It will take 200 million years to find aliens, says study

For many astronomers and theoretical scientists, the existence of alien life forms is a certainty, we just don’t have the technology capable of finding them. The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) institute is one of the best examples of science that takes this research seriously, but the tools are still very limited, making it difficult to know where to look. A new study, however, points in some directions.

  • Aliens may have visited Earth millions of years ago, in this scientist’s view
  • Here’s how an alien species could occupy the galaxy in 1 billion years
  • There are viruses on other worlds beyond the Earth?

In recent decades, initiatives such as SETI have been guided by conjectures, concepts and formulas subject to high degrees of uncertainty . With this in mind, the authors of the new study proposed using some of these concepts and mathematics to simulate where and when we could find other civilizations — which, for successful contact, must be able to spread across the universe, that is, technological.

There are many factors favorable to the search for alien life, such as our very existence and the proof that there are millions of other potentially habitable planets. The problem is that not all of them could provide the conditions necessary for life to develop to the most advanced stage we know – our own. Without this development, the chances of finding “someone” are very unlikely.

Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Go and subscribe to our new channel on youtube, Canaltech News.

Every day a summary of the main news in the tech world for you!

The evolution of life is so slow that human-level intelligence will likely never emerge on most habitable planets. Because in the universe, there are stars that explode in supernova long before they reach a fraction of the age of our Sun. cooking” elements until the emergence of a technological civilization, which in this case is human life.

So, advanced life is more likely to appear on longer-lived planets, and not end of their habitable periods. But this brings us to many paradoxes. For example, most red giant stars with planets around them can maintain such star systems for trillions of years, and yet we humans have emerged in less than 1% of that time. Why are we so early? This is the answer that the new study tries to answer.

Some hypotheses say that very long-lived planets are not habitable for a long time, but the new article proposes that the aliens “grabby

” have been around for a long time, expanding rapidly. Within a few billion years, they will “grab” (hence the nickname “grabby

”, which means “grabbed”) the entire universe and then “suppress competitors”, according to the authors. This sets a deadline and that’s why we’re early.

To summarize the “alien model grabby

”, built on a series of previous concepts and complicated estimates, the authors assume that civilizations are born according to a series of stages, much like what happened here on Earth. These civilizations will then expand at an ordinary rate, and must alter the volume of space they occupy until they meet. Finally, they will prevent the emergence of other technologically advanced civilizations in these same volumes. The model has three parameters, summarized below.

Expansion speed

Diagrams showing a model of civilizations grabby

in two and three spatial dimensions (Image: Reproduction/Hanson)

If we want to know where the intelligent aliens are able to create technology and communicate, it is prudent answer the question: how fast can life reach this level of intelligence? This brings us to the famous Fermi Paradox: there is a disparity between the statistical probability of intelligent life in our universe and the lack of evidence.

Everything that has been discovered about the universe to date it just reinforces that we are not special and that we do not live in a special time (this is the Copernican principle). Therefore, intelligent life must be abundant throughout the universe. But how is this possible if we haven’t yet seen any signals — both biosignatures and technosignatures — on the thousands of planets and systems already observed?

The universe is estimated to have 13, 8 billion years ago, while the Solar System and planet Earth formed about 4.5 billion years. Scientists also have evidence that our planet’s first life forms emerged between 4.2 and 3.8 billion years ago. This suggests that, under the right conditions, life can appear relatively quickly on a planet, but it takes billions of years to reach the human level — a species that only has 200 thousand years of existence.

This is more than enough proof that the universe is favorable to life, but it may take a long time. In fact, a long time for it to develop. According to Robin Hanson, a prominent name in the theoretical concepts of off-Earth life probabilities, “95% of the planets are around longer-lived stars than ours, and most live longer than a trillion years. Furthermore, an advanced life like ours must appear at the end of a planet’s life, as life must first evolve in various stages. Therefore, we are very far ahead compared to when we estimated the advanced life to appear.”

This means that 95% of the advanced life forms in the universe are yet to appear. Considering that we have no evidence of alien civilizations occupying most of the cosmos (something that should happen if there was a civilization more advanced than ours, and is more likely to happen as time progresses), the most immediate conclusion is that the humanity arrived early for the cosmic “feast” of life.

The story of life on Earth

Graph showing where humanity is in time in relation to when we could meet with alien civilizations (Image: Reproduction/Hanson)

The second parameter used in the study is how much the history of life on Earth can tell us about the evolution of life forms to the stage of technological capabilities of humanity. Not that other life forms should look like ours, but because it seems reasonable to assume that complex organisms must be the result of millions — or billions — of years of evolution on their planets.

This is a common approach for scientists, and Hanson himself created a statistical model of how civilizations like ours can emerge through evolution, starting with simple dead organic matter. There are many other templates, which include the necessary steps. Using life on Earth as a model, Hanson claims there are eight possible steps between the earliest known life forms and where humanity is today:

  • System stellar habitable
  • Reproductive molecules (eg, RNA)
  • Prokaryotic unicellular life
  • Eukaryotic single-celled life
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Multicellular life
  • Animals capable of using tools
  • Industrial civilization
  • Large-scale colonization (stage that would be our future, if we survive until then)
  • Considering these steps is important, because with each step, the probability of failure increases. Take Mars as an example: astronomers are quite confident that there was microbial life at some point in the Red Planet’s distant past, but due to a number of factors, the atmosphere escaped into space, taking away living conditions and extinguishing the life forms.

    Also, some of these steps take longer to reach than others. As Hanson explains, “The timing of events in the history of life on Earth suggests that there were 3-9 difficult stages that life had to go through to reach our level, and that most planets like ours never reach our level before they the window to life on that planet closes.”

    This means that, in this scenario, advanced life like human is rare—not because it’s special, but because it comes early. This would explain why we don’t see any life at level 9 causing large visible impacts on the universe. The study of aliens grabby

    resulted in a graphical simulation that shows the universe as a sphere and civilizations technological advances and occupying spaces. Notice the passage of time in light years in the upper left corner of the video below.

    From silent to noisy

    All these conclusions do not mean that life outside Earth is non-existent, but that the universe has not yet seen life in the ninth stage, that is, with the necessary technology to “grab” the universe. According to the model of civilization grabby

    , all of this is the result of a selection effect by which the advanced alien life will eventually pass away, until it expands to fill the universe.

    This passage to the ninth stage is what Hanson and his team call the transition from “quiet” to “noisy” civilization . Noisy civilizations are so called because they increase their volume (in space) and change the appearance of their volumes by showing signs of activity and producing techno-signatures. Silent civilizations are those that do not increase their volumes or alter them—which includes the current level of humanity.

    The “moral of the story” is that, over time, silent civilizations must advance even the transition to becoming noisy, as long as they do so before the term of life on their planets runs out. This means that humanity will only be able to establish itself on other planets if it is able to keep our own Earth sustainable until we have enough technology for interplanetary migration.

    Ultimately, the study concluded that grabby (or noisy) civilizations emerge from the silent at a rate of once per million galaxies, about. This is very rare, but not non-existent. The transition of civilizations should happen more frequently in the distant future, as the simulation shows us, and one day each civilization grabby

    will eventually control 99.000 The 30 millions of galaxies.

    The Dyson sphere, if it exists, could be an example of a technological alien civilization expanding and altering the space they occupy in the universe (Image: Reproduction/Capnhack/Public Domain)

    Per Lastly, the team estimated that humanity is likely to encounter one of these grabby civilizations at some point in between millions to 2 billion years into the future. Before that, the chances of detecting signs of technological activity in the universe are very low. In addition, this model predicts that the proportion of civilizations migrating from silent to grabby

    needs to be greater than 10. to 1 to be chances of our galaxy, in its entire history of 10, 5 billion years ago, has produced an active silent civilization.

    This is certainly not good news for SETI, but the study is a major advance in terms of theory and probabilistic mathematics about alien life. In addition, there must be simpler life forms that could evolve into technological civilizations in the distant future. Finding one of them would not only be exciting, it would actually revolutionize our knowledge of the universe.

    Source: Grabby Aliens, Universe Today

    Did you like this article?

    Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.

    Related Articles

    Back to top button