Extraterrestrial life

Darwin’s natural selection explains why we don’t see space aliens

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Mark Buchanan suggests (08 April 2011) at New Scientist that the “Aliens who hide, survive”.

Attempting to explain why, if there are really so many space aliens, none of them have ever contacted us to pick up their legacies or their mail, he offers that – as always – natural selection is the answer:

In order to explain the Fermi paradox, Kent turns to natural selection – and suggests that it may favour quiet aliens.He argues that it’s plausible that there is a competition for resources on a cosmic scale, driving an evolutionary process between alien species on different planets. Advanced species, for example, might want to exploit other planets for their own purposes.

If so, the universe would be a violent place, and evolutionary selection may favour the inconspicuous – those who lie low on purpose, or who simply lack the skill or ambition to venture forth or advertise their existence.

“This is an interesting idea,” says alien hunter Seth Shostak of the SETI institute in Mountain View, California. “If I let the cosmos know I exist, then I might be subject to extermination.”

Actuarially, Buchanan, Kent, and Shostak are all subject to extermination at some point …

File under: Why dorks, dweebs, and rural morons don’t believe in Darwinian evolution, but sophisticates do.

5 Replies to “Darwin’s natural selection explains why we don’t see space aliens

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    The absence of evidence becomes evidence.

    Not only does everything make sense in the light of natural selection, now nothing makes sense as well, simultaneously.

    Natural selection has evolved beyond merely a “versatile” theory, it has become an axiom.

    Lewis Carroll couldn’t make up this stuff.

    If only it were a palindrome, it would explain everything and nothing in either or neither direction.

  2. 2
    Charles says:

    Hmmm….

    We should write an allegorical screenplay “Through the Petri Dish”.

    I nominate The Dicky D for Red Queen, PZ for the mad @$$hatter and perhaps Eugenie Scott as the March Hare.

    But whom to cast as Alice….

  3. 3
    Bantay says:

    “Aliens who hide, survive”.

    Good grief. It’s the alien child of the mother of un-testability.

  4. 4
    uoflcard says:

    Of course there is an interstellar competition for resources. How did we ever overlook this fact?

    For the sake of argument, I’ll assume that RM+NS alone is capable of crafting not only complex, self-replicating creatures, but ones themselves capable of creating intergalactic space travel technology…

    We only know of one species in the universe that is even attempting to communicate or travel beyond the stretches of its home planet, humans. We are obviously fascinated with discovery and would dive head first into any chance to communicate with an extraterrestrial species. What reason do we have to believe that a more advanced version of us would not be at least as curious if not more?

    Okay, hypothetical argument. My other reaction is…what a tremendous waste of time Darwin’s theory has caused. 1-1/2 centuries of thousands of scientists spending their entire careers with this ridiculous theory, not to mention the billions of students who spend at least one semester studying it.

  5. 5

    Don’t ridicule this stuff, it is the best I’ve heard from this bunch in a long while.

    Okay, let’s assume like them that space aliens are self-conscious beings somewhat more advanced than the cyanobacteria discovered by NASA on comets. The distinguishing feature of advanced beings is intelligence, which we will call “information”. We may not know what they are made of, how they come into existence, or what kills them, but by gum we can detect them by their information content. Yes?

    Okay, so they want to hide to protect themselves. Why? Well, humans have immune systems for eliminating most aliens, so it isn’t too far-fetched to think that it is a universal property of all beings to have the desire or ability to hide whenever around aliens.

    Great. So how do we detect the hidden aliens?

    Glad you asked. By either: (a) foiling their hiding strategy, or (b) examining our immune system.

    (a) is a very long post, and I haven’t the time for it now, but (b) is short. What is the immune system for information? Well you fight fire with fire, so it will consist in information that controls other information. Sorta like the Main Stream Media… You know, gatekeepers, evaluators, validators etc. Like what peer-review is for science.

    So what in the past 6000 years of human history reveal an evaluation of information?

    Religion.

    What do you do when your cousin starts to hear voices? A voice, after all, is about as perfect an indication of alien intelligence as you can imagine. Well, 1000 years ago, you went to the local priest and had him exorcised. If you lived in Africa, you might take him to the local shaman for the same treatment.

    The point is that we have been dealing with aliens for a long, long time. This is one of those evolutionary obvious functions of religion that none of the Darwinists ever seem to see. I was beginning to wonder if Darwinists were the aliens. So I’m very glad someone noticed.

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