A new theory proposed by a theoretical physicist from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET) in Russia tries to explain why humans have not detected traces of alien life. The study proposes that advanced lifeforms that colonize the sats may destroy many species along the way. Furthermore, alien killer robots may have populated the entire supercluster with copies of itself, turning every solar system into a supercomputer, and destroying life along the way.
However, the destructive power of humanity could kill entire alien civilizations.
The universe is SO big; it’s hard to put it into perspective.
According to astronomers, there are 100 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and more than 100 billion galaxies in the Universe – some say there may be as many as 500 billion, which means there are around 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (5×1022) habitable planets. That’s of course if there’s just ONE universe.
If you multiply stars by galaxies, at the low end, you get 10 billion, billion stars, or 10 sextillion stars in the Universe–a one followed by 22 zeros.
At the high end, it’s 200 sextillions.
Just inside our Milky Way Galaxy experts believe are some 400 BILLION STARS, but this number may seem small as some astrophysicists believe that stars in our galaxy could figure the TRILLION.
This means that the Milky Way alone could be home to more than 100 BILLION planets. So, where the heck is everybody?
This question leads us to the so-called Fermi Paradox, a scientific mystery which questions why we’ve not come across alien life if there are billions of stars in our galaxy and many more outside of it.
Generations of scientist have tired answering this mystery since the paradox was formulated.
Some believe aliens may be hibernating, some have argued that something mysterious is keeping them from evolving, while others suggest humans are too insignificant for aliens to make contact.
However, a theoretical physicist from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET) in Russia has come up with another explanation as to why we haven’t come across our cosmic neighbors, and he calls it the “First in, last out” solution to the Fermi Paradox.
Professor Alexander Berezin’s study, which has still to be peer-reviewed explains how the paradox has a “trivial solution, requiring no controversial assumptions” but may prove “hard to accept, as it predicts a future for our own civilization that is even worse than extinction.”
Professor Berezin explains that all this time, we’ve been defining alien life too narrowly. And he may be right.
“The specific nature of civilizations arising to interstellar level should not matter,” he writes.
“They might [be] biological organisms like ourselves, rogue AIs that rebelled against their creators, or distributed planet-scale minds like those described by Stanislaw Lem in Solaris.”
But even with such a wide scope, there’s still no signs of anyone. (officially 😉 )
But, Berezin explains that the only parameter we should be worried about is the physical threshold at which we can observe its existence.
In the paper published in arXiv, Berezin explains that: “The only variable we can objectively measure is the probability of life becoming detectable from outer space within a certain range from Earth,” Berezin explains.
“For simplicity let us call it ‘parameter A’.”
Berezin’s paper actually puts things down nicely and helps us understand alien life and why we haven’t come across it.
If alien civilizations do not reach parameter A, either by developing interstellar travel, managing to broadcast communication across space, or by any other means, it may still exist, but it will not help us solve the paradox.
The “First in, First Out” solution proposed by Berezin is a grim scenario.
“What if the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?” he hypothesizes.
This, however, does not necessarily mean that an extremely advanced alien civilization would consciously wipe out other lifeforms, but simply put, they may not even notice they are actually there.
“They simply won’t notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack the incentive to protect it,” writes Berezin.
But Berezin does not suggest we are the ants. We may actually be the future destroyer of the worlds we are looking for. Take Mars as one example.
“Assuming the theory above is accurate, what does it mean for our future?” Berezin writes.
“The only solution is the invocation of the anthropic principle. We are the first to arrive at the [interstellar] stage. And, most likely, will be the last to leave.”
In the paper, Berezin also mentions the dangers of AI, untethered by constraints of its accumulation of power.
“One rogue AI can possibly populate the entire supercluster with copies of itself, turning every solar system into a supercomputer, and there is no use asking why it would do that,” Berezin writes.
“All that matters is that it can.”