Re: poly: Malign Probes

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Wed Jan 21 1998 - 09:18:53 PST (Robin Hanson) writes:
>Peter McCluskey responded:
>>The knowledge that system probably contains (non-spreading) life
>>doesn't need to trigger any reaction by the malign probes. I'm
>>hypothesizing that probes detect and destroy lifeforms that show
>>signs of expanding beyond their current system, and ignore lifeforms
>>that appear static. As long as the density of probes exceeds some
>>minimum needed for the detection to work reliably, it appears to
>>be stable.
>If life could drasically rework its own system without appearing to
>threaten to expand, then this scenario doesn't account for the
>observed appearance of the universe. One of the main points of the
>malign probes scenario, as I understood it, was to account for the
>observed apparently lifeless universe by saying life is there but hiding.

 I don't understand what signs of life you would expect we could see
outside our solar system under my hypothesis. The criteria I had in
mind for the probes to use for "threatening" range from "anything visibly
less natural than rock when seen from orbit" to "sending artificial objects
off the planetary surface"; these don't seem to produce civilizations
conspicuous enough that we would expect to detect them yet. (They do,
of course, imply that it is odd that our planet hasn't been sterilized).

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Received on Wed Jan 21 17:20:36 1998

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