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Registered: 12-2017
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Life found on Venus: Should we be worried?

Recently, it was reported that we have detected the clearest evidence yet of extraterrestrial life. I forget the exact details but I think some kind of chemical footprint was found when analysing data from Venus’s atmosphere, one that is strongly linked to biology.

Should we be concerned if this does indeed turn out to be alien life? Now, obviously we are not talking about the Mekon, here. No advanced Venusians are coming to wage a War Of The Worlds. Why, then, should Venusian life be something to worry about?

Because of a contradiction between what technological singularitarians predict and what astronomical observations show. According to Ray Kurzweil, humanity is on the cusp of merging with hyper intelligent technologies and will soon leave our Earth and turn the universe into sublimely intelligent computronium. Other great thinkers have made similar claims. Eric Lerner, a key contributor to our most scientifically-valid model of the universe (plasma cosmology) claims the universe is self-organising into increasingly complex organisations of matter and energy.

But if this is the destiny of life, to leave the cradle of its home planet and go out to become an intergalactic superrace, then how come we see no signs of alien life rearranging stellar and galactic resources into mega-advanced projects like Matrioska Brains or Kardeshev Type II civilisations?

This is the famous paradox, first proposed by Enrico Fermi: If life is not a one-off fluke and it is the purpose of life to colonise the universe, then where are all those aliens?

This led to a possible solution to the paradox, known as the Great Filter. What this solution says is that there is an insurmountable problem standing in the way between life advancing to the stage where becoming intergalactic is possible. Life originates, it evolves, and then it encounters some something which it cannot overcome except maybe by a stroke of miraculous good luck and so it goes extinct.

If we accept the Great Filter theory as the explanation for the Fermi Paradox, we then have to ask a follow up question: Where on our timeline does this Great Filter lie?

It could be that it lay in our past. Perhaps the origin of life itself is that fantastically improbable event. Maybe it was the evolution of the eukayotic cell. Maybe it was the evolution of multicellular life. Could it have been the evolution of sexual reproduction? If it was one of those stages, then we can breathe a sigh of relief because we clearly had that miraculous stroke of luck which enabled Earthly biology to make it past the Great Filter.

But if there is also life on Venus it would be stretching incredulity to suppose life could make that miraculous against-all-odds feat a second time. It would mean the Great Filter lies not in our past but in our future.

Still, no reason to panic just yet. In all probability Venusian life (if it indeed exists) is about as complex as extremophile bacteria, and that still leaves plenty of other great challenges to overcome before alien life becomes as complex as human beings. We can still hope we beat the Great Filter. But, the more complex the alien life we discover, the less chance we have of having made it past whatever it is that wipes out life before it becomes interstellar.
9/16/2020, 12:20 pm Link to this post PM Extropia DaSilva Blog
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Registered: 11-2017
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Re: Life found on Venus: Should we be worried?

Good one Ex.
9/16/2020, 2:06 pm Link to this post PM Papa Guinea Pig Blog

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