A new solution to the Fermi paradox: alien life dies too soon

Despite the extremely high probabilitythe existence of aliens at least somewhere, we have not yet found a single trace of them. This riddle is known in science as the Fermi paradox. The new theory is trying to resolve this contradiction, assuming that inhabited planets are very common in our galaxy, but the life that is emerging on them fades away very quickly.

One of the popular solutions to the Fermi paradox isthere is a lack of observable evidence that our galaxy was colonized by an extraterrestrial civilization, is the Great Filter hypothesis. Developed by Robin Hanson of George Mason University, it suggests that at a certain stage in the development of life, it encounters an insurmountable obstacle of cosmic magnitude. The problem is that we have no idea if the Great Filter exists, and if so, what it looks like.

Some astrobiologists have studied the ancient past.of our planet and indicate the existence of three possible filter points: the development of reproductive molecules, simple unicellular life or complex unicellular life. If we can prove that one of these important evolutionary steps is suitable, it will be cool for us - we went through the Great Filter. On the other hand, pessimistic futurologists fear that the Great Filter is still waiting for us and, most likely, will come in the form of a global catastrophe that happened through our fault.

New work by Australian astrobiologistsAditya Chopra and Charlie Lynnivever National University shows that there may be another possibility. Scientists say that life on other planets exists for a short time, but dies out very quickly. They call this the "Gay Narrow Neck Hypothesis."

“The first life is fragile,” Chopra writes inpress release, - so we believe that it rarely develops fast enough to survive. ” The problem is that most early planetary environments are unstable. To maintain life, the planet must regulate greenhouse gases while maintaining a stable surface temperature. This process, the regulation of Gaia, has taken place on our planet. But Chopra and Lynniver are sure that this is the exception rather than the rule.

Scientists point to Mars and Venus as examples. Both planets could have been potentially inhabited in the past, but none were able to stabilize a rapidly changing environment. Today, Mars is a frozen wasteland, and Venus is a greenhouse. But here on Earth, life has played a leading role in stabilizing the planet’s climate.

“If life appears on the planet, it rarelyis developing fast enough to regulate greenhouse gas and albedo emissions, thus maintaining the surface temperature that allows liquid water and life itself to exist. ”

Having a narrow neck Gay, thussuggests that extinction is the "cosmic norm" for most life events developing on the moist, solid planets of the Universe, and these solid planets "need to be inhabited in order to remain inhabited."

"The mystery of why we still have not foundsigns of aliens will probably be less associated with the likelihood of life and intelligence, and more with the rarity of the rapid development of biological regulation of feedback loops on the planet’s surface, ”says Linweaver.

This is an intriguing theory, but to satisfyneeds of the Great Filter hypothesis, it must be incredibly universal when scaling. From the work of Chopra and Lynniver, it is not entirely clear why the regulation of Gaia should be so rare for other inhabited worlds or how rarely such a process is launched at all. Given the existence of tens of billions of potentially inhabited planets in our galaxy and the fact that our galaxy could support life of 5-6 billion years, this bottleneck should be narrow by most I do not want.

Robin Hanson also thinks so, about which he explained in a letter to Gizmodo:

“The basic idea fits quite plausibly intoGreat Filter. But the Great Filter is huge, and this article does not offer any concrete arguments as to why their filter effect should be huge. So we can add it to our long list of possible filter effects, but he will have little chance of becoming the one and only reason for the lack of life in the universe. ”

Similarly, the astronomer Milan expresses doubtTsirkovich from the Department of Physics of the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Montenegro. The basic premise is based on the anthropocentric assumption of life in the universe:

“This whole installation is anthropocentric, like allRare Earth hypotheses. In order to move from the conclusion that Earth-like planets are rare, to the conclusion that there is a reason why we do not receive signals from developed aliens, we need to take a step that will show that all developed aliens should develop according to the earthly scenario. And this kind of evidence will not appear for a very long time. Evolutionary convergence is almost religious nonsense. I have not yet seen, for example, a single normal reason why marine life could not develop intelligence and create civilization - and marine inhabitants are much less susceptible to climate fluctuations than terrestrial ecosystems. ”

Nevertheless, such a possible solution to the Fermi paradox can be at least verifiable.

"Gay's narrow-necked model makes intriguingthe prediction is that the vast majority of fossils in the universe will come from extinct microbial life, rather than multicellular species like dinosaurs or humanoids that have developed billions of years, ”says Linweaver.

Will have to dig deep into the distant exoplanet. We are in business.