"God" vs. the Singularity
Update. below doesn't make clear that its content is meant to be in opposition to Kurzweil's concept in his book where he explicitly argues that we are alone in the Universe. Also leaves unstated the possibility/probability that communication with ETSI can have roughly the same effect/role in the transformation of human societies to participation in the contingent being mentioned.
Why I hold there will be scientific confirmation or disconfirmation of the concept soon.
- First, by "God" I don't mean the Abrahamic concept, but rather the rationalization thereof, i.e. a contingent being, most likely manifest as a collective which has evolved in a manner similar to that by which life has evolved on the Earth. The being could be outside this universe and could be its creator or neither of these. The Abrahamic concept is nothing more than the singular of "gods".
- Second, there are the facts of common reasoning and basic astrophysics. Since the lowest value the Drake Equation can have is one, and the lowest value a generalization of it can have is "about 1 (per galaxy)", it is therefore a direct consequence of a simple Copernican argument that the chances of this being the first galaxy to evolve intelligent life is roughly equal to the reciprocal of the number of such, as I understand it to be less than 100 billion to 1.
Update: this needs to be adjusted per the fact that the 100 billion figure is derived from the observable universe and the actual entire universe is larger. So changed above to a positive order relation.
- Third, I assume in this century sufficient advances to make a positive statement of fact. Astrophysics will advance so that a generalized Drake Equation will have been given empirical support on the number of planets that could support life. SETI and the like will confirm or not that EM level civilizations have or have not existed at least in this galaxy.
- At this point the epistemological basis will be set for making an assessment of the existence of 1 above.
Disconfirmation: Does the title default to us?
The thing that reason indicates but does not dictate is that we are not the first species to reach the level of scientific civilization, discounting for the moment whether in fact we have. The odds on that should be proportional to 100 billion to one. In fact there should at least be some that have done so at least thousands and probably millions of years before now in our time relative to the origin of this universe. If only two generations of stars are required to make a medium in which intelligent life can be cultured, then this may have occurred as long as two or three billion years ago, about the time life was being shaped into its current architecture on the Earth.
In the Abrahamic concept the being is in a direct relationship with Man and directly affects events on Earth at least up until about -600 BCE. So assuming the being is outside this universe, there could be one of two situations: either we find there is no other apparent life at our level or higher in the universe or that there are relatively many. A few more advanced than us would be many relative to our current understanding. If none, then that could be taken either as an indication that the being purposely acts to prevent there being any, i.e. a "confirmation" of an active culling of such species.
The notion of "outside this universe" could also change and be substantiated or not by astrophysics/cosmology but the case to be dealt with is this one. One could take no ETSI¹ as an indication of a culling of species that reach our level or above, the final limit of the attribution of an intentional force behind nature and by virtue of the confirmation of the culling this time a reasonably convincing one.
ETSI vs. "God"
Here something must be said about the distinction between a thing believed in and a thing found to be true when there are tangled relations between the two. The Abrahamic supreme being appears to be nothing more than a projection of primitive humans, a unification of an earlier stage of their development where they attributed anthropomorphic personalities to a variety of animate and inanimate elements of their environments. Put simply, the god of Abraham is just the singular of gods.
In 1 above I conflated ETSI and the god of Abraham. It is unlikely that this would be done with an actual ETSI and that is the expected resolution based on the reasoning above.
There is more to be said about the conflation in 1 above, actual ETSI, and associated concepts of realized supreme being in re the allegorical truth of the Abrahamic tradition but later ...
¹ Extra Terrestrial Superior Intelligence