View Full Version : Intelligent Observer Theory
09-12-01, 07:46 PM
Heres a question for everyone out there. What do you all know about the Intelligent Observer Theory. You know, the theory that mankind is here to be the observer of the universe and that there is no life anywhere else as it was not needed. I think another element of it related to the mass extinctions being caused so as to create an intelligence smart enough to be an observer.
Obviously there is a lot more to it then that, but I can't seem to recall all of the details. Does anyone anywhere know more of it then I do?
Hi tmegeney, welcome to Sciforums!
I have not heard of this theory. To be honest it sounds no more likely than the Drake equation results for about the same reason. Nothing to back it up. But this sounds like the opposite side of it. Instead of looking to prove that there is other intellegence out there this one looks to say there is not. Without further evidence to support the theory one way or the other it is just a guess.
This is my thoughts on the subject.
How many intelligent lifeforms are there? 0, 1, or many?
0 is supportable. Are we intelligent? I think not! What beast can create conditions that will eventually destroy itself: obviously not one of an intelligent nature.
1 has little support. (See above argument)
Many can be supported. It would be arrogant to assume that we are the only life in existance.
I do not think that the intelligent observer theory can be supported. We cannot be removed from our surrounding and thus we lack the perspective of an independant observer. Because of space we may never know if this theory is correct.
09-16-01, 07:28 PM
Interesting Question, as I've never heard of that Theory. We can't deny the fact, that Intelligent life is out there.
The odds are way too high to be ignored. So in that sense, any theory that says we are the only ones, is out right arrogance.
You don't hear thousands of reports, from people who claim to have been abducted, or encountered a un-identified object for no good reason.
So in my opinion, we are not alone in this Universe, and it is true. We are digging our own grave, and driving ourselfs into it.
But I have a plan for that, never the less.
That's just my opinion, don't take it to heart. Take care.
- The Imperial Genius
09-16-01, 09:32 PM
Well, like I said, it is a theory, with a few probables and maybe some improbables, but lets deal with the "there must be something else" people. If there is life out there in the universe, they may or may not contact us ever. The Universe is just that vast. I certainly have no belief that ET causes crop circles, cattle mutilations or abductions of trailer folk. I also don't believe in the alien autopsy or that the US government has or is testing any UFOs at Area 51. As far as Unidentified Objects, well until they are identified lets not say that they are extraterrestrial, okay?
As scientists we need to deal with empirical facts not supposition. Here's a good example: Cell phones cause cancer. It has been proven that the electromagnetic fields created by cell phones, can over an extended period of time cause brain cancer. That result was reached by actual scientists, and has been proven many times over as all real science needs to be. Okay so far? Now what the tests did not say that the same level of radiation is reached by anyone sunbathing on the average beach in the summer time after 4 hours. Its just one example of how information (even factual information) can be taken the wrong way. Hell pilots see UFOs all the time, I saw two myself yesterday, but did any of us see a flying saucer, NO! We saw objects that we could not identify. That's not to say that they can not be identified, only that we could not identify them.
Now, having said that, do I believe that there is life out there somewhere in the universe? Yes, I do. I haven't even completely given up on life within our own solar system. Is there intelligent life? Well, according to the Intelligent Observer Theory, no. By my standards, I'll believe it when they show up and kick my ass for not believing in them.
Yeah, sorry for the rant guys, I just watched Exit Wounds.
Oh, and Imperial one, what's the theory? I have some thoughts on saving our planet too.
It might still make sense if you believe that 1. We are intelligent and that 2. We are intelligent for a reason. We can use tools and manipulate our environment, this may destroy us, but I'll buy it. We are intelligent. The second question is tougher. How did we develop intelligence? It is an adaptive trait shared by all primates and Dolphins. This draws doubt to our being the only intelligent life already. To answer that question the adaptive traits were allowed to show through because the catastrophic KT boundary event. The Dinosaurs were wiped out and thus we flourished. As this can be categorized as a random event, we cannot say that Humans were meant to dominate.
Other intelligent life on our own planet and the random events that led up to our domination present the major flaws in that theory.
10-28-01, 09:58 AM
The real question, as I see it, is... What is intelligence? Merely the ability to 'invent'? We consider animals to be unintelligent because they act differently than us, with ourselves as the standard. I've heard theories that dolphins could be twice as intelligent as us (I don't remember source or reasoning), but might they not think us unintelligent because we act different from them? The very thing that makes us consider ourselves "intelligent", such as building, expanding, overcoming the environment, etc, could be seen by them as stupid.. who destroys their own habitat? their lifesource? Man has been known to do that:P So we have radio broadcasts, and electricity. Would another "intelligence" from another planet really consider us to be intelligent?
I'd almost say that intelligence can be equated to a life forms ability to exceed it's natural endowment ... extend its perception beyond its normal senses. In which case our species is quite intelligent ... uniquely intelligent with requard to all the other life forms on this planet.
Now if you want to talk about our species ability to use the knowledge gained by extending our senses ... that may be another matter: a thing called wisdom.
I think the theory requires something that is not Science as we know it, I think it requires Religion. As I se it the theory states that we are the only intelligent life in existence simply because we are made to watch the Universe (the creation of all), and therefore there is no need for another intelligence. And if we are not intelligent enough to watch and study the Universe, then we will get extinct so that the next being can evolve, get intelligent and start watching.
Does this not require some outside influence? which is the source of the "only one intelligence" statement? is it god?
I do not se myself as a very religious person, and therefore I am having trouble accepting the theory. By mathematical and logical probability there must be another life form "out there" or hidden in our neighborhood that at least has the chance of developing intelligence (if not already acquired).