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Tell HN: My theory explaining the Fermi paradox
4 points by sixQuarks 1564 days ago | hide | past | web | 6 comments | favorite
The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.

One common explanation is that all advanced civilizations develop nuclear capability at some point, and shortly thereafter wipe themselves out.

Here is my theory: Future technology and understanding is so unpredictable. I feel it is more likely that we will discover different dimensions of reality. Perhaps advanced civilizations don't even communicate in "our reality".

There are unpredictable phase shifts that happen in all complex systems, there's just no way for us to predict what advanced civilizations will look like, or how they communicate. Look at what's happening with the internet, and how that has changed our social interactions just in the past 10 years. Some people don't even leave their house anymore, they're literally living online.

Anyway, that's my theory. What's yours?




Unfortunately this theory falls under the category of 'Not even wrong.' Not because it is inaccurate, but because it proposes something which is untestable. Specifically the assertion that the future is unpredictable. The only way to falsify that statement is to make an accurate prediction about X time in the future. This is then very difficult to replicate because there is no clear transition from 'making a prediction' to making the specific prediction you care about.


True. I was using the term "theory" in the loosest sense. It's more of a philosophical guess.


> Specifically the assertion that the future is unpredictable. The only way to falsify that statement is to make an accurate prediction about X time in the future.

And even that wouldn't do as scientific evidence -- because one data point is insufficient for science, and also that a single chance guess might turn out to be right.

> Unfortunately this theory falls under the category of 'Not even wrong.'

Complete agreement.


My favourite is "The Transcension Hypothesis" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQOyJUDTKdM


Thanks for this link. This is very close to what I was thinking - didn't realize there was a name for it.


I like the answer that says, they DO exist and they DO know about us. They just haven't had enough time to get here yet




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