Alien Civilizations and the Permanent State of Reset

Alien Civilizations and the Permanent State of Reset

I often poke fun at Earth for not being a
perfect planet, nor orbiting a perfect sun, nor being located in a perfect galaxy, and
all of those things are true. There very likely are better worlds in the
universe for life than this one. But, perhaps more likely, there are many worlds
that are worse than earth and while they may allow intelligence to arise, they may not
allow it to do anything other than live in a primitive state. More, Earth may end up being one of those
worlds. This is the concept of reset and can take
many forms, both self-induced, or through natural disasters of a magnitude greater than
what we can currently handle, such as a coronal mass ejection pointed directly at us, see
my video on the Carrington event in the end screen. But that’s still something we can mitigate
or control, if we put in the effort, as is the notion of deflecting asteroids that might
impact earth. These are things within our current technological
grasp to protect ourselves against. But what of something that is not? What of natural disasters of a kind that it
will be centuries, if not longer, before we can do anything about? Thankfully, earth doesn’t have many of these,
but it does have one glaring one. That would be a supervolcano eruption. Earth is a volcanically active planet and
always has been. This favored life, and in fact may have played
a role in life’s genesis here, but volcanoes are a double-edged sword in that they can
affect very wide areas depending on what type of eruption is occurring. Scale that up, and entire continents can be
essentially destroyed, with global atmospheric effects that could completely reset our civilization
if not cause our extinction. Earth has had many supervolcanic eruptions,
one of which may have affected us directly. Humans are not particularly genetically diverse,
at least in some ways, compared to other species, and it’s always been an open question as
to why that is. It may just be the nature of our genetics,
but one somewhat controversial hypothesis is that our population bottlenecked about
70,000 years ago due to environmental changes that were brought about by the eruption of
the Toba supervolcano. In other words, it’s a scenario where almost
everyone died and we descend from the handful of survivors. While contentious and difficult to prove,
the Toba bottleneck begs a question. Could this happen again? The answer is yes, and at some point it very
likely will happen. Worse, new research suggests that these kinds
of eruptions happen more frequently on earth than was previously thought. They are very hard to predict on geologic
time scales, but the current guess is that they happen about once every 17,000 years. And, there are current powder kegs, such as
the Yellowstone supervolcano. At the same time, the chances of you being
alive during one of these eruptions is very low. And such a thing may not result in our wholesale
extinction, we’ve apparently survived them in the past. But what if that cadence were more frequent? What of an alien civilization subject to supervolcano
reset every few thousand years? In such a case, it seems likely that they
would never leave their version of the stone age, kept frozen at a low level of civilization
forever by the volcanism of their world. Or perhaps they would have just enough time
to get into space. Imagine a scenario where you don’t just
want to leave your planet out of curiosity and a desire to explore the universe, but
rather you live on a ticking time bomb and you must get out while you can. Imagine if that happens to us. Thanks for listening! I am futurist and science fiction author John
Michael Godier and if you would like to support the channel check out my patreon page link
below, or check out my books at your favorite online book retailer and subscribe to my channel
for regular, in-depth explorations into the interesting, weird and unknown aspects of
this amazing universe in which we live.

77 thoughts on “Alien Civilizations and the Permanent State of Reset

  1. Who knows maybe that kind of difficulties and disasters (not very often not very seldom) on a planet lead to intelligent life?

  2. hopefully nothing "exciting" will happen the next 10000 years or so.
    Last time was 70000 years ago and yes we are all coming from Somalia or Ethiopia

  3. It seams more like a music video ft John Michael Godier. Short videos aren't too captivating .Expecting something longer than 4 minutes.

  4. This idea reminds me of Isaac Asimov's classic "Nightfall." I don't think such a civilization is totally trapped, as each new one may be able to learn from the previous ones, getting to the same level of tech in less time after each reset. But the concept is still fascinating.

  5. PERFECTION or IMPERFECTION?…Nothing is perfect here!…fuck this…

    Over infinite time, Physics and Chemistry created biology.. biology created us, after 4 000 000 000 years of evolution…

    We are the victims, and victimizers of that UNINTELLIGENT process, as we were created IMPERFECT, in an IMPERFECT environment for us…

    We are the prisoners, rapists, orphans, murderers, blind, drunk, retarded, homeless, losers, sick, of this reality that we do not control totally…

    We are IMPERFECT, because our design is so, not because we want to be IMPERFECT…

    We are a problem to ourselves…as we create all our sickness and misery!…by PROCREATING…is that not idiotic, ridiculous?

    There is PERFECTION before we are born!.. there is PERFECTION after we are dead!

    Do not impose this stupid life on others, be kind, intelligent merciful…

    End imperfection…create perfection…. Let's be God……Let's be perfect…

    If you liked this message, pass it on, show others what life is really about, copy, then paste this message, make your own, post them on YouTube comments section, that's all it takes…let's end imperfection…

    Became a fighter for ultimate cause…PERFECTION….


    Learn the facts, watch the videos..

    Some favorites…
    The Price
    How Many
    Not a given
    No echo
    Accurate Description of Reality
    All About a Reproducing Molecule
    Amusement Park
    Into Oblivion
    Experience Gary is having sex….
    Gladiator warRealize the terror….
    Fuck you…
    Parasitic consumption and reproduction….
    Anti imposition….
    Whatever the horror
    The bigger picture
    I challenge the world….
    The important feature
    The focus of the argument
    Rotten Rhetoric
    The game is stupid
    Mostrar menos
    Há 6 minutos
    Mostrar menos
    Mostrar menos

  6. Imagine there were no fossil fuels on the planet (namely oil) – no matter how intelligent or evolved we would never get off this rock living like amish for rest of our days

  7. What if every civilization learns the Universe is a simulation, with no escape possible … wouldn't the only sane decision be, to wipe yourself out?

  8. Thank you for another excellent video Mr. Godier of the John Michael variety. I much appreciate your work and your constant updates on science and cosmology. Keep up the awesome work. <3 Love you cutie.

  9. Near extinction or a "reset" is beyond our control unless we have a permanent outpost in Space that is completely self sufficient and has no need for resources from Earth. We have a long way to go before that, hopefully Yellowstone remains a deep sleeper and we are not a victim of a large,very dense random Asteroid/Meteor or Flares from our life giving/taking Sun. What can happen, will happen at some point or another. I believe we humans will be our own demise before any of the above ever happens, too many variables to say for sure what that will be… money is on a super virus or an affliction that deteriorates our population to the point of total instability and growth. Too many people don't know how to cover their mouths when coughing…

  10. Nasa actually has scenario for supervolkano, they want use very big thermal power plant, that can cool magma.

  11. The chance of me being alive at the time of an eruption might be low, but the chance of me being alive after such an eruption is even lower.

  12. I have a very hard time not being incandescently angry about stuff like this. There is no good reason we don't already have permanent colonies on the moon and in orbit by this point. The only reason that we don't is because a bunch of dumbasses uttered those Immortal stupid words "Why should we spend billions of dollars on the Space Program when we have problems down here?" and the rest of the dumbasses listened to them. Everytime I hear someone say something along those lines I want to reach out and murder them. I never reproduced because I could never hate a human being so much I would wish this world with its gaggle of fools on them. But the rest of you were foolish enough to do so and it's going to be your kids and grandkids who will pay the price for societies collective laziness and hubris. Maybe if someone like Musk were to take it upon themselves to establish a permanent Colony on the moon it might happen. But that waste of carbon atoms can only think of Mars and his own glory and fuck all the future of the human race. Whatever happens in the future your (by which I mean everyone's) descendents will be getting EXACTLY what they deserve. Every day we aren't working to establish permanent, self-sufficient colonies off this rock is one day closer to extinction but all you morons care about is illusory social justice nonsense and how many pronouns you can insist other people use to validate your pathetic ego and what color people are. 😠😠😠

  13. I heard they revised the avarage dates to 17k-47k approx, with a wide margin of error. Were long overdue according to that.

  14. If "humans are not particularly genetically diverse" [1:39], maybe it's because our intellectual adaptability is doing for our genetic divergence what 'RNA editing' does for the cephalopods; slowing our rate of mutation.

  15. pretty sure anything that doesn't out right kill us in a few months is survivable and we would bounce back pretty quickly or at least eak out an advanced but very small-scale existance. Sure food would get expensive and billions would die, but surely greenhouses, artificial nitrogen fixation, and modern recycling would allow us to survive pretty much anything. Soot blocking out the sun? No prob. Its not like a supervolcano would knock out all the nuclear power plants or the oil wells. We might lose the majority of a continent, but the earth is big, we're prolific af, and there's lk >7 billion of us. Not to mention anybody with access to the internet and a usb drive with a few gigs could download the entire Wikipedia. That covers the basics of damn near any relevent technology. Idk…i just don't see any disaster weak enough to leave a genetically viable population but strong enough to send us back any further than like 1950's tech. Hell even a generally lethal disaster, bringing us below genetically viable numbers, isn't necessarily the end(sperm/gene banks).

  16. I don't really think they'd be trapped in the stoneage. As soon as they get agriculture of any kind, they have an enormous advantage for surviving each eruption. The more advanced a civilization is, the less it is at the mercy of nature, including the climate. An agrarian society would have stocked granaries, livestock, possibly ocean-going fishing ships, and likely some even more long-term food storage like pickling, drying, smoking, or salting.

    Yes a supervolcanic eruption would be a set-back, but it wouldn't be a reset I don't think.

  17. 1) Big eruptions are rare. So don't expect another for 100000 years or whatever.
    2) An eruption thats was big enough to kill almost all humans 100000 years ago would not kill almost all (absolute number, proportionally it may be similar) humans today.

  18. Hey I got a newsflash. Aliens are already here! I've seen them with my own eyes. One night in Flagstaff, Az I was getting ready for bed when I heard a thunderous noise. It was a pair of F-16s, with their afterburners on, chasing a dark grey, and completely silent, orb. I believe humans need to establish a much stronger presence in space, or be casualties of the miriad species eyeing power and resources. We cannot afford any type of reset.

  19. Resets of some form have certainly happened before and will most definitely happen again. The universe is one big calamity happening in slow motion.

  20. catalysts like these are indeed important to encourage adaptation, and the cooperation necessary to achieve it, I suppose. I'm still more concerned about gamma ray bursts, or our solar system cycling back up to the galactic plane where there may be more of those.

  21. What about planets where the people can't realistically get off? For Earth you need 25,020 mph for escape velocity. Now imagine a super-earth. A civilization might never be even able to escape their gravity well. I guess that explains Krypton. 🙂

  22. Great video! Just a pointer: "begging the question" is a very specific kind of philosophical fallacy, so it is used improperly in your narration here. The correct phrase would have been "prompts the question" or "leads to the question"

  23. indeed librepenseur,
    it is ostensibly a very narrow window of events which gave rise to the sentience
    which you allude to with 'mitochondrial eves, toba event' etc.

    still, that is the ancestors paradox through to the quelle source, the panspermia theory etc,
    (which had to happen after the Theia collision event)

    and we're only considering 'natural incidence of biological sentience',
    not SIPI etc… which has its own setbacks hehe.

  24. What the Great Filter isn't a doomsday scenario but rather a resources limitation. Where would humanity be now without the fossil fuel driven industrial revolution. Could it be that it's not intelligent life that's rare, it's coal and oil?

  25. I aimed a mass ejection at my girlfriends face a few nights ago but she was able to dodge it. ….I swear, that heifer's got reflexes like Spiderman!

  26. If a substantial volcano ignited a big coal field and or a big oil deposit that would surely put a spanner in the works by heating the atmosphere up a tad!

  27. I can't point to a single society or event that has made us a contributing force to life on this planet; thus questioning our right to survive, should the pendulum swing unfavorably for us.
    Perhaps we're better off being reset regularly, and instead of us exploring space we should explore ourselves to find the reason for our aggressive and exploitative volatility.

  28. How could one hypothetically defuse a supervulcano? Could we perhaps tap the geothermal energy and make sure we're taking out at least slightly more energy than the mantle is pumping into it?

  29. This world needs a slight reset we seem to be more interested in celebrities than the people finding cures for cancer we even have people who still think the earth is flat

  30. Well, isn't earth kinda like a ticking time bomb, since we don't know if a huge asteroid or whatever else might hit the earth in the future and reset civilization? Yes the chances are low, but still.

  31. Also, i'm just thinking that what if we're among the first civilizations to arrive because maybe recently there were formed some heavier elements that we could use? Just a thought.

  32. Maybe XCOM2 and Halflife2 is sayin the truth; maybe there's an Galactic 'Force'/'Entity' that keep the florishing Civilazations in line

  33. Perhaps they all get wiped out young, by evil genius.
    We now face the clear & present danger of an evil super genius, who has both common sense and a sense of humour, which makes him worse than Bloefeld and Goldfinger combined! And just like a 1960's Bond movie, he's the sort of man who would make an evil headquarters, with spectacular sweeping architecture, and then hide it in space or at the deepest point in the ocean, so nobody could see it. He claimed the first example off the line, of his first production car, and for nearly a decade, it's been his daily drive. So now he is planning to launch the Falcon Heavy, with 3 boosters, which will take his first production Roadster into Mars orbit and park it as an orbital trans-planetary mausoleum for his earlier work. How much more Bond Villain can you get? Let's buy him a white cat….

  34. Imagine if they had just enough time to get fast, not enough time to thoroughly check where they aimed for…and then found us at the other end…

  35. The reset idea is a very rich one. Ice planet is another good reset scenario. Nature will always seek balance; when homo hubrisimus becomes an imbalancing factor, the physics of existence will stomp him down and we start afresh.

  36. Does anyone know if there have been any scientific papers released considering the habitability of an object like Io, or a "lava world" planet?
    No, I'm not crazy – it actually makes good sense. Apart from the extreme searing heat that is, which would make Earth life as we know it impossible. Think about it: Io has active geology. Io has the feautures of the other moons as well (slight atmosphere, volcanoes instead of cryo, is protected from Jupiter's magnetosphere (from the Solar wind and cosmic rays, I mean.) . Io has perhaps a fairly solid core, and a mantle of liquid, a magma ocean.

    So we've got active geology, heat, a subsurface ocean, and nutrients in some respect. Magma is not discussed as an alternative to liquid water as much as other solvents such as methane or ammonia are, but some sort of bizarre alien chemistry is hypothetically possible in Io's magma ocean.

    Obviously this life would probably be very hard to detect, or even recognize as being "life", so Ganymede and Europa remain the best targets for life-finding probes within the coming century for the Jupiter system.

    Lava planets may be more common than Earth analogs in our galaxy, so it's fascinating to consider if life may have risen on one of them, however remote the possibility from Earth's perspective.

  37. It seems to me that stopping Yellowstone from blowing would be easier than stopping an asteroid headed straight for us that was just detected. I have seen plans for a geothermal power plant that would "let off stream" at Yellowstone.

  38. Sorry to say. But I enjoy Isaac Arthur because his videos are more positive and not depressing. I love to learn but ignorance to some things keeps me happy. Perhaps a lighter tone once in awhile?

  39. I kinda doubt there could be a better world, considering humans is specifically evolved FOR this planet! Unless humans are really spacelien colonists that somehow forgot just about almost everything save weird myths like known twin stars since 5000bc and only discovered as such 5000 years later and only the pyramid landing stations remain 😀

  40. Didn't Star Trek Voyager do an episode where constant geo-activity caused by the ship inspire a species to get out of the stone age and into space to tell them to "STOP SHAKING THE DAMN PLANET"?

  41. The Super Volcano underneath Yellow Stone National Park is overdue now and if it goes off today will kill lots of humans not from the initial blast and lava but from its aftermath such as a cloud that blankets the Sun light for years thus creating a nuclear or glacial winter.

  42. If our planet was smaller and less massive, large scale volcanism would be less of a problem. The downside would be an early loss of tectonism, the carbon cycle and the geomagnetic field. You just have to be tough and nimble to climb up the ladder on an earthlike planet! But then again, maybe that's just as well. It may also be the Great Filter in a nutshell.

  43. If nuclear power is just heating water to move a turbine. Why are we not harassing the power of volcanoes for energy??????

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