Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.-Marie Curie
I recently had an interesting exchange with a Dutch poet. We spoke about a number of things including her perception of the scientific community which she considered somewhat arrogant. In essence, she told me that scientists had a very difficult time accepting that certain truths may lie beyond the scientific method. What was more, I agreed with her and yet when I reflected upon her analysis I could not deny a feeling of deep disappointment.
Surely, the scientific community must have come to terms with Turing’s analysis of the Halting problem and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. Or perhaps they haven’t because they are human with all the limitations that come with a human mind. On this matter, I have made certain observations that appear invariant to the particular tribe they are applied to.
Everywhere and always, what lies beyond the scope of what a human can understand is fear. Around such fears we construct myths and taboos. This explains why scientists are reluctant to admit that the scientific method has epistemological limits. However, in this failure I also find a certain immaturity that may be transcended in our collective path towards enlightenment. Moreover, such hubris is an impedance to scientific progress itself as it constrains our collective imagination and thereby limits our ability to discover the truth.
Many scientists claim to hold the Fermi paradox as a mystery and yet fail to consider the possibility that civilisations that are capable of inter-stellar journeys would be much more enlightened than us. They would have not only found intelligent ways to address existential coordination problems but in all likelihood advanced beyond the technological singularity.
If the history of signals intelligence may serve as a useful guide, such civilisations would certainly be capable of observing us without being observed.