This brings us to another interesting question dealing with the likelihood that highly advanced alien civilizations
might have left our Universe into what may be called "inner space", a subject that scientists refer to as the Transcension Hypothesis proposed by John Smart.
This is an attempt to explain what happens after the technological singularity as well as a possible
solution to the Fermi paradox.
Futurist John Smart, and other scientists have suggested that evolution and development may work the same way in the universe as a system.
Our Universe could be engaged in a life cycle ("Big Bang" birth, growth, maturity, replication, senescence, and eventual thermodynamic or other death).
This brings us to the possibility that our Universe could have a twin. If universal change is analogous to the evolutionary development
of two genetically identical twins, two parametrically identical universes (possessing identical fundamental physical parameters at the Big Bang)
would exhibit unpredictably separate and unique internal evolutionary variation over their lifespan (unpredictable differences in specific types of
species, technologies, and knowledge among civilizations), and at the same time, a broad set of predictable and irreversible developmental
milestones and shared structure and function between them (broad and deep commonalities in the developmental processes, body plans, and archetypes
of life, culture and technology among all intelligent civilizations).
This question is thus relevant to astrophysics, astrobiology and astrosociology. One potential developmental process that, if validated,
would have great impact on the future of civilizations.
Do highly advanced civilizations live in an invisible Universe?
The transcension hypothesis should not be confused with the expansion hypothesis.
"The expansion hypothesis (Kardashev 1964, and many others since) predicts that some fraction of advanced civilizations in our
galaxy and universe must become beacon builders and spacefarers, spreading their knowledge and culture far and wide.
Expansion is the standard expectation of those engaged in SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) and METI
(messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence) today.
Expansion scenarios typically assume ETI messaging to be bounded by the speed of light, and space travel to occur at some significant fraction of the speed of
By contrast, the transcension hypothesis, also known as the developmental singularity hypothesis (Smart 2000, 2008, 2010) proposes that
a universal process of evolutionary development guides all sufficiently advanced civilizations increasingly into inner space, the domain of
very small scales of space, time, energy and matter (STEM), and eventually, to a black-hole-like destination, censored from our observation,"John Smart writes
in his paper, "The Transcension Hypothesis: Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe, and Implications for METI and SETI."
Even though, proving the existence and exclusivity of the transcension hypothesis with today's science may be impossible,
we cannot dismiss the possibility that highly advanced alien civilizations could leave in the unobservable Universe.
Smart also says: "If all universal intelligence eventually
transcends to black-hole-like environments,
after which some form of merger and selection occurs, and if two-way messaging (a send-receive cycle) is severely limited by the great distances
between neighboring and rapidly transcending civilizations, then sending one-way METI or probes prior to transcension becomes the only real communication
But one-way messaging or probes may provably reduce the evolutionary diversity in all civilizations receiving the message, as they would then arrive at
their local transcensions in a much more homogenous fashion.
If true, an ethical injunction against one-way messaging or probes might emerge in the morality and sustainability systems of all sufficiently advanced
civilizations, an argument known as the Zoo hypothesis in Fermi paradox literature, if all higher intelligences are subject to an evolutionary attractor
to maximize their local diversity, and a developmental attractor to merge and advance universal intelligence.
Is there a prime directive prohitibing one-way messaging? Image: The EISCAT Space Centre in Svalbard, Norway
In any such environment, the evolutionary value of sending any interstellar message or probe may simply not be worth the cost, if transcension is an
inevitable, accelerative, and testable developmental process, one that eventually will be discovered and quantitatively described by future physics.
Smart also suggests there might be a prime directive that block all one-way messaging by advanced civilizations.
"If the closest receiving civilization for a METI (message to extraterrestrial intelligence) beacon is on average 100 light years away,
by the time any technology-using civilization can send a message, their local evolution will be proceeding so fast that the send-receive
cycle (200 years) will be far too long to aid in local evolutionary complexity construction.
In other words, the special self-organization of our universe, with its speed of light limit and the great gulf between intelligent
civilizations allows only developmental messages over interstellar distances. Such one-way messages are useful only for control and
constraint, not for innovation or complexity construction. The vast light-distances between civilizations, their continuous local
acceleration via STEM compression, and the curious time-travel properties of black holes together suggest the great unlikelihood of any civilization
communicating through normal "slowspace"on their way to their respective transcensions.
For example, assume that we immediately discover evidence of life on a planet 100 light years distant.
If it takes an average of 600 years for each civilization to be able to enter a local black hole, we could conduct a maximum of three two-way information
exchanges before one of us transcended. Due to this severe two-way messaging limit in normal space, such communication would be a very rare, very local,
and short-lived phenomenon.
But interstellar communication may be even rarer than this. Assume that our future science discovers that we live in an evo devo universe constrained
to transcension, and that all civilizations will be computationally incomplete and evolutionarily diverse.
We may then be able to prove, using information theory, that sending one-way METI or probes containing simple information (already known to the sender)
is not worth the cost to send, and sending advanced information or probes will only reduce the evolutionary diversity in all civilizations receiving and
implementing the message.
Consider the likelihood that any advanced information we sent to other civilizations would just push them into their black hole transcension in a more
clonal way, and we'd meet significantly less-interesting and useful "copies of ourselves" in our later merger, a fate we might seek to avoid by all
A type of "Prime Directive" against one-way non-local messaging would seem likely to be a moral development emerging in all sufficiently
advanced civilizations, once they recognize that they are on course to a black hole destiny. A variation of this idea in the Fermi paradox literature
is called the zoo hypothesis (Ball 1973), the idea that advanced civilizations avoid contact with less advanced civilizations so that they do not
influence their evolutionary development. The transcension hypothesis is thus a specific variant of the zoo hypothesis."
Our quest for advanced alien civilizations takes us to the most remarkable places, even the invisible world...
Black Hole In Scorpius Seen Firing Fast Cosmic Bullets
Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius, there is a black hole named H1742-322.
Racing outward at about one-quarter the speed of light, "bullets" of ionized gas are thought to arise from a region located
just outside the black hole's event horizon, the point beyond which nothing can escape.
When Will Humans Join The Galactic Club?
Most people believe that humans will sooner or later establish open contact with aliens.
When it happens, we might get an invitation to join what scientists and science-fiction writers refer to as the "Galactic Club".
There is also a possibity that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations will not welcome us a new members.
Alien Message Can Be Hidden In Your DNA
Do We All Carry A Cosmic Greeting Card?
While SETI is busy searching for signals from alien civilizations, there are scientists who think we can find proof of advanced
extraterrestrial life much closer to home - namely in our DNA!
Instead of leaving artefacts for humans to find once they are sufficiently evolved, an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations
might instead incorporate information into the human genome, allowing it to be copied and maintained over immense periods of time.
Aliens Living On Methane Worlds
In the search for life elsewhere, many studies focus on finding liquid water. But what
if life could exist with some other solvent? Saturn's smoggy moon Titan makes scientists question the possibilities for methane-based life in the galaxy.
Alien Contact Scenario:
Would Contact With Extraterrestrials Benefit Or Harm Humanity?
"If contact between humans and ETI is possible, then it is important to consider the capability of ETI to cause us benefit or harm. This information is important across nearly the full breadth of contact scenarios," the authors explain.
"Although we cannot know the level of technological sophistication achieved by ETI, we do have a compelling reason to believe that ETI
would be significantly stronger than us and therefore highly capable of causing our total destruction.
"Sacred" 1.7 Million Volt Light Of The Gods
Today, his cool experiment enables Zeus-like miracles!
For the ancient Greeks, the occurrence of lightning mean that Zeus, lord of heaven,
was often very angry and upset. God used to throw jagged, terrifying bolts of lightning, like spears of fire. This was for the ancients, a "sacred light".
In his lab near Chicago, Illinois, a retired electrical engineer, Bert Hickman, uses a particle accelerator acrylic plastic to "grab and keep the wrath of Zeus"...
Mysterious Signal From Outer Space
Is Someone Trying To Contact Us?
A mysterious signal coming from a region of space between the constellations Pisces and Aries has been picked up on three different occasions by
the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
The signal is very puzzling and does not resemble any known astronomical phenomenon. Researchers who have studied its frequency pattern do not
believe it is natural interference or noise.
Alien Species Living In The Inner Milky Way Could Be In Danger
Few people doubt there is intelligent alien life in the Milky Way galaxy, but where can we expect to find it?
Astronomers think that while the inner sector of the MIlky Way Galaxy may be the most likely to support habitable worlds.
Unfortunately some of these places are also most dangerous to all life-forms.
The Eyes Of A Future Alien Astronomer - What Will They See?
Have you ever wondered what the Universe will look like for a future alien astronomer?
It will in fact be entirely different from what it is today.
One trillion years from now, an alien astronomer in our galaxy will have great difficulties figuring out how the universe began.
Watching Volcanoes On Alien Worlds
Volcanoes display the awesome power of nature like few other events.
Now that astronomers are finding rocky worlds orbiting distant stars, they're asking the next logical questions: Do any of those worlds
have volcanoes? And if so, could we detect them?
Black Plants Could Exist On Alien Worlds With Two Suns
We have previously seen what auroras might like on alien worlds.
This time we examine how life on planets in binary star systems can evolve.
Earth-like planets with two or three suns would have multiple sources of light that could be used for photosynthesis. This means plants on
such worlds could be dark, even completely black.
Warp-Speed Planets Are Some Of The Fastest Objects In The Milky Way
Warped planets are some of the fastest objects in the Milky Way and they zoom through space near the speed of light.
Some years ago astronomers were astonished when they they found the first runaway star flying out of our Galaxy at a speed of 1.5 million miles per hour.
The discovery intrigued theorists, who wondered: If a star can get tossed outward at such an extreme velocity, could the same thing happen to planets?
Though the universe is filled with billions upon billions of stars, the discovery of a single variable star in 1923 altered the
course of modern astronomy. And, at least one famous astronomer of the time lamented that the discovery had shattered his world view.
In Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune, planet Arrakis is a vast desert world, inhabited by sandworms and Bedouin-like humans called the Fremen.
Could such hot desert planets be home various extraterrestrial life-forms?
Studies suggest that desert planets could be more common type of habitable planet in the galaxy, rather than watery planets.
When scientists search for alien worlds that could support life, water is an important criteria. Nearly everywhere there is water on Earth, there is life.