X-Message-Number: 21613
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 10:15:52 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #21605 - #21611

Hi everyone!

For Francois and Bryan Hall:

A good point about fantasies regarding a singularity. (We may someday
look like Gods to people as primitive as we are now, but we will
never actually BE Gods... we will always run up against things we
cannot do, at least when we meet them).

In any case, an interesting general movement seems to be happening
in thoughts about other intelligences elsewhere. One it was thought
that the Galaxy contained many more abodes for complex life than it
is now believed; the latest stinker here comes from thoughts about
what the discovery of so many hyperJupiters may mean: if a star
is even a little younger than the Sun, a Jupiter with much more
heavy elements forms, swallowing up all the other planets in its
system because it grows faster than our Jupiter. If the star is 
a bit younger, it can't form planets big enough to support evolution
of intelligent life. There are other problems too.

The point here is simply that whenever we can look at the problem
more closely, we find even more limitations on the number of possible
places where intelligent life could evolve. These problems look to
me like they will continue to occur: the locations for intelligent
life get scantier and scantier. There's another issue too: consider
the time that intelligent life may require to develop, and treat
it statistically as a bell-shaped curve. Then it may easily happen
that most planets don't grow intelligent life forms simply because
they don't remain hospitable to life for long enough that the 
bell-shaped curve comes into play ie. most stars only provide
habitats for the time needed to get the very lowest part of the
bell curve. Without human interference, the Earth will become
uninhabitable some time before the Sun even leaves the Main 
Sequence and ceases to be a G-Type star. Why? Because it has been
slowly growing brighter. (We can always move the Earth, but if
a planet lacks INTELLIGENT life, that won't happen).

If you want to read about the theories kicked off by the discovery
of many hyperJupiters, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN had several articles
in about 2000. (More exact references later if requested...
together with references to ICARUS, a scholarly astronomy 
journal with looks at such things).

           Best wishes and long long life for all,

               Thomas Donaldson

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