Brainiac Believes Aliens Used to Exist, Whacked Themselves
Physicist Brian Cox has weighed in one of astronomy’s most curious questions: Given the high probability of extraterrestrial life existing in the endlessly massive universe, why haven’t we seen any clear evidence of it?
This question was first put forward by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi in the 1950s, in what’s now known as the Fermi paradox. He argued there’s a contradiction between the high probability of alien life existing and the total lack of hard evidence that intelligent life has ever evolved outside of Earth.
“Where is everybody?” he famously asked.
Well, Professor Cox thinks he might have the answer. But it isn’t too cheery.
According to the Sunday Times, Cox said: “One solution to the Fermi paradox is that it is not possible to run a world that has the power to destroy itself and that needs global collaborative solutions to prevent that.”
Yup, essentially there’s a chance aliens wipe themselves out via political turmoil before they ever become advanced enough to launch an interstellar exploration.
He went on to warn: “It may be that the growth of science and engineering inevitably outstrips the development of political expertise, leading to disaster. We could be approaching that position.” — I Fucking Love Science
Let’s be clear about something: Here, at this blog, we don’t criticize people for their dumb ideas. No. This is a safe space. Here, we encourage freethinking and debate no matter how stupid it may make someone look. To do that, it’s first critical to understand someone’s point of view. The asinine idea isn’t important. What’s important is that we understand how and why that idea came to be. First the “Why.”
Who among us hasn’t wanted to Death Star the shit out of this place? It’s a mess! There’s global warming, looming economic apocalypse, wars, antibiotic-resistant super bacteria… I mean, what are we gonna do with all this? Fix it? That would require talking to other human beings, some of whom don’t even speak English! No, thank you.
When you look at a light-year long to-do list and your only choices are to complete it or just kill anyone and everything, I’m taking Plan B a million times out of a hundred.
Now that we have the “Why,” let’s go over the “How.”
He’s a Doctor.
By their nature, doctors are doers. Doctors spend their lives trying to solve kill-or-be killed problems. Their existence is a binary one. So it’s only natural that in a question of an entire species working together or killing itself off, a doctor would see extermination as the logical choice.
“Why?” Check. “How?” Check. See? Pretty easy to understand where the professor’s coming from. He believes that, inevitably, all sentient species evolve to where each member of society is a productive one. Then, he looks at all our problems here on The Blue Marble and reaches his only logical conclusion. Rebuttal:
Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
Professor Cox sees a problem, he solves it. I see a problem, I avoid it. If Professor Cox is mailed a bill, he pays it. If I’m mailed a bill, I throw it away. If a bill collector calls, I don’t answer. If a bill collector leaves a voicemail, I don’t listen. If a bill collector threatens to blow up my planet, I get my interstellar travel on.
Dr. Cox forgot the one thing that makes aliens “aliens.” They can go anywhere! You don’t build Hyperdrives and Light Speeds just to hang out. You build that shit to get as far away as fast as possible. All you have to do is hit the beam-me-up button and poof, you’re skiing the slopes of Hoth, relaxing on the Lakes of Naboo, or mixing it up in the nightlife of Coruscant.
So no, Professor Cox. Aliens haven’t killed themselves off. Yes, of course plenty of them want to gamma ray the fuck out of each other, but plenty more would rather just star trek from galaxy-to-galaxy.