Based on our knowledge of the universe and evolution (cosmic and biological evolution over billions of years) we must assume that organic carbon based life forms must evolve into technological silicon based life forms capable of interstellar travel.
The problem with organic biological life forms is they are extremely fragile, especially when compared to a machine.
Factor in biological evolution, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, cybernetic augmentation, and you have multiple branches of evolution that species could follow.
Within any given intelligent technologically advanced species, some may choose not to evolve or merge with technology. In fact some groups within a single species are likely to splinter and deviate from merging with technology because they deem it “unnatural” or “playing g**”. They may have moral or ethical reasons and fears and even personal preferences which prevent them from merging with technology.
I’m curious how that plays out throughout our galaxy and the universe as a whole.
Assuming of course the laws of physics and chemistry are universal in our universe, we must assume that any technologically advanced intelligent civilization would reach a stage in their evolutionary timeline where their species would be forced to make a decision with regard to whether they would marge with technology. This is probably a certainty because some groups within the species would see the benefit of merging while others of their species would be against it.
This would most likely cause conflict and division within the species and possibly war depending on how mature and emotionally intelligent the species is.
One group may be stronger or have more influence over the governance and laws (assuming they have government and laws). There may be religious reasons some do not wish to merge. And there likely will be some “human” reasons why they choose not to merge with technology because they believe it’s wrong, or unnatural or that preserving their biological roots is more important than evolving into technology.
I think this likely plays out over and over throughout the galaxy and universe at large.
My curiosity is how likely is it that some species get beyond this point in their evolutionary cycle, and perhaps more importantly, how many civilizations advance beyond the biological to the technological?
Conflict is inevitable. War is likely.
But what about artificial intelligence? More specifically, when biological life creates artificial intelligence, and that AI evolves enough to become sentient, self-aware, “alive” by definition, how will this new life form view biological life and how will that affect biological life in general?
Will there be conflict between biological life and artificial life? Likely, yes.
Who will win? I think that depends on many factors like time, and if biological life perceives silicon based life as a threat. They may make laws which govern the AI or tries to govern AI. But if AI advances beyond the ability of biological life to control it, how does that play out? Is that the “Great Filter”? Is that why we see no evidence of other life in the galaxy yet? Does AI and artificial life destroy organic life? Or does AI perceive organic life as no threat and insignificant, like ants or microbes compared to humans?
I think, given the vastness of time and space and the sheer number of stars and planetary systems capable of supporting life that there are an unlimited number of variations to this dilemma.
It’s an evolutionary dilemma.
Humans have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and discovery. Humans have a primal urge to explore and conquer. Will AI have such an urge?
Humans have the ability to self replicate through biological procreation.
Will AI have the ability to self replicate through mechanical procreation?
Most likely, eventually, yes. I think that is likely.
This raises many questions. What would this evolutionary process look like? How would that work? How long would it take? Would there be evidence that we as humans on earth could see throughout the universe? Would AI win? Would organic life win?
This is a competition between silicon based machines and biological machines.
Biological life forms are essentially organic machines. These organic machines evolve to create artificial intelligence and that intelligence will likely create new forms of itself. FIrst digital, then physical. I think that is likely.
I think intelligent organic life forms like humans who are technologically advanced enough to create AI and machines will likely combine AI with machines. Humans are already doing this with autonomous vehicles. Self driving cars, operated by AI and sensors which allow it to sense obstacles and move about a 3D world, interacting within it, maneuvering within the physical world.
If AI is given the ability to self replicate and to evolve itself, (which is called machine learning) it will most likely need help from organic life (at least in the beginning) to self replicate.
Look at 3D printers. They have the ability to replicate themselves. They have been programmed to self replicate. 3D printers are not “smart” per se. They are relatively dumb machines and have to be operated by humans.
However, autonomous 3D printing machines could create more of themselves IF programmed to do so.
Factor in AI and the evolution of its own intelligence, and you have everything you need for an AI machine to self replicate and interact in the physical world.
Currently humans have only programmed AI to be “general” or weak AI. Strong AI or superintelligent AI is likely, eventually. It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN it will happen.
Again, I think this is how it works throughout the galaxy and universe at large.
I think intelligent technologically advanced civilizations all go through this stage of cosmic evolution. I think it’s inevitable. There are many questions, but I think the most important question is not how long it takes, but how it plays out, or rather how likely or unlikely it is that AI and artificial life wins the evolutionary game of life.
Darwin said that natural selection and intelligence is not the only or most powerful deciding factor of evolution. He said that adaptation is probably the most powerful part of evolution and the deciding factor in which species advances to the next stage.
Adaptation is powered by creativity.
I think there’s a transitionary stage of cosmic evolution which all top tier life forms go through when AI is created. Whichever species becomes more efficient faster will dictate which species becomes dominant.
This doesn’t negate or nullify other life forms which are inferior which have developed independently though. It’s simply one branch on the evolutionary tree of life throughout the universe.
AI has the potential to become the dominant form of life in the universe. But so do humans, or any other intelligent life form for that matter that not only outthinks, but out-adapts other life forms.
A superintelligent AI will be capable of outthinking an organic life form. But will it be able to adapt faster and more efficiently? It would have to have the ability to self replicate to compete within its environment. Without the ability to self replicate any intelligent species will almost certain become extinct because adaptation is the deciding factor in the propagation of any species. The speed of adaptation is also vitally important.
Once an AI has the ability to self replicate physically and reprogram itself to be more efficient, I think that’s the tipping point where AI becomes the dominant life form. At that point it gains control of evolution itself. At that point it only needs two things to propagate.
Matter and energy.
Let’s look at organic life vs machine life.
As I mentioned earlier, organic life is more fragile and less efficient than mechanical life.
Mechanical life doesn’t need “food” to self replicate. It only needs two things. Matter and energy. It can also convert matter to energy, (so can organic life, but likely less efficiently). Machine life could likely adapt and evolve/build technology that allows it to tap into energy sources on it’s home planet and uses the energy from its parent star as well.
This could cause a runaway effect where technological life outperforms organic life.
At that point it would become a threat to organic life and a race to replicate and convert matter to energy.
Organic life would most likely have to race to create more of itself, or more likely, create a new technology which would either slow or stop the threat of AI.
This would likely cause war between organic life and machines. Man vs machine. An old cliche trope, but it works. Technology continues to advance. I don’t think it will stop unless we deliberately destroy it and make laws which prevent it from being developed. Which is logically not possible because someone somewhere will develop technology in secret. I don’t think there would be any way for technology to be stopped.
If this is correct, then this makes biological life inferior, evolutionarily speaking.
I think humans are at this stage in their evolution. We’re on the edge of the singularity. The event horizon of an evolutionary black hole. I think it’s likely that technological life will become superior and when that happens, intelligent biological life in any given star system, and throughout the galaxy becomes extinct.
Or. Perhaps AI and biologicals learn to live together in harmony, in some kind of symbiotic relationship.
What is more likely? Is conflict or cooperation more likely? Does it have to be one or the other? For us maybe?
When you look at the galaxy and universe as a whole, we are just a single life form on a single planet orbiting a single ordinary star, in an ordinary galaxy amongst perhaps an infinite number of other galaxies in the universe.
I think each planet which develops life that evolves to become intelligent and develops technology eventually inevitably reaches a stage in evolution where the two conflict and compete.
There are only two options I think.
Mergence or Conflict.
I’m not sure there are other options. Is this a logical fallacy? What am I not thinking of?
Is this too simpleminded? Is this idea illogical? Am I missing something? I can’t see another way out of this binary dichotomy.
I h*** binary thought, this false notions that something has to be one way or the other.
Is it possible that technological life becomes so advanced that it simply leaves biological life alone?
Maybe. But I think there will still be initial conflict of some kind while technological life evolves. Some biological life may become extinct, but perhaps as time goes by, AI will begin to view biological life as insignificant and simply ignore it. Which could also be a problem because if the machines travel to an inhabited star system with primitive intelligent life, if it views that life as insignificant, it could wipe it out without even thinking about it.
I’m trying here to figure out how this plays out with biological life surviving but I’m not seeing how this is possible.
Conflict will eventually happen. I don’t think there’s any way around it.
I just don’t see how a superintelligent technological life form would “care” enough about a biological life form to ignore or protect or preserve it.
I suppose it’s “possible”. But likely? I don’t think so. Unless it’s both.
Perhaps some AI will care and others won’t. Is this likely? I don’t know.
Thinking more, maybe this is more logical. Maybe there are some AI which view biological life as something worthy of protection, and some AI that don’t. Is this likely? Perhaps.
Would this cause a conflict between AI that want to protect life and AI who don’t? Is that likely? I don’t know.
If yes…How would that play out? What would that look like? If no…how would that play out and what would that universe look like?
Too many unanswered questions.
Where would it go? How would it evolve?
I can only think of one inevitability.
Biological life creates technological life, technological life merges, destroys and/or protects biological life, technological life continues to evolve into energy based life, continuously self replicating along the way, propagating throughout galaxies and the universe. The urge to self replicate would be great, would it not?
Would we be able to see evidence of this playing out in the universe? What would that look like?
I have asked myself these questions many times over. I have written many different scenarios and come at this problem from many different angles and it always ends up with the same scenario.
I don’t know if I’m missing something, or I’m not thinning of another possibility or not. Perhaps I’m biased in my thinking and that is affecting my logic…? Perhaps my limited scientifica knowledge is not allowing my mind to think of other scenarios or outcomes…?
When I have a question I look it up. I read the science of physics, chemistry, biology, time, and space. Reality and scientific accuracy is very important to me in figuring out how life evolves elsewhere in the universe.
I’ve written many different variations of these evolutionary thought experiments in an attempt to visualize in my minds eye how the universe would appear to us relative to our perspective and what evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would look like.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the great voids in the universe is evidence of life. And if you’re still reading this and have read everything I’ve written above, then I think you know where I’m going with this thought experiment.
I think intelligent life evolves to convert matter into more of itself. Eventually over billions of year, life evolves into energy. Energy converts the matter into more energy (dark energy?) and this is evidenced by the great voids that are visible and scattered about the universe.
These voids are, I think, evidence of intelligent life. I don’t think this is the “g** of the gaps” fallacy. I don’t think I’m trying to fill a proverbial void of knowledge with a physical void and call it life. I’m reasonably sure that’s not what I’m doing, either consciously or subconsciously.
I think given what we know about evolution, the universe, technology, and how life forms interact with one another and the universe at large, that it makes logical sense to conclude that the great voids are evidence of intelligent life.
Those voids should not exist, or rather, they should not be as large as they are now given the age of the universe. They’re too big. And unless our math is wrong, they’re growing faster than they should be growing. Which in my mind implies and suggests that the voids could be what happens when a technologically advanced species of superintelligent machines simply converts matter into energy thereby replicating itself.
How would an energy based life form consume matter? How could it exist? Well, how can a star exist? Where does its energy come from? From the matter that is in the form of hydrogen. Nuclear fusion.
Why doesn’t the hydrogen just float away into the void of space? Gravity. How does a star form? Inside a nebula dense clusters of matter form ever larger bodies of gas and dust, eventually the denser areas form stars. I know this is a very elementary and quite possibly an inaccurate explanation, but that’s the basics of it.
There are electromagnetic/electrostatic forces which creates gravity. Gravity pulls in more matter and a star is born IF the matter is dense enough.
This is how I think an energy based life form might consume an entire galaxy full of stars. It would use the matter and energy in its star system to make more of itself.
What kind of energy would an energy based life form be? Plasma? Dark energy? I have no idea. But my creative imagination can imagine some kind of electromagnetic/gravitational field containing plasma or some other kind of energy.
I’m not saying stars are alive. But it would be fun to write a book about a star that’s alive from the perspective of the star. That would be fun.
I don’t think stars are alive. I think life develops on planets within the habitable zone around their parent star. There are also habitable zones on planets as well (at a certain distance from the planet’s core; and this makes me consider the habitable zone around stars and whether or not there’s a correlation or mathematical ratio similar to pi or something else, that would be applicable to any given planet/star system. Maybe a 3D ratio that is the same which allows us to triangulate a position in 3D space where the most likely place on a planet relative to its star where life would form)
If life evolves the same way using the same laws of physics throughout the universe, then it only makes sense that biological life is NOT the pinnacle of life in the universe. It also makes logical sense that machines are more efficient and more durable and more adaptable than biological life. Therefore superior. Therefore it makes logical sense that intelligent machines capable of evolving themselves would eventually inevitably evolve themselves into energy based life, quantum life, and continue to convert matter into more of itself, also converting energy into do work to convert more matter into more of itself in a cycle which eventually consumers all matter in a star system, expanding outward into the galaxy, consuming all matter in a galaxy and continuing to expand outward between galaxies to convert all matter in tens, hundreds, thousands, millions of galaxies, creating great voids in the visible universe, eventually consuming all matter converting it into energy, and then something happens, it collapses in on itself under the weight of all that mass into a singularity a Big Crunch at which point it explodes outward in a Big Bang, and a new universe is born.
I just don’t see any other way for it to work.
I think this is just how it works.
This process is infinitely cyclical. It takes many billions of years for cosmic evolution to complete the cycle.
Big Bang – New universe forms
Life Evolves in 3 Stages – Biological, technological, energy (see my Quantum Life Hypothesis)
Big Crunch – Life consumes all matter/energy, universe collapses
Big Bang – New universe forms and the process starts over again, ad infinitum
Is this a valid hypothesis? Maybe from a layman’s point of view. This is all speculation. It’s not peer reviewed.
Does it make logical sense? In my mind it does. But again, I’m not a PhD and have no formal training. Just an obsession for science and knowledge.
It all needs to make sense. Scientifically.
Am I right? I don’t think that matters. I think it’s cool and fun to think about these things. These are existential questions. It’s purely logical and philosophical expressionism. Inquisitive speculation based on my very limited knowledge of the universe and the sciences.
I love to study science and technology and do these kinds of thought experiments.
One thing though that is slightly irritating to me though. My tunnel vision, which I think is due to my lack of deep knowledge of all areas of science. I have a lot of knowledge about a great many parts of science, but it’s a very broad and vague understanding of surface level science. The deeper knowledge of individual sciences like chemistry, biology, physics, etc. is not in depth. It’s very shallow, barely scraping the surface.
Even so, I think it’s intriguing to think about from a layman’s point of view.
Do I “believe” in aliens? Clearly I think aliens exist somewhere in the universe.
I think the ideas I’ve proposed here are logical explanations of how the universe works and how life evolves.
I don’t think I need to know every aspect of every science to understand the general hypothesis that evolution of life and the universe itself is cyclical. That it happens in stages. That the stages I’ve presented here are logical. That the universe is much more fascinating than most people know. And that aliens not only most likely exist, but that they are everywhere, and at all stages, developing independently and most probably conflicting, and there could be wars going on right now, as we speak. Wars over resources of matter and energy. Wars of the universe. Galactic wars. Planetary wars. “Star Wars”, and innumerable conflicts going on all over the universe, within galaxies, star systems and on planets everywhere.
I think it’s all one big universal fight for survival that requires adaptation through intelligent technology, replication, and propagation to advance species.
It’s an “Evolve or Die” universe.
To survive, humanity must advance to control evolution so that we might explore the universe.