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Alien life may already be extinct, a new NASA theory suggests

Published Nov 15th, 2022 7:08PM EST
planetary rubble, could be from oldest known solar system
Image: Kittiphat / Adobe

Scientists have been sure that alien life exists somewhere in the universe, but now a new NASA theory is suggesting exactly the opposite. Instead, the theory posits that while alien life did exist before, massive cataclysmic events like climate change may have already driven alien life to extinction before it had a chance to encounter humanity.

The search for alien life has been at the forefront of our exploration of the universe for the past several decades. And, despite searching for alien worlds, scientists have had little luck finding anything that could truly stand up to the theories that alien life is out there among the stars. As such, it’s very possible that any alien life we could encounter is already extinct, at least, that’s what some scientists believe.

The belief is built on an old theory known as the Fermi Paradox. This paradox basically states that Telligentnt alien life should be abundant and detectable – something that scientists have agreed on for ages. Yet we’ve found no real evidence that alien life isn’t extinct, which may actually bring a solution for the Fermi Paradox.

alien life may be extinctImage source: dottedyeti / Adobe

Because, with all the worlds and systems we’ve discovered, some kind of detectable alien life should be out there based on the Fermi Paradox. Yet, nothing has been discovered. So, that must mean that this alien life is extinct, right? The theory of the “Great Filter” then, proposes that all intelligent life wipes itself out before it can encounter others, which may explain the cosmic silence that we’ve experienced.

But what exactly would wipe out millions of alien civilizations? Would could drive alien life throughout the universe to become extinct? Well, it could very well be an issue that we as humans are currently dealing with on a daily basis: the climate crisis. Climate change is a very real threat, according to scientists, and many are looking for ways to reverse climate change.

But, finding a solution is easier said than done, and because the evolution and growth of civilizations may have led to similar problems on those planets, it’s possible that climate change could have driven mass events that led to alien life becoming extinct throughout the universe. Of course, the theory is still waiting to be peer-reviewed, and it is, after all, just a theory. But it does make you wander.

You can read more about the theory in a paper published on the pre-print server arXiv.

Joshua Hawkins fell in love with writing and technology at a young age. Eventually he decided to combine the two and started writing about video games, the latest tech, and all the cool gadgets he could find. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.