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  1. #1 All alone 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I'm probably one of the world's worst philosophers so please keep that in mind as you try to get my drift here....

    Billions of years from now an intelligence arises on a planet similar to ours within a galaxy that has long been isolated from all other galaxies, so much so that there is absolutely no evidence of anything else that is in or has occurred in the universe prior to their emergence. Philosophers start to ponder their existence, origins and fate. As their science develops they become quite familiar with their galaxy(universe?) so surely they notice a matter swallowing black hole at the centre of it.

    I'm just wondering what philosophers, including the scientific of that time would be thinking. Would it be worthwhile to dispute origins philosophy(beliefs) without actual scientific evidence to the contrary? Would they be more inclined to ponder the end times than the beginning because of what science can observe?

    I'm thinking science affects philosophy more than we know or are willing to accept.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Science is just everyday observation on stllts.(of course without something like the scientific method there would be a much slower integration of the observations into a larger picture)

    So people there (they don't have to be called philosophers unless they have created a questioning discipline) in your "virgin" galaxy are likely to ask themselves where they came from and where they are going and whether there is any purpose beyond what is immediately apparent.

    I think this question will arise because there will be different analyses in different people and so there will be the space to (probably) choose between different versions or cobble together a mix of more than one viewpoint.

    I am not sure whether our understanding of physical /astronomical processes affect our views on philosophical questions as give them a boot up the arse when they disprove tenets promulgated by organizations that claim to have a monopoly of knowledge.

    Knowing (or imagining to know) what happens in the physical environment is in itself important but I wonder how many people attach a greater importance to their social environment..


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    For one thing I think their universe would be a hell of a lot smaller than ours. I also wonder if they'd be able to calculate their planet's position with respect to their neighbouring stars and if they would consider their universe finite? Would there be a centre of the universe, the black hole core for instance? How this isolation affects thinking and belief one can only guess. Even bigger question: until science could prove otherwise, would they be wrong thinking the galaxy was the universe?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    I think the "correct" answer(to your last point) is that all models are incomplete and all models** are "correct" (if they allow predictions)

    I don't think you need necessarily to posit a universe such as you did to find far different ways of believing and thinking. I have heard it said that were we to truly (ie physically) get inside another person's mind we would think we had gone mad.

    **including models like "flat earth" for example.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Only reason I did posit this Galaxy idea was because I've been listening to Brian Greene talk plus I always have that Krause quote in the back of mind about cosmologists living in this isolated Galaxy situation and how fortunate today's scientists are to live at a point in time to not have that problem. Not saying it's going to happen but there may come a day when we will need to view the universe from a totally different perspective, such as the way some alien intelligence might view it. Although if we both agree then it would be some kind of validation, not a bad thing at all.

    Personally I think intelligent beings similar to us existing in a totally isolated Galaxy might believe, as some do here in the multiverse, that there are other universes/galaxies like their own. They won't find any so I don't know what that means for our chances of finding other universes. Perhaps our universe is suffering the same fate as a Galaxy, that being in an expanding multiverse........ just a thought and nothing to hang my hat on as I'm comfortable thinking science will discover a means to (dis)prove we are in a multiverse. Even Greene was vague on what evidence we should look for but he did casually mention something akin to waves resulting from a collision with another universe.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Well the question of whether or not there is other life** in the universe is equally momentous were it to be resolved one way or the other.

    And I wonder if at a physical level (if we can even separate life from the physical universe) it would be just as momentous to prove that the universe was finite as that it was infinite.

    Perhaps the "truth" is a mixture of the two .I doubt it is possible to ever know .

    I think I may have heard that ,with the "ftl" expansion of the universe it may come about in the future that "we" have starless skies.


    **EDIT: I suppose I should have specified "intelligent life"
    Last edited by geordief; July 23rd, 2017 at 05:52 PM.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe......We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.”
    Should have put this quote in OP. Apologies.

    Krauss says future civilizations will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe. So the hope was to get some thoughts on what the thinking would be for a civilization in this position that would lead them to reach the inevitable wrong conclusion. Possibly we also might be able to reflect upon our own conclusions, not saying they're wrong, with respect to theirs. I mean would we even know if a key piece of evidence is gone forever, can never be observed? Could a future isolated civilization figure out something's missing? Can we?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    We will inevitably come to the "wrong" conclusion about all manner of subjects when we lack the direct observational evidence to make judgements.

    I may believe my wife has my own best interests at heart if there is no evidence to the contrary and the postman may be ringing twice.

    Ignorance is part of the human condition (can we take advantage of the fleeting moments when we have the opportunity to learn?- a personal observation ,maybe a bit dramatic)

    Is Krauss right in this specific (if all encompassing) case?Will there really no be no way of indirectly exploring the possibility that the other stars may have once been visible?

    Will no unexplained phenomenon lead to speculation along those lines? Would any such such speculation be entirely unsupported?
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    We will inevitably come to the "wrong" conclusion about all manner of subjects when we lack the direct observational evidence to make judgements.

    I may believe my wife has my own best interests at heart if there is no evidence to the contrary and the postman may be ringing twice.

    Ignorance is part of the human condition (can we take advantage of the fleeting moments when we have the opportunity to learn?- a personal observation ,maybe a bit dramatic)

    Is Krauss right in this specific (if all encompassing) case?Will there really no be no way of indirectly exploring the possibility that the other stars may have once been visible?

    Will no unexplained phenomenon lead to speculation along those lines? Would any such such speculation be entirely unsupported?
    I got the feeling Krauss wasn't speculating, he thinks we're in a time when the universe's origin can be figured out or at least he's assuming we'll be able to get it right. There doesn't seem to be any direct indication from him that we may get it wrong too.

    Where are cosmologists at with regards to knowing, is it having a good idea up to the first few nanoseconds? Not sure if that means the evidence for that time is gone forever or waiting to be discovered. Could be that we inevitably get it wrong also.

    I'm surprised that theists haven't picked up on it. I thought they might use his words as fodder for a god.......Just a thought.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    how would there be a starless sky, we still got a 'few' in our own galaxy, so my take is that the fundamental of physic will be the same in that scenario.
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious mind View Post
    how would there be a starless sky, we still got a 'few' in our own galaxy, so my take is that the fundamental of physic will be the same in that scenario.
    Yes, I exaggerated(or misspoke) but there would be no visible galaxies and so the sky would presumably be far ,far darker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    We will inevitably come to the "wrong" conclusion about all manner of subjects when we lack the direct observational evidence to make judgements.

    I may believe my wife has my own best interests at heart if there is no evidence to the contrary and the postman may be ringing twice.

    Ignorance is part of the human condition (can we take advantage of the fleeting moments when we have the opportunity to learn?- a personal observation ,maybe a bit dramatic)


    Is Krauss right in this specific (if all encompassing) case?Will there really no be no way of indirectly exploring the possibility that the other stars may have once been visible?

    Will no unexplained phenomenon lead to speculation along those lines? Would any such such speculation be entirely unsupported?
    I got the feeling Krauss wasn't speculating, he thinks we're in a time when the universe's origin can be figured out or at least he's assuming we'll be able to get it right. There doesn't seem to be any direct indication from him that we may get it wrong too.

    Where are cosmologists at with regards to knowing, is it having a good idea up to the first few nanoseconds? Not sure if that means the evidence for that time is gone forever or waiting to be discovered. Could be that we inevitably get it wrong also.

    I'm surprised that theists haven't picked up on it. I thought they might use his words as fodder for a god.......Just a thought.


    I am far from sure we will ,even as things stand ever learn the physical cause of the universe or its "first" moments (maybe I am over pessimistic)
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    pessimism is an optimistic way to deal with the worst xD.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I don't think we will either and I think Krauss is same way. He says the isolated civilizations will come to a conclusion which we know is wrong but would be considered correct. I think he can say that simply because the future will not afford the evidence presently available to us. I think he's simply saying that we know more, therefore the future is wrong.

    Makes me wonder about mathematics. The future mathematicians would probabaly have settled on an equation to satisfy their theory or conclusion. How does that work? One equation for us and one for them, each satisfactory as far as everyone is concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    I don't think we will either and I think Krauss is same way. He says the isolated civilizations will come to a conclusion which we know is wrong but would be considered correct. I think he can say that simply because the future will not afford the evidence presently available to us. I think he's simply saying that we know more, therefore the future is wrong.

    Makes me wonder about mathematics. The future mathematicians would probabaly have settled on an equation to satisfy their theory or conclusion. How does that work? One equation for us and one for them, each satisfactory as far as everyone is concerned.
    I think so . All one can do is to evaluate and account for the observations (well or badly).
    Even simple number counting has gone through the changes since someone realized that one plus one was predictable and recordable. (am no maths expert myself-the number "i" seemed like mumbo jumbo to me when I first came across it. I got as far as calculus though)

    Even so ,when it comes to communication between 2 separate intelligent civilizations I believe it is confidently hoped that mathematics -and mathematical formulations? - will be the first hurdle to be crossed (a way to break the ice perhaps)
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Even so ,when it comes to communication between 2 separate intelligent civilizations I believe it is confidently hoped that mathematics -and mathematical formulations? - will be the first hurdle to be crossed (a way to break the ice perhaps)
    That might make an interesting topic, Leaving Clues. Distances are so vast but at one time they probably weren't. Imagine a civilization in a galaxy 10 billion years ago. Would it have made sense for them to send or plant information we in future civilizations from other galaxies can find? Certainly they may have entertained the exact same thoughts as Mr Krauss has for future civilizations.
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    If so it would perhaps be in the hope that far more intelligent civilizations than our own might pick them up.But projects like SETI are looking for any patterns that do not seem to have arisen from natural (non living) processes and so I suppose when and if that hurdle is crossed it might be possible to look for signs of intelligence hidden in the patterns.

    I think there is an ongoing candidate for a Dyson sphere that was located thanks to multiple repeated dimmings of the light across a star.

    Could it ever be possible to find evidence closer to home?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    No idea of what kind of evidence a civilization can leave behind that might last an eternity. I guess Earth will wait until V-ger is returned.

    Seems we're off topic, I suppose one could discuss the philosophy behind leaving clues for future civilizations. Why leave clues at all? Are we obligated to share our knowledge with the future?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Seems we're off topic, I suppose one could discuss the philosophy behind leaving clues for future civilizations.
    There was a thread that tangentially touched on that - relegated to Pseudo IIRC (it was about HOW would we leave a warning to future (Earth-bound) people).

    Why leave clues at all? Are we obligated to share our knowledge with the future?
    Obligated? No.
    OTOH "We were here once" seems to be a "good" reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Why leave clues at all? Are we obligated to share our knowledge with the future?
    Obligated? No.
    OTOH "We were here once" seems to be a "good" reason.
    i wonder if the overwhelming sentiment amongst Earthlings is that we are going to be here for many billions of years and in 5 billion years or less we most likely will bump into a new civilization anyways. Imagine at that time if its the Milky Way that's stranded in isolation when the new civilization is discovered. Would we be obligated then to share our knowledge of the universe simply because a new civilization has no chance to ever come close. Would the new civilization be obligated to believe us? Good Lord I'm starting to sound like Von Daniken
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; July 25th, 2017 at 09:23 PM.
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    It may be the case that any civilization would be careful not to "infect" another one with its knowledge. What is the point in living if there is no learning involved and shortcuts in that process might be likened to artificial fixes.

    It might also guarantee that unnoticed errors in understanding would be built in .

    I think the overwhelming sentiment among this Earthling is that we are flying by the seat of our pants in a "fuite en avance" born by the tide of increased knowledge but constrained by the ecological limits of our little lifeboat**.

    At present the odds seem heavily against survival but the prize is great (the prize for failure is also perhaps sadly inconsequential) and the poison that does not kill you makes you stronger.

    **is it only "planet borne" civilizations that suffer from this ecological constraint?Would a civilization that spread itself over wider areas inevitably be completely free to use material resources as it saw fit.Could we sweeten the pill for the anti GW people by pretending that a spendthrift future awaits us if we can only tighten our belts for the next election cycle?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Seems we are obsessed with finding life in the universe and why not? However I'm not sure if we know what we'll do once it's found, particularly civilized life. A lot of effort to discover something we are dying to know and then not make our presence known, directly or indirectly, once we do? It would be one our greatest discoveries and dilemmas all at once.

    it would be like the tourist confronted with the Do Not Feed the Bears sign. " but they look so cute"

    Technically speaking, is it any different than say Columbus discovering America and what followed?
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; July 26th, 2017 at 07:54 AM.
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    We are crazy to broadcast our position to aliens.
    They might come to crush us, sending in their robots to harvest our resources, and sending humans back to the stone age.
    They might even have an appetite for southern fried chicken.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    We are crazy to broadcast our position to aliens.
    They might come to crush us, sending in their robots to harvest our resources, and sending humans back to the stone age.
    They might even have an appetite for southern fried chicken.


    If you're between a rock and a hard place, i.e. You know your Galaxy will eventually be out of reach for future civilizations , then why not leave a clue. Not a clue to your whereabouts perhaps but knowledge clues.

    Hell they may even be intelligent chickens who leave us with just one important answer, what came first?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    That's an easy one to answer. Chickens evolved from other egg laying birds.

    In the unlikely event that aliens landed here, they would not ask 'have earthlings discovered evolution yet'.
    I feel sure they would want to know if we have discovered golf.
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    Would aliens find us inferior?

    I would somewhat assume so.

    Do you think they are observing us?
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