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New theory that explains why there is no evidence of the existence of aliens

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The theory of the “Grand Filter”, so the authors Jonathan H. Jiang, Philip E. Rosen, Kelly Lu, Kristen A. Fahy, and Piotr Obacz, of the NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory, define cosmic silence. The theory suggests that distant civilizations on alien worlds may have existed throughout the history of the cosmos, but may have perished before reaching a level of technological capability to facilitate communication with any interstellar neighbors.

 

“Combined with logical assumptions and calculations, such as those made by Dr. Frank Drake in the early 1960s, evidence of life should exist abundantly in our galaxy, yet in practice, we have produced no clear statements of anything beyond the our planet. So where is everyone?”

In their paper, the team answers the question by theorizing that we too could face the same fate: “An existential disaster may be lurking as our society advances exponentially towards space exploration.” We too would be susceptible to the “Great Filter” which the authors define as “a phenomenon that wipes out civilizations before they can meet”. The authors propose several scenarios outlining how this could potentially occur, ranging from human-induced factors, such as nuclear wars or the creation of a form of artificial intelligence that could eradicate humanity, to natural events with potentially cataclysmic effects, such as the impact of an unstoppable asteroid.
Some of these problems, the authors admit, could be prevented through “reforms of individual, institutional and intrinsic behaviors”.

In 2020, one of the co-authors of the study, Jonathan H. Jiang, also co-authored a paper (entitled “ A Statistical Estimation of the Presence of Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the Milky Way Galaxy “) that examined the potential self-nulling of forms of complex life as a potential limiting factor in the search for intelligent alien life. In that study, the team’s models found that such a scenario was “the most influential parameter in determining the amount and age of galactic intelligent life.”

In their recent paper, Jiang and his co-authors stress the need to recognize potential developments that could have such a “filtering” effect not only for intelligent alien life on other worlds, but for life on our own planet as well.

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“To overcome these barriers, both the individual and the institution must become aware and, in turn, reform themselves to reach higher ideals,” write the authors. “Indeed, by striving to achieve far-reaching goals, we, as a species, could extricate ourselves from historical problems.”

 

  • Avoiding the “Great Filter”: Extraterrestrial Life and
    Humanity’s Future in the Universe. (arxiv.org)
 

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