NASA scientists present theory of why we have not encountered another intelligent life. It’s crushing.
NASA scientists have explained in a new paper why they believe it’s likely we’ve never encountered intelligent alien life – and it’s heartbreaking.
All intelligent life, they claim, probably destroyed itself before it reached an advanced enough point in evolution to support such an encounter. And the same fate probably awaits people unless we take action, they believe.
The “Great Filter” theory – as in “filtering out” different forms of life – posits that other civilizations, possibly several, have existed during the life of the universe. But they all destroyed themselves before they could make contact with Earth, the paper noted: “Avoiding the ‘big filter’: extraterrestrial life and humanity’s future in the universe.”
The scientists fear that all intelligent life, such as humans, has deep-seated dysfunctions that “could quickly snowball into the Great Filter,” they wrote.
But there’s still some hope for humans — provided we can learn and take steps to prevent our own extinction, noted the paper by a team of researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
“The key to successfully crossing such a universal filter for humanity is…identifying [destructive] attributes in ourselves and neutralize them in advance,” astrophysicist Jonathan Jiang and his co-authors wrote in the paper, which appeared online Oct. 23.
The document has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Whatever humans appear to be wiping out could also threaten intelligent life on other planets, the authors say. The likely culprits — which could be affected by humans or other intelligent life forms — include nuclear war, pandemic, climate change and uncontrolled artificial intelligence, the authors note.
The trick, the biggest challenge of all, will be to work together for survival, the researchers said.
“History has shown that competition between species and, most importantly, collaboration has led us to the highest pinnacles of invention. And yet we are prolonging notions that seem to be the antithesis of long-term sustainable growth: racism, genocide, inequality, sabotage,” the authors warn.
look at the full of paper here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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