Why Alien Life Would be our Doom - The Great Filter


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Imagine NASA announced today that they found aliens. Bacteria on Mars, weird alien fish in the oceans of Europa, and also ancient alien ruins on Titan. Wouldn't that be great? Well, no. It would be horrible news, devastating even. It could mean that the end of humanity is almost certain and that it might be coming soon. Why? Why would the most exciting discovery of our lifetime be bad? Let us imagine the development of life, from its inception to us today, as a flight of stairs. The first step is dead chemistry that needs to assemble itself into self-replicating patterns, stable and resilient, but also able to change and evolve. The second step is for our early life to become more complex, able to build more complicated structures, and use the available energy much more efficiently. On the next step, these cells combine to become multicellular beings, enabling unbelievable variety and further complexity. The step above sees the species evolve big brains, enabling the use of tools, culture and shared knowledge, which creates even higher complexity. The species can now become the dominant lifeform on its planet, and change it according to its needs.