Saturday, October 03, 2020


This pix, showing a caboose, depicts a possible end of the world scenario on planet earth but, there are trillions of planets out there and the laws of probabilities point to the fact end times are happening to some of them. The way the end of the world happens are endless from exploding suns, a giant astroid, a plague of a different kind, you name it, we all die but some deaths may include an entire civilization as pointed out in an excellent Scientific American article titled It’s the End of the World ... Somewhere.

 And perhaps the ultimate in last-ditch attempts to avert a slow-rolling planetary disaster is to send out a distress signal, looking for answers to existential challenges; because at that point why not?

There is a catch though, and it relates to the well-worn ideas of the Fermi paradox. By the time a species is compelled into doing any of these things, and even before its planetary environment is pushed to a Klaxon-like tipping point, perhaps it simply fails. There is no Hail Mary, there isn’t even a noticeable last gasp, instead it all just shuts down. In which case the apparent absence of any evidence for other intelligence in the universe is not just because of our limited searches to date, it is because of a great filter that—like an exhausted parent—just puts an end to any coherent change. There is no bang, and there isn’t even a whimper.

That is of course awfully depressing. But there is a ray of hope, and it’s in the fact that our quest to look for other technological life in the universe is very, very far from complete. We may yet find ourselves detecting the shrieks of civilizations across our galaxy. Even if they’re experiencing their own apocalypse, we would learn critical things about the properties of a great filter; that there might be time yet to slither past it, and that at least we still have a way to go.

BRT has discussed the survivability rate of civilizations on rocky planets such as earth and the betting pool is very close to where they live or die as every civilization will exploit their world to the max with possible devastating consequences. Look at man's stewardship of earth, pretty damn depressing is it not? 

To be continued.

No comments: