Humans may never discover evidence of alien life because we’ll accidentally destroy it.
That’s the bold theory from a top physicist who believes we could wipe out aliens without even realizing it.
Scientists think it’s likely alien life exists, but we’ve never seen any proof – a puzzle known as the Fermi Paradox.
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And the answer may be that humans will (and may have already) destroyed evidence of alien life.
That’s according to theoretical physicist Alexander Berezin, of Russia’s MIET, who details a new theory in a paper published on Arxiv.
He believes that when it comes to traveling between stars, we’re in a «first in, last out» situation.
Berezin thinks that many types of «life» could gain access to high-speed space travel.
However, he argues that the type of civilization doesn’t matter – only the level of technology they reach.
«The specific nature of civilizations arising to interstellar level should not matter,» he writes.
«They might [be] biological organisms like ourselves, rogue AIs that rebelled against their creators, or distributed planet-scale minds like those described by Stanislaw Lem in Solaris.»
According to Berezin, the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability may «necessarily eradicate all competition, to fuel its own expansion».
He says this doesn’t mean an alien race would intentionally destroy other forms of life.
Instead, it could happen by accident.
«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,» he wrote.
If you’re panicking about being squashed like an ant by an unimaginably powerful alien race, don’t.
Berezin believes that we’re the construction crew (not the ant) in this scenario.
The physicist argues that this annihilation of alien life could happen simply because humans – and our technologies – become too powerful.
«One rogue AI can potentially populate the entire supercluster with copies of itself, turning every solar system into a supercomputer,» he wrote.
«And there is no use asking why it would do that. All that matters is that it can.»
He said this terrifying future means that because we’re the first to arrive at interstellar travel, we «most likely will be the last to leave.»