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Alien civilizations could be doomed to stagnate or collapse

By T.K. Randall
May 13, 2022 · Comment icon 86 comments

Is a galactic civilization ultimately unsustainable ? Image Credit: NASA / Rick Guidice
Two researchers have come up with a possible answer as to why we have yet to encounter intelligent aliens.
As the late Douglas Adams wrote - "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is." - and while this would certainly explain why we have yet to run into any other advanced civilizations, there could be an even more fundamental reason why, despite our best efforts, we have so far failed to find any evidence of intelligent extraterrestrials.

In a new study, researchers argue that space-faring civilizations may be ultimately doomed to either wipe themselves out or to stagnate, thus preventing their expansion across the stars.

The argument is based on the idea that as a space-faring civilization expands both in scale and in technological advancement, it reaches the point where its growth outstrips its demand for energy.
"Civilizations either collapse from burnout or redirect themselves to prioritizing homeostasis, a state where cosmic expansion is no longer a goal, making them difficult to detect remotely," the study authors wrote.

"Either outcome - homeostatic awakening or civilization collapse - would be consistent with the observed absence of [galactic-wide] civilizations."

The study was based on an analysis of the growth of cities here on Earth.

"We hypothesize that once a planetary civilization transitions into a state that can be described as one virtually connected global city, it will face an 'asymptotic burnout,' an ultimate crisis where the singularity-interval time scale becomes smaller than the time scale of innovation," the authors wrote.

Source: Live Science | Comments (86)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #77 Posted by Golden Duck 2 years ago
I've tagged you with a sad emoji?  I know you're making stuff up now. The fact that you mention deleting those reactions probably means you've already done so.  These reactions are important to you, you raised them. You won't be able to back up what you are saying about me concerning emojis or religious beliefs.  But, you raise it anyway because you don't have a personal vendetta. Duplitous standards... two ticks.  
Comment icon #78 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
What I intended to say when ‘I mentioned the two schools of thought, is there are things hose who believe that life on Earth is a rare unique event, and then there are those who think life and intelligent life is common throughout the Universe! Basicly all theories revolve around those schools of thought, directly or indirectly.
Comment icon #79 Posted by XenoFish 2 years ago
Life on earth is a mistake, well, human life mostly. 
Comment icon #80 Posted by joc 2 years ago
Have you ever read Kurt Vonnegut's, Sirens of Titan?  One of my fav books of all time.  If you have...yeah...that!   If you haven't...well you should!
Comment icon #81 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
No to honest I have never even heard of him. But I will take a look at his book, because in many ways we do think in a similar manner. So I suspect I will also enjoy his book. Thanks man
Comment icon #82 Posted by joc 2 years ago
He is quite the iconic novelist.  Died in 2007.  Wrote Slaughter House Five and a host of other books.  At any rate...Sirens of Titan if you ever have time!  
Comment icon #83 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
Well, I will bow out of this conversation it seems the right thing to do because I am unable to match with your self righteous views, comments and behavior. All ‘I can say is your wonderful, and I am truly happy for you and hopeful reality will never make you see what a cruel sibling she can be! Like I said I do not use the ignore feature,anymore I did the past a few times. However based upon my beliefs it’s a inappropriate way of dealing with narcissistic sad individuals who are unable to control their compulsive behaviors. The floor is yours form this point forward I see no reason to co... [More]
Comment icon #84 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I have read Slaughter House #5 but I never paid attention to who wrote it. I will make time to read it, the hardest part lay be finding it, however I will. Be well JOC.
Comment icon #85 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I understand completely why you feel like you do, I also practice and take personal security a very serious issue, I understand your and point and support it completely! Be well
Comment icon #86 Posted by Golden Duck 2 years ago
All I've done is not let your falsehoods go unchallenged.  You have been able to back up your accusations, so people will form their own opinions. A reasonable person will see that you project your darkside onto others.  Even when you you've been called out on your duplicitous standards you double down on being sanctimonious and "having a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that you're totally correct or morally superior". Enjoy your last word.

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