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NancyLebovitz comments on Being Half-Rational About Pascal's Wager is Even Worse - Less Wrong

18 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 April 2013 05:20AM

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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 20 April 2013 01:41:36AM 1 point [-]

I thought they did know that if the sun was solely dependent on chemical reactions, then it would have burned itself out more quickly than the age of the earth suggested.

Comment author: AlanCrowe 20 April 2013 12:55:16PM 1 point [-]

I was glibly assuming that Fermi would know that the sun was nuclear powered. So he would already have one example of a large scale nuclear reaction to hand. Hans Bethe won his Nobel prize for discovering this. Checking dates, This obituary dates the discovery to 1938. So the timing is a little tight.

As you say, they knew that the sun wasn't powered by chemical fires, they wouldn't burn of long enough, but perhaps I'm expecting Fermi to have assimilated new physics quicker than is humanly possible.