SETI & Technosignatures

Internalizing Null Extraterrestrial "Signals": An Astrobiological App for a Technological Society

By Keith Cowing
October 28, 2014
Filed under
Internalizing Null Extraterrestrial "Signals": An Astrobiological App for a Technological Society

One of the beneficial outcomes of searching for life in the Universe is that it grants greater awareness of our own problems here on Earth.

Lack of contact with alien beings to date might actually comprise a null “signal” pointing humankind toward a viable future. Astrobiology has surprising practical applications to human society; within the larger cosmological context of cosmic evolution, astrobiology clarifies the energetic essence of complex systems throughout the Universe, including technological intelligence that is intimately dependent on energy and likely will be for as long as it endures.

The “message” contained within the “signal” with which today’s society needs to cope is reasonably this: Only solar energy can power our civilization going forward without soiling the environment with increased heat yet robustly driving the economy with increased per capita energy usage. The null “signals” from extraterrestrials also offer a rational solution to the Fermi paradox as a principle of cosmic selection likely limits galactic civilizations in time as well as in space: Those advanced life-forms anywhere in the Universe that wisely adopt, and quickly too, the energy of their parent star probably survive, and those that don’t, don’t.

Eric J. Chaisson (Submitted on 27 Oct 2014)

Comments: 11 pages, 1 figure; to be published in The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth, S. Dick (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2015 (originally presented at NASA Astrobiology Meeting at Library of Congress, Washington, September 2014)

Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph)

Cite as: arXiv:1410.7374 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:1410.7374v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)

Submission history From: Eric Chaisson [view email] [v1] Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:50:03 GMT (807kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻