A question was recently posed to Ray Kurzweil that got me thinking… We had agreed to limit posts regarding “ET” on P-E, so it’s ironic that the first post I make is concerning exactly that topic LOL!
The question posed to Kurzweil regards the Fermi paradox (Wikipedia: “The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations.”). The poster suggests that perhaps other civilizations have already reached their Singularity and have ascended to another, better level of existence and that is why they are not communicating with us.
Kurzweil replies that while the poster’s theory is plausible, it would mean that every single one of those civilizations would have to have done exactly the same things – evolved technologically, reached the Singularity, ascended to another level of existence, erased any trace of their existence, and ceased attempts to communicate with other civilizations, and that’s very unlikely.
There’s been one comment to the post: “There’s also the chance that we are late comers in the computer age, and missed their broadcasts before we had the chance to receive them.”
All of these – the original post, Kurzweil’s reply, and the comment – got me thinking in another direction. While I tend to think of the human race as largely inept, what if we are actually ahead of the game? What if we are not the latecomers but pioneers…and our broadcasts have been the first to go out? Hey, it’s something to think about, right?
I also wondered – if the Universe began with one Big Bang and life spread out from that, then isn’t it possible that life is evolving at a similar rate everywhere and maybe the reason we haven’t detected life elsewhere is because we’re all at a similar stage in our technological evolution?
Reading the explanation of the Arecibo message after Kurzweil’s response then sent my mind off on another exploration… That part of the article explains that it will take 25,000 years for our message to reach its destination and it would take an additional 25,000 years for “their” message to return to us. Wouldn’t it be a riot if we get a message back in 50,000 years from a fellow human being who has arrived there at some point between now and then – I guess I mean, if the human race somehow develops some sort of space travel at some point in the next 50,000 years that would allow a human being to travel from here to there in less time than it would take for our message and its response to be exchanged? One wonders if the human being(s) receiving the message would have any record (history) of that message…or if they would mistake it for being the attempt of some lesser civilization to communicate with them.
LOL! Yes, that’s how my brain works.