Saturday, 2 June 2018

Physicist Alexander Berezin Believes in Aliens and Fears We Might Kill Them Off

Image courtesy of Pikawil, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Joel Kontinen

Looking at the night sky can inspire a variety of ideas. 3,000 years ago, King David saw the glory of God displayed in the starry sky:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1, NIV).

In contrast, physicist Enrico Fermi had a very different idea in mind. Roughly 70 years ago he came up with the question "Where is everybody?"

Known as the Fermi paradox, his puzzle has remained unsolved.

Some ET enthusiasts believe that there are billions of extraterrestrial worlds that might be home to intelligent life.

Now, Alexander Berezin, a theoretical physicist at the National Research University of Electronic Technology in Russia, has proposed a new answer to Fermi's paradox — but he doesn't think you're going to like it. Because, if Berezin's hypothesis is correct, it could mean a future for humanity that's ‘even worse than extinction’,” Live Science writes.

Quoting a paper Berezin wrote in the preprint journal, "What if the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?"

Berezin thinks that in our aspiration to reach other worlds, we might unwittingly do a lot of damage, perhaps even annihilating all extraterrestrial worlds.

However, there is a big but in this scenario. We have no evidence that extraterrestrials even exist. They might well be a figment of Darwinian imagination combined with a big dose of science fiction.

All signals thought to hail from intelligent aliens have been false ones, including the famous wow signal and the sounds coming from the assumed megastructure near Tabby’s star that raised hopes in the SETI community.

What is more, aliens have never bothered to answer our messages, but this has not put an end to the hope that one fine day they might do so.


Specktor, Brandon. 2018. Aliens Are Real, But Humans Will Probably Kill Them All, New Paper Says Live Science (1 June).