Intelligent Life In The Universe Might Already Be Extinct

Intelligent life goes extinct shortly after becoming technologically advanced and that’s why we haven’t been able to connect with any alien species, one scientist is arguing.

At the center of his assertion is the mediocrity principle, which is popular among astronomers and dictates that there is nothing special about our species, our planet or our solar system — that everything that went into the evolution of human life on Earth could have happened in other places as well. It thus also dictates that the state in which we find ourselves is completely typical and can be generally applied to the rest of the universe.

Read: This Scientist Would Respond to Alien Messages With Internet Videos

University of Arkansas professor Daniel Whitmire is suggesting that if we go by this principle, it stands to reason that any technological species would find themselves in a similar situation to humans on Earth: “that they are both the first such species to evolve on their planet and also that they are early in their potential technological evolution,” according to his paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology. He argues that this implies intelligent species do not exist further along in technological evolution because they have gone “extinct soon after attaining a modern technology and that this event results in the extinction of the planet’s global biosphere.”

The exact details of how technologically advanced life on another planet evolved, like how long it took for it to emerge, are not relevant, Whitmire says. All that matter is that this life has developed electronic devices as well as technology that can affect the environment.

“A technological dinosaur species that evolved in 100 [million years] on a Mars-sized planet could still be first and early in their technological evolution,” the study says. “If we are typical of this reference class, then other members would, like us, observe that their technological species is the first to evolve on their planet and also that they are early in their potential technological evolution.”

Kepler-186f is the first exoplanet scientists discovered in a star’s habitable zone that is comparable to the size of Earth. Photo: NASA/JPL

Those species very well could have been the first on their planets to become advanced, rather than rising from the ashes of another technologically advanced group of beings, based on how it happened on Earth — the study notes that the timeline for how humans…

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