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'Zoo theory' may explain lack of alien visitors

By T.K. Randall
January 1, 2018 · Comment icon 60 comments

Are we being monitored by otherworldly observers ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 NikoLang
A radio astronomer at MIT may have an explanation for why we have yet to be contacted by aliens.
With the news that the US government had been secretly conducting investigations in to UFOs back in the 1990s, interest in the topic of extraterrestrial visitation has been on the rise in recent weeks.

But if we are being visited by aliens, where are they and why have they not made contact with us ?

One explanation for this may lie in what is known as 'zoo theory' which was first put forward by MIT astronomer John A. Ball back in the 1970s.

Ball suggests that a sufficiently advanced alien civilization may merely prefer to observe our activities rather than to interfere or make their presence known.
The idea likens our planet to a wildlife sanctuary that should simply be left to its own devices.

"I suggest, first, that mankind is neither alone nor number one," he wrote. "Advanced civilizations exist and exert some degree of control over the galaxy."

"Second, they're aware of us at least at some level. But are they concerned with us? We may be only an obscure entry in their tabulation of inhabited regions of the galaxy."

"Third, we're unaware of them because either they want us to be unaware, they're hiding (But this means that they care about us, else why bother to hide?), or because we're not (yet) clever enough to know that they're there, but they don't care whether we know."

Source: Big Think | Comments (60)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #51 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
Not if there are many races out there who have the technology to get here easily.
Comment icon #52 Posted by stereologist 6 years ago
The speed of light is absolute and the same for all frames of reference. That is the basis for special relativity. The E=mc2 formula describes how energy and mass are related. It is not about speed. It is not about "Warp 186,000"  
Comment icon #53 Posted by badeskov 6 years ago
So far we have no evidence of that at all. Physics supporting that is really difficult and no conclusive evidence has ever been presented supporting such. Cheers, Badeskov 
Comment icon #54 Posted by Rlyeh 6 years ago
What? Do you think E=mc2 is a speed?
Comment icon #55 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
c, the speed-of-light. And in the equation it is squared.
Comment icon #56 Posted by Rlyeh 6 years ago
Which wasn't the question.
Comment icon #57 Posted by MisterMan 6 years ago
And so you think that means the speed beyond which something cannot be accelerated is the speed of light squared?  Excellent idea.  But lookie here! E^2 = (MC^2)^2 Now the limit is the speed of light cubed!  Plus some extra M!  That ought to be fast enough for just about anything!  If not, I think we can probably make it even faster.  Let me know.    
Comment icon #58 Posted by Essan 6 years ago
Even if aliens could invent a way of getting around the speed of light issue, or had entirely different concepts of time (maybe a year to them is as a second to us?) why would they visit Earth when most of it is covered in deadly, corrosive, dihydrogen monoxide and almost the only presence of methane, essential for all life, is as a trace gas?   Now, Europa and Titan could have life, but this poisonous lump of rock so close to the sun, bathed in radfiation?   No chance ....      
Comment icon #59 Posted by seeder 6 years ago
talking of the speed of not essential....what IS knowing whether, for example the human body....can withstand such speeds/acceleration Now biological aliens will face the SAME issues maybe    
Comment icon #60 Posted by seeder 6 years ago

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