### Post by ignorantianescia on Jul 6, 2018 18:03:17 GMT

Three authors, Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler and Toby Ord, have a recent paper out on arxiv.org called "Dissolving the Fermi Paradox", in which they argue for a much lower probability of intelligent life than the Drake Equation would suggest.

arxiv.org/pdf/1806.02404.pdf

From the abstract:

From the introduction:

arxiv.org/pdf/1806.02404.pdf

From the abstract:

The Fermi paradox is the conflict between an expectation of a high

hat span multiple orders of magnitude. This makes a stark difference. When the model is recast to represent realistic distributions of uncertainty, we find a substantial

*ex ante*probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and the apparently lifeless universe we in fact observe. The expectation that the universe should be teeming with intelligent life is linked to models like the Drake equation, which suggest that even if the probability of intelligent life developing at a given site is small, the sheer multitude of possible sites should nonetheless yield a large number of potentially observable civilizations. We show that this conflict arises from the use of Drake-like equations, which implicitly assume certainty regarding highly uncertain parameters. We examine these parameters, incorporating models of chemical and genetic transitions on paths to the origin of life, and show that extant scientific knowledge corresponds to uncertainties that span multiple orders of magnitude. This makes a stark difference. When the model is recast to represent realistic distributions of uncertainty, we find a substantial

*ex ante*probability of there being no other intelligent life in our observable universe, and thus that there should be little surprise when we fail to detect any signs of it. This result dissolves the Fermi paradox, and in doing so removes any need to invoke speculative mechanisms by which civilizations would inevitably fail to have observable effects upon the universe.From the introduction:

Our main result is to show that proper treatment of scientific uncertainties dissolves the Fermi paradox by showing that it is not at all unlikely [

*ex ante*for us to be alone in the Milky Way, or in the observable universe. Our second result is to show that, taking account of observational bounds on the prevalence of other civilizations, our updated probabilities suggest that there is a substantial probability that we are alone. Our third result is that pessimism for the survival of humanity based on the Fermi paradox is unfounded.