Billions and billions of planets, but no aliens we have not yet made contact.
The explanation for this can be a daunting theory, which scientists have dubbed “the Great filter”:
“It may be that all civilizations in the world are doomed to extinction,” said Professor James Miller (James D. Miller), the newspaper Aftonbladet.
The universe is teeming with stars and planets.
Exactly realize how a lot of them is not an option: recent estimates indicate that the number of stars is expressed the unfathomable figure of 700 000 trillion (700 000 000 000 000 000 000 000).
Around most stars planets revolve, and it is expected that many of them could theoretically be life. Therefore, from a statistical point of view the universe has to swarm advanced civilizations, which to date has been to unravel the mystery of interstellar space travel. But still yet there is no clear evidence that they exist.
This affects many scholars. If, for example, life is on only 0.1% of exoplanets in our galaxy that are considered to be potentially suitable for the origin of life, it means about a million planets with life.
So where are the aliens? Why don’t we have contact with them?
The answer can be found in theory, as exciting, as frightening:
“In our universe — many planets, but we do not see life on any of them. Probably there is something that almost all the planets prevents the emergence of intelligent life that can somehow manifest themselves. “Great filter” is what is called theory, which tries to find an explanation for this,” says James Miller, a Professor of Economics at Smith College in Massachusetts, USA.
A great filter
The notion of “Big filter” first appeared in 1996 in the article the American economist Robin Hanson (Robin Hanson). To put it simply, the idea is that there is a threshold, crossing which, every life in our universe inexorably terminated, a barrier that stops a technologically advanced civilization capable of colonizing the universe, not allowing her to succeed:
“Everything can be very simple: life does not arise on other planets or there, but not developed to quite a reasonable condition. Or — and this is the worst scenario — countless advanced, technologically advanced civilizations that have arisen over the years on different planets. Civilizations that have learned how to make the calculations that landed on their moons, but then there was something that did not allow them to go further,” says James Miller.
“We too are doomed”
“If a civilization like our own were common, we would have received some evidence of this. The only explanation is that something has led to the fact that they all disappeared. So if we found some evidence for the existence of extinct extraterrestrial civilizations, that would be terrible news for us earthlings. It would mean that we too are doomed”.
But what is the inevitable obstacle? The destruction of nature, nuclear war or something, which suffer from one civilization after another? And will do it to us in the future — and that means that we will soon probably cease to exist — or we were the exception and has managed to go through the “Great filter”, saving lives?
The atomic bomb would destroy the atmosphere
“If we have already passed, it means that we are very unusual. If the filter is still ahead of us, it is likely that this fate will befall us. In my opinion, we should reinforce our attempts to find proof of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, even extinct. We may be able to answer the question, what happened to them. They may have sent signals shortly before he died, by which, for example, told that they are going to conduct high-tech physical experiment,” says James Miller.
“According to my theory, it was a hidden obstacle. If we knew in advance that could destroy civilization, we could avoid this. When developed the atomic bomb in Los Alamos, some scientists worried that the bomb will destroy the atmosphere. This did not happen, but the risk remains that a similar experiment in the future can set off a chain reaction which will destroy us. Perhaps something similar happened to other civilizations before us,” he continues.
Life is just a giant computer simulation
Not all, however, believe that the concept of “Big filter” is a good explanation for why we still have not made contact with aliens.
“There are those who argue that the emergence of life is simply much more complicated than many people think,” says James Miller.
Perhaps the strangest of all theories associated with the “Great filter” lies in the fact that we don’t exist and are just part of a giant computer simulation. That would explain why we don’t come into contact with aliens: they simply do not exist in the simulator.
“If the “Great filter” is behind us, it would be in a sense very strange. It would mean that we are simply incredibly unique, and then you can make a theory of simulation. Maybe we are part of the simulator, owned by someone who wants to see how we will act in the future?” says James Miller.
Our civilization came later
The idea that there is a filter that prevents intelligent life to evolve beyond a certain stage, it may seem bleak. But, according to James Miller, we on Earth have a small advantage — it is the age of our planet. The estimated age of the universe, 13.8 billion years, but our own sun appeared “only” 4.6 billion years ago.
“If the “Great filter” really destroyed most of the other civilizations that existed before us, we in any case have the advantage. If we arose at a very early stage of development of the universe, it would not be so surprising that we are alone. But our civilization arose relatively late, so very strange that we find no evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life,” says James Miller.
“So we have a significant reason more funds to invest in astronomy and in the search for extinct civilizations. If you find that to the present time before we existed and became extinct thousands of civilizations, we have serious reasons to find out why this happened so we do not suffer the same fate,” he continues.
Is there a “Great filter”? Or is it just a theory without any real reason?
The answer, as they say, knows only the sky.
The Fermi Paradox
The theory of “Big filter” has arisen in the course of trying to explain the so-called Fermi paradox.
It boils down to the description of the contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial life in the Universe and the fact that we still have not found any evidence of this.
The Fermi paradox got its name by the name of Italian-American Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi (Enrico Fermi), who in 1950 said, “Well, where are they?” due to the fact that people found no evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations.
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