Open Thread, July 16-31, 2012

Could the great filter just be a case of anthropic bias?

  • Assume any interplanetary species will colonise everything within reasonable distance in a time-scale significantly shorter than it takes a new intelligent species to emerge.
  • If a species had colonised our planet their presence would have prevented our evolution as an intelligent species.
  • Therefore we shouldn't expect to see any evidence of other species.

So the universe could be teeming with intelligent life, and theres no good reason there can't be any near us, but if there were we would not have existed. Hence we don't see any.

I've never heard that argument made before, but it makes a whole lot of sense to me.
If anyone knows of a more formal treatment of it anywhere, I would love a pointer.

Open Thread, July 16-31, 2012

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read16th Jul 2012142 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post, even in Discussion, it goes here.