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RE: starship-design: Re: Aliens, Why don't we see them?


Prepare for a dose of confidence... :-)

>>The fallacy of Zeno's Paradox is that space is not infinite which he 
>>assumed it was. When I applied reasoning similar to his I made no 
>>such assumption or I would have concluded that "our sky WOULD BE 

>Sorry, I'm a bit confused by the grammar. Are you or are you not concluding
>that the sky should be full of visible traces at every single moments?

Zeno's Paradox dealt with why the sky was dark at night. His reasoning 
(logic) was simply that there were an infinite number of stars so there
should be an infinite amount of starlight falling upon the Earth all the 
time, even at night, therefore it would never get dark, but since it was
obviously not light at night there was a paradox. Of course the error in 
his reasoning was two-fold. First of all, there aren't an infinite 
number of stars; and second, the concept of infinities were not yet 
properly understood. I paraphrased this (from memory) heavily, so please 
excuse any errors or omissions.

The point I was making is that even though there aren't an infinite 
number of stars (and therefore a finite number of possible civilizations)
the number is still large enough that assuming ANY figure for a percent
of stars with star-faring civilizations, there would still be so many
that we would HAVE to see some evidence somewhere. Yet we don't. I'm not
concluding there is a paradox here :-), just that something is wrong
with our fundamental assumptions about the frequency of life on other 
worlds. In any event I find it difficult to accept that we are alone, 
but observational evidence would seem to indicate that this is the case.

>>Social science on the other hand is not so cut and dried. You do not 
>>expect a group of whales to behave with human values do you? Or better 
>>yet, how about a bunch of lizards? And we are only talking about 
>>terrestrial species so far. If anything, the gap will widen for non-
>>terrestrial species.

>Social science is for the biggest part based on survival, which is rather

>- If a species doesn't work together, they are not likely to be able to
>  develop anything complex.
>- Thus an important need to get a technical civilization is to cooperate
>  in some way.
>- Once having a technical civilization, you have two options when finding
>  a similar advanced species: Kill or be friends.
>- Killing will risk all you care for. (And you do care, since you are a
>  cooperative species.)
>  So you will only kill if you have nothing to loose.
>- Thus the only option left is to be friends.

Well that certainly sounds logical but your fundamental assertion is not 
valid, therefore the remaining arguments, however good, are also suspect.
You cannot base an analysis of anything (much less social dynamics) on 
a single sample. Which effectively speaking is what Earth's entire 
ecosystem is - a single sample.

As for the remainder of the arguments, they don't even hold for humans 
(just ask any student of international politics).

I hope this has increased your level of confidence. <G> 
Lee Parker

                                                          (o o)
Long experience has taught me not to believe in the limitations indicated by 
purely theoretical considerations. These - as we well know - are based on 
insufficient knowledge of all the relevant factors." 

Guglielmo Marconi