Happy New Year. My first post of 2017! Here’s to hoping for a good year.
As I usually do when I want to write my novels, I stare at my computer until I get the urge to write or look at Facebook or something. This morning, Facebook won out. I found a post about Brian Cox explanation of Fermi’s Paradox. Another article talking about how all aliens must destroy themselves before they break free of their home planet.
I have addressed how I feel this is wrong in this previous post, so I will not dwell on those reasons here. Of course; I, like them, have no clue whether aliens exist or not. We have no substantiated proof either way, yet. It is all conjecture. But what fun this is!
To me, these arguments for self-destruction is superimposing our behavior on any alien race that might exist. While I believe this is a very possible outcome for the human race. I do not believe that means all intelligent races will do the same.
Look at other examples on Earth. Bees for example. How do they expand? Do they grab every possible hive location as soon as possible? Do they constantly war with themselves? They do have their cold-blooded aspects but not like us. Bees expand, or swarm, when they have grown large enough that they can not “smell” the queen. When a hive is so large that the queen’s pheromones can not reach all members in the hive, those members not ‘under her spell’ make a new queen. When she is born, the old queen flies off with a portion of the workers.
A hive grows larger because it has produced enough food to allow the colony to successfully grow. So instead of producing swarms that go out and just find land, they do it when they are over populated. Could an alien race act like this? Why not?
Another example could be the big cats or wolves. Normally they also do not go out and grab all they can grab. They keep their territory unless resources are scarce.
Why would aliens not have a similar behavior? Why would we think that aliens would make their main goal of exploration of everything? Why wouldn’t they just explore their immediate surroundings, find a few places and settle in for a while to develop these resources.
Within 10 light years of Sol (our solar system) there are 15 known stellar objects (stars and red/brown dwarf stars). These are the ones we know of. The last being discovered in 2014, with a few more found since 2010. This leads me to believe there might be at least double this number in this space. If there are 30 systems in this small space, that is a lot of exploration for us to undertake. Each one requiring a mission to be set up, speed up and slow down of the craft on the way, communications between the stars, etc.. That is a lot of resources. And we still have problems on earth that are priorities.
Within 100 light years of Sol, there are over 500 known G type stars (ones we can see as a twinkle of light in the night’s sky). In the 10 light year range, only 2 of them are G type. So if we take a similar ratio of dwarf stars to G types, in 100 light years range there might be 2500 stars. Include even fainter ones, like we are discovering still in 10 light year range, and that might be 5000 or more. Again think of all the trip planning and particulars of the trip to get to all of them.
Humans seem to have the wanderlust that makes them always go over the horizon. That doesn’t seem to be a trait of most of our fellow species of Earth. Why would aliens act more like us and not more like one of the other species of Earth?
Additionally, there are so many resources in this solar system, why would we need to go elsewhere? Yes for humans, its wanderlust. If the species was not prone to wanderlust, when would they need to move? When they have exhausted the resources of a solar system? How long would it take for us to mine out this system? It has been 5000 years of recorded time and we still have not mined out the resources of Earth. What about the moon? asteroids? Mars? Jupiter and her moons? etc…
If a race takes 1000 years to exhaust the resources of an entire star system and thus requiring the aliens to move on. It would take this race 30,000 years to exhaust the 10 light year range from Sol. With the Milky Way galaxy being 100,000 light years wide, it would take this race 30 million years to strip a 10 light year wide strip from one end to the other.
To do this for a 1000 light year wide strip, it would take 3 billion years. That would still leave the vast majority of the galaxy untouched and that is a quarter the age of the galaxy. So even if we had a locust acting race out there, chances are, the galaxy is just too big to swallow.
Have a Happy New Year!