Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fermi's Paradox ("Where are they?") meets Dawson's Paradox ("Why are they still here?")

Scientists who smallmindedly pursue only one scientific question their whole careers can still end up being regarded as 'great' scientists, if the question they ask (and the answer they provide) is big enough to matter deeply to all of us.

Dr Martin Henry Dawson basically spent his personal research career asking, if life truly was "the survival of the fittest", why it was that Life's most unfit lifeforms - the small, simple,primitive microbes - were also, far and away, its oldest and most successful survivors ?

Because in 1940, it was crystal clear to almost every human on Earth that we were Life's most successful species and that the small weak and primitive microbes were our very antithesis.

But Dawson tried to burst this bubble of hubris and group think , by daring to ask , "well then why are these manifestly unfit beings still around ---- and been around since Life began ?"

Dawson's Paradox was a counterpart to Fermi's Paradox

The famous atomic scientist Erico Fermi once famously asked, if the possibility of many lifeforms in the vast universe is so great, then "Where were they?"

Dawson similarly asked , if the microbes are so manifestly unfit,  then "Why are they still here?"

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