The Fact that Aliens Haven’t Contacted Us is Strong Evidence that the Universe is Filled with Highly Intelligent Life – And Star Trek Will Never Be a Reality (Sorry)

I don’t mean that title in the insulting way, as though highly intelligent life would never want to contact us foul and stupid humans, as some misanthropes make us out to be (by the way, that’s another interesting thing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have lots of members of our species who looooove to hate on the species they belong to. How weird is that?)

No, I don’t think highly intelligent aliens would ever want to contact other highly intelligent/evolved/kind/interesting aliens, either. Doing so would be utterly *pointless* and dangerous.

It pains me to admit this, since I’m a very liberal and curious guy by nature, but it’s true. We should probably never, ever try to contact other aliens, either.

Here’s why: the nearly inevitable artificial intelligence Singularity which is coming towards us.

The Singularity is the name for the point at which we’ve developed artificial intelligence which is smarter than us, and which can also evolve itself.

What is likely to be on the other side of the aliens’ Singularities, and ours, will prevent them from ever seeking to contact us, and will prevent us from ever seeking to contact them.

The thing is, any aliens with technology which is sophisticated enough to engage in interstellar communication or interstellar travel, has probably already gone through an artificial intelligence Singularity of their own.

And the idea of the Singularity, the promise of it, is that once you pass a certain threshold, the artificial intelligence can evolve itself quite rapidly, and it can be used to figure out all sorts of things which no species by itself could figure out- such as how to engage in interstellar travel.

But… if the A.I. can be used to figure out all that interstellar magic, it can also be used to figure out anything else which the species could ever possibly want to know, and it could be used to engineer virtually any kind of experience or resource.

So, in other words, it would be completely pointless to interact with the species on any other planets, once you’ve passed the Singularity. The other species would never be able to offer any information, experience, or resources which you don’t already have. Your species would possess, or soon possess, all the security, resources, wisdom, pleasure, peace, etc., which you could ever hope for. There would be no positive reason to engage with an alien species.

What about negative reasons to tangle with an alien species, or for them to tangle with us? What about fear or greedy aggression? The fact is, no post-Singularity species would ever *want* to attack any other alien race.

This is easy to see, once we examine the imagined reasons that have been put forward to justify the idea that interstellar warfare could ever occur:

1. “Aggression in order to secure resources”. Well, the fact is, post-Singularity, a species would be extremely good at recycling the raw elements their civilization would need to thrive, and they would also be quite good at sending out machines to collect resources from the nearly infinite number of uninhabited asteroids and planets in the Universe. (Note: I would also strongly question the idea that an advanced civilization would need very many physical resources on an ongoing basis, anyway.)

2. “Preemptive strikes due to fear”. Well, you have to figure that a species clever enough to have interstellar capacity would also be clever enough to figure out that any other interstellar species is post-Singularity, and thus deduce that they aren’t a threat, either- the other species would be in the same position of just taking care of themselves and avoiding needless danger, rather than engaging in aggression or even revealing their existence at all.

The fact is, tangling with another post-Singularity species would be the most dangerous possible thing to do, never the safest. To tangle with a species which would surely have extraordinarily advanced defensive weaponry, of an unpredictable nature, would be extremely risky… and the more well-off any individual or species is, the less risk they are willing to take. Only the desperate knowingly take risks.

3. “Expansion”. Some people think that an intelligent species would want to keep expanding in numbers and taking more territory. This theory is extremely dubious; evolution is about *survival*, not population numbers or territory possessed (I will write more about this some other time), and large-scale expansion would eventually be seen as reducing long-term survival rates, not improving them.

Any post-Singularity species would easily figure out that they could achieve peak-survival by focusing on their own well-being (probably including living indefinitely) and by maintaining their anonymity and capacity for self-defense.

There are two other strong pieces of evidence why a post-Singularity species would never engage in aggression:

1. To do so would possibly leave evidence of some kind, which they would fear could mark them out to future intelligent species as an aggressor, i.e. a threat, which could then at any point in the next few billion years make them a target of a fearful pre-emptive strike by a post-Singularity species.

2. The most important piece of evidence for why no post-Singularity species will ever engage in aggression: we haven’t been killed off already. If another species ever craved the resources of our planet, or viewed our intelligence as potentially being some kind of a threat, we would already be dead. There would be no reason whatsoever for an alien race to let us continue to evolve, in that case.

So, this is why the aliens haven’t contacted us, never will, and will continue to do their best to hide- and we will never contact them, either, and we will all hide from each other forevermore. The safest strategy will be purely defensive- to hide as best as possible, and to have an extraordinarily sophisticated system of defense, with numerous redundancies and the ability to ensure that our species can be perpetually revived, no matter what may happen. No post-Singularity species will ever have a reason, neither positive nor negative, to *ever* contact another species.

Post Script: I want to be clear that this does not mean I think that everything will be smooth sailing for us in our future. Just because an alien species would be good at handling their post-Singularity AI, doesn’t mean we would successfully protect ourselves from our own AI. We could potentially screw things up well enough on our own (yet another reason why aliens would be in the habit of leaving each other alone- wait long enough, and they might accidentally destroy themselves!).

I’m just saying that as long as we dot our i’s and cross our t’s, we will never need to worry about aliens J. As long as we don’t kill ourselves, we’ll be fine.

On the one hand… forever-alone. On the other hand- perpetual peace and joy. Like a blissed out monk who has taken a vow of silence and solitude.

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Man i love deep toughts like this :)

    I agree with most of ur toughts in this experiment, altough i think you are forgetting one thing.

    We call it humanity, or human coriosity ,or a soul. we do think of aliens as by default not having a soul. But i think its way more likely they are more similar to us then we might think. And if they are alot more technologically advanced then we are , all the more chances that they would fel less threathened , and visit us just out of pure curiousity or on a hunt for knowledge seen by their own eyes. Humans will never trust one hundred % , what any computer will tell them untill they have experiencensed it fore themselves i think, so why wouldnt the samebe true for over intelligent aliens :)

    Just a conversationstarter,

    Your swedish friend!

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