Right now, you'd understand if aliens didn't want to pay Earth a visit, what with the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing and the war in Ukraine.
But a few years ago, the Pentagon released footage of UFOs which has made many ask, for the zillionth time: are we really alone in the universe? Or are aliens already among us?
For years, these questions have divided scientists, sci-fi fans and conspiracy theorists. Although many explanations have been put forward for why we haven’t met aliens yet, none have been completely convincing or universally accepted.
In short, in a world where we're obsessed with discovering every little thing, this is one big question we don't really know.
But two years ago, when the world seemed like a very different place, Russian physicist Alexander Berezin, from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET), had a theory. He suggested that once a civilisation reaches the capabilities of spreading across the stars, it will inevitably wipe out all other civilisations.
Just what we need to hear.
The grim solution doesn’t hypothesise a necessarily evil alien race (phew!) it's more that they might not notice us and their exponential expansion across the galaxy might be more important to them than we are. Cheery indeed.
He wrote in 2018:
"They simply won't notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack incentive to protect it."
So why haven't we met them yet and been obliterated?
Well, it's not all bad news, sort of. Berezin suggests that the reason humans are still here is that we are not likely to be the ants. In other words, we are the future destroyers of countless civilisations and we're just not ready yet.
"Assuming the hypothesis above is correct, what does it mean for our future? The only explanation is the invocation of the anthropic principle. We are the first to arrive at the [interstellar] stage. And, most likely, will be the last to leave."
He cites colonialism and capitalism are two historical examples of the forces that will eventually prompt humans to destroy other cultures.
Berezin hopes that he’s wrong and, to be honest, so do we.
So yeah, it seems like things could always be worse. If this theory is true, let's hope that aliens steer clear of us for a little (a lot) longer and that it's a very, very, very long time before we consider becomes the aliens who destroy other places.
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