why call a question a Paradox, if one is merely not
        allowed to answer the question?

        Should really be called 'Fermi's Question- that we are forbidden to answer'.

        > Consider the fact that lots of people claim to have seen ghosts, and
        > will be pleased to tell you what they saw. But the case for the
        > existence of these shrouded spirits isn't what you would call
        > convincing. You don't read a lot about the parameters of ghosts in
        > scholarly journals.

        Yes, clear evidence that these journals suppress information, and hence
        provide a biased perspective; making ghosts another forbidden question.

        > Of course, there's no doubt that aliens in the neighborhood would be
        > dramatic news, and that's part of the appeal of such claims.

        Personally I think it a rather trivial discovery.

        >>. In science, speculation is desirable, but
        > experiment is definitive.

        The experiments have been suppressed as well.

        I think my article to SETI got suppressed, I'm not even allowed a debunking.
        Debunkings are reversed for people that can be easily shown to be talking
        nonsense. But its harder to debunk someone who is criticising (i.e. SETI),
        so SETI responds by ignoring. SETI does not mind criticising others, but
        does not like being criticised in return: double standards - can dish it
        out, but can't take it.





        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Frits Westra" <fwestra@...>
        To: <UFOnet@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 9:55 PM
        Subject: [UFOnet] Fwd = Shostak: Fermi's Paradox III: Zookeepers, Alien
        Visitors, Or Simple Life


        >
        > Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
        > URL:
        http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_fermi3_011129.html
        > Original Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 13:07:44 -0800
        >
        > ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================
        >
        >
        > Fermi's Paradox III: Zookeepers, Alien Visitors, Or Simple Life;
        > How Can We Explain Our Isolation?
        >
        > By Seth Shostak
        > Astronomer, Project Phoenix
        >
        > posted: 07:00 am ET
        > 29 November 2001
        >
        > We seem to have the Galaxy to ourselves. At least, that's the obvious
        > conclusion from the apparent lack of aliens in the neighborhood.
        >
        > But this conclusion might be a bit too obvious, and possibly wrong.
        > In previous articles, we've considered why extraterrestrial
        > intelligence - even if common - would have restrained itself from
        > spreading to every half-decent star system in the Galaxy. It's
        > possible that the aliens have done cost-benefit analyses that show
        > interstellar travel to be too costly or too dangerous to warrant
        > ambitious colonization efforts. An alternative suggestion that would
        > explain our apparent solitude is that the Galaxy is urbanized, and
        > we're in a dullsville suburb.
        >
        > Yet another resolution for the so-called
        > Fermi Paradox is that we've been singled out for special
        > treatment: we are an exhibit for alien tourists or sociologists. Our
        > world may be known to the extraterrestrials, but they observe us
        > through a sophisticated type of one-way mirror.
        >
        > While there's no evidence to give credibility to this last idea (known
        > as the "Zoo Hypothesis"), many would argue that evidence does exist
        > for another possibility - namely, that the Paradox is just a red
        > herring because the aliens are in the neighborhood. In fact, they're
        > in our back yards, or just above them.
        >
        > Many thousands of sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are
        > reported each year, and polls show that one-third to one-half of the
        > population believes that at least some of these aerial apparitions are
        > alien spacecraft. The presence of aliens on Earth would neatly resolve
        > the Fermi Paradox.
        >
        > But while this is a prevalent idea among the public, the evidence for
        > alien visitation has failed to sway most scientists. To convince
        > researchers, who are inherently skeptical, unambiguous and repeated
        > detection of flying objects by satellites or ground-based radar would
        > be required. Better yet would be some indisputable physical evidence,
        > such as the landing lights from an alien craft. In other words,
        > something better than witness testimony is necessary, since such
        > testimony isn't good enough, no matter how credible the witness.
        >
        > Consider the fact that lots of people claim to have seen ghosts, and
        > will be pleased to tell you what they saw. But the case for the
        > existence of these shrouded spirits isn't what you would call
        > convincing. You don't read a lot about the parameters of ghosts in
        > scholarly journals.
        >
        > Until and unless better evidence is collected, few scientists are
        > inclined to accept the premise that the Fermi Paradox can be resolved
        > by the claim that aliens are either soaring through the stratosphere,
        > or are stashed away in meat lockers at Area 51.
        >
        > Of course, there's no doubt that aliens in the neighborhood would be
        > dramatic news, and that's part of the appeal of such claims. But the
        > opposite circumstance would be similarly startling. What if we have
        > failed to espy the extraterrestrials simply because there aren't any?
        > After all, the evolution of intelligence may be a rare occurrence,
        > even if biology is common. Could it be that in the enormous reaches of
        > the Milky Way, ours is the only planet with thinking beings? That
        > would neatly solve the puzzle posed by Fermi. And no matter how
        > discouraging (or otherwise) the thought of being unique may be, we
        > still haven't the proof that it isn't true.
        >
        > While possible resolutions of Fermi's Paradox are as plentiful as gas
        > stations, we still have no idea which, if any, is correct. Perhaps the
        > universe is teeming with societies so subtle we can't prove their
        > presence. Or haven't yet. On the other hand, maybe we're alone.
        >
        > It's all a bit perplexing, but in fact there's hope. SETI experiments
        > offer the promise of relegating the Fermi Paradox to the dustbin of
        > historical curiosities by proving that other intelligence is out
        > there. So while it's interesting and instructive to consider the pros
        > and cons of galactic colonization, we should also make sure that we do
        > some careful observing. In science, speculation is desirable, but
        > experiment is definitive.
        > _________________________________________________________________
        >
        > ©2001 SPACE.com, inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
        >
        > References
        >
        > 1. http://www.space.com/searchforlife/shostak_fermi2_011108.html
        >
        > ========================== Forwarded message ends ========================
        >
        >
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