Burnout or Homeostasis: Researchers Explain Why Aliens Are Yet to Come Knocking at Earth's Door
The authors of the new study essentially suggest that, at a certain point, alien civilizations end up either collapsing or shifting their priorities away from cosmic expansion.
A bold new hypothesis that might explain why mankind has yet to be contacted by any extraterrestrial civilization despite the apparent likelihood of life existing beyond our planet has been proposed recently by two researchers, Dr. Michael Wong from the Carnegie Institution for Science and Dr. Stuart Bartlett from California Institute of Technology.
In their study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, the duo postulates that this state of affairs may be the product of alien civilizations hitting a particular snag during their advancement and expansion.
Pointing to previous research suggesting that “city metrics having to do with growth, productivity and overall energy consumption scale superlinearly”, Wong and Bartlett state that “superlinear scaling results in crises called ‘singularities’, where population and energy demand tend to infinity in a finite amount of time, which must be avoided by ever more frequent ‘resets’ or innovations that postpone the system's collapse”.
“Here, we place the emergence of cities and planetary civilizations in the context of major evolutionary transitions,” the researchers wrote. “With this perspective, we hypothesize that once a planetary civilization transitions into a state that can be described as one virtually connected global city, it will face an ‘asymptotic burnout’, an ultimate crisis where the singularity-interval time scale becomes smaller than the time scale of innovation.”
Therefore, the researchers propose two potential scenarios that may explain why we have yet to see any hypothetical alien civilization extending its reach into our corner of the galaxy.
19 June 2022, 13:03 GMT
In one of them, alien civilizations essentially “collapse from burnout”.
In the other, if an alien civilization manages to see the proverbial writing on the wall before it is too late, it may instead change its course to “prioritizing homeostasis, a state where cosmic expansion is no longer a goal, making them difficult to detect remotely”.