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I had an epiphany about humans, life, earth, the universe, etc, and I wanted your opinion

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
I was watching Jurassic World the other day and I started thinking about the dinosaurs. And then I started thinking about how they were killed off by a meteor slamming into earth. Then I started thinking about the possibility of that happening to humans, if human beings are still alive long enough for when that eventually does happen. And then I started thinking about the universe, and intelligent life... and if it's likely any species(human or alien) will be around long enough to advance to the point where they can create technology that can travel across the universe. So many people assume there are aliens out there, and they assume if there are, they are way more advanced than us. But I was thinking that the amount of time it takes for a species to advance to a place where they can travel across galaxies, the likelihood of something preventing that is probably high. Whether it be a meteor hitting their planet, them wiping themselves out in wars, them destroying their own planet with industrial behaviors creating these technologies, etc. There are so many things that can happen to wipe out or halt a species' advancement.

So then I started to think about earth again and how this idea relates to us as humans. Say a meteor wipes us out. Or we kill ourselves in a new world war. Or global warming destroys us. Or some super virus does. Whatever, it doesn't matter. At some point, new intelligent life will likely be born again. It'll take millions of years of evolution, but it'll happen. And just like we found remnants of dinosaurs, they'll find remnants of us. But when they do, they'll find far more than we did of dinosaurs and other species. Because we'd have left behind something they didn't: technology. And yeah, at first, this new intelligent species wouldn't know what to do with it when they find remnants of documents or computers or tech buried in the ground. But eventually they'll become intelligent enough to study it. And they'll learn from it. And because of what we left behind, they will get a jump start to technological advancement that we never did. Allowing them to advance further than we did. Our demise, essentially paving the way for a new species to advance farther than we did before it destroys itself or gets destroyed by something else.

And then lastly, I started to wonder: maybe that's what life is. What planets are for. Just a perpetual state of passing the baton on to new species, one more intelligent than the next, each species eventually getting wiped out, and the new one that is born learning from the previous one so they can advance farther and farther and farther... until one day they are advanced enough to be able to leave that planet and migrate to a new one. On the backs of many extinct species that passed down innovation and technology before they passed on, so the next species could advance farther than the previous could. And we humans are only the second wave of a long line of species to come in that chain.

Anyway, totally random, but just some stuff I was thinking of. I know people here are interested in science and existentialism, so wanted to share these thoughts.

(no, I'm not high)
 

Hari Seldon

Gold Member
The problem with the OP's theory is that there is no evidence or guarantee that intelligent life will actually emerge again. If you look at all of the species of life that have ever existed on earth, how many reach some level of discernible intelligence? First off, what is intelligence? For our purposes, lets use the OP's definition: The ability to study prior civilizations and learn from them. Well how many species in earth's history have been able to do that? 1. Maybe up to 3 had potential to eventually, if us humans didn't kill them off, i.e. the neanderthals and the denisovians. But that is a big if, and all within the last small sliver of the earth's history.
 

Mato

Member
I've outgrown my pubescent sci-fi attraction for interstellar travel aeons ago. What is the point of aimlessly hopping around planets/solar systems/galaxies, apart from scavenging on resources? The Universe is inherently flawed and non-viable. If it's not possible to re-engineer it, or escape it, then everything is futile. We might as well escape into VR where we could pause or dilate the human perception of time and live off as (close to) purely intellectual beings. That was very deep, thank you for listening.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
The problem with the OP's theory is that there is no evidence or guarantee that intelligent life will actually emerge again. If you look at all of the species of life that have ever existed on earth, how many reach some level of discernible intelligence? First off, what is intelligence? For our purposes, lets use the OP's definition: The ability to study prior civilizations and learn from them. Well how many species in earth's history have been able to do that? 1. Maybe up to 3 had potential to eventually, if us humans didn't kill them off, i.e. the neanderthals and the denisovians. But that is a big if, and all within the last small sliver of the earth's history.
Fair point, but there could be a lot of factors for this. It took a long time, and many events that occurred on earth to allow for life to be born at all, and then eventually intelligent life. Previous cataclysmic events wiping out previous life, paving the way for newer more intelligent life.

My argument is: as long as the biological blueprint is available on the planet, it may be inevitable it eventually happens. Now it might take many millions of years, but I think there's something special about the nature of life where it always finds a way. It seems to have a knack for advancing and growing. Sometimes it just takes a while.

But I suppose it's possible that we could get wiped out and no intelligent life will ever form again in our place. I tend to believe as long as it's biologically possible to happen given all the things that need to be in place on earth for it to happen, eventually it will again over time.
 

Kimahri

Gold Member
Fair point, but there could be a lot of factors for this. It took a long time, and many events that occurred on earth to allow for life to be born at all, and then eventually intelligent life. Previous cataclysmic events wiping out previous life, paving the way for newer more intelligent life.

My argument is: as long as the biological blueprint is available on the planet, it may be inevitable it eventually happens. Now it might take many millions of years, but I think there's something special about the nature of life where it always finds a way. It seems to have a knack for advancing and growing. Sometimes it just takes a while.

But I suppose it's possible that we could get wiped out and no intelligent life will ever form again in our place. I tend to believe as long as it's biologically possible to happen given all the things that need to be in place on earth for it to happen, eventually it will again over time.

People tend to forget that the extinction of the dinosaurs isn't the first ME event. There have been five. Any of those could have wiped out the beginning stages of the type of intelligence humans are capable of. We just have no way of knowing. So much is lost to time.

I like your idea though. Throughout the universe there could be counltess planets with øife in various stages. Some civilizations could have been lost millions of years ago. Others might just be starting. Other planets might have plant and animal life, similar or completely different to our own.

I'm sure thete is life out there, but finding it... Yeah. Not easy.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
People tend to forget that the extinction of the dinosaurs isn't the first ME event. There have been five. Any of those could have wiped out the beginning stages of the type of intelligence humans are capable of. We just have no way of knowing. So much is lost to time.

I like your idea though. Throughout the universe there could be counltess planets with øife in various stages. Some civilizations could have been lost millions of years ago. Others might just be starting. Other planets might have plant and animal life, similar or completely different to our own.

I'm sure thete is life out there, but finding it... Yeah. Not easy.
This is true. I believe one was like 390 million years ago that wiped out 97% of life on the planet, most of which was marine life. Don’t think scientists know for sure what it was, I’ve read they speculate radiation possibly from a dying star that reached earth.

Yeah, I think the number of stars and planets out there makes it highly probable there’s other intelligent life out there. But for that life to have the time to advance far enough to where it can travel across the universe, so much has to go right. It has to avoid being the victim of all cataclysmic civilization ending events. It has to not destroy itself. It has to not destroy its own planet. And I wonder how likely that is. If one species can have the time to advance far enough to create universe traveling technology before any of those things happen to that species. I’m not sure that is likely. Now of course the universe is so big, that may even out the odds. There’s just so many planets the chances one out there has life and avoided being destroyed or destroying itself is also possible. But generally speaking I think in a vacuum, taking each hypothetical species individually there’s so much that could go wrong to end civilization and halt advancement in its tracks.

Which is why we may need to pass technology on to future species so they have the time to get there. Shorten the window needed to advance that far.
 

Artoris

Member
It's not just about intelligence elephant could well be more intelligent than we are, but it can't do much about it as it has no hands
 

Kenneth Haight

Gold Member
(no, I'm not high)
Snoop Dogg Smoking GIF by BrownSugarApp

Sure mate, me neither.
 

IDKFA

Gold Member
It's not just about intelligence elephant could well be more intelligent than we are, but it can't do much about it as it has no hands

Can't tell if you're being serious or not?

If not, then no. Elephants are nowhere near as intelligent as a human. Hands have nothing to do with it.
 

poppabk

Member
The big question is whether intelligence will always trump nature. ie is an intelligent species inevitable or an aberration. Would mammals have had the opportunity to evolve into more intelligent creatures if the dinosaurs had still been around for example.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
At some point, new intelligent life will likely be born again. It'll take millions of years of evolution, but it'll happen.
Not necessarily. Intelligence is not inevitable.

And just like we found remnants of dinosaurs, they'll find remnants of us. But when they do, they'll find far more than we did of dinosaurs and other species. Because we'd have left behind something they didn't: technology.
Not necessarily. If it takes millions of years to develop a new intelligent species, that's millions of years of erosion and geologic processes to grind away our tech and bury it in the ground. Or drown it beneath the oceans or cover it under miles of ice. They might notice that a layer of rock from a core sample contains unusual and unnatural amounts of certain substances, but they're not finding any Playstations or jet fighters. Even our mightiest buildings will succumb when faced with geologic time.

Of the fossils we do find, there are countless others that never got fossilized or go unfound.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Not necessarily. Intelligence is not inevitable.


Not necessarily. If it takes millions of years to develop a new intelligent species, that's millions of years of erosion and geologic processes to grind away our tech and bury it in the ground. Or drown it beneath the oceans or cover it under miles of ice. They might notice that a layer of rock from a core sample contains unusual and unnatural amounts of certain substances, but they're not finding any Playstations or jet fighters. Even our mightiest buildings will succumb when faced with geologic time.

Of the fossils we do find, there are countless others that never got fossilized or go unfound.
I don’t think we have a large enough sample to know if it is or isn’t yet. It may not be. I could see it being inevitable too though given favorable conditions for life. I guess it depends on how much time you have though. The longer the time, the greater the chance.

I guess in that instance it depends on what wiped us out. If a virus did for example, the preservation(or lack thereof) would be a lot different than say a meteor burying much of what we have under a new layer of falling debris back on earth. But I still think there would be something left behind. Can’t guarantee it, but something. Also you gotta think at some point we’ll begin taking measures storing things in ways they’d last that long if we had an idea we could be wiped out and it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
What was the first one?
I guess it would be more accurate to say we’d be the first. Though when I said that I was referring to any umbrella of advanced species that went extinct before us that left behind something, even if it was just fossils. But technology wise, we’d be the first in that hypothetical chain.
 

Kimahri

Gold Member
This is true. I believe one was like 390 million years ago that wiped out 97% of life on the planet, most of which was marine life. Don’t think scientists know for sure what it was, I’ve read they speculate radiation possibly from a dying star that reached earth.

Yeah, I think the number of stars and planets out there makes it highly probable there’s other intelligent life out there. But for that life to have the time to advance far enough to where it can travel across the universe, so much has to go right. It has to avoid being the victim of all cataclysmic civilization ending events. It has to not destroy itself. It has to not destroy its own planet. And I wonder how likely that is. If one species can have the time to advance far enough to create universe traveling technology before any of those things happen to that species. I’m not sure that is likely. Now of course the universe is so big, that may even out the odds. There’s just so many planets the chances one out there has life and avoided being destroyed or destroying itself is also possible. But generally speaking I think in a vacuum, taking each hypothetical species individually there’s so much that could go wrong to end civilization and halt advancement in its tracks.

Which is why we may need to pass technology on to future species so they have the time to get there. Shorten the window needed to advance that far.
Whenever we conquer space, I honestly think it's far more likely that we'll find fossilized life, than actual life.

Imagine arriving on a new planet and finding the ruins of some ancient civilization that surpassed our own.
 
Nah dude. We're living in the last billion years of Earth's habitable expectancy, and it took over 4 billion years for us to show up in the first place. If we don't make it work then this party's over. No intelligent life will discover our technology, nothing will benefit from our existence, we will have truly achieved nothing, and the universe will not remember us.

Blade Runner Film GIF
 

Melancholia inherited everything.

In panpsychic cosmic models these theories get more exciting and encompassing. Interplay of energy and space and the expression of multiform consciousness in the universe.
 

Artoris

Member
Can't tell if you're being serious or not?

If not, then no. Elephants are nowhere near as intelligent as a human. Hands have nothing to do with it.
Without hands, you have no fire no writing no wheel no cars no computers, you can't apply intellect to anything and your intelligent mind is just stuck in its body.
 
That's a fun theory and all, but why? Why would species have to pass the baton and move to other planets? What's the point in that?
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
That's a fun theory and all, but why? Why would species have to pass the baton and move to other planets? What's the point in that?
My theory is life is always evolving to survive. The natural course at some point for survival is to advance enough to avoid inevitable extinction to be able to migrate to other planets capable of sustaining life. No planet lasts forever, so at some point every species unable to migrate from said planet is going to go extinct unless they can relocate.
 
My theory is life is always evolving to survive. The natural course at some point for survival is to advance enough to avoid inevitable extinction to be able to migrate to other planets capable of sustaining life. No planet lasts forever, so at some point every species unable to migrate from said planet is going to go extinct unless they can relocate.
What if there's no planets left to colonize?
 

sono

Member
The difficulty with expanding your theory to the universe is there should be many space faring civilisations . But where are they?

There are two possibilities either we are the only planet in the universe with intelligent life or we are not both are equally terrifying

We should adopt Elon Musk vision and become multi planetary which means Mars colonisation first step..

Also. James Webb should be studying exoplanets atmospheres in the Goldilocks zone and stop wasting time on millions of years old distant galaxies that we will never go to

Directed single purpose..
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
The difficulty with expanding your theory to the universe is there should be many space faring civilisations . But where are they?

There are two possibilities either we are the only planet in the universe with intelligent life or we are not both are equally terrifying

We should adopt Elon Musk vision and become multi planetary which means Mars colonisation first step..

Also. James Webb should be studying exoplanets atmospheres in the Goldilocks zone and stop wasting time on millions of years old distant galaxies that we will never go to

Directed single purpose..
I thought about that and I was thinking that since the universe is only 14 billion years old, and then you factor in that most planets won’t be conducive to life, and the ones that are need to be formed long enough ago to have intelligent life, then that life to evolve long enough to pass on technology, and then another species doing it again, etc… factor all that in and the chances keep going down once you keep adding necessary variables needed for this all to occur. Considering how long evolution takes. But maybe there’s a planet out there that on my theory there’s a species that’s currently 3rd or 4th in the chain, and is far more advanced than us but still not advanced enough to travel to distant galaxies. And maybe there simply isn’t a planet close enough for them to migrate to that can sustain life. so they don’t have the technology to reach that planet yet.

To put it into perspective, we haven’t even stepped foot on another planet yet and we are very advanced as a species. So it’s going to take a species infinitely more advanced than us to leave their own solar system let alone a galaxy. So there may be a species out there way more advanced than us, but still not advanced enough to travel far into space.
 
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sono

Member
The other problem I see with the ops theory is that there is also runaway greenhouse which does not recover itself see Venus

We are more likely to become extinct because of that or a virus that Nuclear war

At least a virus the ops theory would work
 
It is very unlike that any of our tech would last long enough for another species to examine. Nature would reclaim it all , and way faster than you think.

Also, there is zero guarantee that intelligent life would evolve. That isn’t how evolution works.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Our Solar system is 4.5 billion years old so 14 is plenty for lots of civilisations on a universal scale.. but where are they
14 billion is how old the universe is. Factor in the time it took for the universe to settle, planets to form, then life to form, etc, you're chopping a significant amount of time off that 14 billion. How long, I don't know. If there's other intelligent life out there, it's impossible to know when exactly in time the very first species was formed.

But considering how much technology is needed to travel great distances in space, it may not have been enough time yet. We simply don't have an idea of how long it would generally take a species or chain of species passing on technology to get to the point where they could travel that far.
 

DAHGAMING

Member
I know 1 thing for sure, if a meteor is coming at us, il stand on my doorstep on a Thursday evening at 2000 and clap for it like them soppy cunts did for essential workers during covid, then when its time il be there to meet it face first.

Real talk though, I like the theory, who knows we cant dismiss a theory like that, although I feel the longer the time goes on they will have to shuvel through alot more of our shit before they find decent tech, so the end of us human scum better crack on and hurry the fuck up.
 

sono

Member
I have another theory. We are alone.. God created the universe for us to colonise. So we must focus on that
 

Melon Husk

Member
I think that humanity evolved intelligence and adaptability as a reaction to a changing environment. We were being tested [within the limits of habitability] and were constantly pushed outside our comfort zone. And here we are.

Why humanity? Why not crocodiles? I think fire had a lot to do with it. Being able to generate our own energy source from combustion. From that point on, the laws of thermodynamics really started to like us. Life can be reduced to thermodynamics, and you see, the universe really likes it when we boost entropy. You could call it the invisible hand of God. Or Devil, who knows... best to just call it physics.

Life started from harnessing an external energy source be it the Sun or a hot geothermal vent. Intelligent [sapien] life started from creating an external energy source at will, by combusting other dead lifeforms [in an oxygen rich atmosphere].
 
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DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
It is very unlike that any of our tech would last long enough for another species to examine. Nature would reclaim it all , and way faster than you think.

Also, there is zero guarantee that intelligent life would evolve. That isn’t how evolution works.
Definitely possible. I still think at some point we are going to start working on a means of storing stuff in the event of extinction to where it could be protected by nature. But just say for a second that all technology is lost. By technology I mean stuff like computers, phones, etc. It could even be something as simple as a long buried plastic bin. Or stone formations with carvings in them. Those discovery alone could have ripple effects that could change the course of a species' advancement and how they view the world.

For example, just putting the question into a species' mind of "where did this come from?" could cause a species to think about certain things long before humans ever did, and those thought processes could possibly guide a species toward discovery a lot sooner than humans did. So maybe in this instances instead of getting a large leg up, they get a smaller leg up.

While I could never rule it out, I do believe something man made would be left behind and found at some point if we were wiped out and another intelligent species came after us. But who knows, maybe not. Maybe we'd die out and however long later it took, there wouldn't be a single trace of us at all. It's just a theory.
 

Wildebeest

Member
Philosophically speaking, to the universe, humans surviving the death of the planet Earth and spreading to other planets doesn't mean all that much on that scale. To the individual it means nothing because you will be dead and probably the people in the far future on different worlds will be so different to you that you couldn't relate to them anyway.

To get past this, there are two obvious steps to pass through. 1. Humans must take the place of the "universe that cares" by just accumulating an immense amount of power, knowledge and ethics. This is why things like the Star Trek federation were imagined. 2. Humans would have to extend their empathy to things which are extremely far off in time, space, physiology, psychology, and so on.
 
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Razorback

Member
Nah dude. We're living in the last billion years of Earth's habitable expectancy, and it took over 4 billion years for us to show up in the first place. If we don't make it work then this party's over. No intelligent life will discover our technology, nothing will benefit from our existence, we will have truly achieved nothing, and the universe will not remember us.

Blade Runner Film GIF

This. Maybe If we lived around a red dwarf star that lasts literally for trillions of years OP's idea would be slightly more plausible. But not here. This planet's habitability window is closing soonish.
 

IDKFA

Gold Member
Without hands, you have no fire no writing no wheel no cars no computers, you can't apply intellect to anything and your intelligent mind is just stuck in its body.

By that logic, the pygmy marmoset would surly be classed as intelligent because it has hands.

Elephants can also interact with the world and pick things up using their trunks.

No, unfortunately elephants are not as intelligent as humans, regardless if they have hands.

If you're interested in the lived experience of animals and their intelligence, may I suggest the book Metoza and Other Minds by the philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith.
 
Definitely possible. I still think at some point we are going to start working on a means of storing stuff in the event of extinction to where it could be protected by nature. But just say for a second that all technology is lost. By technology I mean stuff like computers, phones, etc. It could even be something as simple as a long buried plastic bin. Or stone formations with carvings in them. Those discovery alone could have ripple effects that could change the course of a species' advancement and how they view the world.

For example, just putting the question into a species' mind of "where did this come from?" could cause a species to think about certain things long before humans ever did, and those thought processes could possibly guide a species toward discovery a lot sooner than humans did. So maybe in this instances instead of getting a large leg up, they get a smaller leg up.

While I could never rule it out, I do believe something man made would be left behind and found at some point if we were wiped out and another intelligent species came after us. But who knows, maybe not. Maybe we'd die out and however long later it took, there wouldn't be a single trace of us at all. It's just a theory.
I’d like it to be true too actually. Some might make it through too when you think about it. A solid cube of tungsten would last nearly forever and wouldn’t be natural
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
Nothing we do will matter on the cosmic scale but if you can get laid and eat some good food along the way it’ll all be worth it.

or not 🤷‍♀️
 
Higher intelligence only passed on earth because all the dinosaurs were wiped out. Imagine if Dinosaurs suddenly reappeared on earth (ignoring oxygen levels) and we only had sticks/hammers as weapons and language to pass on ideas/commands. Humanity would very easily be wiped out and large low intelligence creatures would win out. The chances of intelligence winning and being passed on as a dominant evolutionary trait on other planets is very small. Expecially considering that the brain uses up so much of the bodys energy and that amount doesn't go down even if you conserve your strength due to lack of food.
 
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DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Higher intelligence only passed on earth because all the dinosaurs were wiped out. Imagine if Dinosaurs suddenly reappeared on earth (ignoring oxygen levels) and we only had sticks/hammers as weapons and language to pass on ideas/commands. Humanity would very easily be wiped out and large low intelligence creatures would win out. The chances of intelligence winning and being passed on as a dominant evolutionary trait on other planets is very small. Expecially considering that the brain uses up so much of the bodys energy and that amount doesn't go down even if you conserve your strength due to lack of food.
In the form of humans, yes, probably. But who knows if the dinosaurs were never wiped out, if intelligent life in another form different than humans wouldn't have evolved that could survive under those current conditions. Maybe not, but maybe. There's two ways of looking at it. Either we are a total fluke and we are incredibly lucky to be here over a series of countless events that made it possible. Or, nature is destined to evolve in this direction, and while there may be roadblocks in place to prevent it from reaching that goal, as long as that is the purpose of life/nature, if even a remote sliver of a possibility is opened, it will find its way like water through a crack in a foundation. May take many many years, but eventually it will reach that end.
 
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Mistake

Member
I recently heard of scientists that ran a computer simulation in order to create an earth like ours. Long story short, we are the luckiest fuckup of all time, and the chances of it happening again are real slim
 
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