Why Haven't Aliens Contacted Us Yet? (Fermi Paradox)

EnolaGaia

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This newly-published research study suggests we shouldn't expect to hear from any alien civilizations for a long time - perhaps as long as another 400,000 years.
Humanity May Not Hear From Aliens For 400,000 Years, Scientists Say

If there are so many galaxies, stars, and planets, where are all the aliens, and why haven't we heard from them?

Those are the simple questions at the heart of the Fermi Paradox. In a new paper, a pair of researchers ask the next obvious question: how long will we have to survive to hear from another alien civilization?

Their answer? 400,000 years.

400,000 years is a long time for a species that's only been around for a couple hundred thousand years and only discovered farming about 12,000 years ago.

But 400,000 years is how long we'll need to keep this human experiment going if we want to hear from any alien civilizations. That's according to some new research into Communicating Extraterrestrial Intelligent Civilizations (CETIs).

The paper is "The Number of Possible CETIs within Our Galaxy and the Communication Probability among These CETIs". The authors are Wenjie Song and He Gao, both from the Department of Astronomy at Beijing Normal University. The paper is published in The Astrophysical Journal. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/humanity-won-t-hear-from-aliens-for-400-000-years-scientists-say
 

EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract from the published research report. The full report is accessible at the link below.


The Number of Possible CETIs within Our Galaxy and the Communication Probability among These CETIs
Wenjie Song and He Gao
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 928, Number 2

Abstract
As the only known intelligent civilization, human beings are always curious about the existence of other communicating extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations (CETIs). Based on the latest astrophysical information, we carry out Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the number of possible CETIs within our Galaxy and the communication probability among them. Two poorly known parameters have a great impact on the results. One is the probability of life appearing on terrestrial planets and eventually evolving into a CETI (fc), and the other determines at what stage of their host star's evolution CETIs would be born (F). In order to ensure the completeness of the simulation, we consider a variety of combinations of fc and F. ... Our results may quantitatively explain why we have not detected any alien signals so far. The uncertainty of the results has been discussed in detail and would be alleviated with the further improvement of our astronomical observation ability in the future.

SOURCE / FULL REPORT: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac561d
 
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kamalktk

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Perhaps they mean to receive an intentionally sent signal aimed in our general direction. Simply detecting their existence communicates information from them.
 

Paul_Exeter

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To my mind, it would just be fantastic to establish that an exoplanet has a living biosphere that is supporting some kind of life. I can live without the faint hope of some civilisation being reckless enough to tell us warmongering apes their name and location….
 

PeteByrdie

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To my mind, it would just be fantastic to establish that an exoplanet has a living biosphere that is supporting some kind of life. I can live without the faint hope of some civilisation being reckless enough to tell us warmongering apes their name and location….
I still think civilisations are likely to be so thin on the ground as to be practically nonexistent to each other, even if they're actually detectable. But evidence of alien life would at least give us the beginnings of statistical data.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's another new take on the Fermi Paradox. This one suggests we haven't heard from any advanced spacefaring civilization because such civilizations are doomed to collapse or otherwise withdraw from interstellar expansion.
Why have aliens never visited Earth? Scientists have a disturbing answer

Why has humanity never been visited by aliens (that we know of)? The question has confounded scientists for decades, but two researchers have come up with a possible — and disturbing — explanation: Advanced civilizations could be doomed to either stagnate or die before they get the chance.

The new hypothesis suggests that, as space-faring civilizations grow in scale and technological development, they eventually reach a crisis point where innovation no longer keeps up with the demand for energy. What comes next is collapse. The only alternative path is to reject a model of "unyielding growth" in favor of maintaining equilibrium, but at the cost of a civilization's ability to expand across the stars, the researchers said.

The argument, published on May 4 in the journal Royal Society Open Science, attempts to find a resolution to the Fermi Paradox. ...

"Civilizations either collapse from burnout or redirect themselves to prioritizing homeostasis, a state where cosmic expansion is no longer a goal, making them difficult to detect remotely," astrobiologists Michael Wong, of the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Stuart Bartlett, of the California Institute of Technology, wrote in the study. "Either outcome — homeostatic awakening or civilization collapse — would be consistent with the observed absence of [galactic-wide] civilizations."

The pair came to their hypothesis by researching studies of the "'superlinear"' growth of cities. These studies suggested that cities increase in size and energy consumption at an exponential rate as their populations grow, inevitably leading to crisis points — or singularities — that cause rapid crashes in growth, followed by an even more precipitous, potentially civilization-ending, collapse. ...

The scientists stress, however, that their suggestion is simply a hypothesis, taken from the observation of laws that seem to govern life on Earth, and is designed to "provoke discussion, introspection and future work."

Their proposal joins a bountiful crop of other scientific and popular suggestions as to why we've never made direct contact with celestial visitors. These include the numerous practical challenges presented by interstellar travel; that aliens may actually be visiting in secret; or that aliens arrived to Earth too soon (or humans too early) in the life of the universe for direct contact.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/alien-civilizations-doomed-to-collapse
 

EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research article. The full article is accessible at the link below.


Wong Michael L. and Bartlett Stuart 2022
Asymptotic burnout and homeostatic awakening: a possible solution to the Fermi paradox?
J. R. Soc. Interface.192022002920220029
http://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029

Abstract
Previous studies show that city metrics having to do with growth, productivity and overall energy consumption scale superlinearly, attributing this to the social nature of cities. Superlinear scaling results in crises called ‘singularities’, where population and energy demand tend to infinity in a finite amount of time, which must be avoided by ever more frequent ‘resets’ or innovations that postpone the system's collapse. Here, we place the emergence of cities and planetary civilizations in the context of major evolutionary transitions. With this perspective, we hypothesize that once a planetary civilization transitions into a state that can be described as one virtually connected global city, it will face an ‘asymptotic burnout’, an ultimate crisis where the singularity-interval time scale becomes smaller than the time scale of innovation. If a civilization develops the capability to understand its own trajectory, it will have a window of time to affect a fundamental change to prioritize long-term homeostasis and well-being over unyielding growth—a consciously induced trajectory change or ‘homeostatic awakening’. We propose a new resolution to the Fermi paradox: civilizations either collapse from burnout or redirect themselves to prioritizing homeostasis, a state where cosmic expansion is no longer a goal, making them difficult to detect remotely.

SOURCE / FULL ARTICLE: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029
 

Tunn11

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So intelligence or at least technological intelligence could be an evolutionary dead end. Maybe we are being contacted but by intelligence which has managed to develop in a different way, hence all the warnings about our "progress" from contactees.
 

EnolaGaia

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So intelligence or at least technological intelligence could be an evolutionary dead end. ...

I tend to agree with this general attitude. The sort of cognitive / psychological / social factors we associate with the development of "intelligence", combined with the application of this "intelligence" to extending a species' capabilities via technology, has always struck me as potentially pathological in the context of maintaining any "natural order" or "natural balance."
 

Tunn11

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Doesn’t the absence of any other technological intelligence during the long history of life on Earth support this?

A lot of orders have more limbs than us which should make it easier for them to free up some as organs of manipulation without losing functionality elsewhere.
There is some element of tool use from birds, primates, cephalapoda (IIRC) but no progress to the use of fire; possibly a start in technological advance.

It has been said that if the dinosaurs developed a stone age level of civilisation, we would be very lucky to be able to detect it IIRC there was some speculation that lots of fossils of the same herbivore and very few carnivores could point to a domesticated scenario (such as in sheep and wolves)

Also it has been theorised that dolphins are as intelligent as humans but don’t have any technology. Proof that non technological intelligence works as well or not? It is difficult to assess from the fossil record.

The rise and life span of technological civilisations are factors in the Drake equation and remain huge unknowns as we know so little about the rest of the Universe but if we look at the one example we have, the odds don’t look good.
 

Aether Blue

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Would we know how to detect civilizations substantially more advanced than ours? What if most of the perceivable universe, including the stars, actually consists of technological artifacts?

Why more advanced beings might not wish to contact us can span a huge range of reasons, most of them probably not comprehensible to us. Judging by our interactions with less advanced creatures, the most likely candidates might be that we are perceived as uncivilized primitives or unintelligent animals.

On the bright side, presumably we aren't perceived as disgusting vermin, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Or maybe technology is a dead end, yes.
 

SimonBurchell

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Has anyone mentioneed The Great Silence by Milan Cirkovic yet? Great book, shows there is a real problem to be answered, one way or another. It's available on Kindle for £16, in retrospect more than I would normally pay for a Kindle book, it must have had a good review in FT.
 

Trevp666

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Excellent piece from 'Hugo Talks'.
(I have posted it in this thread as it connects several different threads, and I couldn't find a thread that it fits in any better)
"No sign of intelligent life?"
 

Paul_Exeter

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Has anyone mentioneed The Great Silence by Milan Cirkovic yet? Great book, shows there is a real problem to be answered, one way or another. It's available on Kindle for £16, in retrospect more than I would normally pay for a Kindle book, it must have had a good review in FT.
Could you spell out his argument if possible?

Professor Brian Cox has made the argument that we might be unique in our galaxy and links this to climate change and looking after our planet. Personally I believe this is too ‘human ego‘ for me and there could be plenty of intelligences who have yet to invent the radio or are well past such primitive communication, that is our search methods to date have had a very narrow focus.
 

SimonBurchell

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Could you spell out his argument if possible?

Professor Brian Cox has made the argument that we might be unique in our galaxy and links this to climate change and looking after our planet. Personally I believe this is too ‘human ego‘ for me and there could be plenty of intelligences who have yet to invent the radio or are well past such primitive communication, that is our search methods to date have had a very narrow focus.
Rather than making an argument, he makes clear the size of the problem and lays out the alternative solutions... and the fact that none of them is particularly satisfactory. I'll post a bit more later, if I remember.
 

SimonBurchell

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Here's the contents:

1. Introduction: The Many Faces of Fermi's Paradox
1.1 The Famous Lunch
1.2 Different Versions of the Paradox
1.3 Spatio-Temporal Scales and the Real Strength of StrongFP
1.4 Structure (and Culture) of Fermi's Paradox
1.5 Philosophical Assumptions
1.6 The Null Hypothesis
1.7 Why now?
1.8 Two is Equal to One: Fermi's Paradox and the Success of SETI
1.9 X-Factors and Navigating Spaceship Earth

2. 'What's Past is Prologue': Cosmological and Astrophysical Background
2.1 The New Standard Cosmological Model
2.2 The Size and Age of the Galaxy
2.3 The Galactic Habitable Zone
2.4 Horizons and Temporal Scales

3. Speaking Prose: Realism, Naturalism, Copernicanism, Non-Exclusivity
3.1 Why Philosophy?
3.2 Philosophical Naturalism
3.3 Scientific Realism
3.4 Copernicanism
3.5 Gradualism (and Red Herrings)
3.6 The Non-Exclusivity Principle
3.7 The Continuity Thesis
3.8 Postbiological Evolution
3.9 The Drake Equation, for Good or Bad
3.10 Let the Games Begin!

4. L'Année dernière à Marienbad: Solipsist Solutions
4.1 Down with Realism!
4.2 Saucers, Utensils, and Other UFOs
4.3 Special Creation
4.4 Zoos, Interdicts, Dogs, and the Mind of Newton
4.5 Living in a Planetarium - or a SimCity
4.6 Directed Panspermia: Are We the Aliens?
4.7 A New Cosmogony?
4.8 A Solopsist Résumé

5. Terra Nostra: 'Rare Earth' and Related Solutions
5.1 Down with Copernicanism!
5.2 Modern Rare-Earth Hypotheses
5.3 Gaia or bust?
5.4 An Adaptationist Solution?
5.5 Unphysical Ceteris Paribus, and Other Problems
5.6 A Rare-Earthist Résumé

6. At the Mountains of Madness: Neocatastrophic Solutions
6.1 Down with Gradualism!
6.2 Natural Hazards I: Random Delays
6.3 Natural Hazards II: Synchronized Delays
6.4 Intentional Hazards I: Self-Destruction
6.5 Intentional Hazards II: Self-Limitation
6.6 Intentional Hazards III: Deadly Probes and Unstable Equilibria
6.7 Transcendence, Transcension, and Related Scenarios
6.8 A Neocatastrophist Résumé

7. The Cities of the Red Night: Logistic Solutions
7.1 Down with '-Ism'!
7.2 Wrong Tree?
7.3 Persistence
7.4 Migrations: To the Galactic Rim and Beyond
7.5 Sustainability
7.6 Metabolic Problems and Digital Indulgence
7.7 A Logistic Résumé

8. The Tournament: How to Rate Solutions and Avoid Exclusivity
8.1 A Table Too Large?
8.2 Manifestations, Artefacts, and Detectablility
8.3 No Small Prices To Pay?
8.4 The 'Great Filter' Redux

9. The Last Challenge for Copernicanism?
9.1 Copernicanism Once Again
9.2 The Importance of Being Postbiological
9.3 Radical Departures: Distributed Computing, StarUniverse Maker, and the New Cosmogony Revisited
9.4 Fermi's Paradox as a Successful Provocation
9.5 The Failure of SETI as a Philosophical Failure
And a link to the Amazon blurb for The Great Silence: The Science and Philosophy of Fermi's Paradox
 

Frasier Buddolph

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research article. The full article is accessible at the link below.


Wong Michael L. and Bartlett Stuart 2022
Asymptotic burnout and homeostatic awakening: a possible solution to the Fermi paradox?
J. R. Soc. Interface.192022002920220029
http://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029

Abstract
Previous studies show that city metrics having to do with growth, productivity and overall energy consumption scale superlinearly, attributing this to the social nature of cities. Superlinear scaling results in crises called ‘singularities’, where population and energy demand tend to infinity in a finite amount of time, which must be avoided by ever more frequent ‘resets’ or innovations that postpone the system's collapse. Here, we place the emergence of cities and planetary civilizations in the context of major evolutionary transitions. With this perspective, we hypothesize that once a planetary civilization transitions into a state that can be described as one virtually connected global city, it will face an ‘asymptotic burnout’, an ultimate crisis where the singularity-interval time scale becomes smaller than the time scale of innovation. If a civilization develops the capability to understand its own trajectory, it will have a window of time to affect a fundamental change to prioritize long-term homeostasis and well-being over unyielding growth—a consciously induced trajectory change or ‘homeostatic awakening’. We propose a new resolution to the Fermi paradox: civilizations either collapse from burnout or redirect themselves to prioritizing homeostasis, a state where cosmic expansion is no longer a goal, making them difficult to detect remotely.

SOURCE / FULL ARTICLE: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029
I don't doubt that Wong and Bartlett arrived at this hypothesis independently, but it is not a new idea. It was put forth by Stanislav Lem in his SF novel "Fiasco" in 1986.
 

Paul_Exeter

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This was it:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/humans-mi...VDAv6_qz8jqyyN6_VyB3rBDRWmmTqyBV8mP5LVyPLR0jo

There are an estimated 4.1 billion sun-like stars in our galaxy alone, we have yet to visit a single one of them, yet Brian Cox makes statements to the effect that we are alone and links it into climate change. Really, can anyone even picture 4.1 billion as a number of anything? I believe he is making a political statement i.e. we have to look after our planet, but it really hacks me off as people accept what he says without question because he’s on the telly.

https://www.technologyreview.com/20...arth-like-planets-kepler-gaia-habitable-life/
 

SimonBurchell

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This was it:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/humans-mi...VDAv6_qz8jqyyN6_VyB3rBDRWmmTqyBV8mP5LVyPLR0jo

There are an estimated 4.1 billion sun-like stars in our galaxy alone, we have yet to visit a single one of them, yet Brian Cox makes statements to the effect that we are alone and links it into climate change. Really, can anyone even picture 4.1 billion as a number of anything? I believe he is making a political statement i.e. we have to look after our planet, but it really hacks me off as people accept what he says without question because he’s on the telly.

https://www.technologyreview.com/20...arth-like-planets-kepler-gaia-habitable-life/
It sounds very anthropocentric, completely lacking in vision.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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Other civilizations might be watching as we speak, keeping track of our space probes and our activity on earth, making sure we are not becoming a danger to them.
And how do we know they have not been here in the millions of years that our planet has been in existence?
They might have been here when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
The 'cavemen' certainly left some odd, and questionable, paintings in their caves.
 

catseye

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Excellent piece from 'Hugo Talks'.
(I have posted it in this thread as it connects several different threads, and I couldn't find a thread that it fits in any better)
"No sign of intelligent life?"
I think this links very neatly to the 'Which is most intelligent - cats or dogs?' thread. In as much as - first, definite 'intelligence'.
 

Tunn11

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I can’t understand how given the apparent technology the aliens have we could be a threat to them. We are currently not, as far as we know, in a position to get back to the moon. The sort of technology being demonstrated by these craft would indicate that dropping a dinosaur killer on the planet wouldn’t cause them too much trouble. So what are the possible scenarios?
  1. They just have a remote outpost here with, for them, limited resources so that if they landed with evil intent we could cause them some trouble.
  1. There is some sort of “prime directive” not to interfere with us, but the evidence is frankly against this.
  1. We have back engineered enough of their technology to present a threat of some sort, but I find this doubtful. Give the Native Americans some gatling guns and cannons there would have been a few more battles of the greasy grass but they would still have lost.
  1. We are on the verge of some major breakthrough which would give us a technology equivalent to theirs very quickly.
  1. There are different alien races with differing agendas which is causing them “political” difficulties around contact.
  1. We are some sort of experiment which may be coming to a conclusion – it may be time to clean the Petrie dish.
  1. They are here for something else entirely (not water or minerals most of which are easier to find elsewhere) and we just happen to be here; sometimes in their way when they study squid or penguins or whatever.
  1. Some agenda we can’t understand.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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I can’t understand how given the apparent technology the aliens have we could be a threat to them.
Let's not forget our nuclear capabilities - I'm no scientist, but who knows what type of impact that might have, beyond our little planet?
And, let's face it - if we were aware of any civilization, we'd be busy watching them.
 

Trevp666

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Other civilizations might be watching as we speak, keeping track of our space probes and our activity on earth,
As long as they don't come onto this FTMB - this is our last resort for humanity, where we keep all our secrets and knowledge about 'stuff'. :wink2: :wink2:
 

Mythopoeika

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As long as they don't come onto this FTMB - this is our last resort for humanity, where we keep all our secrets and knowledge about 'stuff'. :wink2: :wink2:
How sure can you be that the Forteana Message Board hasn't already been infiltrated by aliens?

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