PAUL WERBOS>” I highly recommend reading David Brin's concise novel, Existence, 
which reviews the vast literature on "the Fermi paradox". (Brin and I have had 
arguments even sharper than Roman and I, on other issues, but his work in this 
book is still important.) Fermi asked years ago: "If life is common in the 
universe (as common sense suggests), if intelligence evolves naturally and 
allows civilization, and if interstellar travel is ultimately possible (even if 
slow), WHY HAVEN'T WE SEEN THE ALIENS YET?" Hundreds of possible explanations 
have been discussed, but at the end of the day we do not really know.”

Paul, I commented on the Fermi paradox in my book, Transcending Scientism. I 
don’t believe that there is any Fermi paradox… or at least not in the context 
that Enrico Fermi framed it. Two particularly salient points relate to the 
physics of space travel, and return on investment (ROI). From Transcending 
Scientism (2016):

I contend that there is NO Fermi paradox. The universe looks to us precisely as 
it should look even with advanced civilizations thriving throughout the 
universe as the given. Here are the reasons:


·         Thompson (2015) [1] takes a close look at the physics, to explain why 
space travel at even a fraction of light speed would be injurious to aliens’ 
health, in her NewStatesman article, Near-light speed travel increasingly 
impossible, according to maths; 

·         Space travel AND interstellar communications are expensive. Unless 
alien societies can accomplish a realistic return on investment (ROI), there is 
no incentive for them to reach us. Curiosity is not enough of an incentive to 
justify the enormous expense, and societies too stupid to realize this will be 
prime candidates for the Darwin awards;

·          [Etc, etc, etc… as per my previous references to “dumb dirt” and the 
reconciliation of physics with entropy]

[1]  Thompson, T. (2015, April 13). Near-light speed travel increasingly 
impossible, according to maths. New Statesman. Retrieved May 1, 2016m from

Us Earthlings seem to have trouble placing ourselves in the shoes of others, to 
imagine their motivations and reservations. The limitations of the physics 
(Thompson) are nontrivial. As far as radio communications are concerned, the 
Arecibo message in 1974 to globular star cluster M13 was expensive. And to what 
end? Earthbound investors are not going to enjoy a substantial ROI for a good 
50,000 years (25,000 times 2). Governments formulating fiscal policy, and 
businesses making investment decisions, within this context, will have limited 
prospects for success and re-election… and rightly so. And regarding closer 
stars… I seem to recall that the maximum range for radio signals from our most 
powerful radio/television transmitters would be considerably less than 4 
light-years. The nearest 25 stars to us are between 4-to-12 light-years away 
(for comparison, the Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light-years across). Even if 
we were able to establish radio communications with any one of them… what might 
the practical returns be of such an investment? We should anticipate that 
aliens in advanced civilizations will, similar to our most astute Earthbound 
investors, have realistic concerns about ROI, before they would venture 
throwing money at projects to communicate with a remote, blue planet that they 
can’t even see, much less be able to mine or conquer. 

Of course our experiences and inferences might be very different, were our 
solar system part of a densely populated globular cluster of stars… but that’s 
not us, we’re not there, and further conjecture is therefore pointless.

Let’s place this 25,000 years to M13 into a more realistic context. How many 
thousand years has European civilization existed? And closer stars within the 
4-to-12 light-years from us? Governments get re-elected every four years or so, 
wars and social unrest take place every few decades or so. What realistic ROI 
can one hope to see within an 8-to-24 year return message cycle, before one can 
even hope to mine or to communicate anything meaningful? Investing in Hubble 
and space stations and satellites yields realistic returns on investment… but 
attempts to communicate with alien civilizations? Not so much. Even with bold 
and imaginative entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, I wouldn’t be holding my breath. 
Even bold and imaginative investors, like Elon Musk, hold genuine fears about 
the likely success or failure of their projects (Musk was genuinely relieved at 
the successful launch of Falcon Heavy). The reason that smart people don’t go 
throwing money at dumb projects, despite all the hype, is ROI. 

Bottom line… I really don’t think that there is any Fermi paradox, at least not 
as defined within the context of his established parameters. The universe looks 
to us pretty much as it should look, were life in any of the habitable zones 
throughout the universe the norm. The Fermi paradox is asking the wrong 
questions (of course it is… its null hypothesis is based in dumb-luck, sterile 
materialism). But of course there still remains that interesting question… 
where are they? I’d rather rephrase this question, because commonsense already 
tells us that they’re out there. Rather, WHY are they not visiting or trying to 
communicate with us? This approach reframes what we should be asking:

1.       The constraints as per Thompson (2015) are nontrivial. Within the 
context of Newtonian physics and ROI, actual space travel, beyond the confines 
of any one star’s solar system, may not be an option. Evidence suggests that 
nobody has visited us, and nobody is ever likely to visit us. As we are not 
living within a densely populated globular cluster, we should get over it, and 
accept our isolation in a sparsely populated stretch of the Milky Way galaxy as 
a given;

2.       Given 1, that interstellar space travel is pretty much not an option, 
are there alternative communication technologies that might enable alien 
civilizations to connect? This, I believe, is the only viable option that 
merits exploring. We can, however, fairly safely rule out radio communications, 
given that SETI has not yielded anything positive thus far. So… are there 
alternative communication technologies that we should be looking for? Perhaps a 
technology that implements the quantum mechanics of entanglement?

3.       And what if even interstellar communications are beyond the scope of 
physics? There exists one final bridge across the vast expanses of space… 

4.       And this fourth conjecture I throw in at the last minute… maybe they 
are visiting/communicating with us… but not on our terms. 


Now before we depart from the depressing realization that there is no Fermi 
paradox, just one further word regarding the likely pervasiveness of life 
throughout the universe… out of curiosity, I’ve just googled the terms [mars 
soil analysis]. This lends further support to our thesis regarding the 
pervasiveness of life-critical dumb dirt. The following link is 
The chemistries and compounds contained in dumb dirt, whether Earthbound or 
Marsbound, are critical to life (for example, refer to Inner Life of the Cell 
<>  that I posted some time ago to this forum). And 
anyone who insists that mechanical dumb luck is sufficient to account for this 
rich complexity, with its predisposition to life, despite the reality of 
entropy, I have trouble taking seriously (I’m looking at you, Neo-Darwinians).



[] On Behalf Of Paul Werbos
Sent: Friday, February 2, 2018 3:17 PM
Cc: Rajendra Bajpai
Subject: [Sadhu Sanga] from psi to life in the universe



On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 5:43 AM, Stephen Jarosek <> wrote:

KASHYAP >”Earth is just a little tiny planet in a universe with billions of 
galaxies each with billions of stars and planets. We do not know if there is 
life elsewhere…”

I’m not sure why the question of whether there is life elsewhere is such a 
mystery. I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that it’s almost a 
certainty, and that it is scientific to accept this as the null hypothesis.


I agree strongly with you, Stephen, as does Hawkings and many others. But let 
me not invoke authority here (not a good argument), but explain a bit more and 
provide some pointers to things I hope people would find interesting. 


Until a few years ago, we did not even have the technology to see whether 
earth-like planets existed much in the universe. Many people arguing against 
life in the universe argued that "we have no basis for believing suitable 
planets exist." A quick google search on exoplanets and SETI should clarify 
that aspect, and why thinking has changed. 


I highly recommend reading David Brin's concise novel, Existence, which reviews 
the vast literature on "the Fermi paradox". (Brin and I have had arguments even 
sharper than Roman and I, on other issues, but his work in this book is still 
important.) Fermi asked years ago: "If life is common in the universe (as 
common sense suggests), if intelligence evolves naturally and allows 
civilization, and if interstellar travel is ultimately possible (even if slow), 
WHY HAVEN'T WE SEEN THE ALIENS YET?" Hundreds of possible explanations have 
been discussed, but at the end of the day we do not really know. 


Myself, I am deeply impressed by new scientific results, even more recent than 
finding exoplanets. At ,

I posted two of the recent images of the distribution of dark matter in our 
universe. In my view, since I believe in evolution, I consider it highly 
unlikely that such a vast connected ocean of matter pulsing with energy, 
connected to the galaxies, would not evolve its own form of life. And that 
feeds into my own explanation to Fermi's question: namely, "WE are the aliens," 
more precisely that we are a symbiosis of the kind of life which has evolved in 
the ocean of dark matter and of the kind which has evolved locally (in the 
shadow of that other life). 


But of course, that does not rule out the existence AS WELL of other forms of 
life in the universe. 


The most popular book of science fiction  in China ( a fifth Great Classic by 
now?) is The Three Body Problem trilogy. I enjoyed discussing what we make of 
THAT viewpoint, and the Fermi question, late last year in Beijing in the key 
lab which leads all their work on intelligent systems. Are we on earth a single 
lonely village surrounded by vast hungry tigers and death, as in that novel? Or 
are we more like a more mature China of 1400 AD, still a tiny village, but with 
connections to the larger world, which offers us a mixture of threats and 
possibilities -- to earth as a whole, and to us as individuals (if we study 
hard for national exams)? They too seemed to enjoy that discussion.


Best regards,





Fifth International Conference 
Science and Scientist - 2017
August 18—19, 2017
Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, Kathmandu, Nepal

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