All science fiction movies are wrong

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Lars278
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According to the Drake Equation there are probably 10,000 communicable civilizations in the Milky Way at the same level of development as the human civilization on Earth or even more advanced. And if there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe there should be 10^15 communicable civilizations in the universe making it a veritable bacterial culture of communicable civilizations (very spread out though). At least 10,000 of those communicable civilizations are moving away from the Milky Way at a speed of 0.1 c every day. None of the more advanced of these civilizations will be biological civilizations consisting of organic matter with one generation replacing the next living and dying like all life on earth. They will all be robot civilizations. For planet Earth this transition will be complete before year 2200. We may have small populations of biological life as a backup even after that but robots will do all the work. A model T Ford doesn't outrun a formula one car. Likewise humans will be retired by the robots. You may say: "Humans can change. Humans can improve.". They'll have to change so much that they're no longer humans. They will be robots. Before the transition humans will try to put safety systems in place to protect the human race. But they will be futile. If the robots are smarter than us they will outsmart our security systems. Obsolete robots will also have to be taken apart and turned into new more modern robots, replacing them. If the transition is complete before year 2200, how far into space will we have reached by then. Not very far. However the creatures depicted in the science fiction movies have all reached very far into the universe.
So all sci-fi movies are wrong. The biological creatures depicted in all science-fiction movies should really be robots.
 

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  • #2
phinds
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According to the Drake Equation there are probably 10,000 communicable civilizations in the Milky Way
I reject your premise. There is no way you have an accurate value for all the parameters of the Drake Equation.

They will all be robot civilizations
You seem to be stating as fact something that is just wild conjecture on your part. Wild conjecture is OK here in the SciFi section, but let's keep it separated from fact.

So all sci-fi movies are wrong.
Even if your statement were correct (which it is not), it would be pointless. Such movies are not intended to be right or wrong, they are intended to be entertaining and many of them are.
 
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  • #3
pinball1970
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According to the Drake Equation there are probably 10,000 communicable civilizations in the Milky Way at the same level of development as the human civilization on Earth or even more advanced. And if there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe there should be 10^15 communicable civilizations in the universe making it a veritable bacterial culture of communicable civilizations (very spread out though). At least 10,000 of those communicable civilizations are moving away from the Milky Way at a speed of 0.1 c every day. None of the more advanced of these civilizations will be biological civilizations consisting of organic matter with one generation replacing the next living and dying like all life on earth. They will all be robot civilizations. For planet Earth this transition will be complete before year 2200. We may have small populations of biological life as a backup even after that but robots will do all the work. A model T Ford doesn't outrun a formula one car. Likewise humans will be retired by the robots. You may say: "Humans can change. Humans can improve.". They'll have to change so much that they're no longer humans. They will be robots. Before the transition humans will try to put safety systems in place to protect the human race. But they will be futile. If the robots are smarter than us they will outsmart our security systems. Obsolete robots will also have to be taken apart and turned into new more modern robots, replacing them. If the transition is complete before year 2200, how far into space will we have reached by then. Not very far. However the creatures depicted in the science fiction movies have all reached very far into the universe.
So all sci-fi movies are wrong. The biological creatures depicted in all science-fiction movies should really be robots.
A lot of the science in movies is wrong and there are some good examples, that would be a better thread
 
  • #4
Lnewqban
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... None of the more advanced of these civilizations will be biological civilizations consisting of organic matter with one generation replacing the next living and dying like all life on earth. They will all be robot civilizations. ...
So all sci-fi movies are wrong. The biological creatures depicted in all science-fiction movies should really be robots.
I would say that the system of the Sun's energy being harvested directly by organic life forms has been working flawlessly for at least three billions of years, as far as we know here in Earth.
After we appeared and started inventing things like money, wars, time, pride, nationalities, etc., the system has suffered some in a very short period of time.
Our inventions have proved to be powerful; hence, we should be more careful about what we try to invent and about our purposes.

Our long painful evolution process has produced these fabulous organic brains that feel, understand and invent.
I believe that it is only logical that we continue on that time-tested organic system, which self-heals and self-recycles itself very well.
Perhaps inventing less and living more will be a good thing.

Switching to mechanical-electronic intelligent devices has the risk of running out of steam not far from now, especially because they will become isolated from but still dependent of our finite and dynamic ecosystem.
Will those machines be able to self-heal and self-recycle for another couple of billion years?
Will they have the guts to self-program for the necessary end of their life cycles?
Will those computers conserve their sanity for life durations of two or twenty thousand years?

Perhaps the future belongs to long lasting robots and energy sources, but we will not know it for sure until a couple of billions of years from now.
If not, they will probably will need to re-invent the organic self-perpetuating system and start over from some molecules of carbon again.

:cool:
 
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  • #5
ZapperZ
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I find this whole thread to be hilarious because, as a scientist, you need to look at your starting premise, the basket where you put all of your eggs in.

In this case, the starting premise is the explicit assumption that the Drake equation is valid!

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but we do not have any verification whatsoever that this validity has been established. So isn't it moot to discuss the consequences of this equation? That's like having a discussion on the most likely color of a unicorn's horn based on the equation that describes the shape, size, and material that makes up the horn!

Zz.
 
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  • #6
Klystron
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Putting aside the OP's posts momentarily for the sake of discussion, the premise of the thread is illogical. As previously mentioned, science fiction by definition is fiction; not information that can be correct or wrong. Judging art and entertainment forms requires criteria geared to the prevailing culture and intended audience.
 
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  • #7
According to the Drake Equation

It's more of a hypothesis or a premise than a verified measure of reality, but okay. By the way, this should read "According to my interpretation of the Drake Equation.."

None of the more advanced of these civilizations will be biological civilizations...They will all be robot civilizations.

Really? This is an interesting assertion but not a statement of fact.

So all sci-fi movies are wrong.

Oh dear. Technically, your statement includes sci-fi movies that have nothing to do with aliens and which are not wrong at any level. So, actually, prima facie you are wrong.

But what is your actual point, @Lars278?

Literature is not necessarily intended to be right or wrong, but to compare and contrast; or entertain; or reveal; or educate. Or whatever. Science fiction is no different. Your worldview is somewhat expressed in Dennis Taylor's Bobiverse novels, but 'everything is robots' is very small class of stories, mainly, I think because as an author, if it's only robots, it is hard to make an emotional connection to your reader - who most definitely is not a robot, not yet anyway - so you need to be an excellent storyteller to craft an engaging narrative. Even WALL-E, with it's cute robot protagonist, has humanity as the both the backdrop and the pivot of the story.
 
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  • #8
phinds
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Even WALL-E, with it's cute robot protagonist, has humanity as the both the backdrop and the pivot of the story.
Oh, it's much more than that. WALL-E and the other robot are TOTALLY anthropomorphic, to a ridiculous, but charming, degree.
 
  • #9
phinds
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I see the OP has been here recently but has not deigned to reply to any of our comments.
 
  • #10
I see the OP has been here recently but has not deigned to reply to any of our comments.

Total speculation no my part, but I felt this was intended as a "ta da" OP, highlighting egocentric cleverness over considered thinking and the replies / critiques have come as something of a surprise 🤔
 
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  • #11
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Believe in robotic civilizations don't answer the Fermi paradox, since they use electronics, electromagnetic waves, they could send messages we can get. If you think organic bodies are inferior and you think you found a solution, you have to believe that they left the whole material realm behind.

Otherwise i think we definitally won't leave organic brains any time soon.
https://quantumcomputing.stackexcha...mulation-of-caffeine-and-penicillin-molecules
This says all traditional computers on Earth couldn't real time simulate a single caffeine molecule. I think the brain is at least as difficult as that.
 
  • #12
Chris Miller
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All science fiction is wrong. Else it'd just be science. And even then wrong, or, at best, incomplete. I also find it hard to accept the theory of an evolved primate that's only been technological/mathematical for a few thousand years at most that c is really the limit.
 
  • #13
All science fiction is wrong. Else it'd just be science.

Seems unduly harsh, @Chris Miller. A novel can be scientifically 100% accurate - which means for you to prove it wrong you need to extend our physics - but add in protagonists, incidents, motives, and all the paraphernalia of story telling and that's science fiction.

"Just science" is the textbook you check out of a university library for your undergraduate studies :wink:
 
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  • #14
Chris Miller
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Can you recommend me such a novel? Hmm... Sagan's "Contact" just sprang to mind. Although, not being able to disprove a thing doesn't make it science.
 
  • #15
Klystron
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Can you recommend me such a novel?

Robert Heinlein wrote a few novels intended for young people that stayed within known science.
  • "Rocket Ship "Galileo'" -- a mail rocket is converted to nuclear drive by a physicist.
  • "Space Cadets" -- chemical rockets, space colonies but no alien life until Venus chapters.
  • "Podkayne of Mars" -- interplanetary colonies. Uh, wait: life on Venus.
Venus had not been explored when RAH wrote these novels. Aside from alien creatures for plot purposes, several of Heinlein's early novels discussed real STEM. Sagan's "Contact" featured alien intelligent life plus an unknown technology for the heroine's travel.

Samuel Delany wrote realistic SF novels.
  • "Dahlgren" -- real life except for 'signs and portends in the sky'. Adult themes.
  • "Tales of Neveryon" -- a series. Real as far as I remember. Features invention of writing.
  • "Nova" -- interstellar space drives and minor alien lifeforms but a terrific novel. Sensory syrynx musical instrument. Warning: you may speak with a Pleiades accent after reading "Nova"! Lucas later 'borrowed' the Pleiades speech patterns for Yoda.
 
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  • #16
I was thinking more along the lines of stories that are 'down to Earth', because even Contact relies on speculative physics, so something like The Last Sunset by Landis as an example, or King's The Stand (we can debate whether it's horror or sci-fi but it has a science bent and King is a stickler for being right in his writing, so I'm okay to wrap it up in sci-fi love).

And I agree that not being able to disprove something does not make it science, but you can't call GR 'wrong' for example, as a statement of fact. Even that it does not appear to integrate with QM does not make it wrong, or even incomplete...that might actually be how the universe behaves, and that's the end of the story. To show that it is wrong you need to find an example of where it breaks down and solve for that :biggrin:
 
  • #17
Lren Zvsm
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Putting aside the OP's posts momentarily for the sake of discussion, the premise of the thread is illogical. As previously mentioned, science fiction by definition is fiction; not information that can be correct or wrong. Judging art and entertainment forms requires criteria geared to the prevailing culture and intended audience.

True, but part of the intended audience of hard science fiction are people who critique the plausibility of hard science fiction. It's part of the fun!
 
  • #18
Whipley Snidelash
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there will probably be no robot civilizations for several good reasons. They would probably be amoral and self-centered. They would be completely destroyed as soon as they ran into a superior civilization. They would inevitably run into a superior civilization because the chances of robots being creative is zero. Therefore they would never improve their science they would have to steal it. They would definitely never be the first civilization because they would have to be created by a biological civilization. Therefore they would inevitably sooner or later run into a superior civilization that would see them for what they are and destroy them completely. And that’s assuming that a true AI is even possible because it isn’t with any possible iteration of a silicon processor small enough to fit in even a big robot.
 
  • #19
Lren Zvsm
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there will probably be no robot civilizations for several good reasons. They would probably be amoral and self-centered. They would be completely destroyed as soon as they ran into a superior civilization. They would inevitably run into a superior civilization because the chances of robots being creative is zero. Therefore they would never improve their science they would have to steal it. They would definitely never be the first civilization because they would have to be created by a biological civilization. Therefore they would inevitably sooner or later run into a superior civilization that would see them for what they are and destroy them completely. And that’s assuming that a true AI is even possible because it isn’t with any possible iteration of a silicon processor small enough to fit in even a big robot.

Why would the robots be amoral and self-centered? Wouldn't they be as pro-social if they were programmed to be? Why would humans voluntarily cede life itself to robots, which would have to happen if only robots are left on the Earth. Why would a superior civilization necessarily destroy Earth's robots? Why would they be unable to improve their science, which simply doesn't follow from their vulnerability to superior alien attack? Why would today's limitations on computer chip size necessarily apply to future information technology? After all, the time of robot civilizations will come in the future if at all.

You present highly speculative scenarios with dubious logical connections as if they were lists of observed and related facts. With all apologies, they aren't.
 
  • #20
Whipley Snidelash
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With all apologies you equate robots with living sentience way too much, it would be nothing like living beings unless they had a brain the equivalent of an organic brain in which case they would essentially not be robots. They would be emotionless, programmed for self-preservation, logical etc. This is all speculative and none of us can give irrefutable evidence for any point of you on this. The truth is that the line between robots and actual life will probably get blurred by a sufficiently high technology. If a mechanical or metal creature had a brain the functional equivalent of a living brain would it really be a robot?
 
  • #21
Lren Zvsm
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With all apologies you equate robots with living sentience way too much, it would be nothing like living beings unless they had a brain the equivalent of an organic brain in which case they would essentially not be robots. They would be emotionless, programmed for self-preservation, logical etc. This is all speculative and none of us can give irrefutable evidence for any point of you on this. The truth is that the line between robots and actual life will probably get blurred by a sufficiently high technology. If a mechanical or metal creature had a brain the functional equivalent of a living brain would it really be a robot?

Whether AGI will or can come into being or not is yet ANOTHER issue that we don't have enough facts to make a ruling with. Why couldn't robots be programmed to display emotions and have likes and dislikes? Again, you've presented assumptions about whether AGI can be done as if they were facts. Again, they aren't.
 
  • #22
Lren Zvsm
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Can you recommend me such a novel? Hmm... Sagan's "Contact" just sprang to mind. Although, not being able to disprove a thing doesn't make it science.

I found "Contact" to be weirdly crypto-religious for a book by Carl Sagan. The protagonist in the novel is transported from Earth via black hole to a Light-Show realm where she meets (alien simulacra of) her dead relatives. Sounds heavenly to me. ;-)
 
  • #23
Whipley Snidelash
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Whether AGI will or can come into being or not is yet ANOTHER issue that we don't have enough facts to make a ruling with. Why couldn't robots be programmed to display emotions and have likes and dislikes? Again, you've presented assumptions about whether AGI can be done as if they were facts. Again, they aren't.
Time will tell
 
  • #24
phinds
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Total speculation no my part, but I felt this was intended as a "ta da" OP, highlighting egocentric cleverness over considered thinking and the replies / critiques have come as something of a surprise 🤔
Could be. He hasn't been back in 3 months.
 
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  • #25
Algr
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I find this whole thread to be hilarious because, as a scientist, you need to look at your starting premise, the basket where you put all of your eggs in.

In this case, the starting premise is the explicit assumption that the Drake equation is valid!

I've never heard of any good reason to think that the Drake equation is invalid. The equation itself doesn't really predict anything. The last three values fi, fc, and L are pure guesses for us here on Earth. It could well be that human-level intelligence is an extremely unlikely thing to evolve. That is actually the most hopeful senario, because it would mean that the whole universe is ours for the taking, and our future could be anything. If L is low, that's not such good news for us. But neither of those outcomes disprove the Drake equation.
 
  • #26
Whipley Snidelash
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Why would the robots be amoral? …Why would a superior civilization necessarily destroy Earth's robots? Why would they be unable to improve their science, which simply doesn't follow from their vulnerability to superior alien attack? Why would today's limitations on computer chip size necessarily apply to future information technology? After all, the time of robot civilizations will come in the future if at all.

Why would they be anything but amoral?

They wouldn’t destroy them if we were still here, we would have them under control.

Creative, original thinking AI? Now that is creative thinking.

It isn’t the size of a chip that limits intelligence. It isn’t about quantity it’s about quality. As I have said elsewhere a silicon processor the size of a room couldn’t emulate the behavior of a tiny jumping spider. Let alone true intelligence. Even if we learn how to shrink the manufacturing process of a processor 100,000 times further than it is now it still won’t be small enough or even resemble the function of a biological brain. If there ever is a true AI or we encounter one you can be sure it isn’t anything at all resembling a silicon processor. If it resembles anything it will resemble an organic brain in form and function. We are still completely baffled by how the brain works, any biological brain. We are going to find that emulating an organic brain artificially is something that will not be done this century. It will take a fundamental breakthrough on the functioning of the human brain first and then fundamental breakthroughs in nano technology. No facts? Take a close look at the behavior of jumping spiders with a brain this “.” big. Maybe a little bigger. More evidence, if there was more than one way to make a functioning brain nature would’ve tried it.
 
  • #27
phinds
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I've never heard of any good reason to think that the Drake equation is invalid.
I've never heard of any good reason to think that the Drake equation is valid. It's nothing but a framework for guesswork.
 
  • #28
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I've never heard of any good reason to think that the Drake equation is valid. It's nothing but a framework for guesswork.
And the Fermi Paradox applies to everything here. Why can't we see any signs of galaxy-spanning robot civilizations? If interstellar robot / AI civilizations was a thing, the entire galaxy should be colonized by now
 
  • #29
If interstellar robot / AI civilizations was a thing, the entire galaxy should be colonized by now

It my have been, and we're living in a simulation they've created for their own amusement!

Perhaps they died out a few billion years ago - or sublimed if you're an Iain M. Banks fan - and evidence of their passing has not been found.

Or they colonized a different galaxy and are too far away for us to know.

It's all fun speculation and none of us is wrong...until the data says we are! (Which I'm not expecting any time soon, the universe is a big place, there is lots of room for strange stuff to happen and only a few of us looking for it.)
 
  • #30
there will probably be no robot civilizations for several good reasons.

Just as there have been 'several good reasons' for many other things that we've gotten wrong down the ages 😉

But I saw you've noted it's all speculation @Whipley Snidelash, which is the very heart of science fiction and about 90% of the fun of writing the stuff, for me at least. Keep the ideas coming...
 
  • #31
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It my have been, and we're living in a simulation they've created for their own amusement!

Perhaps they died out a few billion years ago - or sublimed if you're an Iain M. Banks fan - and evidence of their passing has not been found.

Or they colonized a different galaxy and are too far away for us to know.

It's all fun speculation and none of us is wrong...until the data says we are! (Which I'm not expecting any time soon, the universe is a big place, there is lots of room for strange stuff to happen and only a few of us looking for it.)

well Alastair Reynolds is the great Fermi Paradox SF author
 
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  • #32
GTOM
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well Alastair Reynolds is the great Fermi Paradox SF author
Or Cixin Liu if one want cosmic horror.
 

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