submitted 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) by Grogon to c/space

Individually doing atmospheric analysis for every planet in the galaxy is probably an impossible task for a civilisation confined to a single solar system. Listening for signals is something our civilisation already does. If we discover radio signals from a primitive civilisation in the next star system over there's a non-zero chance we'd panic and try to wipe them out.

That's the risk that dark forest theory is talking about. Maybe the threat comes from a civilisation dedicated to wiping out intelligent life that just hasn't found you yet, maybe it just comes from your nearest neighbor. Maybe there's no threat at all. The risk of interplanetary war is still too great to turn on a light in the forest and risk a bullet from the dark.

And while knowing this, why do we still not choose to just observe and be as quiet/ non existant as possible?

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[-] [email protected] 21 points 1 month ago

The Dark Forest theory is something that makes for a scary sci-fi novel, but it isn't really plausible in the real world. One of the major reasons is that individually doing atmospheric analysis for every planet in the galaxy actually is an entirely possible task, especially for a civilization that's supposedly advanced enough and close-by enough to be able to destroy our civilization somehow. If advanced alien civilizations were present in our galaxy and had the philosophy of destroying potential competitors before they also become advanced then we should have been wiped out hundreds of millions of years ago already. We shouldn't exist under a Dark Forest scenario.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

I know this is all hypothetical, but remember they may have the ability, but haven't reached the cultural moment, where they have the interest. That could be any random moment now or in the future too

[-] [email protected] 6 points 1 month ago

If this is to be a Fermi paradox solution (which the Dark Forest is usually presented as) then it has to be universal. "Sometimes a civilization somewhere decides to kill a few potential rivals" isn't enough to explain why the universe appears to be silent.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

A fair point, but even though we assume time and space are massive, there is an ordering to things.

There is a day before a civilization decides to kill it's neighbors, and a day after.

We can assume the state of things (big old space should have had that plot arc already) but we can't know if we are still in the opening episode, or before it.

Regarding general silence, agree that is not answered by my discussion. I personally lean more towards x factors disturbing our assumptions. (I.e. long running biospheres with zero advancement to radio age) but I increasingly wonder if we are just early to the party, as egotistical as that sounds. Imagine that the civilization that will one day rule the galaxy / universe is just now figuring out how to make a basic tool?

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this post was submitted on 28 Feb 2024
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