Are alien real | aliens are here

Are alien real || is there life on another planet || The aliens are here || Aliens are coming

While some remain convinced that we are not necessarily alone in this immense universe, others provide a radical explanation for the fact that we have never yet encountered extraterrestrials. If they did not reach Earth, it is because intelligent civilizations tend to eliminate themselves, suggests a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. And that is perhaps what awaits humanity.

In reality, this theory is not new. In 1998, Robin Dale Hanson, a researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, presented a series of barriers to be overcome which, according to him, were detrimental to the emergence of an extraterrestrial civilization that would last over time - an idea which he calls "The Great Filter". Hanson identified nine evolutionary stages leading to a galaxy colonizing civilization, from the planetary system conducive to the emergence of life, to the use of tools and technologies by organisms with developed brains, gradually leading to the expansion of colonization. The Great Filter could occur at any of these stages.

Thus, any other civilization that might have existed in the history of the Universe would likely have been "filtered out", self-destructing. Jonathan Jiang and Kristen Fahy, researchers at JPL, and their collaborators point out that the dramatic event which eliminated the extraterrestrials from the cosmos would logically have occurred before these civilizations reached our planet. And if the theory applies to Earthlings, then we would be on the brink of disaster today. In a new study, they offer the solutions available to us to avoid the Great Filter.

Nuclear war, pandemics, asteroids,... is the end of humanity near?

While theories and logical calculations show that evidence of life should exist in abundance in our galaxy, searches for extraterrestrial life have so far remained fruitless. "We posit that an existential catastrophe may be upon us as our society moves exponentially toward space exploration, acting as the Great Filter: a phenomenon that wipes out civilizations before they can meet, which could explain cosmic silence,” the researchers write in their paper.

According to Hanson, one or more factors prevent intelligent and thriving life forms from surviving long enough on their home planet to expand significantly to others. "The fact that our universe appears to be basically dead suggests that it is very, very difficult for advanced, explosive sustainable life to arise," he wrote in 1998, the term "explosive" here referring to a civilization's ability to colonize. other planets using inexpensive spaceflight. We are precisely at this stage of our evolution...

Jiang and his co-authors thus present several possible scenarios that could lead to our extinction. Nuclear war, pathogens and pandemics, artificial intelligence, meteor impacts, and climate change have all been factored in as potential trigger events for humanity's annihilation. Each of these events carries various consequences, but "lacks a critical fit to accommodate their high risk," the authors point out.

Just one of them could create a snowball effect quickly leading to the Great Filter. The only way for humanity to survive it is to understand what
characteristics this "barrier" will constrain, to identify these attributes in ourselves and neutralize them in advance, say the researchers. All the risks envisaged, whether anthropogenic or natural, can be prevented by changes in individual, institutional and intrinsic behavior.

In their study, the researchers looked at the history of mankind, marked by wars, disease and environmental degradation. In particular, they lament that almost every great discovery or invention, while pushing the frontiers of our technological ignorance, is too quickly and easily misused for destructive purposes.

Immaturity and decentralization cause annihilation

"An optimistic view would point out that we continue to exist despite having developed the ability for self-annihilation in 1945," they point out. Nevertheless, the last 77 years have been marked by “misfires”, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the persistent outbreak of armed conflicts around the world. In addition, human activity has greatly disturbed the Earth's environment, which is otherwise very favorable to life.

While threats of biological origin remain at the forefront of concern today, researchers believe that the recent COVID-19 pandemic will allow us to be better prepared for possible future pandemics. They further point out that projects such as the NEO (Near-Earth Objects) program and the recent DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission give us a good chance of avoiding a major asteroid collision. As for ongoing climate change, “advanced technologies
rapidly in areas such as modular nuclear power plants and carbon capture and sequestration are some of the best hopes for avoiding being caught in the trap [of the Great Filter],” they write.

But the root of the problem remains human nature. For Jiang and his collaborators, the foundation of many of our possible filters has its roots in immaturity. War, the poor distribution of resources, lead to a disunity of humanity. “History has shown that competition within our species, and above all, collaboration, has taken us to the greatest heights of invention. And yet, we prolong notions that seem to be the antithesis of long-term sustainable growth. Racism, genocide, inequality, sabotage… the list goes on,” the study reads.

Researchers believe, however, that we have the means to work towards a robust and permanent society. Greater understanding and collaboration between groups, societies and civilizations, in addition to major technological advancements, should increase our chances of overcoming the Great Filter.

But Hanson himself somewhat disagrees with this conclusion: he believes that increased centralized control and governance is not the solution, quite the contrary. "I actually see the over-centralization of governance as the likely contribution to our future Great Filter," he told The Daily Beast. He thinks the more decentralized humanity becomes, the more likely some of us — via private space travel to the Moon or Mars, for example — will survive an event that would wipe out life on Earth.

Other specialists think that the whole theory of the Great Filter does not hold water: “[It] depends on the supposed result of the observation, namely that there is no one there. But this conclusion is far too premature. We just started looking,” Seth Shostak, a California astronomer with the SETI Institute, told The Daily Beast. Aliens or not, “We are the only ones who can help ourselves; we should not expect mentors or saviors to descend from the sky on our behalf,” the researchers conclude.

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