The Stars Do Not Foretell Our Doom

A computational neuroscientist, molecular engineer, and philosopher have recently published Dissolving the Fermi Paradox.

Rather than adding to the list of explanations, they question the validity of the “paradox” argument itself. They seem (to my layperson’s eyes) to attack both the math and the science.

First, they tsk-tsk the use of guessed values as single points rather than properly combining uncertain models. This leads to an accumulation of false certainty, which is a recipe for compounding bias.

Additionally, they question the use of pure modeling to create a “paradox” with observed reality. This reminds me of how pre-behavioral economics seems to be so often surprised by reality when their carefully constructed models fail to predict observations. It seems like a Science 101 mistake, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

This is a refreshing perspective and it gives me mixed feelings. I’m disturbed to consider that we ought to assume we really are alone until we have evidence otherwise. On the other hand, it’s nice to pull the rug out from under the simulation hypothesis. This feels like it will be useful in pointing out to the techno-profits that their theology is just as unscientific as the traditional religions they look down upon.

I posted this on in July 2017 during week 2261.

For more, you should follow me on the fediverse: