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The Dark Forest Theory Explains Why We Haven’t Found Aliens Yet – And It Is Pretty Terrifying

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The Milky Way galaxy is made up of 200 billion stars and maybe 100 billion planets. Even if just a tiny proportion of those planets maintained life, and even if only a pitiful scattering of those planets had intelligent lifeforms, our galaxy would be swarming with alien civilizations, some of which would be seeking for us or discoverable for at least a short time.

The Drake equation, which converts the preceding components into variables, may be used to calculate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations that should exist in the galaxy. When you enter them into the calculation, you get to the conclusion that our galactic neighborhood should have at least 20 civilizations. When you think about it, the fact that we have yet to discover any other life in the universe is almost astounding.

The Fermi paradox refers to the apparent discrepancy between how many advanced civilizations there should be in space and the lack of evidence for any. Over the previous several decades, it has given rise to hundreds of concepts and proposed solutions.

The Dark Forest theory explains why we haven’t heard from aliens by asserting that they are intentionally staying quiet.

The argument is best spelled out in Liu Cixin’s book The Dark Forest. The storyline of the book, the second in a trilogy, is concerned with how to communicate with possibly hostile extraterrestrial species.

The following is how the novel’s argument is set out:

All life seeks to stay alive. There is no way of knowing if other lifeforms can or will annihilate you if given the opportunity. In the absence of guarantees, the safest choice for any species is to eliminate other life forms before they can do the same.

Because all other lifeforms in the book are risk-averse and prepared to go to any length to preserve themselves, every contact is risky, as it nearly always results in the contacted species wiping out whoever was dumb enough to give away their position. As a result, all civilizations seek to remain radio silent.

This excerpt from the book explains the reasons for the paranoia: ‘The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them.’

Scientist David Brin proposed this notion as a possible answer to the absence of radio evidence for extraterrestrial life. While the form he describes employs robotic probes to eliminate civilizations other than the one that produced it, the essential principle remains the same. In this paragraph, he argues why this answer is appealing from a technical standpoint but horrifying from an existential one: 

‘It is consistent with all of the facts and philosophical principles described in the first part of this article. There is no need to struggle to suppress the elements of the Drake equation in order to explain the Great Silence, nor need we suggest that no ETIS anywhere would bear the cost of interstellar travel. It need only happen once for the results of this scenario to become the equilibrium condition in the Galaxy. We would not have detected extraterrestrial radio traffic- nor would any ETIS have ever settled on Earth- because all were killed shortly after discovering radio.’

For over a century, we’ve been shouting our existence to the universe. Any extraterrestrial within a hundred light years of us would be bombarded with radio transmissions from our way. We could have a problem if we had reason to avoid informing aliens about ourselves, as Stephen Hawking believed we do.

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‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space

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The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.

The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”.

Modernity.news reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”

The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.

Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?

Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:

a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or

2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or

iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”

Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.

Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.

Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.

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Earth has built-in protection from asteroids

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Asteroids are not just wandering space rocks, but a potential threat
to Earth. But what if the Earth already has its own built-in defenses
against them? Recent research published on the preprint server arXiv puts forward an unusual theory: Earth’s gravitational forces may serve as its secret shield against asteroids.

Our
planet uses powerful gravitational interactions with other celestial
bodies to break apart asteroids that approach it. These tidal forces,
akin to those that explain Earth’s tides caused by the Moon, can be so
intense that objects undergo tidal disruption, causing them to be torn
apart.

Observations of fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 after
its collision with Jupiter in 1994 provided the first confirmation of
this phenomenon. However, for decades astronomers have been looking for
evidence that Earth or other terrestrial planets could have a similar
effect on asteroids and comets.

Planetary scientist Mikael Granvik
from the Swedish University of Technology, Luleå, led the research that
came closer to solving the above phenomenon.

His
discovery is linked to the search for gravitationally disrupted
near-Earth asteroids (NEAS), and provides compelling evidence that our
planet’s gravitational forces are not just an abstract concept, but a
factor capable of breaking asteroids into small pieces.

Based on
modeling of asteroid trajectories, Grunwick and colleague Kevin Walsh of
the Southwest Research Institute found that collisions with rocky
planets can cause asteroids to lose a significant portion of their mass,
turning them into debris streams.

New data shows that small
asteroid fragments, while not posing a threat to life on the planet, may
nevertheless increase the likelihood of local collisions like those
that occurred in Tunguska and Chelyabinsk.

Granwick assures that
asteroids smaller than 1 km in diameter are not a critical threat, but
increase the likelihood of incidents. However, it is worth remembering
the additional risks that may arise due to the formation of new debris
clouds.

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