Author Topic: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home  (Read 9091 times)

Offline Mr. Scott

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
  • I lift things up and I put them down.
  • Liked: 74
  • Likes Given: 349
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #40 on: 05/10/2017 04:39 AM »
The entire Earth ecosystem has to be brought to this next destination.  The concept of just a few going will start a political/economic and moral battle so bad that it will easily be worse than any squabble you think is occurring now.

I searched the web (astronomy picture of the day) and found a viable location.   It is in the void between the two spiral arms above the center of this galaxy.  Blue stars are bad.  Exploding stars are bad.  There is a garden planet that is in pristine shape ready to move in somewhere next to a G2 star.  The galaxy is 300 million light years beyond Andromeda.  UGC 1810.

There it is.  That's were the planet Earth needs to be relocated to!!!  Days are longer, but you won't need to work because the unicorns feed you.  Longer nights under a bluish golden sky makes for more romance.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 04:41 AM by Mr. Scott »

Online mme

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1021
  • Santa Barbara, CA, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster
  • Liked: 1235
  • Likes Given: 3096
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #41 on: 05/10/2017 04:03 PM »
There are enough strawman arguments in this thread for an army of scarecrows.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline llanitedave

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2087
  • Nevada Desert
  • Liked: 1267
  • Likes Given: 1465
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #42 on: 05/10/2017 05:04 PM »
Yes, those five global extinction events haven't been much of a drag for the single cell organisms, bacteria and other really small creatures, but it kinda sucks if you weigh more than a rat.  >:(
At the end of the Permian period, over 90% of all species died, yay. And that was a pretty rubbish time in Siberia, too...

We have used up all the easily accessible ore and fossil energy reserves on the planet. If our current civilisation comes crashing down and we regress to a low technology, post industrial society, it will be extremely hard to bootstrap out of that again.

No more oil in Texas at a depth of 20 feet, no easily accessible copper or iron, apart from the ruins of the cities. We have chewed this planet up pretty good so far, and are not leaving much on the plate.

If we miss this window of opportunity, which could close any day now, if somebody starts a nuclear war or the global economy really tanks, we will not get of this rock. And developing the technology won't cost more than the average little dirty war that we are starting every few years.

War, disease, rapid climate change, economical collapse, totalitarian regimes, AI, oh yes, meteor coming our way while we are to busy staring at our cellphones.

My 2 cents worth as geologist and environmental scientist...


I completely agree with all this and have used many of the same arguments myself, except...
100 years is a bit arbitrary, and probably too little too late.  If our civilization survives the next 100 years, then there's a very good chance that we would have already succeeded with the transition, the energy infrastructure would by then already be transformed, genetic engineering would be more or less mastered, population increase successfully stabilized, and food production adjusted.  It's not a new planet we'll need by then, we'll either have addressed our existential challenges here on Earth or we won't have.  If we haven't done that within 100 years, we probably never will.  I'd say we have more like fifty years to do most of this work.  I'm all for colonizing other planets, but we can only do that if we make Earth survivable.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 05:14 PM by llanitedave »
"I've just abducted an alien -- now what?"

Offline steve smith

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
  • London UK
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #43 on: 05/11/2017 09:00 AM »
The official score is:
   Earth surviving an apocalypse: 5
   Species visiting Earth seeking refuge from their own apocalypse: 0

Let's say the next apocalypse sterilizes the Earth into an iron oxide dust bowl.  There is never a static unchanging condition with any object in the universe.  Eventually life will continue.

If someone is so easily able to foresee an imminent apocalypse, why are they not understanding the implications of attempting a journey into a certain demise by a 1000'year journey into space (micrometeorites, radiation, lack of any resources, etc)?

If aliens had visited here, it's likely their home world is in worse shape.  I fear that somebody is just trying to sell their doomsday books on other worlds. unfortunately, somebody should explain to the doomsday authors that aliens won't want to read this type of literature.

You cannot equate a concept of going nowhere fast with the idea that you are doing something meritorious.  In other words, transporting the world's population to Siberia would not be a noble cause.  Actually Siberia is better than Mars because it is warmer and ACTUALLY HAS OXYGEN. 

Offline KelvinZero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3480
  • Liked: 456
  • Likes Given: 116
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #44 on: 05/11/2017 12:21 PM »
I believe the leading contender for explaining the Fermi Paradox is that something/someones are very quiet, careful, deadly, and jealous--and they go around stomping on emerging civilizations prophylactically.
I don't think that is a popular one. You have to postulate a bunch of counter intuitive things just to explain why the universe looks empty. Easier to assume it is as it appears.

It is only useful being quiet and careful if you yourself are hiding from something bigger, and postulating something bigger to explain a big problem is no solution. A fast expanding civilisation would outperform a quiet careful one. (note that being fast expanding does not mean that every element is loud and visible. It could include a quiet fraction). If (for an unexplained reason) the races goal is to prevent other life and keep the universe in its current inefficient state with most energy being wasted, they should just have small probes in every star system, that awake every thousand years to scan the planets for life, eliminate it while it is 100 million years from sentience, not when it has begun its explosion into space.

Online QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8102
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2879
  • Likes Given: 687
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #45 on: 05/11/2017 10:56 PM »
Isn't the universe full of enough civilisation killers without ascribing malice?
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9068
  • Liked: 1113
  • Likes Given: 757
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #46 on: 05/12/2017 01:22 AM »
What is probably driving Stephen Hawkingís thinking is the Drake equation and Fermiís Paradox.  Although the Drake equation was not intended to give absolute numbers for the number of technologically advanced intelligent life it can get you close enough to suggest some very real possible outcomes.  We donít have enough information, at this time, to truthfully fill in the Drake equation but we are making very good progress toward filling in all but the last variable.  It is this last variable where Fermiís Paradox comes in.  With the limited information, we have to fill in the Drake equation it is becoming quite obvious that the last parameter is the most critical.  This last parameter is the average life expectancy of a technologically advanced society.  With the limited information we have for the Drake equation if this last parameter is over 10,000 years not only should technologically advanced intelligent life be readily observable but most likely should have visited us multiple times by now.  And this is the Fermiís Paradox.  Where are all of these technologically advanced intelligent societies?  In fact, it has been estimated that if this last parameter is 1000 years with our ongoing SETI surveys we should have seen something by now.  As we fill in more of the Drake equation it is been suggested that this last parameter needs to be in the hundreds of years.  If that is the case then we have used up almost half of this number already.

Nobody really knows what the answer to Fermiís Paradox is.  There are many suggested possible theories to this paradox.  The most worrisome ones in this particular case are not the knowns but the unknown possibilities. 

In the book, alone in the Universe, John Gribbin argues that we are alone in the galaxy and perhaps in the Universe. If we are the only ones in the galaxy that would explain why nobody has visited us.

I wasn't crazy about his book but I tend to agree with him that there may only be one advanced civilization per galaxy.   
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 01:31 AM by yg1968 »

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3751
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 716
  • Likes Given: 1336
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #47 on: 05/12/2017 01:27 AM »
There is absolutely no way to know the answer until they come here, or we go to them. Some folk think there are millions of civilizations in the Galaxy - others think there are none. And in the spirit of 'for what it's worth' I think the answer would be firmly in the middle. Even if there are only a few dozen advanced civilizations in the Galaxy, that would be extraordinary. And probably so thinly spread out, it would be difficult for them to ever talk or meet.
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9068
  • Liked: 1113
  • Likes Given: 757
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #48 on: 05/12/2017 01:32 AM »

No extinction event could render Earth less habitable than Mars or other places in the solar system.

So even if one believes the doomsday cultists (which I don't, I think they're all bonkers), it's no argument for colonizing the solar system.

Sun turning into a red giant certainly will. In the long term (more than a billion years), Earth is doomed and space is the only way for humanity (and life in general) to survive.

And in order to colonize space, we need to have an advanced technological society. Merely surviving on Earth is not enough, or it will be our tomb. Now, can you guarantee that current advanced technological society on Earth will be a norm, and not just a temporary exception? You cannot. Therefore we should seize the opportunity while it lasts and attempt to expand into space now, since we may not get another chance.

I agree and I made a similar argument before. The only counter argument that was made was that a billion years is a long time.

Offline DAZ

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 117
  • Everett WA
  • Liked: 76
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #49 on: 05/12/2017 01:58 AM »
What is probably driving Stephen Hawkingís thinking is the Drake equation and Fermiís Paradox.  Although the Drake equation was not intended to give absolute numbers for the number of technologically advanced intelligent life it can get you close enough to suggest some very real possible outcomes.  We donít have enough information, at this time, to truthfully fill in the Drake equation but we are making very good progress toward filling in all but the last variable.  It is this last variable where Fermiís Paradox comes in.  With the limited information, we have to fill in the Drake equation it is becoming quite obvious that the last parameter is the most critical.  This last parameter is the average life expectancy of a technologically advanced society.  With the limited information we have for the Drake equation if this last parameter is over 10,000 years not only should technologically advanced intelligent life be readily observable but most likely should have visited us multiple times by now.  And this is the Fermiís Paradox.  Where are all of these technologically advanced intelligent societies?  In fact, it has been estimated that if this last parameter is 1000 years with our ongoing SETI surveys we should have seen something by now.  As we fill in more of the Drake equation it is been suggested that this last parameter needs to be in the hundreds of years.  If that is the case then we have used up almost half of this number already.

Nobody really knows what the answer to Fermiís Paradox is.  There are many suggested possible theories to this paradox.  The most worrisome ones in this particular case are not the knowns but the unknown possibilities. 

In the book, alone in the Universe, John Gribbin argues that we are alone in the galaxy and perhaps in the Universe. If we are the only ones in the galaxy that would explain why nobody has visited us.

I wasn't crazy about his book but I tend to agree with him that there may only be one advanced civilization per galaxy.

This is referred to as the Rare Earth hypothesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis.  This resembles the sun is the center of the universe theory from the past.  The more we seem to know about the universe the less likely it seems that we are unique but on the other hand itís possible we could be early.

A short time ago, some scientist did some calculations on the age of the universe and the conditions to produce life.  They also looked at how long the universe likely could continue to produce life.  Based on these numbers it appears that the universe is only a teenager at 13.5 billion years.  A pun is obviously not intended here.

The thinking goes something like this.  When the universe was 1st created it was primarily hydrogen and helium with an extremely small amount of lithium.  You canít produce rocky planets from this let alone life.  You can produce very big stars.  The 1st stars were supposedly humongous and short-lived.  These produced an extremely large number of supernova.  The remnants of these supernovae are what the 2nd and 3rd generation stars were built from.  So for something like the 1st 3 to 5 billion years, there wasnít much in the way of rocky planets like the earth.  Over approximately the next 4 to 8 billion years rocky planets started to form.  So it is at approximately this time that life could have started to form.  If you use the earth is it typical ruler (which admittedly it may or may not be) the sun is approximately 5 billion years old and it has taken between 4.8 and 4.5 billion years for us to evolve.  So the theory goes that eventually the universe will be filled with intelligent life just about everywhere.  At this time though there just hasnít been enough time for much intelligent life and their advanced technological civilizations to be produced yet.  When you take that into account (and the fact that we are somewhat in the backwoods of our galaxy located in what is referred to as the Orion spur) then it is possible that there is just not much intelligent life in our neck of the galaxy yet.  We maybe just some of the 1st to be leaving the nursery.

Online mike robel

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2054
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #50 on: 05/13/2017 12:04 AM »
This article offers some perspective on what if we discover a less advanced extra-Sol civilization than ours.

Edit:  I didn't notice I had pasted the wrong URL into the message.  This is the correct one.  The previous one pointed to our local planetarium as a place with some interesting space exhibets

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2017/05/10/alien_civilization/#.WRbA6TGrOM9

From Earth's history, if this happens, we can anticipate if we discover one, we will go there and economically exploit it before the Ferengi can get there.  If the "discovery" of America is any indicator, it won't turn out too well for them.  Of course, by the time we get there, they could be more advanced than we are, and it might not turn out too well for us.

As to if there are other civilizations out there, my feeling/opinion is "yes" but there is no evidence to support us.

Why haven't we been visited?  I can think of several reasons why:

1.  We're the first advanced civilization.
2.  We're the last.  Everyone else has blown themselves up before discovering how to travel faster than the speed of light.
3.  You can't go faster than the speed of light.
4.  They REALLY follow the Star Trek Prime Directive and they have cloaking technology.  Oh, and we don't interest them.
5.  They haven't gotten here yet.
6.  They are us, and we were abandoned and placed on this planet for punishment.

All in all, it might be better if we hide.  Even Hawking says so.

« Last Edit: 05/13/2017 08:18 AM by mike robel »

Offline Oli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2103
  • Liked: 374
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #51 on: 05/13/2017 09:30 AM »
Fermi's Paradox is built un the false premise than sufficiently advanced intelligent life actually has an incentive to "colonize" the galaxy.

In fact not even humans today have that incentive. Two reasons. First, no population pressure:



In fact in most developed countries the fertility rate is below the replacement rate (~2.1), developing countries are getting there.

Second, the primary sector of the economy (Agriculture, Fishing, Logging, Mining, Oil & Gas exploration and production, etc.) is of less and less importance in the economy.



Meaning the cost of extracting resources pales in comparison to the cost of making nice things out of it. We won't fight Aliens for the resources they sit on just because their resources are cheaper to extract than others, especially if you factor in the cost of transporting the resources to our home planet. Moreover, if we develop cheap space travel we might as well mine 10^99 uninhabited planetary bodies first.

So really, if Aliens are exploring the galaxy they do it "for fun" and if they see us they have no incentive to contact us. At best we are of interest to their anthropologists.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2017 09:37 AM by Oli »

Offline Johnnyhinbos

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 834
  • Boston, MA
  • Liked: 804
  • Likes Given: 121
Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #52 on: 05/13/2017 12:57 PM »
With all due respect, colonizing is but one aspect for an intelligent species to reach beyond their boundaries.

Resource utilization, individual (hive?) need to see what's "beyond", governmental (in whatever form it may have) motivation, local disasters- both natural and otherwise, science,...

Point being, there's very little probability that if there are other intelligent beings out there, they (at least some of them) would not attempt to reach beyond. And the likelihood that we are looking at only parallel evolution- that in all the billions and billions of years before our planet even existed, that there wasn't already the rise (and possibly fall) of countless civilizations (because if it could happen twice, then it would happen everywhere) - that likelihood is exceedingly small.

The thing is, even if other civilizations aren't actively out there exploring/ colonizing/ mining/ whatever, we should have seen at least their signature. Sure, we as a planet radiate less and less energy away from our planet as we mature our technology - terrestrial high energy transmitters have given way to cable and focused beams to satellites- but our past still is out there radiating away from earth. So would be true for other intelligent species. And odds have it this would have been happening for billions of years - so where are those signatures? Where are all those countless "pasts"?

The great filter concept certainly still holds some probability, and when you look at our own little planet with that in mind, it's a bit chilling.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2017 12:59 PM by Johnnyhinbos »
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2105
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 988
  • Likes Given: 761
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #53 on: 05/13/2017 03:49 PM »
The thing is, even if other civilizations aren't actively out there exploring/ colonizing/ mining/ whatever, we should have seen at least their signature. Sure, we as a planet radiate less and less energy away from our planet as we mature our technology - terrestrial high energy transmitters have given way to cable and focused beams to satellites- but our past still is out there radiating away from earth. So would be true for other intelligent species. And odds have it this would have been happening for billions of years - so where are those signatures? Where are all those countless "pasts"?

Our technological civilization has been broadcasting for less than a century and we are already moving away from high energy transmitters. There is only a short period to detect unintentional interstellar transmissions. The signals get lost in the background noise only after a few light years distance, so we would have to very close to an alien civilization and at just the right time to detect them. Highly unlikely even if the galaxy was teeming with technological civilizations.

One false premise of the Fermi Paradox is that there should be evidence of our system being visited because at least one civilization would have sent probes to every star system in the galaxy. Even if a civilization wanted to catalog every star system, they wouldn't have to visit each one. They could send a self-replicating probe to a system, build a big telescope and remotely survey thousands of stars. Then build new probes and skip ahead to the next observing locations.

Another possibility would be a flyby to gather data and off to the next target. No evidence left behind.

Even if a civilization sent a probe to stop in our Solar System, we haven't looked around enough to find it. There could be one in the Kuiper Belt right now transmitting back to its home and we wouldn't know it.

The great filter concept certainly still holds some probability, and when you look at our own little planet with that in mind, it's a bit chilling.

There are many possible great filters. On a positive note, perhaps the great filter is evolving intelligence and a technological civilization. In ten thousand years of agriculture and five thousand years of civilization we've only had modern science for a few hundred years. We've already passed that test. Of course, there are all the ones that still might get us, running out of resources, nuclear war, environmental damage, etc. that could wipe out civilization or even result in extinction. Maybe there's an experiment that seems harmless, but results in destruction. Then only the few civilizations that get their sums right survive.

Online corneliussulla

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 193
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 19
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #54 on: 05/13/2017 08:14 PM »
A lot of people including Musk and Hawking have said that for humans to survive we need to move to other worlds and that is definetly true in the long term but is Mars the correct choice. I see a few problems with this assuming Elon is successful and he creates a civilisation on Mars I expect within a few generations that the population of this planet will probably be unable to live on earth and will evolve to be a different species. We will no longer be humans but earthlings and Martians.

By our nature we tend not to trust people that are different to us, wether it be in colour, cultural or religious beliefs. I believe that Martians who will no longer be physically the same as humans could become our enemies, here on earth people with different religious beliefs think it is acceptable to destroy any unbeliever, Its not hard to imagine misguided cults growing which in an age with fusion drives etc that could lead to mutual destruction rather than survival of the species

I think to really find a new home we need to find a home which is similar to earth and that's going to mean interstellar travel in a Noah's arc type ship which can haul 10s of thousands plus all our technology. Probably not going to happen before we destroy ourselves or at least do enough damage which would put such a task beyond us
« Last Edit: 05/13/2017 08:21 PM by corneliussulla »

Offline blasphemer

  • Member
  • Posts: 86
  • Slovakia
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 103
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #55 on: 05/13/2017 08:59 PM »
We have already discovered many extrasolar planets. Advanced civilizations doing such observations for millions of years probably have long ago catalogued every potentialy habitable planet in the galaxy. They very likely know about Earth being a planet with life. It is not a thing that can be hidden or overlooked, IMHO.

Online corneliussulla

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 193
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 19
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #56 on: 05/13/2017 08:59 PM »
The official score is:
   Earth surviving an apocalypse: 5
   Species visiting Earth seeking refuge from their own apocalypse: 0

Let's say the next apocalypse sterilizes the Earth into an iron oxide dust bowl.  There is never a static unchanging condition with any object in the universe.  Eventually life will continue.

If someone is so easily able to foresee an imminent apocalypse, why are they not understanding the implications of attempting a journey into a certain demise by a 1000'year journey into space (micrometeorites, radiation, lack of any resources, etc)?

If aliens had visited here, it's likely their home world is in worse shape.  I fear that somebody is just trying to sell their doomsday books on other worlds. unfortunately, somebody should explain to the doomsday authors that aliens won't want to read this type of literature.

You cannot equate a concept of going nowhere fast with the idea that you are doing something meritorious.  In other words, transporting the world's population to Siberia would not be a noble cause.  Actually Siberia is better than Mars because it is warmer and ACTUALLY HAS OXYGEN. 

Yep Mars just such a awful place to live. I think civilisation on Mars idea likely to fail, nice once in a  lifetime holiday destination but I don't see many people lining up to move to Antarctica and it is so much more hospitable than Mars and ur kids are going to look like u on earth, on Mars who knows what we going to evolve into.

Online corneliussulla

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 193
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 19
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #57 on: 05/13/2017 09:27 PM »
We have already discovered many extrasolar planets. Advanced civilizations doing such observations for millions of years probably have long ago catalogued every potentialy habitable planet in the galaxy. They very likely know about Earth being a planet with life. It is not a thing that can be hidden or overlooked, IMHO.

Let's face it there is probably very little if no intelligent life nearby, there a number of reasons to think that earth maybe a rare jewel in a universe teaming with planets. Let me just give a few example. Earth is big enough to maintain a molten core for a long period but not to big to make getting of the planet almost impossible using chemical technology, earth has tectonic plates which may well be rare given neither Mars or Venus have them, earth is partly coveted in water, this could be rare wouldn't it make sense that planets had no water or where totally covered in it. Earth has a very large sister planet keeping our axial tilt fairly stable, not so on Venus or Mars. Earth is near a stable star more stable than most G class stars, We may just have been lucky in our travels not to have been to close to supernova or neutron star collisions. Also once a civilisation gets to a level where it can replicate or enhance itself maybe destruction is not to far away.

Offline Oli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2103
  • Liked: 374
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #58 on: 05/14/2017 10:26 AM »
I think to really find a new home we need to find a home which is similar to earth and that's going to mean interstellar travel in a Noah's arc type ship which can haul 10s of thousands plus all our technology.

In a billion years. Let that sink in for a moment. Our civilization is merely 10k years old. Who knows whether we are still meatbags or silicon 10k years from now.

We have already discovered many extrasolar planets. Advanced civilizations doing such observations for millions of years probably have long ago catalogued every potentialy habitable planet in the galaxy. They very likely know about Earth being a planet with life. It is not a thing that can be hidden or overlooked, IMHO.

If they did how would we know it?

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #59 on: 05/14/2017 11:42 AM »
In the book, alone in the Universe, John Gribbin argues that we are alone in the galaxy and perhaps in the Universe. If we are the only ones in the galaxy that would explain why nobody has visited us.

I wasn't crazy about his book but I tend to agree with him that there may only be one advanced civilization per galaxy.

Gribben, in another book, offered a philosophical reason as to why we should try to persist as a species: it is that we are somehow the "germ line" of the Universe: the idea is that Big Bang appears to have been a highly fine-tuned process, almost as if it were designed. That is, the intelligent design folks are really on to something. However, if we reject an old fashioned God as the literal creator of the universe, then there are only three possible explanations of the fine-tuned nature of the Universe:

1. Given enough time, fully formed 747s can just form spontaneously through random chance somehow.
2. The Universe arose through a process of natural selection.
3. The Universe arose through a process of natural selection, but life itself is involved, and this involves an element of literal intelligent design, but of a material, rather than supernatural nature.

The problem with #2 is that life emerges as a lucky side effect. But why should that be? In the case of #3, new universes intelligently designed to produce life will reproduce faster than other sorts of universes. It would seem a rather extravagant and wasteful form of reproduction, with 1 - 10^99% of the universe lifeless, but then again ordinary organisms produce trillions of cells just to make one more copy of themselves.

Thus, if #3 were the case, then there really might be some important ultimate destiny that our species must fulfill, thus providing a good reason to survive over and above our individual survival.

I think Isaac Asimov first explored this problem in his short story "The Last Question".
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Tags: