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For decades, scientists and even philosophers have chased many explanations for the Fermi paradox. How, in an infinitely big universe, can we be the only intelligent life we’ve ever encountered? Even on Earth itself, they wonder, how are we the only species that ever has evolved advanced intelligence?

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/intelligent-life-really-c...

But the real meat is here: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2149

Life on Earth has undergone a number of major evolutionary transitions (Smith and Szathmary, 1997). These include abiogenesis, as well as the emergence of increasingly complex forms of life such as eukaryotic, multicellular, and intelligent life. Some transitions seem to have occurred only once in Earth's history, suggesting a hypothesis reminiscent of Gould's remark that if the “tape of life” were to be rerun, “the chance becomes vanishingly small that anything like human intelligence” would occur (Gould, 1990). Here, we explore this hypothesis.
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Even on Earth itself, they wonder, how are we the only species that ever has evolved advanced intelligence?

That writer should get a dog. My dogs outsmart me on a regular basis. They don’t even have to try hard to do it.

Humans way overrate themselves.
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"the only species that ever has evolved advanced intelligence?"

We are so full of ourselves it is embarrassing.

JimA
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I agree with the other posters. We overestimate ourselves.

This is not my specialty, but I regularly watch NOVA, and they get into the bio-sciences and the rise of complexity, etc. Those programs have led me to believe that it is inevitable that complexity will self-generate. There are chemical process that we know of now that do that without any input from humans. RNA almost could NOT have not-formed in the early Earth, and apparently it is a couple of steps from there to get DNA (though, as I recall, they don't exactly know how that transpired).

Based on all this, it seems life is inevitable given the right conditions and enough time (i.e. the Earth is 4B years old). We usually think liquid water needs to be available, but I have no idea if other types of life could arise without it. Only the life we know about requires it.

Again, not my specialty. I haven't had biology since high school. But that is what I am getting from the simplified version of biology available on reputable programs like NOVA.

As for "the only intelligent life we've encountered", there are at least two simple explanations for it. First, given the vast distances, we may effectively be alone because we have no hope of contacting another civilization in any reasonable time. Like the castaways on Gilligan's Island. They were not alone in the world, but they were isolated and therefore effectively alone. Second, if some other civilization has conquered the distance problem (which means they're smarter than us!!), they may have found us and said "those people are crazy, given them a wide berth". Do you seek out people whom you observe to be crazy, or do you actively steer-clear? Could be the same here.

1poorguy
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