Why Alien Life Would be our Doom - The Great Filter

  • Published: 01 February 2018
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    Finding alien life on a distant planet would be amazing news - or would it? If we are not the only intelligent life in the universe, this probably means our days are numbered and doom is certain.

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    Why Alien Life Would be our Doom - The Great Filter

Comments • 35 708

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    • project hexagon
      project hexagon  3 days back

      @Bill A AI Quantum Virus, "program" taget all truth or awakening

    • project hexagon
      project hexagon  3 days back

      @Gergő Szathmáry-Papp i have the respond but you don't listening the truth 😢

    • Andrew Jones
      Andrew Jones  7 days back

      @The Real Deal that is how the federation works
      great job gene roddenberry

    • The Real Deal
      The Real Deal  7 days back

      Thinking aliens will be our doom is little more than classic western thinking. Of course if an advanced civilization found us they'd crush us and not bat an eye. Why? Because that's exactly what the west did during all parts of its history. We could use the same tired example of the Industrial Period and Imperialism but that's just the most large scale and reprehensible moment. But there were the Crusades before that and Rome's conquests and then Hellenic conquests and so on. So it makes sense to think of it like a human seeing an intelligent squirrel.

      Thankfully that's not the only civilization we can use as an example. In modern times this other civilization is building roads and waterways across the globe and using its military not to invade and cause chaos but to aid and keep the peace. This might feel like something new or profound to westerners but historically this civilization has always provided this role.
      Now if we consider that same advanced alien civilization who can traverse the stars and find us how would it respond if it followed our new model? Well going back to the intelligent squirrel analogy when this civilization found another intelligent but potentially weaker civilization outside its borders its first move wasn't to exploit that region of its resources with no regard to those intelligent squirrels but to find a means of communication with those squirrels and learn from them how they've used their resources. If some population of squirrels became violent during this initial communication the civilization presented their superiority but more importantly their benevolence. By that I mean if a squirrel bites the human the human yanks it off and holds it in the air for a while before placing it back down on the ground without harming it. Do this enough times and just like how humans domesticated wolves into dogs the violent squirrels would eventually learn that the humans mean them no harm but could use their resources. (which in this case includes the squirrels themselves) Bringing this action and outcome to our aliens vs humans scenario and it wouldn't play out like the video would it? Instead of uncaring aliens reaping the resources at our expense those aliens would see our primitive but developing technology and show us their much more advanced technology with the offer to be a part of their civilization slowly uplifting us to their level.

      In other words maybe the path a dominant planetary species takes doesn't always have to be further and further conquest expanding from local regions to continents to planets and the solar system. Maybe the better and more likely path would be to expand peacefully across the universe while absorbing the other civilizations they might happen to come across. Similarly there's a third scenario that can be covered in this model. Instead of feeling superiority over other species we encounter or feeling fear of being oppressed or eliminated by a superior species in this model we can have equivalent species. What if we develop and begin colonizing empty planets in our solar system around the same time a neighboring civilization also becomes capable of it? If we were to encounter that civilization and both of our technologies are comparable this model would allow mutual respect and alliance. (and not alliances to bide time in order to become superior and then attack but just alliances for the sake of having alliances) For example while the west had a large portion of its history where it warred constantly with a neigboring power this civilization actually allied with that power and even has good relations with its descendent nations today.

    • pancho un ganzo normal
      pancho un ganzo normal  1 weeks back

      But what if the life can be develop without water?

  • Neil Anderson
    Neil Anderson  17 minutes back

    I think the filter is that the intelligence required to leave a planet isnt often selected for in evolution. For a huge chunk of time dinosaurs were dominant and they had no capacity to leave the planet.

    • Scott Pasion
      Scott Pasion  2 hours back

      what if we were the aliens and we are slowly colinizing

      • Diwakar Sharma
        Diwakar Sharma  6 hours back

        corrupt galaxy with life

        • otaku g
          otaku g  6 hours back

          Why don't we leave bacteria in space?

          • Mantas Trumpickas
            Mantas Trumpickas  7 hours back

            We may not know but maybe somebody is already coming to take over our mother earth. :)

            • Carter VigneauxCord
              Carter VigneauxCord  11 hours back

              Big brains

              • Ares Vain
                Ares Vain  12 hours back

                literally no one:

                pewdiepie: 1:16

                • Stanislav Šebek
                  Stanislav Šebek  13 hours back

                  I think that problem with all of this is quite bold assumption that life, progress and civilizations would act in a similar way as on earth. That there will be "logical" development of events. Is it that impossible to imagine civilization that would decide not to grow past certain point? Just because it seem illogical to us, based on what happend in our own history? I think that it is much more likely that if we meet alien civilization, we will not be able to understand the way their intelligence works at all. Maybe it will be like in book Solaris: alien life is just an planetary ocean that is making conscious decision, but no one ever understands anything about it.

                  • Evan Phelps
                    Evan Phelps  16 hours back

                    Can't there be multiple barriers, some small others impossible and multiple impossible ones? I'm sure it's just as likely as there is a great barrier already surpassed or a great barrier ahead of us or no great barrier at all.

                    • Dr Pepper Man
                      Dr Pepper Man  19 hours back

                      Kugastat in a nutshell exists me:I see you have chosen to depress me

                      • M.' FUNK
                        M.' FUNK  21 hours back

                        I just hope we wont go to war over space resources. I also hope that we will not go to war with an alien civilization. There are plenty of resources in space for us to live harmoniously.

                        • Marco Gardini
                          Marco Gardini  24 hours back

                          Our great filter? Capitalism

                          • Darkest Fury
                            Darkest Fury  1 days back

                            Earth: Has 7.4 billion people
                            People: We are alone

                            Sadness intensifies

                          • fyukfy
                            fyukfy  1 days back

                            But it's till possible that there are multiple great filters right? It's not unimaginable that any kind if life is extremely hard to form AND that any species that starts to colonize other planets will, for whatever reason, also destroy itself because of it.

                            • Rahavin1
                              Rahavin1  2 days back

                              A water filter lets water through easily. A civilization filter lets civilizations through in a similar way.

                              • Rahavin1
                                Rahavin1  2 days back

                                So if we find intelligent life then the filter is in front of us? Nonsense! The filter could be behind them as well. Additionally, just because a future catastrophic event is probable does not mean that it is inevitable or at least surmountable. There is no reason that just because others have survived means that we will not. Besides, if we send out probes such as Starlink, then human culture will have survived, which would basically render our species immortal.

                                • ronald ramos
                                  ronald ramos  2 days back

                                  The swallowing of mitochondria is endosymbiant theory

                                  • Lxcid
                                    Lxcid  2 days back

                                    I mean like if we can do it then Aliens have to be able to do it right?

                                    • Lutrian Lutria Wolfe
                                      Lutrian Lutria Wolfe  2 days back

                                      Not seeing alien life, is a lot like Columbus possibly standing on a beach and seeing no sign of any other civilization besides Eurasia and northern Africa. We don't see anything, because we can't really see much beyond our local stars. A civilization as advanced as ours would only be detectable by us over a few light years. Someone more advanced might not be seen for much further away, considering if they follow a similar path to what we're doing, their radio output will actually drop, as their move away from broadcasting to WiFi and cellular type technology. The Kardashev scale might not even be applicable in reality due to the fact that as civilizations become more advanced, they become more efficient and might never need to encase entire stars inside Dyson spheres. There may also be no need for a civilization to blast energy, like radio waves, trying to outshine their neighboring stars. The Kardashev scale was formulated in the 1950s, back during a culture of "use as much energy as you want, we'll just make more."

                                      • Daz
                                        Daz  2 days back

                                        You know, somewhere out there in some other galaxy, there has to be something out there, that has some form of intelligent life. It wouldn’t make any sense that we’re the only ones in everything really. I can’t even begin to ponder what else is out there. If there is, it won’t have any language, or similar looks or anything to us. They won’t have internet, they won’t have dogs, they just exist. And that’s the hard part. Using your imagination to wonder. That’s just the way I feel.

                                        • Joe Lines
                                          Joe Lines  2 days back

                                          Or, how about this... (credits to original theorist)

                                          We are totally unaware that there is no filter at all and that we are just a speck in the universe, in comparison to something far, far larger, incomprehensively massive. Do we know if other civilisations know we exist? Or rather, will we ever know if they even exist? Furthermore, do other civilisations know if we know they exist?

                                          • Sam Asher
                                            Sam Asher  2 days back

                                            these animations are SO cute but I have existential crisis!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            • Aleksander Berdzik
                                              Aleksander Berdzik  2 days back

                                              What about bacteria found in cold underground waters of Venus?

                                              • The Centurion
                                                The Centurion  2 days back

                                                But if we find another civilization, couldn’t it be possible that they have survived the great filter? And we can learn from them. :)

                                                • Tomi Saario
                                                  Tomi Saario  2 days back

                                                  It’s actually a very interesting theory that AI would be the great filter. Every civilization sets a timer on their existence like this. Maybe the planet’s AI then actually restarts evolution on another planet to colonize it and to evolve far enough to invent AI again and so the circle repeats itself. That way the AI has to do little to no work while taking over the universe.

                                                  • Chris R
                                                    Chris R  2 days back

                                                    We expect the great filter to be some devastating catastrophic event, but what if it was actually something much silmpler?

                                                    What if intelligence itself has dire consequences?

                                                    Most species that we know of possess very little intelligence. They instead operate almost entirely on instinctive behaviors which have been shaped by evolution to facilitate their survival and propogation as a species.

                                                    At this point, I feel it necessary to distinguish certain differences between intellect and instinct. Instinct is lacking in forethought and self awareness. The behavior is simply done to satisfy an innate drive and the creature exhibiting the behavior is unaware of its purpose. This might seem like a no brainers, but it actually does confuse some people. For example, no species actually possesses an instinct to reproduce, instead they have a ln instinct to mate. Reproduction is simply the natural consequence of mating, most species do not actually comprehend that mating and producing offspring are linked. Even our own instincts operate this way, although we do understand the connection, we ourselves do not actually possess an instinct for producing offspring, only for mating.

                                                    What exactly is it we did with our intelligence once we learned the link? We sought to sever the link. We developed methods for interfering in the natural consequences of our instinctive actions, to give ourselves the option of fulfilling our instinctive desire free of consequence.

                                                    However, this development means we have dulled the effectiveness of our instinctive behavior towards its purpose. What exactly happens if we continue to override and nullify our instincts? Is it possible that the advent of intelligence in a species overriding its instinctive behaviors might itself be what causes the downfall of most intelligent species?

                                                    In every single developed nation on earth birthrates have fallen below replacement levels. Hypothetically, if every nation on earth attained developed status, our survival as a species could be in jeopardy if that trend continued.

                                                    • Manohar Venkat
                                                      Manohar Venkat  2 days back

                                                      This video is more relevant than ever before. We could be roller skating towards the great filter ahead of us by denying climate change and continuing to kill our environment.

                                                      • littleghostu
                                                        littleghostu  2 days back

                                                        Dead space went to mind

                                                        • One Two
                                                          One Two  2 days back

                                                          I'm not going to sleep tonight.

                                                          • One Two
                                                            One Two  2 days back

                                                            Was that alien smoking a crack pipe?

                                                            • One Two
                                                              One Two  2 days back

                                                              Drones with knifes,
                                                              Coming to America near you.

                                                              • One Two
                                                                One Two  2 days back

                                                                The Blorbs nearly had it hey

                                                                • One Two
                                                                  One Two  2 days back

                                                                  Fuck mosquitoes if they passed the filter.

                                                                  • One Two
                                                                    One Two  2 days back

                                                                    This video makes me hungry

                                                                    • Jay Smith
                                                                      Jay Smith  2 days back

                                                                      Good point

                                                                      • SecretGovermentScientestMan Dr.MExellenPhysician

                                                                        GET READY TO DIE OFF SUPERBUG IS... HES ALIVEEE!!

                                                                        • Kosen Rashihata
                                                                          Kosen Rashihata  3 days back

                                                                          I feel like an important (albeit self-centered) part of the filter is left out. Every prior step has a filter and a way through the filter. The same should be true for any filter ahead of us. The scary part is not knowing what the filter is, and failing to pass it without knowing of its existence. Should we find alien ruins, our top goal should be to discover why they are ruins and attempt to use that knowledge to prevent the same from happening to us. I don't believe alien ruins would doom us, rather I think they can only help us, and if we are still doomed, we would be even without finding the ruins.

                                                                          • SliceOfLemon
                                                                            SliceOfLemon  3 days back

                                                                            What if a civilisation can go back down the staircase ?

                                                                            • SliceOfLemon
                                                                              SliceOfLemon  3 days back

                                                                              So in a nutshell , If we find aliens are real , it shows that there can't be a filter behind us otherwise the Aliens wouldn't live for us to see them , this shows that there is a filter in front of us and basically inevitable doom . Nice

                                                                              • Review
                                                                                Review  3 days back

                                                                                The WORST about humans are secrets and greed.......... I hate how here we are wanting to learn but there's an invisible wall built purposely to hinder us or even monitor us... The weapons we hold is not to protect us for our long journey forward, it's there to scare, hinder and slow advancement because of greed... Honesty would have been the best policy but now there's so many secrets that undoubtedly chaos would only be around the corner.

                                                                                If I was an alien, I wouldn't destroy humans because I know they'd destroy themselves long before they'd want to help each other. Sad.

                                                                                • Jason Faulkner
                                                                                  Jason Faulkner  3 days back

                                                                                  If space-faring aliens have the ability to get past a "great filter", then they likely have the technology to hide their presence from lesser civilizations they observe. Imagine: what does a reindeer tell its herd-mates about a helicopter than appears, lands, and shoots it in the ass with a tranquilizer? It lacks the ability to explain boom birds from the sky, and it's peers lack the ability to accept such an explanation.

                                                                                  • croaton07
                                                                                    croaton07  3 days back

                                                                                    Or, and this may catch some by surprise, since we have only scanned 1% of the sky, we simply haven't seen or heard from anything yet. It's also possible we aren't receiving any signals or seeing anything due to the light reaching us before any species has advanced enough to be visible. I know this throws a wrench in the "they don't exist" theories but, there it is.

                                                                                    • Thanus Songprasart
                                                                                      Thanus Songprasart  3 days back

                                                                                      plot twist: Human is the filter

                                                                                      • Huw Pople
                                                                                        Huw Pople  3 days back

                                                                                        I can think of a non-terrible filter that is ahead of us: FTL travel is impossible making Interstellar empires unmanagable. As a result the advanced Civs that don't fall prey to the death by hubris or war filters would just build Dyson swarms and matrioshka brains, put themselves into the matrix and live a more exiting life where their values are fulfilled in cyberspace.

                                                                                        • ghillieguy52
                                                                                          ghillieguy52  3 days back

                                                                                          humans: hello world!
                                                                                          filter: killurself

                                                                                          • Nw.Caffers
                                                                                            Nw.Caffers  3 days back

                                                                                            Pretty animations with cute birds.


                                                                                            *existential crisis inducing topics and facts delivered in a soothing tone*