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

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Thu Sep 12 14:21:34 UTC 2013

On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 6:39 AM, Andrew Mckee <andymck35 at gmail.com> wrote:

 >>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

Yes absolutely, but you should never forget what it is, a TINY sliver of

> So maybe asking "maybe" is sometimes a very good thing to do,

And maybe there comes a point when asking "maybe" stops being very
productive . Maybe there comes a point when asking "maybe" becomes just a
bit silly and maybe your time could be better spent investigating other
things. Part of the art of being a good scientist is having a hunch about
what deserves further investigation and what does not,

> > do I have to invoke the the scientific consensus of the day regarding
> the impossibility of heavier than air flight

That was an engineering question not a scientific one.

>I see a post not long back that a couple of detection experiments might
> have just detected some evidence for dark matter,

There is no "might have" about it, they have detested EVIDENCE for dark
matter; but of course in physics, or in any other science, you never find
PROOF, you only get that in pure mathematics.

> this of course might well be negated by another more sensitive detector
> that spotted precisely nothing.

Maybe. And maybe a yet more sensitive detector will find it again, and
maybe a even more sensitive detector will see precisely nothing once more,
and maybe a [...]  As I said, once you get into a infinite loop you can
"maybe" yourself to death.

> So maybe the newer even more sensitive detectors and experiments might
> soon make that breakthrough discovery

Maybe. But then again maybe not. You can't sit on the fence forever,
eventually you've got to make a stand. Maybe future generations will see
you as a visionary for taking that stand, maybe they will see you as a
fool, and maybe they will see you as somebody who did the best he could
with the evidence he had. Nothing is certain in life. Maybe.

> 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.

I see no proof or even evidence that is happening, people still have a
right to make a fool of themselves. Denying the existence of Dark Energy
and Dark Matter hasn't yet reached the level of foolishness as denying that
the world is round, but it's getting there. Maybe.

> > 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?.

We know that Einstein's General Theory of Relativity CAN NOT be even
approximately true and correct all the time because at the singularity in
the center of a Black Hole it produces nonsense results, and because it is
mathematically inconsistent with Quantum Mechanics. We need a quantum
theory of gravity to supersede relativity just as Einstein superseded
Newton, but we don't have such a theory yet; string theory wants to become
that theory but so far it is not.

  John K Clark
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