Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe.
A really starry sky seems vast—but all we’re looking at is our very local neighborhood.
There’s also a debate over what percentage of those sun-like stars might be orbited by an Earth-like planet (one with similar temperature conditions that could have liquid water and potentially support life similar to that on Earth). SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is an organization dedicated to listening for signals from other intelligent life. The technology and knowledge of a civilization only 1,000 years ahead of us could be as shocking to us as our world would be to a medieval person. A Type III Civilization blows the other two away, accessing power comparable to that of the entire Milky Way galaxy. If this level of advancement sounds hard to believe, remember Planet X above and their 3.4 billion years of further development. One hypothesis as to how galactic colonization could happen is by creating machinery that can travel to other planets, spend 500 years or so self-replicating using the raw materials on their new planet, and then send two replicas off to do the same thing. Continuing to speculate, if 1% of intelligent life survives long enough to become a potentially galaxy-colonizing Type III Civilization, our calculations above suggest that there should be at least 1,000 Type III Civilizations in our galaxy alone—and given the power of such a civilization, their presence would likely be pretty noticeable. Explanation Group 1: There are no signs of higher (Type II and III) civilizations because there are no higher civilizations in existence. Therefore, say Group 1 explanations, it must be that there are no super-advanced civilizations. The Great Filter theory says that at some point from pre-life to Type III intelligence, there’s a wall that all or nearly all attempts at life hit. If this theory is true, the big question is, Where in the timeline does the Great Filter occur? One hope we have is that The Great Filter is behind us—we managed to surpass it, which would mean it’s extremely rare for life to make it to our level of intelligence. One possibility: The Great Filter could be at the very beginning—it might be incredibly unusual for life to begin at all. Another possibility: The Great Filter could be the jump from the simple prokaryote cell to the complex eukaryote cell. There are a number of other possibilities—some even think the most recent leap we’ve made to our current intelligence is a Great Filter candidate. If we are indeed rare, it could be because of a fluky biological event, but it also could be attributed to what is called the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which suggests that though there may be many Earth-like planets, the particular conditions on Earth—whether related to the specifics of this solar system, its relationship with the moon (a moon that large is unusual for such a small planet and contributes to our particular weather and ocean conditions), or something about the planet itself—are exceptionally friendly to life.
For Group 1 Thinkers, if the Great Filter is not behind us, the one hope we have is that conditions in the universe are just recently, for the first time since the Big Bang, reaching a place that would allow intelligent life to develop. One example of a phenomenon that could make this realistic is the prevalence of gamma-ray bursts, insanely huge explosions that we’ve observed in distant galaxies. If we’re neither rare nor early, Group 1 thinkers conclude that The Great Filter must be in our future. Explanation Group 2: Type II and III intelligent civilizations are out there—and there are logical reasons why we might not have heard from them. Group 2 explanations get rid of any notion that we’re rare or special or the first at anything—on the contrary, they believe in the Mediocrity Principle, whose starting point is that there is nothing unusual or rare about our galaxy, solar system, planet, or level of intelligence, until evidence proves otherwise. Possibility 1) Super-intelligent life could very well have already visited Earth, but before we were here. Possibility 2) The galaxy has been colonized, but we just live in some desolate rural area of the galaxy.
Possibility 3) The entire concept of physical colonization is a hilariously backward concept to a more advanced species. An even more advanced civilization might view the entire physical world as a horribly primitive place, having long ago conquered their own biology and uploaded their brains to a virtual reality, eternal-life paradise. Possibility 4) There are scary predator civilizations out there, and most intelligent life knows better than to broadcast any outgoing signals and advertise their location. Possibility 7) We are receiving contact from other intelligent life, but the government is hiding it. Beyond its shocking science fiction component, The Fermi Paradox also leaves me with a deep humbling. Compounding all of this is the blow to our species’ self-esteem that comes with all of this talk about Type II and III Civilizations.
How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars – A post I got to work on with Elon Musk and one that reframed my mental picture of the future. Thinking about this logically, I think we should disregard all the warnings and get the outgoing signals rolling. Unlike religion, it’s explicitly clear that all of these possibilities are just conjecture, and nobody is saying that any of these options are empirically-based, definite, or the truth.
I guess science is getting a little closer to what Christians have been saying about the Type III civilization (God and his hosts). Hardly, religion offers nothing more than variations of ‘throwing a virgin into the volcano in hopes that the crops will flourish’. So we never should have studied evolution because the origin of species was in the bible already? To speculate that some people treat Science as a religion is not beyond the definition of the word, or reason. To help you make peace with being alone, we've assembled a list of our 10 favorite quotes on the benefits of spending time with yourself.


There are also several other notable books: Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax.
I also welcome you to add your quote and reflection in The Now Effect Community for many more to be inspired. On the very best nights, we can see up to about 2,500 stars (roughly one hundred-millionth of the stars in our galaxy), and almost all of them are less than 1,000 light years away from us (or 1% of the diameter of the Milky Way). All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 1022 and 1024 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on every beach on Earth, there are 10,000 stars out there. Going with the most conservative side of that (5%), and the lower end for the number of total stars (1022), gives us 500 quintillion, or 500 billion billion sun-like stars.
A civilization 1 million years ahead of us might be as incomprehensible to us as human culture is to chimpanzees. Our feeble Type I brains can hardly imagine how someone would do this, but we’ve tried our best, imagining things like a Dyson Sphere. If a civilization on Planet X were similar to ours and were able to survive all the way to Type III level, the natural thought is that they’d probably have mastered inter-stellar travel by now, possibly even colonizing the entire galaxy. You know when you hear about humans of the past debating whether the Earth was round or if the sun revolved around the Earth or thinking that lightning happened because of Zeus, and they seem so primitive and in the dark?
And since the math suggests that there are thousands of them just in our own galaxy, something else must be going on. There’s some stage in that long evolutionary process that is extremely unlikely or impossible for life to get beyond. This is a candidate because it took about a billion years of Earth’s existence to finally happen, and because we have tried extensively to replicate that event in labs and have never been able to do it.
After prokaryotes came into being, they remained that way for almost two billion years before making the evolutionary jump to being complex and having a nucleus.
Any possible Great Filter must be one-in-a-billion type thing where one or more total freak occurrences need to happen to provide a crazy exception—for that reason, something like the jump from single-cell to multi-cellular life is ruled out, because it has occurred as many as 46 times, in isolated incidents, just on this planet alone. In that case, we and many other species may be on our way to super-intelligence, and it simply hasn’t happened yet. In the same way that it took the early Earth a few hundred million years before the asteroids and volcanoes died down and life became possible, it could be that the first chunk of the universe’s existence was full of cataclysmic events like gamma-ray bursts that would incinerate everything nearby from time to time and prevent any life from developing past a certain stage.
This would suggest that life regularly evolves to where we are, but that something prevents life from going much further and reaching high intelligence in almost all cases—and we’re unlikely to be an exception. Another candidate is the possible inevitability that nearly all intelligent civilizations end up destroying themselves once a certain level of technology is reached.
In the scheme of things, sentient humans have only been around for about 50,000 years, a little blip of time. The Americas may have been colonized by Europeans long before anyone in a small Inuit tribe in far northern Canada realized it had happened. Living in the physical world of biology, mortality, wants, and needs might seem to them the way we view primitive ocean species living in the frigid, dark sea. This is an unpleasant concept and would help explain the lack of any signals being received by the SETI satellites. The more I learn about the topic, the more this seems like an idiotic theory, but I had to mention it because it’s talked about so much.
It’s so beyond us that even if they really wanted to enlighten us, it would be like trying to teach ants about the internet.
Here on Earth, we’re the king of our little castle, proud ruler of the huge group of imbeciles who share the planet with us. It opens the door just a crack that maybe, just maybe, there might be more to the story than we realize. If we catch the attention of super-advanced beings, yes, they might decide to wipe out our whole existence, but that’s not that different than our current fate (to each die within a century).
There is no Question of “if” aliens exist , what the fuck do most of the readers of this blog think FUCKING ufo’s are ? Religion comes up far more preposterous conjectures *and* claims them to be absolute truths. We never should have developed laws and philosophies because the answers were in the bible already?
But if you have already chosen faith over observation, then understand that others have already chosen observation over faith. And as anyone who's ever been through a split can tell you, all too often, that feeling gives way to loneliness. It's doing exactly what you want to do again and listening to the inner thoughts you may have silenced toward the end of your marriage. Click through the slideshow below to read them all, then head to the comments to share your favorite sayings on solitude.
Your contributions not only create a living wisdom for us all to benefit from, but also makes ripple effects far beyond what you might imagine. We can think about things, turn them over in our minds a million times, play out possible scenarios, but really when it comes down to it, you have to go with your heart and move forward.
That suggests that there’s a potentially-habitable Earth-like planet orbiting at least 1% of the total stars in the universe—a total of 100 billion billion Earth-like planets.
And imagine that on 1% of those planets, the life advances to an intelligent level like it did here on Earth. There are far older stars with far older Earth-like planets, which should in theory mean civilizations far more advanced than our own.


On the surface, this sounds a bit like people 500 years ago suggesting that the Earth is the center of the universe—it implies that we’re special. If this is indeed The Great Filter, it would mean that not only is there no intelligent life out there, there may be no other life at all.
If this is The Great Filter, it would mean the universe is teeming with simple prokaryote cells and almost nothing beyond that. We happen to be here at the right time to become one of the first super-intelligent civilizations. Now, perhaps, we’re in the midst of an astrobiological phase transition and this is the first time any life has been able to evolve for this long, uninterrupted. If contact happened before then, it might have made some ducks flip out and run into the water and that’s it. There could be an urbanization component to the interstellar dwellings of higher species, in which all the neighboring solar systems in a certain area are colonized and in communication, and it would be impractical and purposeless for anyone to deal with coming all the way out to the random part of the spiral where we live. With all that energy, they might have created a perfect environment for themselves that satisfies their every need. FYI, thinking about another life form having bested mortality makes me incredibly jealous and upset.
It also means that we might be the super naive newbies who are being unbelievably stupid and risky by ever broadcasting outward signals. The way it might work is that it’s an inefficient use of resources to exterminate all emerging intelligences, maybe because most die out on their own.
Or maybe, as Carl Sagan has pointed out, it could be that our minds work exponentially faster or slower than another form of intelligence out there—e.g. We wouldn’t notice them, because if a far smarter species wanted to observe us, it would know how to easily do so without us realizing it.
And the question is “Would the ants be able to understand what a ten-lane super-highway is?
Did he become hostile and slow his original mission down in order to smash the anthill apart? And maybe, instead, they’d invite us to upload our brains into their eternal virtual utopia, which would solve the death problem and also probably allow me to achieve my childhood dream of bouncing around on the clouds. It's shocking how much of what we consider science fiction is actually real science too. If you think living happily in ignorance is better than accepting that we don’t know everything and seeking the truth for ourselves, then be my guest. Loneliness occurs when you grow tired of yourself and start to anxiously look for someone -- almost anyone -- to help fill the void in your life since you and your spouse split. If you have kids, you've likely relived your childhood reading over his books only to find, "Wow, there's some real wisdom in these books." One book that has grown on me over time as an adult is Oh, the Places You'll Go!
That would mean there were 10 quadrillion, or 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the observable universe. Further, recorded history only goes back 5,500 years—a group of ancient hunter-gatherer tribes may have experienced some crazy alien shit, but they had no good way to tell anyone in the future about it. They might have crazy-advanced ways of reducing their need for resources and zero interest in leaving their happy utopia to explore the cold, empty, undeveloped universe. There’s a debate going on currently about whether we should engage in METI (Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence—the reverse of SETI) or not, and most people say we should not. But past a certain point, the super beings make their move—because to them, an emerging intelligent species becomes like a virus as it starts to grow and spread.
Or maybe we’re the aliens and we were planted here as an experiment or as a form of fertilizer. But after spending a lot of time with Type II and III Civilizations over the past week, our power and pride are seeming a bit David Brent-esque. If only 1 of the thousands of UFO videos on utube are real then that 1 ALIEN Space ship is your proof that Aliens exist and are here and most of the blog is pointless nonsense. It wouldn’t change everything to chaos, but would the concept of mathematics, or any concept, exist?
It brings you through all the experiences in life: the triumphs, the doubts, the confusions, the depressions, the fearful moments and the moments you stare your difficulties in the face and overcome them. This theory suggests that whoever was the first in the galaxy to reach intelligence won, and now no one else has a chance.
Wake up you Freaks , Intelligent species are already here, lending you money at interest !!!! Even if you believe that you have found the perfect truth, understand that we do not think there even is a perfect truth. This would explain the lack of activity out there because it would keep the number of super-intelligent civilizations to just one.
It is amazing how far scientists are behind in their conjecture versus the religious folks.



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