The problem of finding extraterrestrial life. 2017 year

As of 2017, no traces of extraterrestrial life have been found (we do not take into account conspiracy theories). What is the reason for this? Over the past 60 years (if we take the starting date of the search for extraterrestrial life in the 1950s), humankind has made a huge leap in the field of space exploration - on September 12, 2013, Voyager 1 went beyond the Heliosphere, the “Curiosity” vehicle landed on Mars in 2012, “ New Horizons ”flew past Pluto in 2015. So why, despite all these achievements, extraterrestrial life has not been found? I see several problems:

1. Underdevelopment of human technology

Yes, we have certainly achieved great things (the examples listed above are proof of this), however, this is still not enough. Voyager flew to the borders of the solar system, but can we do anything with it? The only thing it is suitable for is the registration of various indicators that cannot give us any information about other civilizations (except if their technology somehow affects the solar wind). We are not even sure of the existence of the Oort Cloud, but this is part of our solar system.

To explore the far corners of space, we could send various spacecraft, but it is worth taking into account that the same Voyager flew to the borders of the System for 36 years. The current devices, of course, are faster, but sending the devices, in any case, is too time consuming (and not only for it, but more on that later) project. And it's not a fact that they will fly somewhere (for example, by attracting a star, it can attract the apparatus to itself, thereby destroying it).

You can also send a ship with a crew. But mankind has still not landed on Mars, so talking about the possibility of flying outside the solar system is nonsense (in the future this will be possible, but we are talking about the present).

With searches using radio telescopes and telescopes, there is a slightly different problem - the problem of determining what is the activity of the mind and what of nature, we will talk about it later. This technology is also underdeveloped - we can only record huge events, but is this really what we need? Suddenly, civilizations carry out too small activities that we simply cannot see yet.

2. The problem of lack of organization of mankind

Now humankind is little united in the face of the task of searching for extraterrestrial life, from general projects one can only recall the ISS and various international groups of scientists, otherwise everything is for itself - the states rarely unite for projects, and indeed, if space industry leaders (NASA, ESA, KNU ), together they could achieve great results. Building such a small (on a cosmic scale) project like the ISS required quite large investments from several countries, and how many resources would be needed to create a project capable of delivering humanity to another System? I think it was worth the budget of more than one state. That is why, it seems to me that humanity, at least in the matter of space, should forget about its differences and act together, otherwise it will not work.

An excellent example of the collaboration of people from all over the world is “SETI”, a project to search for extraterrestrial life, in which a volunteer can provide his computer for analyzing radio signals, with the goal of finding signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

3. The problem of loss of interest in space

A person has a lot of other interests (I will be a hypocrite if I start listing them and saying that this or that interest is bad), space gets less and less attention, less and less enthusiasts who are ready to put their lives on the altar of space exploration. . Various popularizers of science struggle with this (it should be said, quite successfully) like Neil Degrass Tyson and the late Karl Sagan (I advise everyone to study the works of Karl Sagan or to watch Tyson’s program “Cosmos: space and time”, which is a continuation of “Cosmos: a personal journey” Sagana) or the space agencies themselves (NASA or Roscosmos accounts in social networks).

With the end of the space race, the interest of the states in this sector also decreased markedly, giving way to other areas (US spending on the space program for 2016: $ 17.11 MLN; for defense: $ 561 MDL. And the United States has the largest budget for the space program). However, new states have entered the arena of space exploration: India, Japan, China. Also, private agencies appeared (in my opinion, the future belongs to them, because they consist of enthusiasts and are managed by them, while having more freedom regarding government structures), for example: SpaceX (Founded by former owner of PayPal Ilon Mask) and Blue Origin (Founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).

4. The problem of civilizations themselves

The problem of searching for other civilizations is the same as the problem of searching for the philosopher's stone - we do not know exactly what we are looking for. We do not even know what the form of life of other civilizations is, they can consist of carbon, like us, or be gaseous, for example. They can use another method of communication, not radio, but lasers or methods that are already outdated for us, like Morse code, who knows. During the 60 years of radio search, absolutely nothing was detected, only various false messages taken as signals from other civilizations, like the “Wow!” Signal, for example (a radio signal recorded by Dr. Jerry Eyman on August 15, 1977 while working on the Big Ear radio telescope "At Ohio State University. Listening to radio signals was carried out as part of the SETI project. Signal characteristics (transmission band, signal-to-noise ratio) corresponded, in some interpretations, theoretically expected from a signal of extraterrestrial origin eniya.). This is precisely the problem - in our difference, because of which we may not find a brother in the Universe.

Also, the problem is that higher civilizations (civilizations capable of controlling the laws of the Universe) could simply go on to the transcendent level of existence, where they are not interested in any worldly affairs, and they could leave no traces of their existence, therefore we cannot discover them. I don’t think that if a higher civilization catches a signal of such a form as we do, then it will immediately arrive and get in touch with the words “Major Tom to ground control”.

If we started talking about higher civilizations, it is worth saying that their activities may be indistinguishable from the activities of nature. Suddenly, it is they who control the process of star formation (After all, if the stars are lit, then does anyone need this?) And, in general, all the laws of the Universe. Of course, we can use the presumption of naturalness (the principle that any natural phenomenon should be considered artificial if and only if all natural / known explanations are exhausted; one of the manifestations of Occam's razor in astrophysical studies), suddenly, What do we think is really artificial? Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question yet, so I suggest closing it.

5. The problem of the absence of other civilizations

In my opinion, this is the most terrible problem - there may simply not be other civilizations. If in our Milky Way galaxy there are about 50 billion planets, of which 500 million are potentially livable, then why have we not yet found traces of another life? The answer may be disappointing - it is not. For 60 years of searching, we still have not found anything, although we tried in every possible way everywhere. There are many hypotheses explaining why the Earth may be the only habitable planet in the Universe (Hypothesis of a unique Earth, according to which, too many conditions are needed for life to occur, and these conditions arose precisely in our Solar System). I sincerely hope that this is not true, however, we cannot completely rule out this possibility.


In conclusion, I want to say that we must continue the search for extraterrestrial life, not one scientist gave his life for this goal, we must continue to search for it, in spite of everything, continue, doing everything possible, because the search for extraterrestrial life is one of the few things that can unite humanity, and this is what we needed, needed and needed. Who seeks will always find. I think in the end we will still find a friend in the Universe, a friend with whom we can be close, despite all the differences in our cultures, a friend who will be a friend.


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