Seti - The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence - has for decades now been scouring space for anything that resembles signals denoting sentient life for a significant amount of time without having received any transmission that could be perceived as emanating from an intelligent source.
This is a significant finding. In a Galaxy that has been around for billions of years, the argument that there are a plethora of super-civilizations populating its spiral arms and halo, is very persuasive. Should we not have received signals the moment we pointed a radar telescope into the heavens?
I find little credibility in the arguments that these civilizations
failed to communicate with us because they either did not want to communicate
with other species or that we are unable to understand their mode
According to this reasoning we should be very unlucky to have missed some sort of extra-terrestrial broadcast that would be understood by us on some level as being transmitted from a sentient source outside our solar system.
Yet, wherever we point our listening devices, all we hear is the whisper and random crackle of natural events and background radiation.
What could the cause of this silence be? It is of course quite possible that we may yet discover a transmission or develop a communication process that we as yet cannot understand.
However, there may be another, and to many of us,
a somewhat more chilling reason for this absolute
absence: There is no-one there.
This is not so absurd an argument as it may seem at first glance. Consider the endless march of extinct species embedded in the fossilized history of our own planet, or how the existence our own species teeters on the brink of extinction in a furnace of thermo-nuclear war. The scenarios for our obliteration are many and varied, enough for us to realize that it is easy for our species to shed this mortal coil.
One of the remarkable observations one can make about the Force of Nature is that it more often than not presents phenomenon that are inter-related to the surrounding environment. Evidence for this can be observed by observing say, the beaver. The beaver removes trees around a body of flowing water and builds a dam. Eventually, the dam creates a blockage that over the years starts to silt up. This new environment becomes home to a host of other creatures, but for the beaver, the environment becomes untenable and it has to move on.
A stork hunts frogs in a pond. When the frog supply is exhausted, the stork has no option than to search for food elsewhere or perish.
In both instances, we can observe an inevitable sequence; these would appear to be the rudiments of an unchangeable law that would come under the heading of the Force of Nature. We can see that echo-systems are dependent on one another, that they force change upon one another. Only some sort of undefined Law of Change, seems unchanged.
However humbling it seems, it would be foolish to believe that Homo Sapiens are not an inherent part of this universal system.
If we could stand back and look at our behavior on a global level
and ask, "What is the single greatest impact we are having on the
Our species has a biased sense of time; we see our
collective actions upon the planet as a disastrous event for the
biosphere. However, let us consider a worst case scenario and
This cannot but help force the question:
What if this is the sole purpose of sentience? That this is an inevitable pattern of extinction by civilization-building species repeating itself endlessly, for ever, everywhere in the Universe - An infinity of species evolving sentience, fertilizing their biospheres, then self-destructing? There would be no super civilizations, merely a temporary emergence, like a blossoming flower.
If this were so, it would be a reasonable answer to the question, why is The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence not receiving signals?
See also: "An
A bleak outlook. Is there an alternative?
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