23 September 2011

Revisiting the Fermi Paradox in light of the experiments (apparently) showing Faster than Light particles

I thought of an analogy. Life on earth exists everywhere it can exist, precisely because translation, i.e., moving from one place to the next, reproduction, (both of those in the context of duration in time), and typical lifetime of organisms, all match up nicely. Bacterialike organisms evolving one time on a planet like Earth will fill its entire surface (at least the parts compatible with life) in a comparatively short time, probably only a few thousand years. I am convinced that if certain facts are true, the same thing would be true of the presence of intelligent life, or at least evidence of its past presence, essentially everywhere if it were possible to travel at speeds faster than light.

To demonstrate my logic, please posit the following:

1.  Intelligent beings roughly comparable to humans, and capable of discovering and implementing any technologies possible under the laws of physics given sufficient time, do exist, in some reasonable numbers and frequency in the universe. (This derives from several other assumptions about the origin and prevalence of life, etc.; when I refer to 'reasonable numbers' I think 1 or 2 contemporaneously existing technological civilizations in any given large spiral galaxy in any given time would be more than sufficient).
2.  Travel faster than light turns out to be possible (now given some intriguing potential for being true: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/23/physicists-speed-light-violated).
3.  Civilizations can and do exist for extended periods of time, tend to expand outward from their place of origin at least for a time, are at least sometimes sufficiently interested and curious to want to explore and even colonize other locations in space, and can and would if it were possible transfer their technological knowledge to other intelligent beings from time to time.
4.  The universe, in terms of the emergence of planetary life, and the times for the evolution of life, has been much as it is today for at least several billion years, so that planets somewhat like Earth,, i.e. cradles of life, which had already had plenty of time to evolve advanced living things, already existed billions of years ago, and therefore so did civilizations capable of advanced technology, at least in some numbers.

If all of these things are true, then the Galaxy would resemble the Star Trek universe, at least in the sense that every world in orbit around every single one of its 3 or 4 hundred billion stars would have been visited and catalogued by somebody, at some time in the last few billion years. At minimum. The same would be true for all similarly endowed galaxies (ignoring the fact that some galaxies, due to exigencies of nucleosynthesis and star formation, are relatively devoid of the kinds of stars and planets likely to evolve life; there are plenty, as in hundreds and hundreds of billions, of galaxies even in the observable part of the universe that qualify as roughly comparable to our Galaxy. Also assumes, as most cosmologists do, that the laws of physics are everywhere and during the entire time in question pretty much if not perfectly the same).

Since to all reasonable inference from evidence this ubiquity of technological presence is not the case, one has to doubt the experimental result, or doubt at least one of the posited truths above. It's inescapable, as far as I can see. Occam's razor seems to dictate that the most likely "false" postulate is No. 2, and FTL is, in fact, not possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.