[ExI] Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox

Andrew Mckee andymck35 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 12 10:39:12 UTC 2013

On Thu, 12 Sep 2013 03:23:07 +1200, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com>  

> You can "maybe" yourself to death but it never gets you anywhere. Maybe  
> ET

Well, correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't one of the principles of the  
scientific method is that no matter how cherished any given law may be, we  
should always maintain a tiny sliver of doubt that it is absolutely  
perfectly true now and for all time?

So maybe, the body of knowledge we humans have teased into hard won  
existence is all really good, accurate and decidedly useful, but just  
maybe its a little to soon to be popping the champagne corks and declaring  
everything we know is all their is to know and should now be elevated to  
the status of gospel truth.

So maybe asking "maybe" is sometimes a very good thing to do, isn't that  
after all how science advanced our body of knowledge from some decidedly  
incorrect beliefs?

Or do I have to invoke the the scientific consensus of the day regarding  
the impossibility of heavier than air flight, shortly before the Wright  
brothers built an airplane and flew it around the sky.

> For years people have tried to modify the law of gravitation so that it  
> is
> consistent with what we see with our telescopes but it just doesn't work.
> If you observe the Bullet Cluster what you see is 2 clusters colliding  
> and
> the regular matter that we can see staying in the center just as we'd
> expect regular matter to do and the Dark Matter (detected by  
> gravitational
> lensing) remained spread out just as you'd expect Dark Matter to do.  
> There
> is no way modifying gravity can explain that.
> And in addition, if you tinker with gravity so that galaxies like our own
> Milky Way hold together and behave as they should then galactic clusters
> like the Local group don't behave as we see them do. And if you tinker  
> with
> gravity in another way so that galactic clusters behave as they do in our
> telescopes then individual galaxies don't. But if you invoke Dark Matter
> then everything comes out fine.

Yes and I see a post not long back that a couple of detection experiments  
might have just detected some evidence for dark matter, this of course  
might well be negated by another more sensitive detector that spotted  
precisely nothing.

So maybe the newer even more sensitive detectors and experiments might  
soon make that breakthrough discovery that finally gives some much needed  
physical evidence to the whole concept.

In the meantime however, putting tongue in cheek and poking fun at dark  
matter is fair game I think.
So those of us so inclined should do so now, very soon we might well be  
losing the privilege.

> term; Einstein first thought that the constant term, called the
> Cosmological Constant, was nonzero,  but then he changed his mind and  
> said
> it was zero and calling it nonzero was the greatest blunder of his life.
> Today many are starting to think that Einstein may have been right the
> first time around, among other things it can explain why the universe
> changed from deceleration to acceleration just 5 billion years ago, long
> after the Big Bang. Einstein was such a winner that his blunders are more
> interesting than most people's triumphs.

Thanks for the recap, and that's kinda sorta the point I was originally  
trying to make.
If a towering genius like Einstein can make a slight 'blunder' and be  
humble enough to admit it, can we be so certain that every other law that  
has been invented is perfectly true and correct now and for all time?.

I choose to maintain a tiny sliver of doubt that this is absolutely  
certainly true.
And of course simultaneously hold the realization that I might very well  
be wrong. :-)

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