"What Will a Civilization a Million Years Ahead of Earth Look Like?"
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September 29, 2012

"What Will a Civilization a Million Years Ahead of Earth Look Like?"

 

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For one of this weekend's features, we thought it would be interesting to revisit Carl Sagan's question: "What does it mean for a civilization to be a million years old? We have had radio telescopes and spaceships for a few decades; our technical civilization is a few hundred years old ... an advanced civilization millions of years old is as much beyond us as we are beyond a bushbaby or a macaque." 

Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at City University of New York believes that Sagan's question is no longer just a matter of idle speculation. Kaku writes that that "one day, many of us could gaze at the encyclopadia that contains the coordinates of perhaps hundreds of Earth-like planets in our sector of the galaxy. Then we will ponder with wonder, as Sagan did, what an intelligent civilization a millions years ahead of ours will look like."

Soon, humanity may face an existential shock as we discover Earth-sized twins of our planet orbiting nearby solar systems. This may usher in a new era in our relationship with the universe, so that we will never see the night sky in the same way. Realizing that scientists may eventually compile an encyclopedia identifying the precise coordinates of perhaps hundreds of Earth-like planets, gazing at the night sky, we will forever after wonder if someone is gazing back at us.

Kaku takes up where some/one of the world's pioneer astronomers left off with a definition of civilizations in the universe that mimics the work of Russian astrophysicist Kardashev. Inspired at the age of five by a Moscow Planetariumshow about Giordano Bruno, Kardashev definined three levels of advanced civilizations based on how they harness energy to fuel their societies.

All three categories of civilizations, even the most advanced Type 111, would still be bound by the laws of physics that allow us to predict the behavior of the universe from the subatomic world to the large-scale structure of the universe, through a staggering 43 orders of magnitude (a factor of 10 million billion billion billion billion).

Type 1 civilizations would have a technological level similar to ours at present, as measured by total energy consumption. Carl Sagan estimated that Earth qualifies as a Type 0.7 civilisation.Type 11 civilizations would be capable of harnessing the energy of their own star -constructing, for example, a Dyson Sphere. Type 111 civilizations would be able to utilize energy on the scale of their own galaxies. Kardeschev and Kaku believe there is an extremely low probability of detecting Type 1 civilizations and suggests that type 11 or 111 civilizations would make better targets.

Kardeschev calculated that the energy consumption of these three types of civilizations would be separated by a factor of about 10 billion. In 1963 Kardeschev searched for traces of the more advanced type 11 and 111 at the 920 MHz wave length creating an uproar of excitement thinking he had discover signals from a Type 11 civilization that later proved to be an ordinary quasar with a large red shift.

A similar uproar occurred in 1967 when regular signals were detected by radio telescopes at Cambridge, England, which turned out to be the first discovery of neutron stars. The Kepler telescope, launched in 2008, is able to identify terrestrial planets – rocky worlds rather than gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn. By the end of this year, it will scan as many as 100,000 Sun-like stars up to 2,000 light years away, and perhaps identify hundreds of Earth-like worlds by detecting the slight loss of light they cause as they pass in front of their mother star.

"All this, Kaku predicts "will stimulate an active effort to discover if any of them harbor life, perhaps some with civilizations more advanced than ours. According to the laws of planetary evolution, any advanced civilization must grow in energy consumption faster than the frequency of life-threatening catastrophes, such as meteor impacts, ice ages, or supernova explosions. If their growth rate stays any slower, they are doomed to extinction. Thus, this places mathematical lower limits on the growth rates of these civilizations."

Kaku believes along with Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, that although human civilization has only recently begun to master planetary energies -fossil fuels, passive solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear fission, and may one day soon crack nuclear fusion-that, within a century or two, we should attain Type I status. In fact, growing at a modest rate of 1 per cent per year, Kardashev estimated that it would take only 3,200 years to reach Type II status, and 5,800 years to reach Type III status.

By definition, Kaku proposes that an advanced civilization must grow faster than the frequency of life-threatening catastrophes. Since large meteor and comet impacts take place once every few thousand to million years, a Type I civilization must master space travel to deflect space debris within that time, which should not be much of a problem. Ice ages may take place on a time scale of tens of thousands of years, and so a Type I civilization must learn to modify the weather within that period.

Artificial and internal catastrophes must also be negotiated. Global pollution is a mortal threat for a Type 0 civilization, but not a Type I civilization, which has lived for several millennia as a global force and necessarily achieved ecological balance with its home planet. Internal problems such as wars do present a serious recurring threat, but emerging civilizations have thousands of years in which to solve their racial, national, and sectarian conflicts.

Since it would take centuries or even millennia for a Type I civilization to terraform nearby planets, its inhabitants will have plenty of time to work out their internal differences on the same planet before they finally leave the mother planet in any significant numbers. The only serious threat to a Type II civilization would be a nearby supernova explosion, whose sudden eruption could scorch their planet in a withering blast of life-destroying gamma-rays.

The most potentially interesting civilization is a Type III civilization, "for it is truly immortal. It has exhausted the power of a single star, and has reached out to other star systems. No natural catastrophe known to science has the capacity to destroy a Type III civilization."

Faced with an exploding supernova, a Type 111 would have several alternatives, for example altering the evolution of a dying red giant star which is about to explode, or leaving this particular star system and terraforming a nearby planetary system.

However, there are roadblocks to an emerging Type III civilization. Eventually, Kaku posints out, it bumps into Einstein's theory of relativity. Nothing can travel faster than light, which is about 300,000 kilometers a second (for a possible loophole, see the end of this article). Since the universe is so vast and space is so empty, this absolute speed limit tends to hold back a civilization's successful expansion.

Dyson estimates that this roadblock may delay the transition from a Type II to a Type III civilization by perhaps a million years or more. So what is the most efficient way of exploring the hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy? Kaku writes that the solution is to to send fleets of 'von Neumann probes' throughout the galaxy (named after John von Neumann, the Hungarian-born mathematician who defined the mathematical laws of self-replicating systems).

von Neumann probe is a robot designed to reach distant star systems and create factories that will reproduce copies of themselves by the thousands. For von Neumann probes, a planet is a less ideal destination than a dead moon; these have no atmosphere and no erosion, which means the probes can easily land and take off and can 'live off the land', using naturally occurring deposits of iron, nickel and other minerals to build replicants for dispersal in search for other star systems.

Arizona State University physicist Paul Davies, has even raised the possibility that a von Neumann probe could be resting on our own Moon, left over from a previous visitation in our system aeons ago -the plot foundation of the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Originally, apparently, Stanley Kubrick began the film with a series of scientists explaining how von Neumann-like probes would be the most efficient method of exploring space. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Kubrick cut the opening segment from his film, and the famous monoliths – von Neumann probes – became mystical entities that triggered human evolution.

The irony of a search for a Type III civilization is that they probably wouldn't resemble anything we'd be able to recognize immediately.

The image at the top of the page shows the temperature of gas in and around the two merging galaxy clusters, based directly on X-ray data. 

Read Kaku's brilliant essay in its entirety at Cosmos Magazine.

Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' --Explores Origins of Human Existence and the Eternal Question: "Are We Alone in the Universe?"

The Daily Galaxy via Cosmosmag.com and "The Eerie Silence" by Paul Davies

Comments

Fascinating!

Bigger, and not necessarily better, engineering projects. Why, when by Feynman-Wheeler perspective humanity can more easily self-assist its evolution downscale to the nano-world where immense energy densities (near black-hole) are available and planetary populations can occupy virtual matrixes.

The implication that nano has a lower shear/fracture radius and can dilate using a hole is valid, and shrink can cover a greater volume than big, when networks of devices are considered. Maybe it's not surprising the little aliens are fearful of engaging in a society of pseudo gargantuan dinosaurs. It could also be said that a nano, asteroid impacts have a more uniform shape, and perhaps a more uniform machinery. The big ones would be big, but avoidable with a lower energy as the nano-craft could rely on energy breakdown being 1/4 effect relative to mass, and energy storage being 1/2 to mass. (shrink a cube to 1/8th size cube).

"The irony of a search for a Type III civilization is that they probably wouldn't resemble anything we'd be able to recognize immediately."

Finding a Type III civilization with our technology would be like someone else trying to find us by morse code transmissions.

A better question than "what would a Type III civ look like" is to ask what we should be looking for.

I think that "civilization" is a parochial concept that we only know from recognition. I imagine much of the universe, just like much of our own planet, is not "civilized" in any meaningful sense. Most of it probably harvests energy directly from starlight. In other words, I'd expect to see a lot space moss, and somewhat fewer critters that feed off that moss. Space moss doesn't exactly fill me with existential angst.

I don't like the Kardashev approach of thinking about how life might plan on avoiding catastrophic extinction. Life on Earth has suffered through a good number of massive extinction events; we are going through another right now, and life has done virtually nothing in terms of planning every single time. As far as I can tell, life's only plan for dealing with extinction events is to be really good at growing again should conditions become favorable later. Moss doesn't really do anything to avoid the meteor strike; it just stays adaptable enough that it's offspring might have a chance after the apocalypse. Life doesn't plan, it simply knows how to exploit opportunities when they arise. The survivors look like geniuses only in retrospect.

I suppose intelligent life is the sort that tries to plan for the future, although I must repeat that we are doing a shit job of it ourselves. In any case, if we want to find such life we are really looking for two basic attributes. The first is some formal mathematics that can be translated into our math. Mathematics is one of the primary benchmarks of human civilization, and I don't think we'd consider any alien life "intelligent" if it didn't do math. The other is stigmergy, or "technology" broadly construed: intelligent life manipulates its local nonbiological surroundings in some organized fashion in order to foster the development of more life. All life does this to some extent or other, but intelligent life will do it in a way that betrays their mathematical sophistication, like the pyramids in Egypt and just about every other large-scale human engineering project since.

This tells us a few things about what we should be looking for. We don't need to be looking for biological signatures necessarily; instead, we should be looking for nonbiological systems that display a mathematical regularity on a grand scale, and which cannot be accounted for simply by appeal to more basic physical laws. To explain the structure of the pyramids you need to explain something about the history and social organization in Ancient Egypt; Newton and Einstein aren't enough.

And that's the big, disappointing conclusion from this line of thinking, because Newton and Einstein do seem to be more than enough to explain the distribution and configuration of all the matter we see in the universe, from the cosmic background radiation on. All the stars and galaxies and planets we see in space are amazing and wonderful, and seem to be more or less entirely the result of plain old fundamental physics. We don't need to posit the existence of some sprawling intelligent intergalactic civilization that has modified the systems to be arranged just so; in fact, that's a big part of the reason we are so confident in our physics to begin with.

But at least we know what to look for: massive engineering projects in space. Stigmergic infrastructure. Something that looks built, probably by things that know how to use a protractor. The fact that we don't see anything like this already suggests that if such life exists, it is either relatively small scale (across only a few star clusters) or so extremely far away that we can't detect its signatures. Neither of these possibilities gives us reason to think we'd detect such civilizations "soon", even if we start finding a lot of Earth-like planets.

I sometimes like to pretend that dark matter is the stigmergic infrastructure for intergalactic civilization, that some alien race figured out how to organize massive clouds of energy and then cloak it to only interact weakly with the surrounding matter, but that if we understood the protocol we'd see a bustling hub of intelligent activity that overlays the rest of the spacetime, a kind of supergalactic internet. But again, as far as I know there's no reason to think that dark matter is organized in space any more intelligently than normal matter. Besides, how long would it reasonably take for life to evolve to the point where they are engineering spacetime at that scale? It took earth a few billion years to make us; it might just be that the universe is too young for all the really big engineering projects to get going.

A better question than "what would a Type III civ look like" is to ask what we should be looking for.

I think that "civilization" is a parochial concept that we only know from recognition. I imagine much of the universe, just like much of our own planet, is not "civilized" in any meaningful sense. Most of it probably harvests energy directly from starlight. In other words, I'd expect to see a lot space moss, and somewhat fewer critters that feed off that moss. Space moss doesn't exactly fill me with existential angst.

I don't like the Kardashev approach of thinking about how life might plan on avoiding catastrophic extinction. Life on Earth has suffered through a good number of massive extinction events; we are going through another right now, and life has done virtually nothing in terms of planning every single time. As far as I can tell, life's only plan for dealing with extinction events is to be really good at growing again should conditions become favorable later. Moss doesn't really do anything to avoid the meteor strike; it just stays adaptable enough that it's offspring might have a chance after the apocalypse. Life doesn't plan, it simply knows how to exploit opportunities when they arise. The survivors look like geniuses only in retrospect.

I suppose intelligent life is the sort that tries to plan for the future, although I must repeat that we are doing a shit job of it ourselves. In any case, if we want to find such life we are really looking for two basic attributes. The first is some formal mathematics that can be translated into our math. Mathematics is one of the primary benchmarks of human civilization, and I don't think we'd consider any alien life "intelligent" if it didn't do math. The other is stigmergy, or "technology" broadly construed: intelligent life manipulates its local nonbiological surroundings in some organized fashion in order to foster the development of more life. All life does this to some extent or other, but intelligent life will do it in a way that betrays their mathematical sophistication, like the pyramids in Egypt and just about every other large-scale human engineering project since.

This tells us a few things about what we should be looking for. We don't need to be looking for biological signatures necessarily; instead, we should be looking for nonbiological systems that display a mathematical regularity on a grand scale, and which cannot be accounted for simply by appeal to more basic physical laws. To explain the structure of the pyramids you need to explain something about the history and social organization in Ancient Egypt; Newton and Einstein aren't enough.

And that's the big, disappointing conclusion from this line of thinking, because Newton and Einstein do seem to be more than enough to explain the distribution and configuration of all the matter we see in the universe, from the cosmic background radiation on. All the stars and galaxies and planets we see in space are amazing and wonderful, and seem to be more or less entirely the result of plain old fundamental physics. We don't need to posit the existence of some sprawling intelligent intergalactic civilization that has modified the systems to be arranged just so; in fact, that's a big part of the reason we are so confident in our physics to begin with.

But at least we know what to look for: massive engineering projects in space. Stigmergic infrastructure. Something that looks built, probably by things that know how to use a protractor. The fact that we don't see anything like this already suggests that if such life exists, it is either relatively small scale (across only a few star clusters) or so extremely far away that we can't detect its signatures. Neither of these possibilities gives us reason to think we'd detect such civilizations "soon", even if we start finding a lot of Earth-like planets.

I sometimes like to pretend that dark matter is the stigmergic infrastructure for intergalactic civilization, that some alien race figured out how to organize massive clouds of energy and then cloak it to only interact weakly with the surrounding matter, but that if we understood the protocol we'd see a bustling hub of intelligent activity that overlays the rest of the spacetime, a kind of supergalactic internet. But again, as far as I know there's no reason to think that dark matter is organized in space any more intelligently than normal matter. Besides, how long would it reasonably take for life to evolve to the point where they are engineering spacetime at that scale? It took earth a few billion years to make us; it might just be that the universe is too young for all the really big engineering projects to get going.

A type 3 civilization would likely be able to create it's own gravitational fields. Or would have at least found a way to manipulate the universes own natural gravity for propulsion. Once you can create and or even just control gravity on a massive scale. Traveling the universe becomes child's play vs trying to reach the speed of light. You can simply bend space to you're needs, traveling vast distances instantaneously without worrying about the cosmic speed limit. Once a civilization has mastered the control or creation of gravity, the entire universe becomes it's play ground.

Speed of the light is limit only in our way of using it.

here my order of civilisations divided by their technological advance :

#1 : protocivilisation - non organised, non sentence based inventings.

#2 : primodal civilisation - basic sentence based inventings.

#3 : pre-electical civilisation - civilisation close to inventing electricity.

#4 : base computing civilisation - civilisation utilising electronic devices based on mathematical-electic logic.

#5 : base space civilisation - civilisation explored all planets within theis solar system.

#6 : advanced space civilisation - civilisation teraformed all capable planets within their solar system, and fully utilising them, capable of preventing all natural planetarian disasters, and most space treats.
cold fusion alike synthesis is a normal energy producer.

#7 : close neighboards solar system civilisation - civilisation estabilished bases on a planets beyound their host solar system within distance of 20 light years.

#8 : non biological production dependent civilisation - a civilisation capable of producing their nutritions from a raw elements, with result quality suprerior than the natural production.

#9 : advanced solar system civilisatio - civilisation teraformed and fully utilised planets within 20 light years from the host solar system, and spreading up to 100 light years.

#10 : planet building civilisation - ( post close neighboard teraforming era ) - a civilisation capable of building planets from scratch arround stars.

#11 : stars controlling civilisation - civilisation capable to control the life and energy production / consumption of a star, and utilise the star plasma directly as a raw material. Capable of preventing all space disasters.

#12 : space bending civilisation - civilisation capable of bending space without creating disasters, and traveling this way within 5000 light years in their species normal life time.

#13 : non-super novae treated civilisation - civilisation capable of shielding their bases fo super novae dead rays for a period enought to leave without serious damage the danger zone, and estabilish on a new one.

#14 : galaxy exploring civilisation - civilisation capable of traveling across the galaxy using space bending within their normal species life time.

#15 : galactic civilisation - civilisation spreaded trough their own galaxy.

#16 : close galaxy exploring civilisation - civilisation which is exploring neighbord galaxy and estabilish bases there.

#17 : basic time bending civilisation - civilisation capable of bending space and time for their own needs.

#18 : multy galactic civilisation - civilisation with colonies in more than 1 galaxy.

#19 : cluster exploring civilisation - civilisation capable of exploring all galaxys in the host cluster within the normal species life time span.

#20 : universe based civilisation - civilisation estabilished bases on most galaxies. Probably non biological form of civilisation.

#21 : trans-universe exploring civilisation - civilisation capable to send and receive energy and information trough the dimensions. Sending trough the dimisions their base life creating code, copying their whole knowledge and creating their own species trough dimensions.

#22 : trans-universe civilisation - civilisation estabilished bases in more than 1 universe ( dimensional civilisation ). their life forms can shift trough dimensions.

#23 : universe building civilisation - a civilisation capable of giving birth to universes.

civilisation of class #1 to #6 is goin to look like their original biological form.

civilisation of class #7 to #9 probably goin to be more cybernatic body enchansed, plus notable differences within the seme species on different colones.

civilisation of class #10 to #12 probably goin to be mostly cybernatic look alike.

civilisation of class #12 to #15 probably goin to be returned to their biological roots plus self enachansed their DNA within a very short period of time in order to face fast different environments.

civilisation of class #16 to #20 probably goin to be form shifting, DNS shifting multy-brain species.

civilisation of class #21 and above probably goin to be electrical or/and bioplasma based form of life.

Very interesting article. Editor's note: C.J., Thanks for the heads up. Edits have been made. With thanks.

I wonder if there are actually any loopholes in the universal speed limit... if not, then we may never witness advanced civilizations in other galaxies. With that pessimistic view the best we could hope is to send probes out as far into the Milky Way as possible, that is if we can't find anything just with observation from within our own solar system.

Then again I do view everything as information so I'm not counting out travelling much greater distances. But then you run into the problem of why everything isn't already saturated with life. The speed limit so far seems like the simplest explanation to me.

Posted by: PK | September 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

- No. I would simply answer "No".

Neither our current technology level, neither our current understanding of universe physics is sufficient to just say that we will never reach other stars.
Humans is a species which is ever hungry for adventures and exploration. Every single person on this planet at least once in his life looked on the clear night sky and wished if he could touch the stars.
Our technology is not sufficient yet to go beyond solar system, but sooner or later we will be out there.
Every single step we are making into our understanding about the nature itself is dedicated to theese tiny littly shiny dots on the nighty sky. Without them we would never be what we are right now.
Even I would go further claiming that we will send peoples on intersolar adventure and exploration much before we are ready with some better technology. I would bet that there will be a interstelar spaceship building before 2060. It will took a century but at the next century the greatest news which will be shoulthin arround is "We are there !" On at least 1 of our neighbors solar system.

No. I dont wana believe. I am sure it will be.

I would think that a Type 11 or Type 111 Civilization would be more difficult than detecting a Type 1 Civilization, that is much closer to our own in technology. A Civilization millions of years ahead of ours would be looked upon by us as "Gods."

All of these conjectures assume human beings simply getting more advanced in some linear way... and assuming the same for biological creatures elsewhere.

Yet, in less than a century of the existence of binary ai, we have many scientists talking seriously about parity and beyond of ai. The "beyond" is also likely to be an exponential development. And it is to arrive in less than 50 years, not centuries or hundreds of centuries.

The big philosophical question is: If "we" survive a million years, what is "we"? I would feel much more familiar with identifying with a dinosaur or fish than what ai will become in the next few centuries, if ai is what I "become"...

Being too much optimistic about hypothetical cosmic civilizations doesn't make any sense. Don't forget that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived on Earth are extinct. Why civilizations should have been spared from this average?

According to the written statements of about a half million abductees worldwide indicate that aliens have complete mastery of gravitation and most likely are able to travel at super--luminous speed. They most likely colonized our solar system a long time ago as evidences by artificial "moons" orbiting some of the planets in the solar system (The best example is Iapetus, possibly also Phobos). It also evident that the aliens are the masters and practitioners of genetic science. Indeed they have most likely been involved in a project of creating a new hybrid species for several decades. Carl Sagan had many opportunities to engage with the ET issue but, unfortunately, he either ignored the evidence or it did not make an impression on him. Some present-day scientist (notably Stephen Hawking) are showing more courage lately. However, the true pioneers on the ET are not the scientist but the historians and political activists like Richard Dolan and Stephen Bassett and some science writers like Richard Hoagland. All of these people have several very well-documented publications (books) and/or many lectures available on YouTube.

This would be fantastic if the science currently held to be correct, theory of relativity, spacetime, empty space, gas giants, super novas, black holes, icy comets etc etc, weren't leading the masses in the wrong direction. As soon as it is accepted that plasma energy is dark matter in its invisible form the better. When taken into consideration suddenly our sun for example makes perfect sense that its upper atmosphere is millions of degrees while, implausibly its surface is only 6k kelvin and its black sunspots are much less kelvin whist peering into the suns core when she allows. Want to figure out while all black holes are not always black holes (don't believe they exist)you cant absorb all matter and expel energy at the same time. Plasma energy explains much more about the universe than discarding it does. When we look into using plasma energy to listen in maybe then we will start to hear what its saying?

Hahahahahahahaha, ima laugh when we find out we are the EVDIENCE for intergalactic civilizations, its only saturated in historic and biblical documents...Book of Enoch, is nothing more than a story of when one of these civilizations came down here and intervened within our lives, taught us science, astrology, letal working etc etc. But because it has the word "religion" attached to it, its dismissed.

Ok, first of all I am going to say that I do not know much about astronomy, physics, universal dynamics, black holes..well, you get the point. I am just some amateur with an interest in the nght sky and a few questins.

I find it hard to believe that there are alien civilizations out there that are more advanced than we are.

Here's why. In our area of space the Earth was formed after our universe had been in existence for around 5 billion years. Why didn't the Earth form earlier than it did? The answer is that this area of space was too chaotic to allow stable solar systems to exist. The first stars to form in our universe were mostly large blue giant stars which died in cataclysmic super nova type explosions after relatively short periods on their main sequences. With such explosions occuring everywhere and with such regularity, small rocky planets like Earth could not have existed. Given the uniform nature of our universe, it follows that what is true for us is also true for E.T. If the Earth has existed for 5 billion years then it is also true that planet Zogg has also existed for just 5 billion years. Since they have been here for the same amount of time then they cannot be more advanced.

We are living on a first generation planet. When it came to securing our existence, the Earth and us humans were no slouches. We are all here at the very earliest opportunity.

"But Vic, they could have evolved their intelligence at an earlier time (relatively speaking). You know, human level intelligence appeared 500 million years ago on planet Zogg compared with 500 thousand years ago here on Earth. You see, Vic? Do you see? They could have existed on their own planet for the same amount of time and still be more advanced. Go and stand in the corner and take this dunce hat with you."

Ok, fine. But my imaginary friend with the bad boy attitude does assume alot. It's taken 5 billion years for humans to get to this point. Could we have arrived here any earlier? What if the asteroid that wiped out the huge and scary dino monsters had struck 500 million years sooner, allowing man to evolve 500 million years earlier. would we be more advanced today? It DOES seem as if we went from primate to "hi mate" overnight. Who knows, maybe if mammals had ruled the Earth sooner then perhaps we would be more advanced today.

It just seems unlikely, given the complexity of the human brain, that evolution could have delivered a modern human any earlier.

I believe that it has taken the Earth 3 billion years to make a human because it takes 3 billion years to make a modern human. Period.

E.T might be AS advanced but it seems impossible to imagine how they could be millions of years ahead of us. For that to be true then they would have to have existed in the same universe as us for millins of years befre we came along and that, as we have seen, just does not seem feasible.

No way Mr Alien, sir.

Not on my watch!

But Victor123, The universe has been around for more than 13.8 billion years. Our planet is only around like 4.5 billion. I don't understand what you are saying that other life forms can't possibly be older than us.

I still say this ;"It will be an awful waste of space if there are no life out there..."

BUT

Why would we even consider making contact? Who in their right mind think that any highly advanced civilisation would want to co-exist side by side with us? It always comes down to survival of the fittest... or the most advanced...
Hypothetically speaking: Lets say that there is life more advanced than us out there and they have the capabilities to travel through space as they please. They WILL be able to wipe us out with NO trouble at all with such high level technology... We as humans are so arrogant to think that we are superior even with the thought of civilisations more advanced than us... that is asking for a PK(PoesKlap)

I personally hope that no contact will be made in our life time and my children's children's life time... ... or if contact is made, to keep is silent and make an agreement to STAY AWAY from THEM or IT and vice versa...

Also...

The abduction stories a lot of individuals seems to have experienced is nothing but hallucinations of chemicals in the brain that went over a certain threshold in the same way you experience dreams that is super real.

ok, it might be a connection to another dimension, but that has NOT been proven.

So let us rather stay our distance from the E.T's. Because if they are anything like us, we are in deep trouble and we are not only going to get a PK, but a severe 'holnaai' in the process as well.

... this is IF they exist...

Most comments sound as if they're all experts or "I was there" comments... C'Mon!! stop playing with your Star Wars lego and toy light sabers wishing you were Hans Solo and get a social life!

What if I.L was extremely rare, maybe a few around the universe.
They probably won't evolve and learn the same way as us. We can't expect civilization to be exactly same as earth except more advanced. What if Earth was one of the few I.L and other I.L are stilled in the stone age, there is a low likely chance they would evolve. Maybe we are thinking there is another race out there with greater technology but the only reason we think so is because we are almost near type 1 civilization and we are allowed to think that there are different lifeforms out there that will evolve the same way as humans, they won't most likely be humanoid.

More mature civilizations will have an uncomparably better tech at nano scale, therefore their energy consumption might be 10000 x more efficient than ours.

How come no one had suggested that intelligent life could evolve to a point to which it simply becomes data, and stores itself into its own designed universe. (basically downloading conscious into a pre-designed and ever-evolving universe in some enormously elaborate computer) We would never find it, see it, or communicate with it. The technology would make it impervious to all outside forces, if not completely hidden away in the very vacuum of space. Why would it need to explore? Why would it need to wave at others? The technology would continue to "tech-evolve" on its own for millions of years. Just a thought.

On the subject of E.T.'s - Why must most people assume that if aliens did come here, or have been here, or are coming here MUST be more intelligent than us? - They may be a species who are using some salvaged technology of another species. They may be using stolen technology, or technology supplied to them by another species. Just because they know how to use it, doesn't mean they invented it. What if they are of a hive race, like in the film District 9, and are of a "lower" cast in their species, who survived a decimation of some sort, but have only limited access if any, to technology. Perhaps they are no more advanced than we are, perhaps even less than we are. Imagine what we would do if we had access to a higher technology than we invented ourselves. Would we simply ignore it? Koko the gorilla certainly enjoys chatting on the computer with people, watching television, and learning "human" language. In a thousand years, we will be teaching other "KoKo's" to pilot space ships. So who says, Aliens MUST be more advanced than us?


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