Why have we yet to encounter extraterrestrials ? Image Credit: CC0 Pixabay
An international group of scientists met in Paris last week to discuss why we have yet to encounter alien life.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains one of the biggest philosophical conundrums of our time. While it seems almost inconceivable that our civilization is alone in the cosmos, the fact still remains that we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.
The Fermi paradox, which highlights the contradiction between the likely existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the fact that we have still never encountered any, seems to suggest that either there are no aliens out there, or they are so rare that it is unlikely we would ever come across them.
But what if there was another explanation ?
At a recent meeting of METI (Messaging Extraterrestial Intelligence) in Paris, a diverse group of scientists debated the possible reasons why we have yet to encounter extraterrestrial life.
The discussion focused heavily on what is known as 'The Great Silence'
- a concept that centers around the idea that ET knows we are here but chooses not to make contact.
"Perhaps extraterrestrials are watching humans on Earth, much as we watch animals in a zoo," said METI president Douglas Vakoch. "How can we get the galactic zookeepers to reveal themselves?"
Taking this idea one step further - what if the Earth itself is literally under quarantine ?
"It seems likely that extraterrestrials are imposing a 'galactic quarantine' because they realize it would be culturally disruptive for us to learn about them," said workshop co-chair Jean-Pierre Rospars.
On the subject of extraterrestrial intelligence in general he added:
"Cognitive evolution on Earth shows random features while also following predictable paths. By considering the regular and random components together, we can expect the repeated, independent emergence of intelligent species in the universe, and we should expect to see more or less similar forms of intelligence everywhere, under favorable conditions."
"There's no reason to think that humans have reached the highest cognitive level possible. Higher levels might evolve on Earth in the future and already be reached elsewhere."
Source: EarthSky.org | Comments (176)