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Why Close Encounters of the Third Kind WON’T Happen


Fermi’s Paradox has been a long-standing problem for researchers in astronomy and biology. With 100 billion stars in our galaxy, the chance of life evolving on at least one of them was pretty high, and the chance of intelligence and thus the ability to colonize other worlds was pretty high as well. The problem was, we had absolutely no evidence to suggest we had found other alien races. For a while, the solution to this paradox was rooted in allegories from the Cold War, that an intelligent alien race might have unlocked the power of the atom and, in doing so, promptly used it to wage nuclear war that ended up incinerating their entire race.

Since we’ve seen progress on that front though, and the largest nuclear powers in the world are standing down their arsenals (leaving others to ominously build up theirs despite the CTBT and NNPT banning testing of nukes and the spread of nuclear tech, respectively), a scientist has a new theory, one reflecting today’s digital age.

Fast food and porn.

From the article:

… we don’t seek reproductive success directly; we seek tasty foods that have tended to promote survival, and luscious mates who have tended to produce bright, healthy babies. The modern result? Fast food and pornography. Technology is fairly good at controlling external reality to promote real biological fitness, but it’s even better at delivering fake fitness—subjective cues of survival and reproduction without the real-world effects. Having real friends is so much more effort than watching Friends. Actually colonizing the galaxy would be so much harder than pretending to have done it when filming Star Wars or Serenity. The business of humanity has become entertainment, and entertainment is the business of feeding fake fitness cues to our brains.

You can see the original article here. The comments are going to be lulzy. 😛

1 Comment

  1. Comments  DarkKnightH20   |  Friday, 16 April 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Fast food and porn! Sounds about right.

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