(October 23rd, 2011)
--Few, if any, other civilizations currently exist.
--It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself.
--It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy others.
--Human beings were created alone.
This is, clearly, primarily a religious point of view, for which it should not be discounted entirely—because, all things considered equal, demonstrable evidence has yet (if ever) to suggest that we were not created as “special” beings. But I like to stress, even in line with (admittedly not particularly literal) biblical considerations, we could have been created, here in our solar system with all of our uniqueness, apart from any number of other extraterrestrial beings who may even have “special conditions” themselves in which they are showered with praise and admiration of their own but have, perhaps like us, no physical means to ever communicate with another due to mere distances and/or any of these other theories. (I realize that this argument contradicts the initial premise of having been “created alone” but I’m considering “alone” as meaning that we will forever remain ignorant of any number of other created beings.) If we will never become aware of any others, what’s the difference?
But even so there is that possibility that we were created entirely alone in this vast Universe and as Carl Sagan liked to say, “Isn’t that an awful waste of space?”
--It is the nature of intelligent life to remain silent.
What if there are intelligent civilizations all over the place out there in the vast reaches of the Universe, but they just don’t broadcast their existence in any powerful way? Such a consideration is so wide-reaching in its implications because it could mean that any numbers of extraterrestrial civilizations are out there and yet we might very well never, ever be made aware of their presence. There is a potentially infinite number of reasons for such behavior, but the most reasonable to me seem to be that such communication is all but fruitless considering the ridiculous distances and time frames involved in such attempts at communication; the expensive nature of continuously trying to make such broadcasts, both in resources and time; the possibility that any given civilization knows of some danger it would bring on itself by such a broadcast (such as another civilization receiving it and invading) or just chooses to remain silent by this mere possibility alone; or perhaps because they simply don’t trust any potential recipients to return their efforts in kind. Another civilization may be reluctant for one or any combination of these reasons, and more, and so the simple lack of evidence is therefore called into question—as Carl Sagan liked to popularize, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Never, ever receiving a communication is not necessarily proof, indeed not even powerful evidence, that there are no intelligent civilizations out there to communicate. It may simply just mean that they are not communicating.