MEETING OUR INTERGALACTIC NEIGHBORS by James Jaeger
With regards to the EMPIRICAL Fermi Paradox and the THEORETICAL Drake Equation, there may be other extraterrestrial technological civilizations in the Milky Way -- at this time -- but they are probably at about our level of development: pre-Singularity, Type I Civilizations.(1)
If the Galaxy is isotropic and homogeneous -- and all indication is that it is -- then we could say it not only has the same "weather," but the same "climate" through out. If the climate is the same throughout, then Life will bloom throughout, simultaneously. All the lilies of the field bloom at about the same time.
Thus, the reason for the Fermi Paradox is simple: other extraterrestrial civilizations in the Galaxy, if any, are only as able to communicate with us as we are able to communicate with them. Since we are not very able to communicate with them, they are probably not very able to communicate with us. Yet.
It's safe to assume there are somewhere between zero and an infinite number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy. We are part of this assumption, thus making it true. But whether this number is zero or tends towards an infinite number depends on how many factors there are in the Drake Equation.
If the Drake has only one factor, then the number of technological civilizations will tend to be infinite. If the Drake has an infinite number of factors, then the number of technological civilizations will tend to be zero. So that's the calculus of the situation.
My understanding is the original Drake Equation had seven factors as follows: the average annual rate of star formation in the galaxy, the fraction of those stars that have planets, the number those planets that can develop viable biospheres, the number of biospheres that actually do develop life, the fraction of that life that develops intelligence, the fraction of the intelligence that develops technology sufficient to communicate, the duration of that technological civilization.
Since, with the "Rare Earth hypothesis," other factors have been postulated -- such as each extra-solar planet must have an iron core so a magnetic field can develop to shield its biosphere from stellar radiation; and each must have a moon to stabilize its orbit and a moon as large as our Moon to perfectly eclipse the host-star -- these push the number of potential technological civilizations towards zero. Given this, I have come to the conclusion that each galaxy probably has only one (1) technological civilization, i.e., there is usually only one pearl per oyster. Even if there were only one technological civilization per galaxy, the Universe collectively would be teaming with life.
And one technological civilization per galaxy would make sense because, if each civilization in each galaxy eventually arrives at a Singularity -- this writer defining a Singularity as the point whereby the dominant species evolves its technological nexus -- that civilization will immediately have the power to dominate not only the host planet, but the host stellar system and probably even the host galaxy. Since life seems to COMPETE with itself until it learns to COOPERATE, I would expect that a post-Singularity civilization would be arrogant with its new-found power, if not downright belligerent. Look how humanity acted when it got its two industrial revolutions. The new-found power was allocated to producing weapons and destroying civilization in two world wars.
If so, the Universe -- in order to survive -- would be "smart" enough to avoid placing two or more post-Singularity civilizations in proximity. The cocky competition between them would result in a total annihilation of each other, if not an annihilation of the entire galaxy. To avoid such a catastrophe in the billions of galaxies across the Universe, each blossoming at around the same time, I would think the Universe would tend to space out all post-Singularity civilizations by limiting each galaxy to only one possible technological civilization. This is the reason each galaxy probably only has one (1) technological civilization. Again two or more would mean total destruction, and this pattern repeated throughout the Universe would eventually mean the inhalation of all technologically intelligent life, as well as the possible total annihilation of the Universe itself. The so-called Big Bang was probably such an annihilation of a previous Universe and this is why the current Universe has redesigned itself to the current parameters.
So, the Universe -- in its quest to survive -- will space out post-Singularity civilizations at galactic distances because the distances are so immense it will take a certain amount of time before even a post-Singularity civilization will be able to communicate, let alone travel or bomb, its nearest neighbor. Over this duration each post-Singularity civilization will (hopefully) mature enough to replace its tendency for COMPETITION with a tendency for COOPERATION, thus the eventual interaction of inter-galactic, post-Singularity technological civilizations will be (more) peaceful, if not constructive.
The Universe isn't stupid. It "knows" it's gotta keep the boys separated until they're mature enough to not kill each other with "weapons" and other toys. And it's as simple as that. We, as a world, will probably have our Singularity. Thus we are probably the only technological civilization in this galaxy. We may be an only child, but the good news is, we will potentially meet up with our intergalactic neighbors -- when we're ready to do so without destroying the entire Universe.
Originated: 29 October 2011
Revised: 18 April 2015
Revised & Supplemented: 19 April 2015
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