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meshtron t1_j96ncc7 wrote

(Assume this was directed at our friend who's celebrating the 60% of his DNA that matches a banana, but it's something I enjoy thinking about as well)

You're right that the physical distances involved mean it's impossible to rule out alien consciousness elsewhere in the universe. But despite what u/just-a-dreamer- seems to understand, you ALSO have to consider how infinitesimally small human existence is in time compared to the universe.

VERY generously, we've had the ability to receive any wavelength of signal arriving at earth from outside our solar system for maybe 200 years. Our planet has existed for less than 1/3 the life of the universe. It's entirely possible that other civilizations evolved, flourished, then died out (including their plante and even solar system) long before Earth ever existed, and likely that happened before we were able to even know the signal got to us.

We're still at the very beginning of trying to detect life beyond our planet, much less our solar system (and really not at all beyond our galaxy). The real question is whether humanity survives intact long enough to continue this search. I'd wager the chances of that happening are far less than the chances that intelligent life exists in the universe outside Earth right now.


theedgeofthefreud t1_j96nvn6 wrote

Very eloquent! Hey, if you like thinking about this, have you ever read the Issac Asimov "Foundation" series? u/just-a-dreamer might enjoy it as well. I also like to wonder about these questions and Foundation was just awesome!