Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagExtraterrestrials (ET)

blue-glowing-multidimensional-energy-sphere-isolated-on-black-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Blue glowing multidimensional energy sphere isolated on black

New Sky Catalog Reveals Most Likely Sites for Alien Technology

“Exotica” lists phenomena for which conventional natural explanations don’t seem to work well

We’ve been looking at reasons why we don’t see extraterrestrials, even though many scientists are sure they must exist. One enterprising research group has now assembled Exotica, a catalog of strange phenomena in space, which might help us search more efficiently. If extraterrestrials exist and are technologically advanced, they would leave a “technosignature,” which might at first only be seen as astrange phenomenon in space: Breakthrough Listen, the initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, today released an innovative catalog of “Exotica”—a diverse list of objects of potential interest to astronomers searching for technosignatures (indicators of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligence). The catalog is a collection of over 700 distinct targets intended to include “one of everything”…

alien-arrival-on-planet-earth-full-moon-rises-above-the-horizon-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Alien arrival on planet Earth, full moon rises above the horizon

Particle Physicist Offers 75 Reasons We Don’t See Aliens

But Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute gives high odds that we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy

Recently, we’ve been looking at Matt Williams’s admirable collection of hypotheses as to why we do not see intelligent extraterrestrials, despite the size of our universe. But particle physicist Stephen Webb collected many more such theses, in a book published in 2002, If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (2002). A revised edition was published by Springer, a big science publisher, in 2015, offering 75 hypotheses. Webb calls his collection of hypotheses the “Fermi solutions,” in honor of Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–1954), whose famous question was “Where are They?” “Fermi realized that any civilization with a modest amount of rocket technology and an…

ghost-of-girl-in-dark-foggy-forest-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Ghost of Girl in Dark Foggy Forest

Why Do People Who Believe in Extraterrestrials Dismiss Ghosts?

The talk about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence—or otherwise—misses the point. There is no evidence

A recent profile in Astronomy focused on Abraham Loeb (pictured) a Harvard astronomer who is convinced that closed minds are a key barrier to our finding extraterrestrials. Statistically, he thinks, they must be out there somewhere: About 25 billion stars, roughly one-quarter of those that reside in the Milky Way, lie in a habitable zone. He rounds that down to an even 10 billion to keep the calculations simple. “And then there are about a trillion galaxies like the Milky Way,” he says, “which means there are about 1022 [10 billion trillion] planets in the observable universe that could potentially host life as we know it.” In other words, searches for extraterrestrial life have barely scratched the surface. “As in…

atoms-and-their-electron-clouds-quantum-mechanics-and-atomic-structure-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Atoms and their electron clouds , Quantum mechanics and atomic structure

The Aliens Exist—But Evolved Into Virtual Reality at a Nanoscale

That’s the Transcension Hypothesis, the latest in our series on science fiction hypotheses as to why we don’t see extraterrestrials

Readers will recall that we have been looking at science writer Matt Williams’s analysis of the various reasons that we do not see extraterrestrials except at the movies. Last week, we looked at the Firstborn Hypothesis: We don’t see aliens because they haven’t evolved yet. And, when they do, we must be careful not to harm their development through colonization. This week is a bit of a deeper dive: The extraterrestrials have evolved so far beyond us that perhaps we could not encounter them. … the Transcension Hypothesis ventures that an advanced civilization will become fundamentally altered by its technology. In short, it theorizes that any ETIs that predate humanity have long-since transformed into something that is not recognizable by…

the-ultimate-destruction-of-the-planet-in-a-great-cosmic-catastrophe-3d-illustration-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
the ultimate destruction of the planet in a great cosmic catastrophe 3d illustration

Does Science Fiction Hint That We Are Actually Doomed?

That’s the implication of an influential theory as to why we never see extraterrestrials

Recently science and science fiction writer Matt Williams has been writing a series at Universe Today on why the extraterrestrial intelligences that many believe must exist in our universe never show up. Last week, we looked at the hypothesis that planets that can host life are rare so there are not many aliens out there to find. This week we look at a more ominous hypothesis. In “Beyond “Fermi’s Paradox” III: What is the Great Filter?” (July 23, 2020), Williams asks us to consider: “there is something in the Universe that prevents life from reaching the point where we would be able to hear from it.” What could that “something” be? The term “the Great Filter” was coined to describe…

the-region-30-doradus-lies-in-the-large-magellanic-cloud-galaxy-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
The region 30 Doradus lies in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

Maybe There Are Just Very Few Aliens Out There…

The Rare Earth hypothesis offers science-based reasons that life in the universe is rare

Recently, science and science fiction writer Matt Williams has been writing a series at Universe Today on why extraterrestrial intelligences never make contact with us. Last week, we looked at the hypothesis that, to avoid the heat destruction of their advanced technology, the aliens have put themselves into a digital slumber until the universe cools down. This week, let’s look at a quite different approach, which Williams outlines in “Beyond “Fermi’s Paradox” IV: What is the Rare Earth Hypothesis?” (July 29, 2020): That is “the possibility that life-bearing planets like Earth are just very rare.” We don’t see aliens because they are very uncommon: This is what is popularly known as the “Rare Earth Hypothesis,” which argues that the emergence…

dragon-sleeps-in-a-cave-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Dragon sleeps in a cave

Researchers: The aliens exist but they are sleeping…

And we wake them at our peril

Recently, science (and science fiction) writer Matt Williams has been writing a series at Universe Today on why the extraterrestrial intelligences that many believe must exist in our universe never show up. Last week, we looked at the hypothesis that the aliens’ advanced technology ended up destroying them all and… the machines may be coming for us because destroying is all they know how to do. This week, let’s look at a quite different idea that Williams outlines in “Beyond “Fermi’s Paradox” V: What is the Aestivation Hypothesis?” (August 7, 2020). Aestivation is the summer version of hibernation in winter. The aliens, in this scenario are not dead; they are merely sleeping. Just as many life forms on Earth go…

nave-espacial-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
nave espacial

Are the Aliens We Never See Obeying Star Trek’s Prime Directive?

The Directive is, don’t interfere in the evolution of alien societies, even if you have good intentions

Using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope, astronomers recently scoured a part of the sky known to contain at least 10 million star systems for evidence of alien technology (“techno signatures”). And the result? “With this dataset, we found no technosignatures — no sign of intelligent life.” Professor Tingay said even though this was the broadest search yet, he was not shocked by the result. “As Douglas Adams noted in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, ‘space is big, really big’.” International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, “Australian telescope finds no signs of alien technology in 10 million star systems” at ScienceDaily The paper is open access. Various sources offer explanations for the absent aliens; the most popular is that…

3d-rendered-fantasy-alien-landscape-with-abstract-formations-3d-illustration-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
3D Rendered Fantasy Alien Landscape With Abstract Formations - 3D Illustration

Seven Reasons (So Far) Why the Aliens Never Show Up

Some experts think they became AI and some that they were killed by their AI but others say they never existed. Who's most likely right?

Science fiction author Matt Williams is writing a series at Universe Today that offers the leading explanations for why They never write, They never phone… It’s based on an incident in 1950 when Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) asked colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory a question: If space aliens are a sure thing, “Where is everybody?” As Seth Shostak puts it at Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), The remark came while Fermi was discussing with his mealtime mates the possibility that many sophisticated societies populate the Galaxy. They thought it reasonable to assume that we have a lot of cosmic company. But somewhere between one sentence and the next, Fermi’s supple brain realized that if this was true,…

two-astronauts-on-the-alien-planet-discover-plant-life-space-travel-discovery-of-habitable-worlds-and-colonization-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Two Astronauts on the Alien Planet Discover Plant Life. Space Travel, Discovery Of Habitable Worlds and Colonization Concept.

Is Intelligence Common or Rare in the Universe?

A recent analysis says that life is common but intelligence not so much. Let’s explore the reasoning

We really don't know anything about life elsewhere in the universe so even university-trained scientists often try to WISH it into existence.

Read More ›
andre-benz-775731-unsplash
Strange ocular looking shape descending

Will Space Aliens Become a New Majority Religion?

Nearly as many young Americans believe in ET as in God, says religion prof

Popular culture is looking for high-tech ETs to be its saviors and Silicon Valley aspires to become those ETs. What could possibly go wrong?

Read More ›
alexander-popov-342444-unsplash
Worshippers or concert goers gaze at lighted diamond

Tales of an Invented God

The most important characteristic of an AI cult is that its gods (Godbots?) will be created by the AI developers and not the other way around

A book on the new pop science religion might well be titled “Tales of the Invented God.” Its author would likely be challenged to keep up with all the non-events breathlessly documented. After all, the technocrats who invent their future gods can change, re-envision, replace, upgrade, eliminate them at any time.

Read More ›