Are we inevitably doomed to kill ourselves(as a species)?

No matter how hard we’ve looked thus far we’ve found no evidence of other life in the universe let alone civilizations. We know the universe has been around relatively for billions of years. So mathematically the odds life other than us exist elsewhere in the universe is almost a certainty since we know what life is made of and needs to live. However despite all our efforts we’ve seen 0 traces of any other life or civilization. Maybe we just haven’t looked hard enough yet, but if we don’t find any visible proof of alien civilizations then perhaps there is a good reason for this.

Life evolves and gets more complex eventually becoming what we consider to be intelligent, and capable of creating imaginary constructs beyond our instinctive nature. Life then starts to inhabit everywhere it can, and with intelligence and technology it’s more capable of doing so. To inhabit more life replicates more, more life means more resource usage. Eventually if lifeforms are allowed to just roam free with their own nature they will kill themselves. Many ways this can happen if nothing else intervenes but the number way this will happen is conflict. Before we drain our resource out, conflict will promote violence.

When this happens to life on our scale of intelligence and size of inhabitance you end up with potentially the threat of extinction. If we were able to discover and use nuclear fission in such a relatively short period of time then what’s to say other life that evolves as complex as us doesn’t discover it as well. Instinct to work together like ants only goes so far, it takes true intelligence to beat the pace of mothernature correcting it’s self. If a species is able to create a civilization similar to ours, then they’re definitely capable of discovering dangerous things in the universe. Perhaps this is why we don’t see any other civilizations. It’s so difficult for an entire species to first expand like we have, and then become tolerant enough to have a singular priority. We see traces of this in our world, like with international laws and the joint effort of all the countries to decrease our effect on the environment.

This means the odds of there being another civilization such as ours or greater than ours is much less than what some think it should be. I believe if we don’t start changing our constructs to reflect our intelligence instead of our instincts then we’re going to end up dying off. I suggest putting progressives into office, establishing a resource based economy, and shooting rockets into space instead of the planet.

Of course Homo sapiens will one day be an extinct species. That doesn’t mean we’ll kill ourselves, we could be doomed by some other event. And it’s possible that we’ll have one or more successor species, and those successor species could carry on into the future.

If you think about it, 650 million years ago the first multicellular animals appeared. All those species are now extinct. But some of them evolved into new species. All those species are also now extinct. But some species have survived this branching and terminated over the hundreds of millions of years since then. There was a little wormy dude crawling in the mud 650 million years ago that was the ancestor over every vertebrate alive today. But that species of wormy dude no longer exists. Then again there was a little trilobite that lived 650 million years ago that was the ancestor of hundreds of species of trilobites for hundreds of millions of years, and then along came the Permian extinction and every species of trilobite went extinct. That could also be the fate of humanity.

If this is the case, why out of 13 billion+ years this universe has been around (to our knowledge) then why haven’t we saw a single civilization? Shouldn’t we at least see some kind of light from their planet if it’s inhabited by creatures as intelligent as us?

My point is that there is no lifeforms in our known universe to advance to our beyond our civilization. The reason for this could very well be our increased intelligence but leftover instinctive nature. Once a species does manage to get to our point, it will never make it into Type 2 or 3 civilization. Because the lifeforms will end up killing themselves or end up exhausting their resources.

This is all based off the fact we have no evidence of life beyond earth. We just have smoking guns. So how can we safely assume that we’ll make it into a Type 2 civilization or even into a Type 1. We can’t, and it’d be illogical to do so. So I think we as a species need to really come together and establish constructs that will ensure our survival because the way our societies work are not sustainable.

The way I see it, is eventually over time the threat of us killing ourselves increases. Whether it be from fucking up the environment, exhausting resources, or nuking the world. We aren’t just going to die as a species technically, we’re going to die as lifeforms. If the planet becomes unsustainable for our life, then we are going to have to turn into robots or hope life will find a way to start over and maybe another hundred million years some intelligent lifeforms will learn from our mistakes. That’s seems like an even more unreasonable thing to hope for.

We don’t really have much relevant data on even our own galaxy, let alone the entire universe. Extreme levels of ignorance is not proof that they aren’t out there right now. Self-caused extinction is also not the only reason that other species that reached at least our tech level could have gone extinct. Stars die. Planet killing meteors happen. There may even have been species that reached our level, followed something like your prescribed solution, stagnated, and are now extinct because they never developed the capability to survive what the universe ultimately threw at them.

The problem is just because life is intelligent doesn’t mean it is capable of tool making. Dolphins and Elephants are intelligent, they can’t make tools.

You need stereo vision, opposable thumbs, language, writing, etc. to have technology.

We may just be the first technological species in the universe. Is there life in the universe aside from us? Yeah probably. But that doesn’t mean it became intelligent. Even if it did, that doesn’t mean it became capable of technology.

And even if a species is capable of technology, that doesn’t mean it will develop it. Humans spent 200k years before we developed agriculture. We spent 7k years before the industrial revolution. Humans have been capable of technology for a long time, but we didn’t develop it until recently.

Anyway no I disagree with the premise. I think the more tech we develop the better our odds of becoming immortal.

Nature will kill us. Have no doubt. Whether humans will be able to trace out ways we influenced the situation for better or worse will depend on exactly how we go. But the final blow, as it were, will be a planetary-level event striking with way more force than humanity can muster.

As for why no other planet we’ve studied has from-space-detectable life, from-space-detectable life here was caused by random events that collectively add up to a vanishingly small probability of it happening. Which doesn’t mean it can’t have happened here - but it means that if it was a one in a billion chance, then we’ll probably have to look at billions of other planets/systems to find that it happened a second time.

If there was a civilization that was a twin of ours inhabiting a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, we probably couldn’t detect it. Everyone makes a big deal about radio signals blasted out into space, but those radio signals are extremely weak because of the cube/square law. They are strong when you’re only a few light-seconds from the source, much weaker when you’re light-minutes away, and indistinguishable from random background static when you’re light years away.

I don’t care enough and I don’t believe putting progressives into office is going to make even an iota of difference on the odds of humanity’s eventual extinction.

I tend to think we’re like bats in a cave - living our entire lives with this wonderful radar, flying around, complete masters of our environment and not the slightest idea what sights, smells colours, creatures, intellect - an entire universe lays beyond the cave entrance.

Sure, either the integrity of cave will fail due to an outside event, or we’ll turn it into an unliveable (sic) shit heap.

I always enjoy seeing people come to the Fermi Paradox on their own. It’s an exciting, scary, mind-expanding experience.

Any number of wonderful advanced cultures have evolved throughout the universe but space and time are immense beyond our conception. Unimaginable peoples have flourished , incredible technologies even better than internet porn, art, songs, violence failure, cool cars launched into space. Some race in our galaxy probably once erected a giant neon sign megastructure with gas station streamer flags screaming We Are Here! a billion years ago but it all went back to star dust before the first tubeworm here on earth ever went looking for a tubeslot. Religious people like to say, how can you reject God and risk eternal oblivion, I always ask, Yeah, man, but what about the eternity of oblivion you endured before you were ever even hauled out into the light?

I think so.

If humans were too afraid to move to new places then we wouldn’t of even made it this far. If we were open to all new ideas but didn’t change our philosophical outlook on life then we’d self destruct. It was a subtle hit, but it’s a true one. If everyone was conservative or if everyone was liberal then shit would hit the fan way sooner.

I think this comes down to a matter of pace. We would of died off a long time ago if we weren’t able to build fires and make weapons. We weren’t designed with features to physically oppose a lion or a bear. However we were able to use our intelligence to use weapons and how to kill them effectively.

If we continue down this course of identity politics, and illogical conflict we’re eventually going to allow nature to correct it’s self, either by natural disaster or by us literally killing ourselves. We know now the seriousness of the threats we face, if we cannot get people into power that will shoot rockets into space instead of the planet then we’re doomed.

The biggest thing for our survival is colonizing other planets / space. Technology is a double edged sword though. We can create a virtually limitless amount of energy or we can create a virtually limitless amount of destruction. We are in a race against mother nature, and our own instinctive nature. This will be an issue for any species who are in our shoes, and will continue to be an issue so long as we have independent and free thought.

I didn’t know that’s what this was. Guess you learn something new everyday. Thanks, i’ll be sure to remember this.

My sincere pleasure! It’s one of those “well, no shit” ideas–hits like a bolt, then you slowly realize “Damn, that makes a lot of sense, duh!”

On the other hand, it has its possible explanations, some of which have already been discussed ITT–and of which “It is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself” is only one.


Would’ve! Would’ve!! WOULD’VE!!!

There are two possibilities: we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
— Arthur C. Clarke

The OP alludes to the Fermi paradox, and I recommend this Kurzgesagt video for a good summary of that.

Most things that people propose as great filters don’t really work. If we look as humans as an example, as a species we’re pretty robust. Yes there are countless catastrophes that could massively reduce our numbers, but we’re very good at rebuilding. Extermination events are harder to find. Even in a nuclear winter scenario some groups will be able to wait it out as long as they have fuel.
If there’s a great filter ahead of us, it’s probably not something we’re aware of yet…

Also there are various optimistic takes. Perhaps advanced species inevitably discover some kind of “hyperspace”, which turns out to be way cooler than regular space (puppies, pogs, etc) and lets them remote view primitive species like us (so there’s little point in bothering to visit in regular space). If/when we discover hyperspace we’ll find that’s where the party is.

Whoops – *this *Kurzgesagt video (the great filter) is more relevant.

No, an entirely different set of critters.