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Advanced Civilizations in the Universe -A Galaxy Insight

Dyson_sphere_2 "Biologically based technological civilization...is a fleeting phenomenon limited to a few thousand years, and exists in the universe in the proportion of one thousand to one billion, so that only one in a million civilizations are biological."

Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian

If extraterrestrial intelligence exists, Stephen Dick concludes in an article in the International Journal of Astrobiology, it has probably evolved beyond biology to an advanced form of artificial intelligence that is the product of million or billions of years of technological and cultural evolution similar to the civilizations Arthur C Clarke envisioned that created the Tycho Monoliths in 2001 -A Space Odyssey. In a post-biological universe machines are the dominant form of intelligence.

o Dick the emergence of life and the evolution of intelligence is literally pre-programmed by the laws and constants of physics, which function similar to cosmic DNA.

The emergence of life and intelligence, according to Dick, was coded into the cosmic playbook from the first moment of the Big Bang. Intelligent life is destined to eventually dominate the cosmos and ultimately to serve as the instrument of cosmic replication.

In his book, The Biological Universe: The 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science, Dick argues that at the dawn of the 21st century calls for us to take into account the Copernican principle that life on earth and humanity is in no way physically central in the universe: "we are located on a small planet around a star on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy."

The first concept, the question of life beyond our home planet, Dick explained in his essay, has exercised human imagination, and has stirred irrational fears, since the ancient Greeks, fears that in large part were responsible for the death more than 400 years ago, on February 17, 1600, when Giordano Bruno was summoned from his Inquisition prison cell in Castel S'ant Angelo across the Tiber from the Vatican, marched to the Campo dei Fiori, and burned at the stake in large part for his belief in an infinite number of inhabited worlds. So anathema, Dick writes, was the subject of other worlds that even historians of science avoided it until the 1970s.

This worldview of the cosmos as a biological universe is a revolutionary perspective as profound a revision in our way of think as the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is a worldview that believes that "planetary systems are common, that life originates wherever conditions are favorable, and that evolution culminates with intelligence."

Posted by Casey Kazan

Related Galaxy Posts:

Stanley Kubrick & the Mythology of Extraterrestrial Life -A Galaxy Insight
"The Great Silence" -A Galaxy Insight
James Cameron & Arthur C Clarke on 2001 A Space Odyssey
New Technologies & the Search for Extraterrestrial Life -A Galaxy Insight
Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos Revisited -NASA's Phoenix Probe & the Search for


Of course, the big problem here is that our CONCEPTIONS of the idealized path for the evolution of advanced societies (and its individuals) are also based on an n=1 sample of planetary civilizations! I for one think Star Trek The Movie got it right. V'ger was as advanced as we can imagine, yet lacking simple emotion and sensation. V'ger is more likely the idealized AI omega point of various highly intellectualized professors and such rather than the poet or artist. Why not evolve into highly intelligent, deeply intuitive, vastly compassionate, peaceful and loving beings whose advanced society co-evolves with AI systems but clearly and always knows that "organic is better"? Argue all you will, but conjectures based on an n=1 sample (i.e. Earth) is NOT scientific nor even very reasonable. We Earthlings knows DIDDLY about galactic civilizations and we might as well admit it. All we can do is make up SciFi and wait for First Contact.


Great! Makes perfect sense to me. The idea is nothing to be afraid of. I've seen UFOs 3 times...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
ALL life is an accident

no other planets have life
Earthlings are all alone

absurd thought -
God of the Universe will
apologize for all life

it was all a BIG mistake
something just went wrong on Earth

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
ignore UFO reports

discredit all sightings
claim all photos must be fakes

absurd thought -
God of the Universe is
sorry for life on Earth

the rest of the Universe
is properly without life

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
tell lies to the people

of course about aliens
they can't handle the truth


thank you

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I have tertiary syphilis.

We are sured that the universal have advanced citizen.


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