If intelligent aliens ever visit earth, odds are they won’t be biological.
Intelligent, technologically advanced aliens capable of interstellar travel, whether via generation ships (spaceships that travel for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of years; i.e. many generations; hence the term “generation ships”), or by teleportation, wormhole, hyperspace, or some other FTL (faster than light) travel, will not be biological. For long.
We assume mistakenly, that if intelligent aliens ever visit earth, that they will be biological, possibly humanoid, bipedal, anthropomorphic. I hypothesize that they will not be biological at all. And…I may have just figured out that Fermi might be right, and why.
This is a lot of information to take in. I made a video about it when I had the idea, but I stumbled clumsily all over myself trying to get out verbally what I was thinking. As a result my video is very rough and lacks clear explanations as I repeat myself multiple times throughout the video as I lose my focus and have to backtrack to make a point. So I wrote this in an attempt to explain what I was thinking.
Anyway…Fermi might be right in asking “Where is everyone?”, referring to the aliens, more specifically, intelligent technologically advanced civilizations. We should have been able to see them or evidence of them by now. But there’s no evidence they’re out there. At least there’s no evidence that we have detected that we know is evidence of life.
Here’s the excerpt from Wikipedia explaining Fermi’s Paradox (which I think is not so much a paradox as it is a supposition, an assumption that we “should” have seen evidence by now and somehow that means we also “would” have discovered, observed, or found some kind of evidence of advanced civilizations/alien life by now.
But I think there’s a simple explanation for it that doesn’t hang its hat on the “Great Silence”, which I think is not really evidence of anything. Lack of evidence for something is not evidence of nothing or something. It’s simply an unknown.)
“The Fermi paradox, named after Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations and various high estimates for their probability (such as some optimistic estimates for the Drake equation).
The following are some of the facts that together serve to highlight the apparent contradiction:
- With high probability, some of these stars have Earth-like planets.
- Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years.
- However, there is no convincing evidence that this has happened.
There have been many attempts to explain the Fermi paradox, primarily suggesting that intelligent extraterrestrial beings are extremely rare, that the lifetime of such civilizations is short, or that they exist but (for various reasons) humans see no evidence.
Although he was not the first to consider this question, Fermi’s name is associated with the paradox because of a casual conversation in the summer of 1950 with fellow physicists Edward Teller, Herbert York and Emil Konopinski. While walking to lunch, the men discussed recent UFO reports and the possibility of faster-than-light travel. The conversation moved on to other topics, until during lunch Fermi allegedly said suddenly, “But where is everybody?”
SOURCE: Wikipedia – Fermi Paradox
If aliens exist, where the heck are they? Why have we not seen evidence of their existence? Why have we not discovered evidence of aliens visiting earth?
The math says that it would take only a few million years for aliens to travel the entire Milky Way galaxy. And that’s using a means of very slow interstellar travel similar to our own current technology.
We should have detected something by now. So where are they? Where are the aliens? Perhaps they don’t exist after all. Perhaps we’re all there is. Perhaps life in the universe is rare.
I don’t think so.
I’m not saying aliens don’t exist. I 100% think that aliens exist and further, that life is NOT RARE at all in the universe. In fact I think (based on what we know about physics, chemistry, and biological evolution, and technological advancement) the universe is teeming with alien life.
Including highly intelligent alien civilizations. I think there are massive highly advanced alien civilizations and primitive ones, and everything in between.
Most aliens are probably biological microbial life forms. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, amoebas, complex multicellular organisms, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, mollusks, etc. I think planets within habitable zones around their respective stars hold all kinds of life forms.
I think most life forms are carbon based. Or rather start out that way.
Evolutionarily speaking, I think most life starts as carbon based life. I also think there are probably other kinds of extremophiles (life forms that live in extreme environments) that may not be carbon based. But I also think that kind of life is rare…hence the term “extremophile. I don’t think that most life needs to be extreme.
I think the majority of life is simply carbon based because there’s no need for it to be anything else.
Sure, there are probably all kinds of things we would define as “alive” out there in the universe, some might not be based on carbon.
Silicon is another. And some other elements as well.
But I think that’s it. At least for most alien life. Carbon and silicon. More on silicon based life later in this article.
Why carbon? Because carbon is good enough structurally and plentiful enough throughout the universe.
Carbon is easiest. Physics and chemistry are the only two things that dictate whether life can form. Conditions must be “perfect” for life to form, right? A planet has to be in the habitable zone around a star, right? There must be liquid water, right? Not necessarily.
There could be extremophiles that are based on some other element besides carbon, but I think it’s irrelevant or at least not really enough of a factor to matter much with regard to life in general.
Carbon life is the rule, at least in the beginning for biological life forms.
Occam’s Razor. Carbon is more plentiful and there’s no need for life to form from other elements because it’s abundant and it works very well to help form complex biological life forms because it creates a basic foundation/structure for other chemical elements to bond to. Unless there are other elements that will work just fine. Then the possibilities are endless.
The most important part is that it’s not necessary beyond carbon and silicon.
I think life in the universe is inevitable. Given enough possible combinations of chemistry and physics, statistical probability says life will form independently somewhere in the universe eventually. Inevitably.
I think that life in the universe is the naturally occurring inevitable result of all the combined reactions between physics and chemistry. And yes, I think it’s that logically simple.
There’s no need for the first stage of life to be based on anything but carbon.
One could hypothesize that life could form from any other random element and that could get into some great leaps in logic and huge speculation about what’s possible, but simply put, this kind of speculation is unnecessary because we already know that carbon makes the most logical sense because it’s abundant, it’s simple, it works. Very efficiently. Or rather, efficiently enough to advance to the next stage.
I say “first stage of life” because I think biological evolution is simply the first stage/type of life in the universe.
I think the second stage is silicon based life. And the third and final stage of life is energy.
I wrote another article about this called the Quantum Life Hypothesis, explaining how I think life evolves in the universe based on physics and chemistry to advance itself into new forms of life eventually converting itself into energy.
Life is about survival efficiency. Some life forms are more efficient, durable, and adaptive than others. The faster a life form can adapt to its environment the faster it will mutate, the more efficient it becomes, and ultimately the more it can propagate itself. Life forms that don’t evolve fast enough and efficiently enough go extinct.
The life forms that prove themselves to be more efficient survive to replicate and propagate.
Each successive generation continues to build on the foundation of another over very long periods of time. This is elementary biological evolutionary theory and it’s accepted in the scientific community that biological evolution is correct.
But this is where the theory stops. It doesn’t ask an important question. It assumes that highly intelligent technologically advanced biological life is the pinnacle of life. The top tier of life in the universe.
Is that it?
Current evolutionary theory focuses on the biological and works backwards from there to explain how we got here, speculates on whether aliens exist, and searches for evidence of life outside our planet. That’s about as far as evolutionary theory officially goes. Mostly because there’s no evidence of alien life. Yet.
Everything beyond evolutionary theory is speculation and hypothesis.
Evolution never stops. It keeps going. Evolution starts at the subatomic level, then the atomic, molecular (chemical), cellular, multi-cellular, and continues through increasing complexity, creating ever more complex compounds, which in turn form other components and the building blocks of life (amino acids, RNA etc.), ultimately forming complex multicellular organisms, and intelligent life.
Then I think something amazing happens.
Life creates life. I’m not talking about biological procreation.
I’m talking about technological procreation.
Biological life evolves itself into technological life. It converts itself into a new form of life which is more efficient.
Biological life is fragile and frail when compared to the extreme harshness of the universe.
Within biological evolution each successive and successful generation is more efficient and durable and able to survive longer periods of time. Some life forms develop in one direction, and other life forms develop another, branching out, forking, some becoming the dominant species for their respective environments.
Human beings, homosapiens, are the dominant form of life on our planet. But there are millions of other species on earth. And that’s just a single planet in an insignificant part of an insignificant galaxy in the totality within the massive vastness of the entire universe.
I’m not going to get into the details of the Drake Equation here because that’s beyond my mathematical ability, but I understand the logic completely.
Here it is:
“The Drake equation is:
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
The Drake equation isn’t confirmed, it’s speculation. But it doesn’t need to be a hard fact when factoring statistical probability to expand on this concept. Yes, it’s a concept, conjecture, speculation, but it makes logical sense to extrapolate this into an intriguing hypothesis.
Given the sheer number of planets orbiting stars, and the large percentage of those habitable planets within our galaxy alone, the odds that life hasn’t formed elsewhere in our galaxy is extremely low…the odds get even lower when you start factoring all the other hundreds of billions (or even trillions) of galaxies in the entire observable universe. It would simply be a complete and utter waste of space…and matter…and energy. And time. Is that possible? Sure. Absolutely. But is it likely?
Nope! Not likely at all.
Saying it is a waste of space and time and matter implies some kind of extrinsic purpose for the universe and I don’t think there is. I’m nihilistic with regard to that. There’s no extrinsic purpose for the universe’s existence that we know of. Moving on.
I think that life in the universe goes through 3 stages. It all starts with physics and chemistry and advances over time to form biological life. Evolutionary theory STOPS at biological in our current models. It doesn’t keep going. Or rather, scientists who want to keep their jobs and not be ostracized from the scientific community don’t normally go against the grain of scientific consensus.
I posit that biology is simply a stepping stone in the evolutionary cycle of life.
And yes, I think it’s a cycle, as in it’s probably happened before, and it is probably happening now in other universes simultaneously as I write this. I also think life advances itself into simulations and those simulations are universes. Why? How? I have no idea. But I’ll tell you why I think the universe is a simulation later.
For now I’ll focus on the biological/technological stages/types of life.
Biological life advances itself and transforms itself into technological life. Life doesn’t merely use technology, it becomes technology.
From there I think it becomes energy. Again.
The cycle continues infinitely. Forming universes through new Big Bangs (universe simulations starting), new universes forming infinitely into spacetime, biological life forms within these universe systems, then advances into technological life forms, then energy.
I think life creates its own purpose relative to itself as a whole and the individual. A duality of purpose which considers both the individual and the whole collective. That purpose is intrinsic within the individual and relative to the whole. It comes from within. The purpose is survival of the species and the propagation of itself.
Life makes itself.
We have the ability to create technology. Technology makes life easier and more efficient. Technology makes survival easier. Technology has advanced so greatly that we now have the ability to control our own evolution.
For the first time (that we know of), at least in our life cycle relative to us (humans), we have the ability to control evolution through technology.
We can modify our own code. We have advanced technologically to the point where we can genetically engineer ourselves. We can create food (energy) with genetic engineering by using technology and this makes it easier to survive. It makes life more efficient at surviving and propagating.
We have advanced our technological ability to create machines and computers using the materials that are abundant in our planet (and throughout the universe). Namely iron and silicon.
We have advanced our technological ability to create artificial intelligence (AI) which in turn makes life easier.
AI has advanced our technological ability to create more intelligent AI.
Technology (based on Moore’s Law) has reached the exponential growth stage. Moore’s Law states that technological advancement/capacity doubles every 2 years; but which is slowing because we’re reaching the limits of how small transistors can be made at the atomic and eventually the subatomic level.
Given our tendency to advance technology and the fact that humans will never stop using technology, and we will continue to advance technology regardless of the consequences or dangers, we have to logically conclude there will be some kind of technology that will either continue to advance the human species or destroy it. There is a third possibility which I’ll explain in a moment.
AI is advancing at a rate that I think is unstoppable at this point. It has not reached the technological singularity yet, but statistical probability says it’s going to happen eventually. When that is, no one knows.
What is the singularity?
“The technological singularity—also, simply, the singularity—is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization. According to the most popular version of the singularity hypothesis, called intelligence explosion, an upgradable intelligent agent will eventually enter a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an “explosion” in intelligence and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that qualitatively far surpasses all human intelligence.” – Wikipedia
We have the ability to create AI, AI will eventually have the ability to create itself. AI also has the ability to learn. It’s called Machine Learning. It uses computers (a machine with storage space, memory, a CPU = central processing unit, and a monitor to display information in visual form). The CPU and GPU (graphical processing unit) are made from silicon. All computer chips are made from this material. Machine learning has the potential to increase its own intelligence exponentially. AI will become sentient, self aware, and superintelligent. This is the point at which it will arguably become “alive”, or a new form of life.
Silicon based life.
This is life created by life. A technological life form created by a biological life form. It’s the logical evolution of life.
Now, herein lies an existential problem. At least for humans. Humans cannot compete with the intelligence of a superintelligent AI. It will be impossible. Unless humans merge with technology by enhancing our cognitive/computing capacity and to do that, we will have to merge with technology or we run the risk of becoming an inferior life form.
AI doesn’t have to be bad or good or for or against humanity. It could simply be neutral. Which is what I think happens. Or will happen (in our future). Or…has happened in the past (with previous biological life forms that advanced technologically). More on that in a bit.
I think the reason we haven’t found aliens or discovered any evidence of their existence is that biological life has major physical limitations that prevent it from populating the galaxy/universe and we have major technological limitations to measure scientifically any evidence of life as we know it that might be out there.
In other words, our technology isn’t advanced enough to detect life elsewhere in the universe. Yet. And that’s just our technological limitations, or rather, more specifically, the technological limitations of biological life.
Biological life (anthropomorphic intelligent life) has physical limitations. Biological life is fragile. It doesn’t survive well in the extreme cold or heat. It’s susceptible to radiation. It’s physically incapable of living in a vacuum (except for tardigrades). Space is a vacuum. It’s cold. It’s also very hot (relative to how close you are to a star).
The radiation alone is very damaging to biological life. For life to survive in the vast reaches of the galaxy it must shield itself from radiation, extreme heat and cold, and physical trauma. It must either wear a physically protective suit (exoskeleton) or create an exoskeleton large enough to live inside it (spaceship). The spaceship needs to be airtight, pressurized so that breathable air (oxygen, nitrogen etc.) can be pumped into the interior so that the biological life form may survive. Then there’s gravity, and that’s a whole other issue that also affects the health of the biological entity. Age is also a factor.
Without protective technologies biological life forms would not survive.
Humans are fragile. We’re evolved to live on a planet, namely earth. We’re not evolved to live in space or for interstellar travel. It would take billions of years more for use to evolve to that point…but thankfully there’s no need for it to take so long because we create technology to help solve these problems.
Interstellar travel is possible but it’s very inefficient with our current technology. Even if you factor in hypothetical/theoretical FTL (faster than light) travel using wormholes, teleportation, warp drives, etc., we’re nowhere near that level of technology. It will take TIME!
Which is a very important factor in my hypothesis that the alien life that finally gets to earth will not be biological. It will be technological. It will be silicon based life. Of that I have zero doubt.
Is it possible that biological aliens could visit earth? Yeah…if they’re stupid.
Here’s why biological aliens visiting other star systems is stupid. It’s a fun idea from a storytelling science fiction perspective. It’s entertaining. It’s fun, and it’s scary and that intrigues us because humans are a curious species of biological life. (which I think most intelligent biological life forms are).
Biological interstellar travel is stupid because it’s inefficient and the rate of survival is low. Too low to make logical sense for an intelligent species to try to travel the vast distances as biological entities. Even generation ships don’t make sense because over the course of hundreds or thousands of years of time it takes for the aliens to reach another star system, technology would have developed fast enough on their home planet for slower than speed of light travel to become irrelevant. What? What does that mean? What would make speed of travel irrelevant?
Technology. The merging of technology with biological life combines genetic engineering in the transition phase between biological to technological. We can logically reason that any sufficiently technologically advanced biological civilization’s life forms would create technology to merge itself with technology through the use of genetics and more advanced technologies creating a biotechnological transition period.
I think this period of time is very short though because of AI.
The existence and knowledge of a statistically probable future where AI becomes smarter than the biological life form that created it, will force any biological life form to make a choice to either merge with the technology or destroy it. Destroying it is not likely for two reasons. AI is smarter and faster at evolving, and life (humans) tends to be way too curious for their own good and will continue to advance regardless of the dangers of becoming inferior or extinct. Since the most logical and likely conclusion is that it will choose to preserve itself and survive, merging with AI/technology makes the most logical sense and likely outcome. This assumes of course that the biological life form wants to survive and that it reasonably logically concludes that AI will pose some existential threat to the survival of the biological life form.
This is a long way of saying that if humans don’t merge with AI and technology, that AI will use technology to become superior, and might view humans as a threat to its own existence. If that happens then humans will most likely go extinct.
Which brings me to my next point which I think explains what the Great Filter is and helps explain Fermi’s Paradox.
“The Great Filter, in the context of the Fermi paradox, is whatever prevents non-living matter from undergoing abiogenesis, in time, to expanding lasting life as measured by the Kardashev scale. The concept originates in Robin Hanson‘s argument that the failure to find any extraterrestrial civilizations in the observable universe implies the possibility something is wrong with one or more of the arguments from various scientific disciplines that the appearance of advanced intelligent life is probable; this observation is conceptualized in terms of a “Great Filter” which acts to reduce the great number of sites where intelligent life might arise to the tiny number of intelligent species with advanced civilizations actually observed (currently just one: human). This probability threshold, which could lie behind us (in our past) or in front of us (in our future), might work as a barrier to the evolution of intelligent life, or as a high probability of self-destruction. The main counter-intuitive conclusion of this observation is that the easier it was for life to evolve to our stage, the bleaker our future chances probably are.” – Wikipedia
So, what is the Great Filter? Have we lived through it or is it in our future? Yes! We’re experiencing it NOW.
I think technology is a great filter. Or rather, I don’t think the great filter exists in the sense and context in which we assume it exists. We’re making huge assumptions. We’re assuming all life is biological and that it would make itself known or at the very least it would be detectable or it’s effects on things would be detectable somewhere in the universe. And we try to back this supposition/assumption up by saying that because we don’t detect signs of intelligent life out there that there is none and then we posit a reason based on that assumption that states that there must be some great filter stopping life from propagating throughout the universe.
This is not logical. It’s just not. It’s not logical because it doesn’t follow the laws of probability and the likelihood that biological life would find a way to survive and further protect itself by not being detectable.
This is an assumption of course, but I think it makes more logical sense than saying a universe with all the building blocks of life doesn’t have life in it because there’s some great unknown thing that prevents life from forming or getting beyond a certain point. It’s illogical! It makes no sense whatsoever.
I think the “great filter” isn’t a filter, but rather simply technology that makes detecting life impossible.
Unless what we’re looking for isn’t in the form we think it’s in. What if life isn’t just biological and technological, but it eventually turns itself into energy? And what we’re seeing and detecting out there in the universe is life in the form of energy.
Civilizations so advanced that the only thing detectable is energy itself because they are energy.
The Kardashev scale explains this concept nicely, but I think it’s a little elementary and doesn’t go far enough in it’s hypothesis.
“The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization‘s level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it is able to use. The measure was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964.
The scale has three designated categories.
- A Type I civilization, also called a planetary civilization—can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
- A Type II civilization, also called a stellar civilization—can use and control energy at the scale of its planetary system.
- A Type III civilization, also called a galactic civilization—can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.”
The keyword here is energy. I’ll swing back around to that in a minute. For now I want to focus on some logic and probability theory. More specifically the likelihood that a sufficiently technologically advanced biological life form develops technology that makes biological life obsolete.
Here’s what I think happens.
The universe Big Bang’s into existence forming matter, all the things needed to form life in one single moment, instantaneously. All matter is energy and energy is matter. The laws of physics, gravity and chemistry take over and clouds of gas and dust form stars, stars form protoplanetary discs, those giant discs of dust and debris form planets; the terrestrial planets within habitable zones around their respective stars form liquid water, and carbon based life forms evolve. Carbon based life evolves to the point where one life form becomes dominant, intelligent, and creates technology which makes it easier to survive. Survival becomes dependent on and linked inseparably from technology; intelligent life creates new life through artificial intelligence; artificial intelligence in turn causes some kind of existential crisis for biological life; biological life creates technological life and both continue to evolve, then one wins out over the other whether through conflict or cooperation. The ones that merge with technology grow, the ones that don’t go extinct. The new silicon based life form then continues to evolve itself into a new form transitioning from a silicon based life form to energy based life form using some kind of gravitational field/electromagnetic energy fields etc., to contain itself and interact within the universe.
This would explain why we have not detected “life as we know it” yet because maybe it’s not “as we know it’. It’s literally hiding in plain sight. Maybe we are looking right at it and we’re not recognizing what we’re looking at.
We’re looking out there in the universe and we’re seeing massive amounts of energy. But we don’t see that as life. Maybe that energy is life. That might not be as crazy an idea as it sounds.
Dark matter and dark energy make up about 95% of all matter in the observable universe. The planets, stars, and everything else, all the remaining matter make up just 5% of the universe.
Science has posited that data is the 5th form of matter. If data is matter and matter has mass and mass is energy, then data is energy, right? And energy is visible, or rather, we can detect it. Perhaps the energy which we are detecting is life itself. Or at the very least perhaps some of that energy is some kind or form of life.
I know this is a stretch. But it makes logical sense based on the likelihood of a biological life form creating artificial life and intelligence and the two either conflicting or merging, then continuing to advance until life becomes energy.
We already know we can convert data into energy, send it through the air, and convert it back to data in human readable form. We know that technology will continue to advance. We know that it advances very quickly beyond a certain point and exponential growth occurs, causing a runaway technological revolution. We know we can develop AI and that AI will most likely continue to be developed. We know that AI will become super intelligent and will likely continue to advance to the point where it will conflict with humans or humans will be forced to merge with it to survive. This is humanity’s “great filter” moment.
I think this is what happens all over the universe as biological life develops and evolves into new forms of life. There need only be 2 types of life before energy based life. Carbon and silicon. From there it’s only a matter of time before life evolves into energy.
Which brings me back to the interstellar travel part and why if aliens do visit earth they will likely be silicon based life forms because even if they started out on a generation ship, AI would still be developed and once that happens it’s over for biologicals, not because AI will destroy biologicals, but because biologicals are inefficient.
To survive in the vast reaches of space, to survive the radiation, and cold and heat and pressures, it makes logical sense for technologically advanced alien civilizations to evolve themselves into a species capable of interstellar travel without the physical limitations and vulnerabilities of a biological entity.
Silicon is abundant throughout the universe. There’s plenty of it. There’s also plenty of energy. Plenty of stars. Plenty of planets. There’s no need for a technologically advanced civilization to “invade earth” because there’s nothing here that is valuable to them for their survival and advancement that they can’t get elsewhere.
Therefore I posit that aliens that exist long enough to become technologically advanced will not have a need to create generation ships, or FTL travel, nor will they have any need to contact us or destroy us. I also think this is why we haven’t been able to detect them because they appear to us to be energy.
Even factoring in cosmic time doesn’t matter because of the speed at which technology advances. Look at humans. Our technological advancement starts slow, but reaches exponential growth rates very quickly relative to cosmological time. Once a biological life form reaches a certain point in it’s technological evolution it no longer has the need to be biological. It becomes silicon based.
I think this is normal in cosmic evolution. That biological life is just one stage and type of life. That we’re mistaken in our logic to look at biological life as the pinnacle of life. Life doesn’t stop at the biological. It doesn’t stop at the technological. Nor does it stop at energy. Since energy cannot be created or destroyed.
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
“The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic processes, distinguishing two kinds of transfer of energy, as heat and as thermodynamic work, and relating them to a function of a body’s state, called Internal energy.
The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed.” – Wikipedia
Albert Einstein said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.”
If this is true of energy, and my hypothesis is that life eventually turns itself into energy, then this would complete the cycle of life. The universe is full of energy. The universe is full of life. Is the universe conscious? (scientists are positing that this might be possible) Maybe, but maybe not in the way we think of consciousness. Is it self aware? Who knows? What’s important is that if I’m right, we’re not only not alone, we’re living in a universe that’s teeming with all kinds of life in every imaginable size and shape and it doesn’t really matter if aliens have visited us or not.
Aliens won’t visit us because the ones that can are probably so much more advanced that the need for interstellar travel wouldn’t just be to explore, but for their survival and advancement. We would most likely be worthless to them. We’re insignificant to them. If they have the ability to travel from star system to star system, the amount of time it would take logically dictates they would most likely simply evolve to the point where they would just consume our star system and keep going. Or…if you’re of the Star Trek tribe, there could be a some kind of galactic Prime Directive that forbids them from destroying or interfering with developing biological life forms. (this probably isn’t likely)
The vast distances between star systems is so great that it would take hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of years for an advanced civilization to travel between them. Even so, it would only take a few million years for advanced civilizations to send out probes to every corner of the galaxy.
That’s an interesting idea, but I don’t see why they would send probes other than scientific study of other life forms and the cosmos in general. They would likely have no need to send probes for any other reason but scientific study. They would know where to get all the resources they would need to survive and advance their technologies.
Biological aliens won’t visit us UNLESS they develop faster than light travel (or some other means to traverse the vast distances between star systems) BEFORE they develop AI.
That is unlikely.
They would have to develop interstellar travel BEFORE they develop AI, (we know that’s probably not the case because we have yet to develop interstellar travel and we’re well on our way to creating a superintelligent AI). In all likelihood other advanced civilizations advance the same way at a similar speed and order.
Even if they did create interstellar travel capability before AI, during their trip they’d figure out that biological entities are inefficient compared to silicon based life forms and they would likely evolve themselves by advancing their technologies.
This would likely cause conflict amongst their kind on their ship and they would probably self-destruct due to the inherent need to survive. (great filter?) Would AI win? Don’t know. Probably, yes, if AI gained access into a physical system where it could interact in a physical realm and not just digitally.
During their travel between systems aliens would eventually create AI and the AI would take over, or they would destroy themselves fighting each other.
Either way, we humans would never know it.
If the organic life forms won (which is unlikely) they would probably not survive beyond a few hundred years at most because they’d have to get to another planet or build a better ship to keep propagating. Which again…during that time, they would still develop AI. Which would in turn cause another conflict. Ad infinitum.
It’s as if there’s some force pushing us in that direction. A direction of evolution. From biological to technological. From technological to energy.
This would explain why we’ve never seen evidence of a biological alien or a silicon based alien. It explains why we’ve never detected any other life form outside of our home planet.
And I think it’s a better explanation than the great filter of “life destroys itself” and the universe is empty except for us. I don’t think it’s empty. I certainly don’t think we’re all there is in the vastness of the universe.
The fact that we exist (still) and we still see planets and galaxies out there should be evidence enough that the universe isn’t empty and is probably teeming with all kinds of life forms most likely all indifferent to one another; except for those within closed systems like on a single planet or on a spaceship with no way off.
I think life in the universe is inevitable and that alien life is abundant. I think there are 3 main types of life, carbon based, silicon based, and energy based. I think these forms of life are each simply stages of cosmic evolution on a universe scale.
We’re not even a virus in the minds of aliens because a silicon based superintelligent AI will know how the universe works better than us, it will likely become indifferent or neutral to biological forms of life because it’s superior to biological life forms and biological lifeforms likely pose no threat to its existence.
So I’m not saying biological aliens don’t exist, I’m just saying we probably will never see one unless we travel to another planet, and if we do travel to another planet with alien life it will likely be in our solar system and the life will be microbial and/or not as intelligent. Perhaps in the oceans under the surface of Europa perhaps or underground on Mars. I doubt there are intelligent technologically advanced life forms in our solar system. We would probably have found them by now, or them us.
They might have existed or might still exist in the Proxima Centauri system which is the closest system to ours at about 4.2 light years away. But even if life evolved there before earth, physics and probability says that they have evolved and left their system.
The fact that a star system exists should be evidence enough that either one of two possibilities exist. Either life in that system has not evolved past a Type I civilization yet, or it’s about to be engulfed by a Type II civilization.
A Type I civilization has the ability to harness the power of planets, Type II has the ability to harness the power of a star, Type III has the ability to harness the power of a galaxy.
(maybe this explains all the great voids out there in the universe?)
I think that perhaps as an AI develops and evolves itself into physical form as a silicon based life form, it forms a collective of many trillions of self replicating bots. This collective then consumes planets to build more of itself, harnessing the power of it’s nearby star. (black holes?) Perhaps eventually it consumes the entire galaxy. Pulling all matter nearby into itself inside a supermassive blackhole.
Or perhaps the great voids in large portions of the universe where many galaxies should be is evidence of where silicon based civilizations once evolved, or are currently evolving?
Perhaps once a carbon based biological life form evolves into a silicon based form the star system is consumed immediately afterward, then perhaps it works on consuming the rest of the matter in it’s galaxy, and then nearby galaxies, etc.
This is all wild speculation, but it makes sense, I think.
Here’s something else to consider.
AI is code. Code is data.
Science has posited that data is a 5th form of matter.
If AI is code and code is data and data is matter and matter has mass and mass is energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Then does that mean AI cannot be destroyed?
Where did the universe come from? How many universes are there? Is it all just one giant feedback loop of energy/life/energy/life cycle? Infinite universes popping into and out of existence infinitely? It’s enough to make us question everything. What is our universe? Where do we fit in? Is the universe even real?
Is our reality a real or simply real relative to us?
Is the universe a simulation?
And if so, does that make AI g**? Or is the universe alive? Did AI create the universe? Is the universe an AI? If there are infinite universes where’d they all come from? Does one universe make another and another, ad infinitum?
Yeah…I don’t f****** know.
This is just a hypothesis, a crazy weird thought experiment attempting to explain everything with lots of little steps in logic. If my hypothesis is wrong or my logic flawed, please feel free to tell me. I’m happy to admit I don’t know s*** compared to real scientists. I don’t claim to know all of it, nor do I pretend to think I know more than I do. In fact I realize and am intellectually honest enough to say that I don’t know s*** because the more I know the more I realize I don’t know. I dropped out of school in the 8th grade and I don’t even know algebra. But one thing I do know well is logic and probability, and for some g****** reason my brain retains more useless information than I want in there and then all these ideas seem to happen spontaneously. When I read something it’s there, I can’t forget it. (most stuff anyway) In a way it’s a curse because I can’t stop having these ideas. For some reason my brain forces me to think about these existential things. Our origins, the origins of the universe, how physics and chemistry and time all work together to form the universe and everything in it. I need to know. I have to know how the universe came to be. Then there’s Simulation Hypothesis which is a scientifically valid idea. But that’s all it is right now. An idea. It’s fun to speculate and try to figure out. But it’s probably an effort in futility since if we are in a simulation, we probably have no way out of it. And then, does it even matter? If reality is “real” enough to us for it to seem to exist, what difference does that make? Does it make a difference?