The universe

Why we will never meet aliens

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 3 Jan 2022

my theory

I’ve been thinking why our universe is so far unresponsive to the signals we’ve sent out in every direction to other intelligent life, given the vast number of earth-like planets we keep finding.

You’d think some sort of signal would reply from this plethora of suns and life capable planets, so similar to ours. It’s hard to imagine they never developed some thinking being in some way parallel to ours, as evolution seems to be a universal law.

The answer I came up with is simple. Whenever any creature advances in intelligence (as we have) to the possibility of space travel, he also advances, (because of the exponential rate of technological improvement at this point), to a state far beyond the necessity of space communication or space travel, long before the time it would take to complete a journey to the nearest solar system.

In other words, before we are able to convey our mortal beings to the next earth-like planet, with so many complications of life support and propulsion over decades, we will have developed the technology to be bodiless, all-knowing, controllers of matter, time and space, putting us in a whole new ballpark.

Imagine the exponential rate of computer development and sophistication each month, alongside our exponentially growing ingenuity into incorporating this into our beings. Before that primitive craft gets some meat sacks (as the rich and savvy call us in silicon valley) to the next solar system, (let’s say fifty years from now), we will be beyond warp drives and beam transports, beyond anything visible.

Imagine a one trillion terabyte chip the size of a pinhead, and in the next second the size of a photon, traveling through space, through dimensions, through time, wherever it wills, in not one but every direction, at a trillion times the speed of light, comprehending everything it passes in nanoseconds, that’s us in a few short decades.

This thought came to me as I was reading of a 500 terabyte chip just invented that can fit into the palm of your hand, containing the contents of 330 million books. Soon we’ll be integrating that wealth into our trillion synapses, amplifying again exponential evolution, a symbiosis sure to trump earthly existence.

We’ll advance so fast in knowledge and power that this universe will become a puny thing as we enter into a playing field of an infinity of universes and possibilities, with god-like powers to create them, should we even deign to tinker or toy with such matters.

I’m not the only one who’s let his imagination fly into such wild territories. There was a nineteenth century Frenchman, Camille Flammarion, who wrote “On the plurality of inhabited worlds”, a book sadly neglected today but full of ideas that deserves notice.

It inspired me to write this poem in his honor:

That there is a plurality of inhabited worlds
I deduce from the abundance of singing birds.
If one so tiny sphere regales so many
What must the stars contain in all their plenty.
When nature is so rich our whole world sings,
How could we deem the stars poor, lifeless things.
Only an infant mind could see those skies
And think them baubles, sparkling for his eyes.
I’ll live in greater reverence and trust
That we are not alone, and they, not dust.

Robert B. O'Reilly. 1992

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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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