Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New answer to the Fermi Paradox: Its global warming

No present observations suggest a technologically advanced extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) has spread through the galaxy. However, under commonplace assumptions about galactic civilization formation and expansion, this absence of observation is highly unlikely. This improbability is the heart of the Fermi Paradox. The Fermi Paradox leads some to conclude that humans have the only advanced civilization in this galaxy, either because civilization formation is very rare or because intelligent civilizations inevitably destroy themselves. In this paper, we argue that this conclusion is premature by introducing the "Sustainability Solution" to the Fermi Paradox, which questions the Paradox's assumption of faster (e.g. exponential) civilization growth. Drawing on insights from the sustainability of human civilization on Earth, we propose that faster-growth may not be sustainable on the galactic scale. If this is the case, then there may exist ETI that have not expanded throughout the galaxy or have done so but collapsed. These possibilities have implications for both searches for ETI and for human civilization management.
[0906.0568] The Sustainability Solution to the Fermi Paradox

4 comments:

shanen said...

Hmm... I also wrote a blog entry about the Fermi Paradox. Actually, I wrote the first part a couple of years ago, and have been adding some new thoughts recently. My current 'solution' is that the aliens are designed, not evolved, and they are just gambling on whether or not we will survive long enough to design our own replacements.

That led me to go around visiting other blogs that mention the paradox. I definitely reject the UFO angle...

shanen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shanen said...

Trying to warn you that some scammer added a spam ad as a comment to your blog, but it seems to have disappeared. Therefore I believe you have already ridden to the rescue and deleted it. Unfortunately, the spammer's crap was already propagated and broadcast to anyone who was signed up to follow your blog. Ergo, this incident confirms my belief that moderation is still the best solution to the spammer problem.

My own blog on the topic needs updating, but you can try searching for "resolution Fermi Paradox blog" and you may see it on my eco-epistemology blog. Right now it's third on my results list, which is surprising since I wrote most of it back in 2007. Of course your list may be different, especially since the google tends to censor me these days (ever since I started noticing (in public) how evil the google is becoming).

Spoiler alert: My current resolution is negative. Change happens. There is no choice about that. The choice is to evolve and leave behind evolutionary successors, or to go extinct, and we seem to be losing our capability to evolve, mostly due to the crazed efforts of people who refuse to believe in the reality of evolution.

shanen said...

I feel like I need to note that the 5:38 version was deleted for a couple of typos... Better if you can remove that stub and this note.