Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Adverts help to support the work of this non-profit organisation. To go ad-free join as a Member.



Photo

Singularity Exo-Paleontology


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 planetp

  • Location:Sol 3

Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:59 AM


The other day I started thinking when the earliest possibly time our universe could given rise to the first technological singularity. What are the necessary preconditions, and when is the earliest time those pre-conditions emerged?

Let’s examine the evidence and make some conjectures.

In order to determine the earliest theoretical timeframe, we need to know what the necessary precursors of a technological singularity are. Since the Earth and the emergence of our own civilization is the only example we have, we’ll assume that life and therefore technological civilization requires a planet as a necessary prerequisite for a technological singularity.

So when were these first planets formed? Since planets require heavy elements, the earliest possible time would be right after a supernova explosion of a first-generation star. Since these first generation stars were composed entirely of hydrogen and helium, the heavier elements necessary for planetary formation were not available yet. However, thanks to nucleosynthesis in the core of these stars, these necessary heavier elements were created at a furious pace. These first generation stars first appeared 160 million years after the Big Bang. The most short-lived of these were the blue giants. After the first of these blue stars exploded, all of the material necessary for planetary formation were now available. So these second generation stars had all the heavier elements necessary for planetary disk accretion and formation.

According to this story,

http://www.nytimes.c...c7c1289&ei=5070

the Hubble Space Telescope found tantalizing evidence that planets first appeared much earlier in cosmic history, around 12.7 billion years ago, and therefore may be more abundant than previously suspected. Since we know both the earth and sun are each 4.5 billion years old, the earliest possible time earth like planets could have formed was 1 billion years after the big bang.

So from here we need to examine Earth’s history to determine the next part of our equation. This is where a bit of guesswork is required.

There is observational evidence that archaebacteria, the first type of life, were around as early as 3.97 billion years ago. Then for the next 2.2 billion years, life on earth consisted of nothing more than anaerobic bacteria and archaeans. Then about 1.8 billion years ago eukaryotic cells appeared as fossils too. With the beginning of the Middle Proterozoic 1.8 billion years ago, comes the first evidence of oxygen build-up in the atmosphere. This global catastrophe spelled doom for many bacterial groups, but made possible the explosion of eukaryotic forms. These include multicellular algae, and toward the end of the Proterozoic, the first animals.

With the Cambrian Explosion soon after, all the major phyla of life we know today emerged. Between the Cambrian explosion 543 million years ago and today there have been 5 great extinctions, the last of which was 65 million years ago, when 90% of life, including all the Dinosaurs, were wiped out by a comet. From the lowly 10% that was left emerged almost all the complex life we see today.

The real question now is could this 3.97 billion year history of life have happened at an accelerated rate? We know the first 2.2 billion years of life consisted of nothing more than simple anaerobic bacteria and archae, and the next 1.2 billion years single-celled eukaryotic oxygen-breathing bacteria. So for the first 3.4 billion years the degree of evolutionary change was almost non-existent. There is no reason to suspect the emergence of eukaryotic cells couldn’t have happened sooner, perhaps as earlier as a few million years after the first bacteria. The mechanisms underlying these punctuated periods of evolution are still largely unknown, so it’s mostly conjecture. But lets take a crack at it anyway.

I think most of this period’s stagnation was the result bad luck, or perhaps a lack of good luck. A low probability of correct mutations necessary for the emergence of multi-cellular life may be the reason it took so long. We know that quadrillions of bacteria were spread out all over the earth, and only after 3.4 billion years of relative stagnation did it eventually give rise to the first multi-cellular organisms. If this is the result of statistics rather than a slow necessary build up of a complex ecology, then life multi-cellular life could have emerged shortly after the first life appeared, maybe as little as a few millions of years, rather than 3.4 billion. Then again, mutli-cellular life could be so rare, that only 1 out of a million bacteria bearing planets give rise to multi-cellular life during the lifetime of its parent star.

It’s possible that multi-cellular creatures could have emerged as early as 3 billion years ago, giving rise to the equivalent of the Cambrian explosion 2.5 billion years earlier than it did. This leaves the last 543 million years after the Cambrian Explosion until now. Perhaps if we had a larger gas giant in a orbit closer than Jupiter’s, there would've been less asteroid and cometary impacts, further accelerating the right kinds of conditions for life to occur. In the scheme of things, this time frame is small enough that it doesn't matter much with a 13.7 billion year timeframe. So for the sake of this essay, I'll assume that 500 million years is the minimum time necessary for complex technological civilization to evolve from the first appearance of multi-cellular life.

Assuming my 2.5 billion year compression of the history of life is possible in a planetary system with the right conditions, this means technological civilization on the Earth could have occurred as early as 2 billion years after the formation of Earth itself.

Since we know that the first planets were forming as early as 12.7 billion years ago, and using earth’s history as our example, this means the first technological singularity could have occurred as early as 10.7 billion years ago, or just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. If we take out my conjectured time compression of evolution, we add an additional 2.5 billion years, giving us 5.5 billion years after the big bang.

This leaves us with a theoretical minimum of 8.2 – 10.7 billion years ago, that a technological singularity could have first occurred.

Comments, feedback, flaws?

Edited by planetp, 26 March 2004 - 03:29 AM.


#2 Thomas Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:01 PM

Well. Good article.

What's wrong is the implicit assumption, that a large liquid water body is common in our Universe. It isn't. It either dries or freezes, so goodby to any complex life.

That would mean, even we are quite early.

sponsored ad

#3 macdog Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 08 April 2004 - 08:29 PM

I have a response to this that I am quite excited to share, which goes to some very fundamental questions on the nature of life, the universe and everything.

In the mid-90's I was taking an astronomy course with then grad-student teacher Guilliermo Gonzalez. He was actually quite involved in some of the early extra-solar planet discoveries. He now has his Ph.D and I believe is a prof somewhere in the midwest. Of a particular note was a cover article he wrote for Scientific American published October 2001 or thereabouts concerning what he calls "the Galactic Habitable Zone" stating that a ver narrow of a galaxy will actually be conducive to the emergence of life.

One of his classes concerned quasars, which emit extreme radiation levels close to that of small nova. All quasars exists beyond what is called the Quasar Boundary of ~500 million light years for reasons that are not fully understood. As we all know this is not merely a space barrier, but a time barrier. In other words, ~500 million years ago quasars began to go extinct through out the universe and no process has replaced them. After that class I noted (as I was taking evolutionary biology at the same) that the Quasar Boundary was roughly coincident with the Cambrian explosion. I asked him what he thought of the conjecture that quasar radiation had suppressed the emergence of compex life forms on Earth, and quite possibly through the entire universe. He said it was a startling idea and had considerable merit. I know for a fact that if you asked him if he remembered my broaching the idea with him, he would absolutely recall that the idea had been presented to him.

So now we get to Fermi's Paradox, the question often phrased as "Where is everybody?". Given the huge timescales of the universe some intelligent civilization should have survived all the variables to colonize most of existence. You will find quite credible and serious scientists posing what is called "The Zoo Theory", in other words some moral imperative keeps all of those other civilization from interacting with us. But if that was true it would always have had to work, and it would have to work for everybody. Even so, given the capabilities of technological civilization their artifacts should be highly obvious to our observations: Dyson spheres, anamlous energy patterns that would be used for braking and accelerating their starships, and a general level of "chatter" which we should be able to detect with our telescopes through radio or infrared. Instead we see nothing.

I call my theory "The Starting Gun Hypothesis", which states that the universe was devoid of complex biological life until the quasar extinctions began to allow life forms to begin evolving beyond deep sea vents, under ice crusts such as Europa, and begin to take on the shallow seas and eventually the land. Given that, as an aquatic species, you can never rub two sticks together and master the power of fire, technological civilization is quite likely a terrestrial (by which I mean land based rather than pelagic) phenomenon. The truly startling implication of what is a highly truncated period for biological evolution, measured in geological timescales rather than astronomical, is that we may really be among the first civilizations to emerge ANYWHERE. Life itself is likely common at its simplest levels, there is now strong evidence that Mars has extant bacterial activity, metazoic life is slightly less common but I think we're going to start finding versions of it all over the solar system using some truly novel chemistry, but intelligent animals (by which I would include such a creature as rats) begin to become rare, and intelligent animals that go on to create tool using societies are rarer still, detectable technological races are an even rarer subset of the former, and space faring civilizations are again an even smaller subset of those, and while I have made clear my opinions on the likelihood of a Singularity in general it may well be that there NO such civilizations as of yet.

This puts us all in a position that is at once both thrilling and saddening. For one, it may well be we are alone. Those other civilizations being so distantly separated from us as to make their existence irrelevant because of the impossibility of meaningful conversation. This is quite sad, as i think we might enjoy the company. The flip side is that the universe is our oyster, in a relatively empty cosmos we can expect millenia of expansion, and cultural evolution, into space before we run into the moral quandries that made the settlement of the west such a tragic epic. To an extent, one could hardly hope to find a more conducive environment to human survival than a universe filled with fascinating biologies and lacking "lesser evolved" paleolithic alien species that without question at least some humans would exploit as slaves or simple use superior technology to steal resources from.

Of course, I could be totally wrong, and the aliens have bases all over the far side of the Moon and made quite sure to tell the Apollo astronauts "stay away you stupid monkeys". It strikes me as unlikely, but still, it seemed that it would only be fair to present what is not an unpopular theory in some circles.

Personally, I think the party just started, and we need start hanging the decorations.

#4 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:05 PM

Paul I don't know enough about the history of our universe to give constructive feedback but I think that is a really good article and deserves praise! If you think about it isn't our own ability to think a singularity of sorts? When we evolved from apes we were somehow able to traverse the threshold that allowed for intelligent thought. Or the birth of thinking, speach, the logos from a strictly instinctual form of life beforehand. Neanderthals and lower forms of life certainly never have been able to get to that point it's amazing that intelligence came to be at all given the improbability based on the status quo of most life forms 50,000 years ago.

The homo sapien singularity of though seems akin to the Singularity that Transhumanists hope to happen in the next 30-50 years in that both represent a potential key point in time when a simplistic form rapidly accelerates to a much more complex form... the difference lies merely in the degree there of. If our abilty to think and use reason is a Darwinian Singularity, surely the technological one will put us humanoids to shame! So maybe the Singularity is more feasible than I once thought just based on the anthropomorphic one alone. It just seems so unbelievable that computers will reach such a high degree of intelligence, and even more unbelievable to imagine the consequences of this exponentialy rapid change.

In fact the more I read about the Singularity the more I'm realizing its true potential to produce change of the highest order. The Singularity your talking about is even a precursor to homo sapien Singularity...hope I'm not in over my head [huh]

#5 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 08 April 2004 - 10:46 PM

This puts us all in a position that is at once both thrilling and saddening. For one, it may well be we are alone. Those other civilizations being so distantly separated from us as to make their existence irrelevant because of the impossibility of meaningful conversation. This is quite sad, as i think we might enjoy the company. The flip side is that the universe is our oyster, in a relatively empty cosmos we can expect millenia of expansion, and cultural evolution, into space before we run into the moral quandries that made the settlement of the west such a tragic epic. To an extent, one could hardly hope to find a more conducive environment to human survival than a universe filled with fascinating biologies and lacking "lesser evolved" paleolithic alien species that without question at least some humans would exploit as slaves or simple use superior technology to steal resources from.

Of course, I could be totally wrong, and the aliens have bases all over the far side of the Moon and made quite sure to tell the Apollo astronauts "stay away you stupid monkeys". It strikes me as unlikely, but still, it seemed that it would only be fair to present what is not an unpopular theory in some circles.


If an alien species were able to reach us from the depths of outer space they would probably already have developed many "future" technologies such as nanotechnology, nano/3D/parallel/quantum computing...odds are they are probably already post Singularity.

This idea fascinates me because it means that an alien species could exist as "micro-consciences" traveling through the universe at the speed of light. Upon finding our little humble abode, they could integrate themselves in society while remaining completely undetectable. Afterall, why would they reveal themselves? The only thing that would be of any value to such highly advanced aliens would be information about our development and existence.

Of course, all of this is unfalsifiable, and therefore unworthy of serious consideration, but still -- its a lot of fun to think about. :)

Another area of conjecture which is interconnected with this one is that of crop circles. Some sources will tell you that crop circles are an elaborate hoax. Others will tell you that crop circles are unexplainable phenomenon.

I am agnostic on what causes the formation of crop circles, but I must admit that they are also a lot of fun to think about. The fact that they occur on all six continents with regularity, sometimes contain obsure and/or complex mathematical theorems, are unable to be replicated (at least the more complex ones that are not the obvious work of hoaxers) by humans using the rope and stick method, and sometimes show indications of eradiation - makes crop circles much more of a mystery than the Lock Ness Monster or Big Foot ever was or will be.

A while back I saw a TV special about crop circles. In one video sequence you see a number of individuals walking around a newly formed crop circle when all of a sudden you see a little ball of light circling around them. The people are completely unaware of its presence. The little orb continued to fly around, come to a sudden stop, go in the opposite direction, then shoot up, stop and hover a dozen or so meters off the ground before shooting off and disappearing. An optical illusion? Possibly, as I said I'm agnostic on the subject. :)

#6 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 09 April 2004 - 03:16 AM

I am agnostic on what causes the formation of crop circles, but I must admit that they are also a lot of fun to think about. The fact that they occur on all six continents with regularity, sometimes contain obsure and/or complex mathematical theorems, are unable to be replicated (at least the more complex ones that are not the obvious work of hoaxers) by humans using the rope and stick method, and sometimes show indications of eradiation - makes crop circles much more of a mystery than the Lock Ness Monster or Big Foot ever was or will be.

Actually Don the crop circles were revealed as a hoax on a WGBH program which exposed it as a prank done by two friends using only giant boards to walk around on creating the circular patterns! It's definitely a hoax and you need not be agnostic about them anymore! It was amazing how mathematically accurate and precise they managed to be while fooling the entire world. [lol]

The truly startling implication of what is a highly truncated period for biological evolution, measured in geological timescales rather than astronomical, is that we may really be among the first civilizations to emerge ANYWHERE. Life itself is likely common at its simplest levels, there is now strong evidence that Mars has extant bacterial activity, metazoic life is slightly less common but I think we're going to start finding versions of it all over the solar system using some truly novel chemistry, but intelligent animals (by which I would include such a creature as rats) begin to become rare, and intelligent animals that go on to create tool using societies are rarer still, detectable technological races are an even rarer subset of the former, and space faring civilizations are again an even smaller subset of those, and while I have made clear my opinions on the likelihood of a Singularity in general it may well be that there NO such civilizations as of yet.

you are of course referring to the 'rare earth hypothesis' which states just what you said...I personally agree with Don's explanation that they may be so further along complexity wise, having passed the Singularity threshold point that we might be too 'dumb' to even detect what could be right in our face...For instance they maybe existing on microscopic sized levels via nano-tech or pico-technology and of course the myriad of other possibilites that we may be to primitive to fathom at this point. From what I've been reading including Dvorsky's article on the rare earth theory and arguments against it, I tend to believe that we are not alone.

#7 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 09 April 2004 - 06:08 AM

dfowler: Actually Don the crop circles were revealed as a hoax on a WGBH program which exposed it as a prank done by two friends using only giant boards to walk around on creating the circular patterns!  It's definitely a hoax and you need not be agnostic about them anymore!  It was amazing how mathematically accurate and precise they managed to be while fooling the entire world.


Well I'm glad that the WGBH program set the record straight! :) [lol] Allow me to play devil's advocate...

As I said in my previous post:

Some sources will tell you that crop circles are an elaborate hoax. Others will tell you that crop circles are unexplainable phenomenon.


I agree that there are "hoax" crop circles. This is well documented and a fairly common occurence. However, often these man made crop circles are of poor quality.

Tell me Devon, how many men (and what level of skill) would it take to make a crop circle like this appear over night?

Posted Image

Or how about this one??

Posted Image



In addition:

Blown nodes:

The plants inside crop circles are changed in a way that is beyond human ability.


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


Canola Plants Cannot Be Bent

Crop circle formations often appear in canola (oil seed rape) fields. This plant has a consistency like celery. If the stalk is bent more than about 45-degrees, it snaps apart. Yet, in a "genuine" crop circle formation the stalks are often bent flat at 90-degrees. No botanist or other scientist has been able to explain this, nor has it ever been duplicated by a human being.


Weaving

[img]http://web.archive.org/web/20010802200111/http://4dreamland.com/media/images/Crops/cropA.jpg[/img]

First up...I would like you to take a good look at the nature in which the plants are masterfully overlapping each other, and gently spiking into the standing crop in a spoke effect creating the circle. This is an effect that is NOT achieved by simply stomping on the plants with a board and or a garden roller, two tools commonly used by hoaxers do create fakes.     
                 
This circle was part of one of the most elaborate formations in the recorded history of the phenomenon.
It's design was based on the mathematical factual a Julia Set. It was actually a triple Julia set with three spiraling arms and 196 individual circles. Each circle was very complex in their construction.
     
See that opening or "corridor" in the top center of the photograph? That was naturally formed as part of the formations design, and the interesting thing I noticed upon close examination, is that the plants flowed ever so gently into and out of these corridors joining each individual circle that make up the complete formation in a mind blowing continual flow!


[img]http://web.archive.org/web/20010802200111/http://4dreamland.com/media/images/Crops/cropB.jpg[/img]

Here again notice the way in which the plants are exiting a crop circle through a corridor leading to another circle that made up the formation.
What I found extremely interesting is the way the plants would actually mold or form their way around the edges. There were several hundred of these corridors within this particular formation, and all of them had beautifully molded edges!
                 
To try and hoax just this one detail ( there are many other details of course ) over several hundred times, in the darkness of night, with only approximately 5 hours of night fall at that time of year in England (summer time) is asking a lot. Also, factor in the fact that their is a fine in excess of 10,000 British Sterling if you are caught hoaxing a crop circle in a farmers field.     
         
Again notice the overlapping , layering, spoke effect that makes up this circle. It is obvious that this was NOT created by quickly stomping down the plants.


And here's one last good link

Against Crop Circle Hoaxing

Well, I think I've piled enough crop circle info onto this thread. I know that by posting this information I run the risk of seeming "kooky", but I can assure you that I am one of the most rational people you will ever meet. In my opinion, the jury is still out on exactly what forms crop circles. I do however, feel that the media sometimes unfairly portrays the subject of crop circles as an undisputable hoax. I find this to be disingenous as there are many unresolved questions in regards to crop circles. It should also be noted that there are real scientists involved in the study of crop circles, many of which are shunned by the rest of the scientific community because they are viewed as "kooks" or "alien nuts".

I think that all ideas should be given a fair shake, even if there is a stigma attached to some of them. If crop circles are a complete hoax then I want proof that a team of humans could alter crops into patterns with all of the above changes. Until then I will be an agnostic on the subject.

#8 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 09 April 2004 - 06:39 PM

Wow Don! you really threw that in my face... let me just say, and I skimmed the link, that in my non-expert but rational opinion those circles while profoundly symmetrical in every way could have been made by human beings walking on round wooden boards,holding rope the whole nine...in the way the older ones were made.

Have you seen previous works? Your circles looked equally as convincing or 'fantastic' as the ones I saw on WGBH, the answer to all of life's problems! You're the one distinguishing these particular formations as somehow 'better' than previous crop hoaxes...the bottom line is obviously you can believe what you want to, but the very fact that crop formations were exposed in the past to be HUMAN MADE should be evidence enough, Don, that this is no different. The web page you showed me could be kooky like so many web pages are, or I should say there was nothing about the link that you gave that indicated anything scientifically grounded in any way...all I saw was BIG LETTERS AND RAMBLING SENTENCES WITH REGARDS TO WHY THEY KNOW THE REAL ANSWER!!! There are so many people out there convinced of all sorts of coinidences, so called alien invasions, governemnt consipiricies that I have to laugh at most of them. Do you really believe that aliens would mimick human pranks though, Don? Does that make sense that fter crop circles were exposed to be UNDENIABLY human pranks, seven or eight years ago, that somehow this latest batch is any different? I have nothing more to say...

The jury was out, now has come back.. and finds you, Don Spatton slightly guilty of naivete. joking manner of course

that will be all... [lol]

Edited by dfowler, 09 April 2004 - 08:13 PM.


#9 macdog Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:48 AM

Don, if you could refer me to where I can find the Dvorsky article on Rare Earth I would appreciate it. I actually attended a seminar held by one of the two guys who wrote it just after its publication, can't recall which one.

As far as being alone, no we're not. Not technically alone anyway. The universe is inconcievably vast, and there are most certainly other species out there. I've crunched the Drake equation more than a few times though, and by my calculations WE do not exist. So obviously I'm doing something wrong. We are though, I am almost certain, practically alone, meaning that the aliens are so rare and so far away, and probably just so darn alien that meaningful interaction is going to be impossible. Imagine it like this: New York City is completely empty except for two people, a man and a woman. One of them is blind, the other is deaf, neither is terribly attractive and they both speak different languages. They spend most of their time wandering the same streets where they feel most comfortable and know how to find what they need to stay alive. What is the likelihood that they will have kids? It's not impossible, it just really, realy unlikely.

#10 planetp Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Sol 3

Posted 10 April 2004 - 01:15 AM

Wow, this conversation has taken quite a turn! I agree with Don, the two drunken guys from a bar were debunked less than a month after their claim, yet skeptics still cite their bogus claim as evidence that crop circles are man-made. When these two drunken old men demonstrated their crop circle for the press, it was so embarrassingly clumsy, awkward and disordered, that I was surprised the guys were even able to find their way out of the mess they made! Their crops were also obviously broken at the base, whereas in other crop circle there is no such bending. I'm not saying they aren't man-made, only that there is no evidence yet to support that claim. They have yet to find any way to get the crops to bend the way they are in a crop circle. No one has been able to reproduce it. That fact alone should give pause to any skeptic investigating this phenomena.

As for the Rare Earth Hypothesis, I have to disagree. There is so much evidence that lends credance to the abundance of life that they completely ignored. These authors of this book are on a mission to discredit any and all positive hopeful visions of the future, whether it is extraterrestrial life, or humans evolving off the planet. Their writing is very biased and extremely de-transhumanist. Have you read their latest book, The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World? It's completely pessimistic and says that every transhumanist idea, from space travel, to intelligence increase to life extension will never happen!! These guys are utter morons, and doing a great disservice not only to any meaningful, hopeful vision of the future, but also to science generally. If you go to the index of this book, not one citation of nanotechnology!! Such an oversight is I believe intentional and deliberate. When I skimmed through this book last week, I was appalled.

#11 macdog Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 02:08 AM

Wow planetp, as to the Rare Earh Hypothesis, I'm really not familiar with their new book but pretty familiar with their original, and I've also spoken to one of them personally. I really don't see these guys as anti-science. It was because of their book that the University of Washington started an astrobiology program. The main thesis of their book is actually that life itself is abundant, and quite likely extremely common to the extent that it exists anywhere where there is water and energy. Their point is really that from there, life forms become decreasingly common as they become increasingly complex. It might be that there are planets full of dinosaurs out there, but very few Roman Empires and no Star Treks. As far as them not referencing nano-tech, you gotta admit, the science has exactly taken off from its initial promise in the early 80's.

As to the "debunking" of Crop Circles, yeah those two drunks had nothing to do with it. Having said that there apparently is a bit of Crop Circle Underground, of people who call themselves "artists" and really just vandalize some poor farmers feild. I forget the name of the cheif Crop Circle Investigator, but his conclusion is that ~75% of formations are hoaxes. having said that, there are definitely events out there with strange radioactivity, unnaturally interwoven stalks, and time frames in which it would have been impossible for a hoaxer to do such a thing. However, I'm not sure if we really need to look for extra-terrestrials for this to be something "alien" though. Crop circles are in drawing from hundreds of years ago, if it was extra-terrestrials, by now they'd be running hot dog stands in Central Park. If they had something to say, they'd buy a TV network. If there really is some kind of intelligence behind this, other than human, I think we could be discussin non-physical entities. If we are, then that implies that mind has an extrasomatic component. A discovery which, if proved and especially if turned into an applicable science, would radically alter every aspect of human existence!

;-)

#12 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 10:57 AM

Wow Don! you really threw that in my face... let me just say, and I skimmed the link, that in my non-expert but rational opinion those circles while profoundly symmetrical in every way could have been made by human beings walking on round wooden boards,holding rope the whole nine...in the way the older ones were made.


I threw it in your face? I thought about how I felt on the topic and the points I would like to make. Then I googled the topic and found the relevant information to back up my position. That’s how debate works. Not all entries on the forums have to wax poetic for our own self aggrandizement…joking manner of course.

Have you seen previous works?


Are you asking for an assessment of my knowledge level on the subject? If I see a program on television about crop circles I watch it. If I’m at B&N and I stumble across a book on crop circles I’ll sit down for 20 minutes and read it. That’s my knowledge level on the subject, what’s yours?

Your circles looked equally as convincing or 'fantastic' as the ones I saw on WGBH


The pictures are the least important part of my argument. However, your above statement is only an opinion and therefore I will neutralize it with my opinion – The circles that veteran crop circle hoaxers are able to replicate are of significantly lower quality (and markedly different) than that of the premium crop circles found around the world.

You're the one distinguishing these particular formations as somehow 'better' than previous crop hoaxes...


After googling for around five minutes these were the most impressive photos that I found. I think the crop circle with the caption on increasing complexity was impressive. I have never seen a team of hoaxers be able to replicate a circle of that sophistication. If you have, then present your evidence…not your subjective opinion.

the bottom line is obviously you can believe what you want to


What exactly do I believe?

but the very fact that crop formations were exposed in the past to be HUMAN MADE should be evidence enough, Don, that this is no different.



That this fact should be “evidence enough” is your subjective opinion. You are committing an error in logic and also illustrating wonderfully what I consider to be an abuse of skepticism. How does the fact that (some circles are human made) prove that (all circles are human made)? My girlfriend’s Mom can knit. Does this fact mean that she can replicate a JCrew sweater? No, she doesn’t have the technology or the precision. I get the feeling that you quickly looked at the pictures and the web site and made a snap judgment that this is all hoohey. You haven’t even made an attempt to counter the major points I brought up -specifically; blown nodes, stalks bent at 90 degree angles, and weaving. Unless you can show me evidence that humans can replicate these effects in a crop circle of their own making I will remain agnostic on the matter. You are making the assumption that all crop circles are hoaxes and not admitting the possibility that hoaxers are mimicking the phenomenon.

The web page you showed me could be kooky like so many web pages are, or I should say there was nothing about the link that you gave that indicated anything scientifically grounded in any way...all I saw was BIG LETTERS AND RAMBLING SENTENCES WITH REGARDS TO WHY THEY KNOW THE REAL ANSWER!!!


ROTHLMAO! You are revealing your own…disposition… by making this statement. I was presenting the site as a point of reference, not as scientific evidence. The guy who created the site is obviously an “enthusiast” and not an “expert” – sort of like we are enthusiasts of Transhumanism, but not experts. I see no problem with using the site I linked to as a source to find out the cogent arguments regarding crop circles.

I find your attitude humorous because at least 99% of the world’s population would view your comments on life extension to be just as “out there” as you find this individual’s views on crop circles to be.

Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view. – Obi Wan


There are so many people out there convinced of all sorts of coinidences, so called alien invasions, governemnt consipiricies that I have to laugh at most of them.


If I don’t see the evidence then I ignore them.

Do you really believe that aliens would mimick human pranks though, Don?


As I’ve said, my true position on this subject is one of agnosticism. However once again, you are making the error of assuming that it would be the aliens mimicking the humans and not the humans mimicking the aliens.

Does that make sense that fter crop circles were exposed to be UNDENIABLY human pranks, seven or eight years ago, that somehow this latest batch is any different?


Once again, this is your subjective opinion. You haven’t proven anything to me. I have stated my opinion and put forth some basic reasons why my position could be correct (blown nodes, 90 angle, weaving). You haven’t put forward any proof, or for that matter, even attempted to counter mine. What reason do I have to give your opinion consideration?

I have nothing more to say...


Sorry to hear that. I was looking forward to you presenting some evidence.

The jury was out, now has come back.. and finds you, Don Spatton slightly guilty of naivete. joking manner of course


Dflower, the name is Spanton. And who appointed you judge, jury and executioner? You’re the one who is presenting no evidence and you’re calling me naïve? **chuckle**

that will be all... 


Hearye hearye, Devon has spoken. [sfty]

#13 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 11:13 AM

I'm not saying they aren't man-made, only that there is no evidence yet to support that claim


Exactly, and that's also why the topic is worthy of further consideration.

#14 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:38 PM

ok I apologize I let my so called 'humorous personality' convolute a scientificly based question and in doing so made my argument open to holes that you have pointed out. when I get time I'll do some more investigation, and as you said you're not a 'believer' but you are agnostic and none of my arguments were strong enough to warrant the claims I did. Instead I should have said, 'interesting claims Don, maybe I should look into it some more and challenge your notions one by one.'

Furthermore, I was just kidding so no heart feeling...but my one suggestion to think about, and I will do some more research on the subject, is that when I first heard about this crop phenomenon 7 or 8 years ago which I saw debunked on WGBH as well as the news and I believe there are several books debunking the myths as well, showing that the orignals were definitely a hoax. Now how could aliens mimick a hoax? And as you said Don Spanton, sorry about the name..., that it could be the other way around, but if all evidence seems to be pointing towards the fact that humans created it first have you considered this claim?

What you have proven is that I tend to throw out my subjective opinions to keep arguments fun and even humorous at times which doesn't make me a good arguer, debater, and possibly scientific minded person which I have to work on.

Your point about our beliefs being frowned upon for irrationality still is not the same as believing in alien conspiricies if only because transhumanist beliefs are founded more on rationality and hardcore science...not a few so called pieces of potential evidence that are only substantiated by an 'enthusiasts claims.'

So I will read up more on this issue I also tend to believe that it is a bit odd that somehow with all the unsubstantiated alien visitation claims that have been made over the years that somehow crop circles should be a deeply considered argument. Is it possible Mr. Spanton, that knowing how much people want to believe in hoaxes that crop circles are just an extremely clever hoax that humans have perfected since the original hoax?

Finally you insinuate that you are committed to rationality by your carefully constructed arguments, attention to detail, and backing up your arguments through web research, which you have done in this case... but with all the 'morons' in the world who 'DO' make outrageous claims about most everything, and knowing that there are all the believers committed to faith, and all the bullshit that we take in on a daily basis from society which so often IS overly opinonated and has tendencies to make wide sweeping statements, such as transhumanists have been known to do as well, is it possible that you are picking on me as an example of someone who fell into that category of person when in actuality most of my posts tend to NOT make wide sweeping statements, do tend to be emotional, and usually I don't try to prove or disprove arguments unless I have good solid evidence to!

So why don't you PICK on some of the idiots who wouldn't even engage you in discussions such as these? Or maybe you already do and that's why you are an immortalist which is awesome. But please don't single me out as an overly opinionated, and stupid minded person just based on fallacies in some of my arguments, as you may or may not know I wouldn't be here if I didn't see the gross amount of idiocy, irrationality, and injustice that does go on in a daily basis in non science based circles!

#15 macdog Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 04:53 PM

Did I mention I had a cool theory about quasars?

#16 Thomas Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 05:03 PM

Tell us about it, please!

#17 planetp Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Sol 3

Posted 10 April 2004 - 06:10 PM

Don, I'm about as agnostic as they come. I think crop circles deserve investigation, absolutely. Which is why my point was that until some person can demonstrate for all to see exactly how to reproduce the crop-bending found in crop circles without breaking the stems, the theory that these are man-made doesn't have any supporting evidence.

#18 macdog Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 10 April 2004 - 11:34 PM

My quasar theory is basically outlined in my first post on the thread. It's my answer to Fermi's Paradox. Fermi's Paradox being that given the age of the universe, and the statistical likelihood of at least one successfull star colonizing race, there should be aliens everywhere we look. Obviously, some factor is involved to explain their absence. Some people just say Rare Earth, doesn't happen, Some say Zoo, like there's a big sign at the edge of Sol System that says, "Wildlife Preserve, No Entry". Or The Stealthy Visitor, what was that light in the sky, Fight the Future, all that.

I call my hypothesis The Starting Gun, that some truly universal factor repressed the emergence of life, and by extension technological civilization. My conjecture is that that factor was sterilizing quasar radiation. As all quasars are found at a minimum of 500 million light years away, we can conclude that quasars were somehow an artifact of the earlier universe which have since gone extinct, and so their sterilizing effect is no longer a factor. Supporting that idea is the well known fact that roughly 500 million years ago Earth had what was called "The Cambrian Explosion", the most incredible biodiversification event in the fossil record, when every modern phyla (and a few that didn't make it) first appeared on this planet. My deduction is that EVERY PLANET IN THE UNIVERSE experienced this window to diversify life-forms, especially metazoans, and move towards evolving an intelligent technological species. Hence, ALL LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE has only had this 500 million year window to evolve, not billions of years at all. Given the instability of the cosmic environment, hot jupiters in solar systems, supernovae, extinction level impact events, ice ages and the rest of that scary stuff it is not at all unlikely, and in fact much more likely that we are among a very small number of technological civilizations IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. I've crunched Drake more than a few times, and pretty much the best I've ever come up with is about 1 civilization for every 2 or three galaxies in any 5 million year period.

We have met the aliens, and they are us.

#19 Thomas Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 11 April 2004 - 12:06 AM

I like your "first post" theory! I am thinking about it .... And yes, I agree with you about "Rare Earth" as well.

#20 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 11 April 2004 - 12:35 AM

ok I apologize I let my so called 'humorous personality' convolute a scientificly based question and in doing so made my argument open to holes that you have pointed out. when I get time I'll do some more investigation, and as you said you're not a 'believer' but you are agnostic and none of my arguments were strong enough to warrant the claims I did. Instead I should have said, 'interesting claims Don, maybe I should look into it some more and challenge your notions one by one.'


Fair enough. [thumb]

Furthermore, I was just kidding so no heart feeling...


Most definitely, no hard feelings. I’m still trying to embrace the whole Crocker’s Rule thing, sometimes its tough. I view the heated the debate as valuable…keeps the wits razor sharp.

but my one suggestion to think about, and I will do some more research on the subject, is that when I first heard about this crop phenomenon 7 or 8 years ago which I saw debunked on WGBH as well as the news and I believe there are several books debunking the myths as well, showing that the orignals were definitely a hoax.


There are many books on both sides of this debate. I have read books which claim that all crop circles are hoaxes, yet never once has one of these books explained the blown nodes, the 90 degree angles, or the weaving. They just ignore these major points of contention. That is unacceptable to me. Show me a team of CC hoaxers going out to a field with a machine that weaves, bends stalks at 90 degree angles and blows nodes -and I will view all crop circles as hoaxes.

but if all evidence seems to be pointing towards the fact that humans created it first have you considered this claim?



I haven’t seen evidence that humans created the first crop circles.

What you have proven is that I tend to throw out my subjective opinions to keep arguments fun and even humorous at times which doesn't make me a good arguer, debater, and possibly scientific minded person which I have to work on.


Hhmmm, I’ve seen you do a good job in the past presenting your side of the argument. In this case I felt that you were being overly dismissive, which surprised me since you usually seemed to be open minded on most topics. I guess on this thread I have met Devon the Skeptic (with a capital S) for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing - I am a skeptic - but like anything else it can be taken to an extreme.

Your point about our beliefs being frowned upon for irrationality still is not the same as believing in alien conspiricies



Not alien conspiracies! Extraterrestrial involvement is only one of the possibilities. The circles could be the result of magnetic fields, the projection of a mass human consciousness, or yes -- it could even be a completely man made hoax. I am making the argument that nothing has been proven conclusively.

if only because transhumanist beliefs are founded more on rationality and hardcore science...not a few so called pieces of potential evidence that are only substantiated by an 'enthusiasts claims.'


Yes, they are two very different fields. I was simply pointing out that close mindedness can sometimes have a negative impact on progress and forward thinking.

I have already stated that if you do not feel the evidence is solid then you need show why you feel this way…

As far as the evidence coming from “enthusiasts” – this is a misperception on your part.

Many individuals who investigate crop circles are scientists in other fields of inquiry. Investigating crop circles is a hobby for them. There are also some dedicated crop circle specialists who investigate crop circles full time, but not many. The reason for this should be obvious; there’s no money in it. Once again, if you disagree with the methods or the evidence presented by these “investigators” then you need to present your case, not attempt to impugn their integrity with your subjective opinion.

So I will read up more on this issue I also tend to believe that it is a bit odd that somehow with all the unsubstantiated alien visitation claims that have been made over the years that somehow crop circles should be a deeply considered argument.


This statement is a non sequitur. Unsubstantiated alien visitations have nothing to do with whether crop circles are unexplained phenomenon. You are making assumptions.

Is it possible Mr. Spanton, that knowing how much people want to believe in hoaxes that crop circles are just an extremely clever hoax that humans have perfected since the original hoax?


Yes, it is a possibility. Now prove it to me.

is it possible that you are picking on me as an example of someone who fell into that category of person when in actuality most of my posts tend to NOT make wide sweeping statements, do tend to be emotional, and usually I don't try to prove or disprove arguments unless I have good solid evidence to!


I wasn’t picking on you. I was playing rough. When I am accused of naivety the gloves tend to come off. And you say that you don’t try to prove or disprove arguments without solid evidence, but this is exactly what you attempted to do in regards to crop circles.

But please don't single me out as an overly opinionated, and stupid minded person just based on fallacies in some of my arguments, as you may or may not know I wouldn't be here if I didn't see the gross amount of idiocy, irrationality, and injustice that does go on in a daily basis in non science based circles!


Devon, I may have been a little snippy in my previous post, but I can assure you that I wasn’t trying to single you out. I was simply pointing out what I felt was an abuse of skepticism on your part, and also that I was unconvinced by your argument because you didn’t offer any evidence.

I’m not the kind of person who is going to believe something because some one tells me it is so. “Devon says that crop circles are hoaxes.” Well that’s great, but I don’t care what Devon says, I care what Devon proves. And if you feel differently then I have a resurrection to sell you. :) :)

Sincerely

Don

#21 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 11 April 2004 - 01:50 AM

I think I've been growing dumber recently for reasons I'm entirely unsure about because everything you said in your last post is absolutely on point, and I'm realizing the errors of my ways...

one quick idea to think about regarding this topic, wouldn't it make sense that if aliens had visited us that they would signal to us perhaps more directly than making funny patterns on our lawns? Just thought about that. The next question you could ask is well perhaps that's exactly what the formations are some form of communication...it just seems unlikely that they would attempt to communicate in such a primitive fashion, unless that is the only way they think they could communicate with such a primitive life form as us?

Secondly I must confess I'm not one to play detective trying to figure out a problem such as this one...I know this sounds like a poor excuse but even if I fished around on the web I doubt that I would be able to find sufficient evidence, real evidence to prove or disprove crop circles since as you know the web is full of charlatan sites, people etc. However I'll snoop around see if something pops up....

There are many books on both sides of this debate. I have read books which claim that all crop circles are hoaxes, yet never once has one of these books explained the blown nodes, the 90 degree angles, or the weaving. They just ignore these major points of contention. That is unacceptable to me. Show me a team of CC hoaxers going out to a field with a machine that weaves, bends stalks at 90 degree angles and blows nodes -and I will view all crop circles as hoaxes.

from guess work alone, couldn't 90 degree angled stocks come as a result of either the boards alone, or a wider board situated several feet above the board that makes the initial patterns such that another pattern is created by this other board kind of like a layered type of thing...the blown nodes could have resulted from the pressure of the boards alone again not an expert on crop stalks...I know I know you're thinking what an ass he's going on opinon again...I'll look into it! [tung]

#22 planetp Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Sol 3

Posted 11 April 2004 - 06:20 AM

Hi Macdog,

I agree with you about the quasars, but only up to a point. I have no doubt they prevented complex life from emerging, but to what extent? For example, the Hubble Deep Field shows millions of galaxies within a few arcseconds, in existence 12 Billion years ago, and very few if any quasars in site. Quasars seem to be a much a substantially more rare phenomona. Radiation intensity decreases at a cubed ratio to distance. So each time you double the distance, the radiation density is 8 times less. Therefore, I don't think their lethal radiation would extend much past a few hundred thousand light-years, and that's probably a gross overestimation.

But this begs a bigger more profound issue. Up to this point, most everyone who has argued about Fermi's Paradox, assumes that the basic structure and intent of an advanced civilization is a playing out of some variation of a Kardaschev Level. I think this might be an error of chauvinism on our part. For example, John Smart and I have both argued about the distinct possibility that advanced civilization's abilities and demands might not require moving out into space in the traditional expansive convert-the-universe-into-computronium agenda, but instead convert their local resources into ultra-miniaturized "femto-tech", where all of further advancement occurs at an increasinly minuturized "internality" and/or they actually reach a plateau of complexity/novelty. In this scenario, such singularity intelligence never leaves their home planet. Instead 99.99999999% of their existence, exploration and creation happens within, undetectable even in their own solar system, let alone from hundreds or thousands of light years away.

Then there is something altogether different to consider, which also has significant historical precedent to back it up - punctuated evolutionary ontological transcendence. For example, amoeba are not aware of ants. Ants are not aware of human civilization. They have no concept of humanity, language, cars, airplanes, Janet Jackson, the moon, the earth, stars, and quantum theory. Almost everything we take for granted is completely outside of the limited ontological space that is an ant's existence. The same can be said for an amoeba. An ant's tiny brain and its chemical sensing and processing are radically advanced emergent phenomena completely outside of the very limited ontological space of an amoeba.

So why can't this same ontological differential apply the other way around, upward, beyond our comprehension, and entirely invisible from our ontological perspective? We don't see these advanced intelligences, because they are beyond us as much as we are beyond the ants, or as Spock once said in the name of a Star Trek episode I can't remember, that the Organians are as advanced above humanity, as humanity is advanced above the amoeba.

Of course, most "level headed" scientists will say such comparisons are incorrect, since we have "science" now, but this could simply be an advanced form of chauvinism. Everything we call science today was and is the product of very small 3-lb pieces of gray matter of domesticated primates on a small rock around an ordinary star.

This concept of ontological transcendence goes to the heart of my concept of the Sans-Ceiling Hypothesis, that everything we know today as limits, are not really limits at all in the face of sufficiently advanced intelligence.

Hughes' Corollary to Clarke's Law:

Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from nature.

I think this is as good an answer as any to Fermi's Paradox, and one that has historical ontological precedent.

Edited by planetp, 11 April 2004 - 06:08 PM.


#23 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 12 April 2004 - 12:09 AM

Interesting look at intelligence on a wide scale and in defining the layering of intelligence that you so point out.

Up to this point, most everyone who has argued about Fermi's Paradox, assumes that the basic structure and intent of an advanced civilization is a playing out of some variation of a Kardaschev Level.

could you explain this statement if you have the time of course?

For example, John Smart and I have both argued about the distinct possibility that advanced civilization's abilities and demands might not require moving out into space in the traditional expansive convert-the-universe-into-computronium agenda, but instead convert their local resources into ultra-miniaturized "femto-tech", where all of further advancement occurs at an increasinly minuturized "internality" and/or they actually reach a plateau of complexity/novelty.

This seems to be in keeping with Simon Smith and George Dvorsky's articles here as opposed to colonizing space we can colonize as you say inward, the benefits of this should be obvious, for one we'll finally have greater than human intelligence which we all know is so vastly important if we are to tackle space colonization, rather than blindly go out there like a bunch of cowboys. It's amazing to think how much we can get grow and profit as a civilization merely from miniturization of resources, and there has been much talk about living in condensed spaces in minituriazed forms even in upload forms during the transhumn phase. Robert Hanson's, If Uploads Come First mentions a scenario such as this. 'Punctual evolutionary ontological transcendence' seems to be a great term in describing the quantum leaps in intelligence from an amoeba to an ant, ant to human, human to IA or AI or both ad infinitum...as you said Paul, many believe that we may be too primitive a civilization to notice more advanced life forms that could be right in front of our faces. BetterHumans has some articles that talk about this, ...

Of course, most "level headed" scientists will say such comparisons are incorrect, since we have "science" now, but this could simply be an advanced form of chauvinism. Everything we call science today was and is the product of very small 3-lb pieces of gray matter of domesticated primates on a small rock around an ordinary star.

There are alot of chauvinistic ideas and too many scientists to propogate those ideas which is obvious, I guess that comes with having increasing knoweldge, perhaps a byproduct of achieving an increase in complexity although slight... perhaps snobbery or elitism comes with the territory as well when dealing with higher end concepts, I think you're spot on.

This concept of ontological transcendence goes to the heart of my concept of the Sans-Ceiling Hypothesis, that everything we know today as limits, are not really limits at all in the face of sufficiently advanced intelligence.

as you have so pointed out in Future Hi there are no bounded limits to human intelligence except our fear of reaching these limits, I'm not going to add to much more to you and Michael's ongoing fued, but I will say that I think the two camps can reconcile the differences and find ways to achieve super intelligence with the emotional IQ of the Dali Lama, as well as the third circuit IQ that the Singulatarians have so talked about.

Also now might be an appropriate time to mention and question...how does an increase in EMOTIONAL intelligence happen? Or, is it possible to profoundly increase one's emotional IQ such that we experience greater states of love, sensitivity, happiness etc. ala David Pierce...or are emotive states rather simplistic and not subject to exponential increases in change at all? I tend to think that like our ability to appreciate certain forms of music why can't humans enhance not only the fidelity of the equipment we are listening to... to a great extent, but that when we reach those limits, that one day we can use nano-tech to rapidly transcend limits on the recieving end of things as well, by implementing nano-chips that will increase our ability to experience far greater complexity to activiites like appreciation of music. I wonder if one could implement a nano-chip device that increases the subtley of emotion or even overall intensity of emotion any thoughts?

Edited by dfowler, 12 April 2004 - 12:43 AM.


#24 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 12 April 2004 - 12:48 AM

I think I've been growing dumber recently for reasons I'm entirely unsure about because everything you said in your last post is absolutely on point, and I'm realizing the errors of my ways...


I have those kinds of days (weeks?) where I feel the same way. Take some Omega 3, CoQ10 and one of those Metrix smoothies with a memory booster. Works for me everytime. [thumb] Seriously though, I think the main problem is not you, but the initial position that you decided to defend.

one quick idea to think about regarding this topic, wouldn't it make sense that if aliens had visited us that they would signal to us perhaps more directly than making funny patterns on our lawns?


Beats the hell out of me. As I've said previously, what reason would they have for communicating with us? If they have reached a post Singularity level of technology then they would be able to find out everything about us that they wanted to know. Maybe they're just being playful. :) And again, "funny patterns on our lawns" is not the way I would describe crop circles. Many of them are precise and complex patterns measuring hundreds of meters in length.

The next question you could ask is well perhaps that's exactly what the formations are some form of communication...it just seems unlikely that they would attempt to communicate in such a primitive fashion, unless that is the only way they think they could communicate with such a primitive life form as us?


Again, I want to make clear that, although I have put forth certain scenarios, I don't "believe in" any of them. Crop Circles may be an attempt at communication, they may not be. My whole point was that the position of a skeptic is that all crop circles are man made hoaxes, and that this position has not been proven conclusively.

Secondly I must confess I'm not one to play detective trying to figure out a problem such as this one...I know this sounds like a poor excuse but even if I fished around on the web I doubt that I would be able to find sufficient evidence, real evidence to prove or disprove crop circles since as you know the web is full of charlatan sites, people etc.  However I'll snoop around see if something pops up....


I'm still a little unsure as to why you decided to challenge my position of agnosticism on the subject...

from guess work alone, couldn't 90 degree angled stocks come as a result of either the boards alone


No they can't. If you reread my first post in defense of crop circles as unexplained phenomenon you will see that stalks break when they are bent at anything past a 45 degree angle.

or a wider board situated several feet above the board that makes the initial patterns such that another pattern is created by this other board kind of like a layered type of thing...


I've never seen this demostrated.

the blown nodes could have resulted from the pressure of the boards alone


But blown nodes do not occur when hoaxers create a crop circle using boards...why?

Do you really wish to continue debating this topic?? Is a position of Agnosticism in regards to crop circles really so disagreeable to you?

#25 bacopa Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:Boston

Posted 12 April 2004 - 03:29 AM

No! I but I sensed some interest you can't deny having interest in the topic Don! So I played along. In short I understand perfectly your agnostic non committal position, and I realize you haven't formally challenged me, but you did insinuate I prove my cases in past and future. That's why I 'defended myself' otherwise I would have let alone. you're right though I jumped the gun premptively from the beginning misreading your statement regarding agnosticism, and no, I don't wish to debate crop circles any more!

#26 DJS Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

Posted 12 April 2004 - 06:11 AM

No! I but I sensed some interest you can't deny having interest in the topic Don!


Why would I deny having an interest in crop circles? They're cool.

I don't wish to debate crop circles any more!


Good! An interesting exchange, but it was draining my available time away from evolutionary cybernetics. :) See ya around the forums.

Don S

sponsored ad

#27 MichaelAnissimov Re: Singularity Exo-Paleontology

  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 04 May 2004 - 03:09 AM

Paul, I agree with you that post-Singularity civilizations probably largely retreat into inner space, but I can't explain why they would be so cruel as to neglect sending out Von Neumann help probes to help fellow sentients in their home universe. People are starving to death, and meanwhile some humans are converging to moralities that see all sentient beings as intrinsically valuable. The phenomenon of the "expanding circle" suggests that at least some number of intelligent races eventually come to the "conclusion" of universal altruism.

I would think that at least some intelligent civilizations would care to colonize the whole universe; again, the cost of a VN probe is practically nil. And all it takes is one out of a quadrillion sentients to send one out.

That's not the only factor lowering the likelihood of alien species sharing the universe with us. The other factor is that, according to the Self-Sampling Assumption (SSA), we should assume that the universe we observe is among those it is most statistically likely for any given sentient in the multiverse to observe. Even though a multiverse contains an infinite number of universes, some universes have greater "measure" than others - that is, they're more likely to exist or be observed. High-entropy universes have a low measure because it's hard for intelligence to emerge within them, for example. Simple structures are more likely than complex structures within the multiverse; they require fewer prerequisites to come into existence. Combining these premises suggests that we live in one of the simplest possible universes that is observable.

Which universe is more complicated, one with the initial conditions that lead to the eventually emergence of intelligent life on one planet only, or those that lead to the eventual emergence of two or more species of intelligent life? I would say the former. Given these very tentative assumptions, I've tentatively assumed that we are alone. There may be other anthropic considerations that I'm missing here, however.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users