The Hidden Alpha
The technological means for such "controlled seeding" of life and intelligence are very simple for advanced civilizations. We should expect that alien professors would have similar bright ideas concerning artificial panspermia and colonization of the Galaxy.
In War of the Worlds by HG Wells, the Martian invaders died out, because they couldn't resist the germs on Earth. But can we resist alien microorganisms, engineered germs, quasi-alive nanomachines, or ordinary alien microfauna that normally would live in the spacecrafts and in the bodies of the extraterrestrial intelligent beings?
In 1995, the British Health Secretary stated that there is no conceivable risk of BSE (mad cow disease) being transmitted from cows to people. And we know the results: dead people and huge losses for the UK economy. Both species, humans and cows, have been living side by side for thousands of years. Domestic animals seem harmless to us, but sometimes they aren’t, even after all these years of living together.
Diseases communicable from animals to man are called zoonoses – from New Latin zo- + the Greek nosos for disease. Concerns with diseases that afflict animals date from the earliest human contacts with them. More than 150 such diseases are known: rabies, brucellosis, plague, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, the deadly herpes B virus, trichinosis, encephalitis, anthrax, staphylococcosis, streptococcosis, tuberculosis, etc.
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) also appears to have been transmitted from animals (monkeys) to humans. By now AIDS has claimed more than 30 million lives worldwide.
Some future politicians, scholars, or meeting committees might issue public statements that it is perfectly safe to meet our space brothers because they are no threat to people. Should we trust them? Yes, if we are naive enthusiasts.
Our bodies and our environment are teeming with microorganisms. It is normal to expect that the bodies of alien beings are also teeming with microbes (a diverse group of minute, simple life forms that include bacteria and viruses) – harmless for their hosts but some could be deadly for us. The alienoses (exonoses) are diseases communicable from extraterrestrial creatures – sentient beings and animals – to humans under natural conditions. They will be the subject of (near) future medicine – shortly after the first contacts with alien creatures.
Normal flora are microbes living in and on the body of the humans; usually, there are no harmful effects for us, their hosts. Many billions of microbes live harmlessly on our skin and in the gut; we breathe them in and out.
Numbers of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria reside in certain human anatomical regions: lower intestine—approximately 100 billion microorganisms per gram of fecal matter; mouth – approximately 1 billion microorganisms per ml. of saliva; nose – approximately 20,000 microorganisms per ml. of nasal washing; skin – approximately 100,000 to 1 million microorganisms per cm2, dependent upon the tested skin surface. After puberty, the vagina is colonized by Lactobacillus aerophilus. One or more of the herpes viruses infect nearly 100% of the adult population.
Over 400 distinct species of microorganisms inhabit the various regions of the human digestive tract, making up nearly 2kg. (approx. four pounds) of every individual's total body weight. This vast population of microorganisms far exceeds the number of tissue cells that make up the human body. We have about 1013 cells in our bodies and 1014 microbes.
Normal flora fills almost all of the available ecological niches in the human body, and produces defensins, bacteriocidins, cationic proteins, and lactoferrin which are working to destroy other bacteria that compete for their niche in the body. If this ecosystem is functioning properly, it guards the body against harmful bacteria, yeast, and viruses. It also stimulates the function of the entire digestive system and produces essential vitamins, such as vitamin K and some of the B vitamins, and regulates their levels, maintaining the body's vital chemical and hormonal balance.
Researchers have detected retroviruses in the genome of every mammal they have examined. The retroviruses spend most of their time asleep; they are present only as extra segments inserted here and there in the DNA. Humans are harboring more than a thousand retroviruses, many of which have hitchhiked with us for well over 30 million years.
In placenta and fetal tissues, a select handful of retroviruses awake, commanding the cells to produce proteins and assemble them into retroviruses. The placenta and the unborn baby of a healthy pregnant woman are teeming with viruses as well. This is a normal part of every pregnancy. These endogenous retroviruses are actually encoded in the DNA of every mammal.
The human body can't be fully sterilized because soon after that such a specimen would die – some of these microorganisms take part in vital biological processes, others keep our immune system fit.
Alien and human astronauts would suffer microbic shock upon return to their home planets after adjusting to fewer microorganisms in the spacecraft, responding negatively to renewed contact with potentially pathogenic microbes that were absent during the space flight. Space travelers have to keep their immunocompetence by carrying in the cabins microorganisms native to their home environment.
The inclusion of plants, animals, and bioreactors in spacecrafts facilities in order to provide life support requirements would significantly increase the numbers of microorganisms. There are many millions of bacteria per gram dry weight of plant roots. Fungi are important for baking breads and fermenting wines, beers, and vinegars. Many medicines are produced with the help of bacteria and fungi, most notably, the antibiotics, like penicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, etc.
The failure to detect on Earth alien microorganisms or alienoses (diseases transmitted from alien creatures to peoples) is a very strong argument against extraterrestrial visitations.
There are reported every year hundreds of thousands of UFO sightings, abductions of people by alien crews, medical examinations of humans in nonterresrial spaceships, sexual relations with aliens, accidents, autopsies on alien corpses, and other contacts with extraterrestrial creatures.
There are many reports from all around the world describing men and women taken aboard flying saucers and having sexual intercourse with various alien races, even space babies were born. Microbes are transmitted by the direct transfer of bodily fluids, such as blood and blood products, semen, and other genital secretions from one person to another; they can enter the body through the lining of the vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth. The microbes also can be transmitted across the placenta.
Every day millions of samples of human blood, tissue, saliva, urine, feces, etc. are collected and sent to labs to be analyzed. Not even a single researcher, physician, or medical technician has ever reported an alien microorganism or alienosis.
There are persistent rumors that among the debris of the supposed UFO which crashed near Roswell there were found dead bodies of ET astronauts. In 1947, Colonel Philip J. Corso claimed to have seen the corpse of a dead alien in a wooden crate; it was supposedly one of the creatures that had been killed in the crash.
Grady "Barney" Barnett, a government engineer, told friends and his son that he was one of the first to reach the crash site. He saw a disc-shaped object and dead bodies of aliens. Dr. Weisberg, university physics professor, said he examined the disc. According to him, the interior was badly damaged and there were six occupants; an autopsy on one of them revealed that they resembled humans.
Rescue, military, and medical personnel reported dead alien corpses at Roswell and other crash sites. Many have been given autopsy examination. Witnesses claim that they saw in an underground base a room full of canisters where bodies of dead aliens were stored. There are also reported graves of extraterrestrial beings. According to researcher Leonard Stringfield, the US has recovered a total of more than thirty bodies from crashed alien space craft. The UFOlogist Timothy G Beckley supposes that about 110 extraterrestrial spaceships have crashed around the globe.
Glenn Dennis had been the Roswell mortician in 1947. According to him, he had seen debris of the crashed flying saucer and had been told about corpses of smallish extraterrestrials by a friend. On the evening that the alien bodies had been recovered, he "blundered" into the Roswell Army Hospital. A nasty officer confronted him, and Dennis had been warned that if he ever told anyone about the crash or the alien bodies, "they will be picking your bones from the sand."
There are interviews with several medical doctors who did autopsies on ET bodies.
Jamie Shandera, documentary moviemaker and UFOlogist, claims that he anonymously received a packet which contained two rolls of undeveloped 35mm film. He developed the film, which appeared to be part of a briefing report to the newly elected President Dwight D Eisenhower, describing details of the Roswell flying saucer crash. According to these film reports, four alien corpses were among the debris of the downed extraterrestrial spacecraft; they had been mutilated by desert scavengers and were heavily decomposed due to exposure to the elements.
Such decomposing alien corpses at the crash sites, their blood, urine, feces, saliva, etc. are for sure source of extraterrestrial contamination. The healthy nonterrestrial astronauts are dangerous, too. They could cause deadly alienoses. The autopsies and the preservation of alien bodies after WWII were not safe enough to modern standards, and contamination with ET microorganisms was inevitable.
In any manned alien space ship there should be food, canisters with samples of tissues and microbes, medicines, drinks, breathing air, plants, hardware, all kind of supplies, and so on which are all sources of microbial contamination. The governments on Earth could hide alien corpses, but they are not in the position to hide microorganisms left by extraterrestrial visitors. It's just impossible. No government (official, shadowy, secret, mythical, mystical, or whatever), organization, or individual on our planet has the technology to do that.
Where are all of the microbes left by the supposed aliens? It is highly improbable that the extraterrestrial microfauna is identical to these on Earth. Only one surviving bacterium or virus could multiply into billions in no time. There are many billions of microbes just in one body (dead or alive).
What could be worse for space travelers than a catastrophic breach in their high-tech protective spacesuits, which provide life-saving flow of breathing air and protecting against alien germs? According to numerous alien encounter reports, humans were in close contact with extraterrestrial astronauts which are depicted to breath terrestrial air, drink water, eat human food, and so on, and most of them don't even wear adequate protective suits and helmets, but only some fancy skin-tight suits, silver suits, yellow ski suits, jump suits, even Nazi military uniforms. Some aliens were dressed like humans or in some sort of mocking space suits, but many of them were actually naked during the contacts.
Millions of humans are reported to enter alien spaceships and none of them were wearing protective suit. Germ contamination is equally dangerous for humans and extraterrestrials.
Researchers still haven't detected extraterrestrial microorganisms on Earth, and one can conclude that there aren't any manned visitations (now and in the past) by extraterrestrial civilizations or if there are any, they are very limited by number and activities and are under strict control.
In 1347 an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague occurred in China and spread throughout Asia and to Europe. The plague mostly affected rodents, but fleas could transmit the disease to people, too. Once people were infected, they infected others very rapidly. For five years, 25 million people, one-third of Europe's population, were dead due to the Black Death. The disease killed with terrible speed. Boccaccio, the author of the Decameron, said that its victims in many cases "ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise."
About 50 percent of the native inhabitants of the Polynesian and the Hawaiian Islands died as a result of imported microbes by foreign seamen.
During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, smallpox and other diseases killed millions of Native Americans which had no natural resistance to these infections. Smallpox killed three of every four Hopis and later the epidemics reduced them to a few hundred. Chicken pox and measles, which are common and rarely fatal among Europeans, often proved fatal to Native Americans.
The 40–50 million deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest military conflict as well as the largest war in human history. Tiny microorganisms can be as deadly as grand-scale wars. The Spanish influenza epidemic was among the most devastating epidemics in human history. In 1918–1919, between 30 and 50 million people throughout the world were killed by the Spanish Influenza. The effect of the pandemic was so severe that the average life span in U.S. was depressed by 10 years.
Now modern science still can't stop AIDS, and the global epidemic is larger and more far-reaching than epidemiologists believed possible a decade ago. Scientists predict that in the next 20 years, 70 million people will die of AIDS.
And these are domestic germs. Extraterrestrial microbial contamination could set back the human development for centuries or even wipe out all of us.
Humans, like all extraterrestrial civilizations, should create a reliable space-based surveillance and reconnaissance system able to detect, quarantine, or destroy any alien life form which could be dangerous for the terrestrial flora and fauna.
The human immune system protects the body from pathogens, foreign substances, malignant, and infected cells by destroying them. We should create similar protective system in the Solar System in order to survive.
Humans are still alive because they aren't here: the extraterrestrials and their alien microbes.
For their own good the space civilization are separated by huge interstellar distances, but inevitably will come the phase of contacts and competition.
The space civilizations will closely encounter each another when most of them are in a position to survive such contacts.
VON NEUMANN MACHINES
Extraterrestrial Intelligent Beings Do Not Exist is the title of an article by Frank Tipler. In his view, older or more advanced civilizations would use self-replicating probes to explore, control, and colonize the Galaxy in a very short time compared with its age of about 13.7 billion years. In his article, he concludes that if intelligent beings exist, their probes should already be here – but there is no evidence of extraterrestrial robotic spacecrafts: ergo, such beings do not exist. Tipler's argument is actually a version of the Fermi paradox.
Self-replicating robotic spacecrafts, called von Neumann probes after John von Neumann who established the mathematical laws of self-replicating systems, are considered an economical method of exploring and colonizing space. The notion is that they utilize local materials to build numerous exact copies of themselves which would be launched to the nearest stars, where the process would be repeated.
The impressive idea for robotic colonization of the Galaxy through von Neumann probes has two major disadvantages:
1. Soon after the self-replicating probes are set out across space, they would already be outdated because science and technology are developing very quickly, and the space distances are too vast. Year after year the technological civilizations should send into deep space more and more probes, for the previous ones are already outdated antiques of limited use, if any. According to their flight plans, the robotic spacecrafts should travel many thousands and even millions of years.
The problem with the quick outdating of robotic probes could be solved partially by reprogramming the replicators via radio signals. The billions spent on setting up a gigantic radio network would be money wasted because: first, such a method of communication and reprogramming is very slow and highly unreliable – the radio signal carrying sophisticated instructions should travel many thousands of years (about 120,000 years in order to cross the Milky Way Galaxy) via numerous relay stations; and second, many of the self-replicating machines would turn into useless trash or, more importantly, into dangerous idiots because of mistakes due to computers or intelligent species, to all kind of technical failures, errors, viruses, software and hardware mutations, inevitable accidents, electromagnetic noise, jokes (some "intelligent" guys have an unsuspected and nasty sense of humor), hostile activities, and so on, and so on.
2. Countless self-replicating machines of all technological generations made by millions of civilizations would spread out like space techno-cancer, devastating almost everything they encounter, self-replicating themselves following their code to reproduce.
Carl Sagan and William Newman have argued that no civilization would dare build such machines for fear that they would mutate into monsters that would destroy the entire Galaxy. But Nature doesn't rely on ethics. On Earth all possible wrongdoings have been done – except the ultimate one: humans still haven't self-destroyed themselves. The uniformity of the Universe leads us to expect that many things elsewhere in the cosmos will be the same as they are here on our home planet: so, the wrongdoers and silly persons of all sorts are all around the Universe.
Imagine what would happen if only a single autonomous self-replicating probe touch down somewhere in the Solar System, and following its program begins to reproduce itself on the Moon, on Mars, on thousands of asteroids, on the satellites of planets... Soon we would detect the launching of millions and millions of probes which would be landing on all possible space bodies around the Earth.
These machines would arrive on our planet, too, millions of them. The unwelcomed high-tech visitors on Earth would be only a small part of the countless swarms of self-replicators roaming the solar system, looking for local materials in order to utilize them. They would infest our entire home star system. But would they be just harmless robotic probes with sophisticated artificial intelligence which would stop to replicate and leave the solar system after detecting life and intelligence?
Maybe some of them would try to communicate with us and send back signals to their creators; some might continue to replicate ignoring humans; some might even wage a war against the intruders – us. They would consider the solar system their home territory. These machines would not be malicious, they would just be following simple program instructions to survive and replicate themselves, with deadly consequences for us.
Von Neumann machines could also be used as deadly weapons in wars or by terrorists on Earth or in space. The self-replicating robotic berserkers would destroy everything they encounter in the enemy space. People most often imagine these killing machines to be huge metal bastards creaking loudly and throwing flares and missiles; as a matter of fact, they might also be tiny or even (almost) invisible, but highly dangerous.
Humans still don't have the recourses to beat off encroaching self-replicating machines.
The problems with the von Neumann probes could be solved by adding two new elements and removing the unnecessary and dangerous self-replicating unit, controlled by an autonomous computer.
The first element to be added, in order to get a safe and controllable robotic probe, is a matrix: a personal, standard interface software mediating between human and machine intelligence. This software should be standardized by the authorities, hence the name matrix, in order to be avoided misuses and for better control of the artificial intelligence and machines.
The personal matrix significantly enhances the mind capacity and productivity. It accelerates the thinking process; there is no limitation of memory storage, provides instantaneous access to all human knowledge, etc. The human/matrix structure posses both the advantages of the human brain and of artificial intelligence; thus the machine intelligence could not dominate people, because, through the matrix, humans would have all of the qualities of the machines and the artificial intelligence. In that way machines couldn't outsmart the human race – a major concern of scholars, futurists, writers, etc.
The matrices could be made an integral part of the human brain through a microchip implant, feeding impulses directly into the brain and giving commands with our thought. But to use the power of the matrix, it is not required to have an implant. A good computer is enough, too. The implant just makes the operating much easier, quicker, comfortable, and much more effective.
The second necessary element to be added is instantaneous communication through channel based on quantum entanglement (or some other novel technology). The laws of modern physics limit the speed of material objects, but not of information. Such channels would be reliable, high secured, and cost-efficient.
The instantaneous info channels and the matrix enabled robotic equipment would provide high-performance telepresence: this is the ability to experience in real time another locale or another world via remote robotic "eyes" to see, "feet" to move, and "hands" to manipulate. The experience of "being there," "amusing oneself there," or "working there" would no more require one physically to be there – even if the place of residence is many star systems away.
The instantaneous data channels and the matrix resolve the disadvantages of uncontrolled self-replication and quick outdating of the interstellar robotic probes: one could update the software and the hardware on a regular basis. There is no need of an autonomous computer with intelligence close to the human level and of self-replicating units.
The new space probes could trace a huge network of instantaneous data channels and spread out huge amounts of machines into the cosmos which are managed and controlled through quantum channels and personal interface software; from local materials they would be able to manufacture robotic factories, power plants, all kinds of production machines, new space probes, robots, elements of defense systems, and so on.
Humans could control robots, artificial intelligence, and devices through this technology (robotic telepresence based on instantaneous communication and matrices) not only in remote real environment, but also in hazard areas and situations like bomb disposal, mining, military operations, subsea works, rescue of victims from fire, dangerous radiation, toxic atmospheres, or even hostage situations.
The applications are practically countless: remote surgery, entertainment, education, and so further. They can also be used to a change in scale, where for an example a surgeon may use micromanipulator technology to conduct surgery on a microscopic level; for construction of incredibly small nanodevices, etc.
It is inevitable humans to face both properly functioning and damaged von Neumann machines (robotic self-replicating devices and spacecrafts controlled by autonomous artificial intelligence) and machines postulated by Popoff (matrix enabled robotic machines providing telepresence which are operated over instantaneous data channels).
In order to survive, all space civilizations should be able to stop alien ships, self-replicating machines, Popoff machines, or probes from entering their habitat (their solar system at this stage of development) and have the technological and military power to destroy them, if necessary.
BACK TO FERMI PARADOX AND EQUAL START HYPOTHESIS
Sound hypotheses answering the Fermi paradox have to satisfy two major requirements: first, the universe should be teeming with life and intelligence, and second, most of the sentient beings still haven't contacted each other, radio wave leakage hasn't been detected, or other hard evidence proving the existence of alien civilizations.
Such hypothesis should also meet some basic principles:
1. Occam's razor advises us to keep things simple;
2. The Copernican principle is the idea that the location of human in the Universe is not special, and the Earth is typical and common;
3. Darwinism (natural selection, hard competition, and survival of the fittest) is a similar idea applied to biological life forms, and humans are an average space civilization;
4. The principle of uniformity says that it's the same everywhere in the Universe.
The Fermi paradox, the problems with the dangerous self-replicating von Neumann machines and the Popoff machines, and the space germ contamination are closely connected. They are part of a bigger but simple concept – a Universe teeming with fit civilizations. So the equal start of intelligence is a must. The late-emerging space races are doomed.
The creatures in our Universe live in a world of limited resources: oil, nice partners of the opposite sex, good salaries, champion cups, best quality whisky, etc. If the resources we need, or believe we need, are abundant, there would be no competition, hence very slow or almost no evolution of the life forms and the intelligence.
We live in a world guided by models which are stimulating the evolution through competition. Eden is a place of perfect happiness; there is no place for rivalry between two or more persons or groups for an object desired in common, usually resulting in a victor and a loser, often involving the destruction of the latter or the both. The doctrines of paradise, eternal peace and love, of golden ages of the past when people lived in harmony and brotherhood, or of some future golden ages are impossible myths, because in such societies the evolution is too slow or nonexistent. The healthy, eternal (or at least very long-living) members of such a utopian world would enjoy life, fully satisfied in a perfectly safe environment. But there aren't enough stimuli to change anything or themselves—evolution means constant changes.
As a matter of fact, paradise, perfect happiness, infinite life, resurrection from the dead of our beloved ones or famous historical personages, eternal youth, creating a copy of someone who died in an accident, and other similar wonders are perfectly possible. That model of desired world or of a person could be materialized by the vector, and we would live in supreme bliss, forever in Eden. But our world is guided by another model which requires growth, evolution, progress, a huge number of competing individuals and civilizations, countless births and deaths.
The speed of evolution should be defined very well.
If the competition is too hard, the death rate as a result of rivalry (wars, crime, all sorts of accidents, jealousy, and so on) becomes too high and the development eventually slows down—human, industrial, financial, infrastructural, and other losses are turning into stopping factors; people are becoming highly demotivated.
This is especially important when intelligent species develop self-destructing technologies like nuclear, chemical, biological, and other weapons of mass destruction; devastation and havoc could be so huge that such civilizations might not recover in a reasonable period of time; they would be assimilated or destroyed by their competitors.
If the level of competition is too low, then the frequency of death within a given population as a consequence of the competition is significantly reduced, and people enjoy a comfortable life, however the rate of development would be insufficient, and such civilizations might not survive rivalry.
The future generations of all space races should invest tremendous efforts and resources to reprogram the vector (just as we are now trying to reengineer DNA) in order to provide a more secure life and comfortable environment. But they (including our descendants) would also be much closer to the death of their local solar systems with their dying suns and to the thermodynamical end of the Universe with its depleting natural resources. In order to leave their star system, and after that the Universe, the future generations would need huge energy, new territories, and many natural resources.
The intelligent space races would face two main strategies: a comfortable end to their civilization or a fierce fight in order to survive, abandoning the dying Universe.
The refusal to compete and evolve means certain death to any civilization.
Megaintelligence (megacivilizations) is a term describing mature intelligences who manage to abandon their dying home universes. The sentient species inhabiting our Universe, including humans (if they survive), should also leave it – if they want to make it.
The megacivilizations are monitoring, controlling, and guiding to some extent the development of organisms and intelligence in this life cycle of our Universe. It is possible that the Universe (the Earth, too) is visited periodically by some M.I. in order to take all sorts of samples, including specimen of intelligent life forms.
But why don't these almighty creatures show up? Why don't superior intelligences contact us in an open manner or officially? They have their good reasons for that.
Hoping for more clarity and a better solution, I consider the Fermi paradox in two aspects:
1. Why don't we have hard evidence for intelligent life inhabiting our Universe?
2. Why don't the megacivilizations outside of our Universe show up? They have the technological means to do that.
Debating the Fermi paradox, only the first aspect of it is usually taken into account—why don't we have solid evidence for intelligent life inhabiting our Universe? The equal start hypothesis is a possible answer.
I often asked myself one simple question: Why are there in the Universe intelligent creatures at such a low level of evolution like humans, considering first, the enormous time since the beginning of the All – not only these humble 13.7 billion years since the origin of our Universe, but the countless time before that; and second, taking into account the incredible vastness of the Being – our Universe is only one of numerous worlds? It seems obvious to us that evolution should produce much higher intelligence during this immense time period.
Humans patently aren't the pinnacle of development of all matter, life, intelligence, or whatever. The anthropic principle is a very self-misleading hypothesis.
Anthropocentric ideas regard humans as a central fact of the Universe and assume that Homo sapiens are the final aim and end of the All. It views and interprets everything in terms of human values and experience.
The simplest form of the anthropic principle claims that God created the Universe for us, humans; however, some religions and lores accept that there are many worlds in the All, inhabited by various creatures; hence, they reject the anthropocentric approach when interpreting universal principles.
The anthropic cosmological principle states that the natural laws, constants, and basic structures of our Universe are not completely arbitrary – instead, they are constrained by requirements that allow the existence of humans. The word anthropic derives from the Greek anthr$pikós which means human.
Humans are puffed up with imaginary self-importance. Most of the scholars can’t give up the term anthropic. Now, there are several anthropic principles: weak anthropic principle, strong anthropic principle, final anthropic principle, individual anthropic principle, participatory anthropic principle, etc. Researchers coined the term "observer," realizing that humans can’t be final aim and the end of the Universe; hence, adding the word anthropic to some ultimate universal principle is hugely misleading (actually totally wrong).
The dog barking and running around your backyard is an observer, too. Universe "designed" with the goal of generating and sustaining "dogs"? Personally, I doubt it.
Then the term was changed and the observer became intelligent. The intelligent observer principle (or the sapiens principle) for sure is an incorrect term, too. The ancient shepherds were intelligent observers – they could heal their sheep, knew stories, poems, and myths, had their cosmology, some could read, and so on.
But the Universe (that capricious, grand old lady) didn’t stop developing when reaching its final goal: generating the intelligent shepherd. Instead, it is galloping further at full speed. Obviously, intelligent observing is not enough. Maybe we should add creation, participation in creation, acquiring new knowledge? Not enough, too. Even now, humans are creating a lot of new things. What about great scientific discoveries?
Presently, we are only assimilating the knowledge stored in the vector during previous evolutionary cycles of the Universe. The so-called big scientific discoveries could be actually transmitted from the vector to scientists who are prepared to understand them. At that very moment, billions of scientists in our Universe are discovering the same theories human scholars are finding out on Earth. Billions of Einsteins rediscovered the theory of relativity; actually they got it from the vector. Pretty humiliating idea!
One of the many tasks of the vector is to educate us. Now the sentient beings in our Universe (biological or not) are more like (bio)robots which are created, organized, controlled, educated, etc. by the vector. You don’t like the idea? I don’t like it either, but I would prefer to accept the truth, instead of some self-misleading puffy belief about the great importance of human and alien creatures consciously exploring Nature to the full extent. I also like the notion that we are intelligent, self-governing, originative, independent, creative, and self-sustaining creatures, but is it true?
Bitter facts are better than self-misleading illusions or doctrines if one is going to explore the world. Comforting lies have nothing to do with research.
We still don’t have enough knowledge about the evolution of Matter, Life, and Intelligence to get a clear picture about the future of the Universe and can’t draw realistic scientific conclusions about ultimate or final universal principles. We can only speculate.
The most probable answer to the seemingly simple question "Why are there in the Universe intelligent creatures at such a low level of evolution like humans?" could be that Matter, Life, and Intelligence develop in cycles and are arranged in suitable agglomerates. Now we are at the low stages of such a cycle of development in our present agglomerate, the Universe. We can access only our agglomerate. The creatures inhabiting more advanced agglomerates can access the lower ones and are guiding them to some extent.
The development of our Universe is the longest evolutionary cycle we know. According to modern science, it would last up to one hundred billion years. The developing universes might be subjected to an endless series of evolutionary cycles.
What's the point of development in cycles? Why is Mother Nature repeating itself periodically? Can we observe such cycles on Earth?
Cycles are an inevitable part of evolving Matter, Life, and Intelligence. A cycle can last the whole life of a universe, but there are also a great number of shorter cycles: year, day, biological cycles of the human body, etc. Everything (matter or living creatures) is subject to cycles. Humans are also exposed to many individual cycles, but the most important one (from an evolutionary point of view) is: birth, life in competitive environment in order for the specimens to develop as much as possible, transferring the gathered information – the genetic one through the DNA; the acquired practical and scientific knowledge through education – to the next generation, and death.
Generations and universes are following the same pattern. Generation after generation humans are becoming more developed and sophisticated. Cycle after cycle the universes are producing more advanced intelligences.
The megacivilizations from previous evolutionary cycles are superbeings in comparison to us, but they still can't change the established global process of creation and evolution. Our Universe is like some kind of gigantic womb reproducing megaintelligences. Maybe in the future there will be other means of reproduction and evolution of intelligent beings, but the main principles will remain the same, at least for a very long time.
But why don't the megacivilizations show up? Because they want to get offspring from our Universe – healthy, intelligent, competitive. The megacivilizations must play their competitive games, too: among them there should also be winners and losers. Leaving their dying universes, the megaintelligences don’t enter some sort of paradise, but another completive world which shows no mercy when it comes to evolution.
World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and many wars back in time stimulated very much the development of science and technologies. There are enough studies on the subject. Believe it or not, like it or not, wars are one of the main motors of evolution and the development of sciences and technologies. They are the highest degree of competition.
But we don't like wars, no matter how productive they are. We want to live in peace and in good health as long as possible. If the mighty megacivilizations show up, we would ask them to stop the wars, which would actually reduce the level of competition. But this is against the interests of the megaintelligences, because evolution becomes much slower and the end product of the Universe – actually the offspring any M.I. is waiting for – would develop below expectations.
If the superior megacivilizations show up, we would ask them also to prolong our lives. They have the know-how: humans could live 10,000 years or longer in perfect health – no cancer, no heart attack...there are thousands of life-threatening diseases. But on the other hand, poor health, numerous illnesses, and short life expectancy are mighty stimuli for humans to develop medicine, science, and technology which in turn accelerate evolution. There are also other similar reasons why the megacivilizations don't openly visit in open manner civilizations like ours.
The megacivilizations are also guiding to some extent the evolution of intelligence in our Universe and in other universes, and they fully agree with what they watch on Earth and on other planets – they see numerous healthy space races developing quickly, exactly as they expect. They should be satisfied because their offspring will be more advanced compared to the newborns from the previous evolutionary cycle of the Universe. Just as we expect the next human generation to be more developed than the previous; we are making our best efforts to ensure that our kids get a better education, are more healthy, and so on, so that they will be better than us in everything.
Maybe the megacivilizations are guided as well, and there might be some sort of multilevel creation and control.
The megaintelligences are not going to save us from the benefits of competition; benefits from their point of view, that are only disasters for us. They do not intend to prolong our lives (we should take care of this) or to solve the poverty problem (another mighty stimulus), to stop the wars and crimes, and so further. The story of the Savior that all are waiting for is just a myth, giving us hope for better days. It is counterproductive, for if it becomes a reality, it would slow down evolution. But the Final Judgment is a reality which humanity will inevitably face. Not all space civilizations will get to go on existing further.
The megacivilizations are furtively guiding us, together with the vector, in a highly clandestine manner, revealing their presence to us through mythology, religions, parapsychological manifestations, etc. Their goal is: numerous intelligent species, developing as fast as possible.
Humans are still alive because they aren't here: the extraterrestrials from our Universe, their robotic probes, and the alien microbes. In order to produce huge numbers of sound space civilizations, the vector keeps them separated by huge cosmic distances. The equal start of advanced sentient life forms in such a great developing Universe gives these species the chance for survival and progress.
When potentially dangerous manned spacecrafts, von Neumann probes, Popoff machines, or alien life forms come into the solar system, a reliable space defense system would be a matter of life and death.
The lifesaving immune system is a complex network of interacting cells, cell products, and cell-forming tissues protecting the living body from pathogens and other foreign substances. It destroys infected and malignant cells and removes them. There is no other way for the living organism to survive. Seconds after the immune system stops working, the body begins to decompose.
In the near future, humans should begin to build up a reliable space defense system – a complex network of interacting humans, software, and machines, protecting our present habitat, the Solar System, from pathogens, quasi-alive forms, machines, and any alien life forms which could pose a threat to the terrestrial life or would change our environment. There is no other way to survive.
With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC
Best Regards and clear skies,
2006 Alexander Popoff
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