# Tag Info

16

Generally speaking, an analog creature such as ourself is typically resilient to such crises. However, if a species were to build their entire existence upon some axiom, only to find out that it is false, it may find that it is incapable of recovering. The species as a whole does not need to be intelligent, but it needs to be completely dependent on ...

14

Not Very Antimatter is ludicrously expensive to make, both in terms of energy and equipment. There is no reason to expect this to change dramatically. Antimatter is mostly useful as a means of maximally-dense energy storage, so keeping enough of it on a planet to destroy that planet would Be an excellent sign of species stupidity, since well before anyone ...

13

I think that it is possible for a civilization to die because of an existential crisis, lato sensu; I think that it has actually happened several times. it may even be the general rule. There is a well-known if not universally well-regarded point of view that civilizations have a certain resemblance to living things, in that they show a period of exuberant ...

6

The main problem with this is it does not align with the Non-Exclusivity Principle for the Fermi Paradox What you have just identified is a 'Great Filter' 'ahead' of us. Generally speaking, a 'Great Filter' is something that is certain to happen that severely reduces the factors that multiply the possible number of civilisations. So, indeed Nuclear War, ...

5

Cellulose Cellulose is the organic compound that makes plants woody. On Earth, photosyntetic life existed for over 3 billion years before the advent of cellulose; so, it seems very possible for a world to exist indefinitely without life ever evolving the stuff. The evolution of cellulose is important because nearly every primitive technology hinges on the ...

5

You note these creatures have language, so I’m going to assume they have a mouth. I’m further going to assume that mouth+body does not constitute an appendage for the purposes of this question, as even slime moulds manipulate their environment with their bodies. Fish and birds use tools and build homes with their mouths, and insects (most notably social ...

3

Sounds highly unlikely to me. Lets gather together a few kg of antimatter on a densely populated planet for some unspecified reason. What could go wrong? I can't think of any reason why they would be so stupid. Not only that but as a solution to the Fermi paradox every advanced civilisation appears to have the same crazy plan. So no, it is not a reasonable ...

3

An Earth-like planet may have a surface which is very poor in Siderophile elements The Earth has a lot of iron, and this iron is concentrated mainly in its core. Accordingly, a number of elements that have high affinity to the iron also had sunk to the core, making them very rare on surface. Examples of such elements include Gold, Platinum, Palladium and ...

3

Fossil fuels and rare earth elements have both been critically important in developing our modern spaceflight capabilities: Fossil fuels require fossils. If you're on a previously lifeless planet that was settled in the past few millennia, it will not have fossil fuels. And as @John points out in comments, even planets with abundant natural resources might ...

3

Some animals don't have appendages, but still manipulate their environment. For example: Sponges Worms Snakes Electric eels. Sponges and worms are notable for changing the environment by swallowing it. Snakes are leg-less lizards that still manage to move quite quickly. Some can strangle things in their environment; others can inject poison into it. An ...

3

Self-Replication is not commercially viable The OP is right about one thing; what made life so abundant on this planet wasn't intelligence, it was the ability to replicate. Eventually (through evolution) variations in that replication occur and some are advantageous for living in the environment, some are not. If DNA wasn't so good at replicating itself, ...

3

If you want all the individuals in that civilisation to commit suicide, then I think you should have a look at suicide cults and mass suicides. However I think you should also consider the very powerful instinct to survive. Take for example one of the biggest mass suicides in recent times - the Jonestown Massacre, where over 900 people killed themselves. ...

3

Can existential crisis wipe out civilisation? Almost yes, it has happened many times in the last century where nations and peoples underwent existential crisis. There have been a few significant examples of the death of big ideas, and this creating destructive downward spirals. I think it's best to base this sort of question in the realities of history. ...

3

Basically it has to be a technological civilization where an individual or a small number of individuals have the power to destroy their civilization. The civilization would have enormous collective power, but if it only requires the diversion of a small amount of that power to destroy its world then it can happen. The most probable form of philosophical ...

3

Yes. See the breakthrough listen project, and in particular this presentation for details on what could be detected at what distance with what’s coming available now. That is exactly what you are asking. For more general information on suppressing background of imaging a planet near a star, see various other seminars in the series. The same technology ...

2

The simplistic answer would be, and this is the type of answer that easily falls over in contact with any real depth of knowledge, that was no Big Bang, and therefore, no cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation produced as a relic. if we were living in a Big Bang free universe this could extend infinitely in all directions of space and time. ...

2

No Books such as Children of Men talk about a civilization that is, universally, looking down the barrel of extinction, and talks about how suicide ramps up and plays an effect in society. However, even in that case - and nearly every other conceivable case - individual members do not come to the same conclusions about the existential crisis at hand. In ...

2

In the same vein as the fungus that creates zombie ants and the parasite that convinces rats to willingly sacrifice themselves to cats to complete its life-cycle, consider a parasite that invades the human brain. It causes selective damage to the brain that results in extreme anhedonia for all activities other than sex. Naturally, the parasite is sexually ...

2

One possibility is passive suicide. Just stop procreating. Universal fertility suppression. Life goes on without children ... until it doesn't. One scenario where this even makes sense is if the end of the world really is nigh. A nearby soon-to-be- supernova or GRB that will blow within a couple of lifetimes in a universe where FTL travel is impossible ...

2

Quick back of the envelop calculation, how much anti-matter are we talking about? A matter-antimatter reaction is perfect annihilation. How much energy you get from equal amounts of matter and antimatter is $E = mc^2$. How much mass you need to get a certain energy is $m = \frac{E}{c^2}$. If by "an explosion comparable to a large asteroid impact" ...

2

No, a sentient life wouldn't be able to have advanced technology without an appendage (unless it has magic) I want to give you an animal on earth that is very smart yet doesn't have any limbs to manipulate its environment: dolphins. Now imagine dolphins on land. Without any appendages dolphins can only move things by biting it with its mouth or nudging it ...

2

The question: Is it plausible that an advanced civilization commits suicide due to philosophical despair? Well it depends, first on what you mean by "commits suicide" and secondly, what you mean by "due to philosophical despair" If what you meant was "every member of an advanced civilization individually chooses to kill themselves due solely to ...

1

Earth is full of useful stuff to people because people invented the stuff here: The most straightforward answer is that we have developed all of our science and technology, even the culture of how we use this stuff, under a specific set of environmental conditions. It's Earth atmosphere, Earth gravity, Earth mix of elements, Earth life, and lots of humans. ...

1

Managment, matter, and energy - have to be controlled by humans. Like in a strategical game - Starcraft and alike - units have the full technological cycle and the capability of producing themselves. But they do not do anything until you say them to do something. Controlling sources and amount of matter available for them to produce stuff also an efficient ...

1

Replication can be limited to a set amount: Just because it is useful for something to be self-replicating doesn't mean it is useful for it to be infinitely self-replicating. You could require, by design, that replication is limited to a specified number until humans request more. To self-replicate, a robot must spend a 'replication ticket', but ...

1

Possible in the face of the ultimate doom that the civilization would all fall apart. During the black plague some portion of society did fall apart as people faced the possibility of that they would all die. In 1938, a Martian invasion scare caused mass rioting and looting. For your civilization to fall apart they have to be faced with a doom so powerful ...

1

It's difficult to answer such questions, because there are so many unknowns. I would point to the Drake Equation as an excellent example of the extremes one has to go to quantify such a discussion. Many of the probabilities that make up the Drake Equation are truly unknowns. However, the background radiation has a very very regular spectra. It's a very ...

1

I don't think that's entirely the point of the Fermi Paradox; Kurzgesagt has an awesome youtube video on this link here and the follow-up video here Either way; to answer your question is a tricky thing to do (see the Wow! signal) What is an Electromagnetic (EM) signal? Radio waves such as those we've sent out to Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (...

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