Fermi Paradox: Intergalactic Civilizations

Fermi Paradox: Intergalactic Civilizations

The main item currently on SETI’s agenda
is to search the nearest stars first for evidence of alien life and civilizations. After all, the closer they are, the easier
they are to detect. And while there are some ways to look a bit
further out such as as variations in stellar light curves that can only be due to orbiting
alien megastructures passing in front of stars, we’re still quite limited in what we can
distantly see as far as SETI goes. This is not only a limitation placed by the
sensitivity of our instruments, but there is also a limitation of time. The further out you look, the further in the
past you see how things were in the universe. This isn’t too much of an issue with the
Milky Way, since it’s plenty old enough to have spawned megacivilizations long ago
that we hypothetically could see. But the further you go intergalactically,
the less likely you are to see anything. But, It’s also a similar situation with
the nearest galaxies as it is with our galaxy, some are close enough and old enough for the
activities of a civilization to be visible, though would be very hard to spot unless they
started encasing the stars of their galaxy inside full on Dyson Sphere, which we could
detect, hypothetically, in the infra-red spectrum. But beyond that, you eventually get so distant
in your observations that you’re seeing galaxies as they were in the past that, from
your perspective, wouldn’t have had time to produce civilizations. Further still, you’d see galaxies that wouldn’t
have had time to even produce planets when the light we see left them. That doesn’t mean they haven’t actually
produced civilizations, of course. They may currently have them, we just can’t
see them yet. The information about that possibility can
only travel at the speed of light and simply hasn’t had enough time to get here. Check back in 500 million years and we may
know more about further galaxies. But the one area here that hasn’t been all
that well explored is the notion of a civilization developing outside a galaxy entirely. The possibility here involves rogue stars. Stars, and their associated planetary systems,
can and do get ejected from galaxies. In fact, a lot of them get ejected. For example, within the Virgo cluster of galaxies,
it’s estimated that ten percent of the stars originating in those galaxies have been ejected,
billions of rogue stars in that group alone. This is thought to happen in several ways,
from chaotic galaxy mergers to stars from near a galactic core getting ejected by a
supermassive black hole. Needless to say, a significant amount of the
stars in this universe exist outside of galaxies. While many of these stars would be unsuitable
for civilizations to arise, it is hypothetically possible. This situation creates both advantages and
disadvantages to civilizations that may arise in ejected rogue systems. One advantage is temperature and a lack of
things like gamma ray bursts and nearby supernovas that pose threats to life within galaxies. In fact, entire sections of galaxies are very
probably uninhabitable. Like star systems, galaxies have their own
type of habitable zone, where within a galactic core life and civilizations might not arise
simply because the stars are too closely packed together and blasting each other with radiation,
frequent supernovas and presenting all sorts of seemingly impossible challenges for life. But as you move outward from a galactic core,
you find places like here, where conditions do allow for life, as we are evidence of. And that brings us to the disadvantage. The further out you go in a galaxy, the less
raw materials your civilization has to work with. And when you leave a galaxy entirely, you
have far less than that. So a civilization arising in between galaxies
would be presented immediately with a severe long-term resource problem. This may keep them from ever leaving a type
I stage of civilization, essentially only being able to make use of their own star system’s
resources. But, even then, that can be quite a lot. If they’re star system is comparable to
our system, we built a civilization on earth’s and the sun’s resources, we have yet to
tap the rest of the solar system. A civilization could hypothetically go a long
way with only the initial ability to colonize it’s own star system. But there would be an eventual brick wall,
so what else could they do to try to gather resources? As I said, even in intergalactic space there
are still many, many stars. They might be sparser, but if an advanced
civilization waited long enough stars might pass close enough to colonize them. And, ideas like building things like Shkadov
thrusters, or Fritz Zwicky’s idea to use directed solar flares to move stars around,
hypothetically can be done if they civilization has the available raw materials to do it. This may make it possible over extremely long
periods of time for such a civilization to collect stars and arrange them according to
their needs. If we ever saw indications of this, an unlikely
arrangement of stars, within or nearby the Milky Way, that in itself would be a technosignature
of a civilization. Just how they might choose to configure their
stars is anyone’s guess, but if they wanted to get the attention of others they might
configure them very unnaturally, such making it look like a strand of DNA, or a mathematical
counting, or a highly unlikely overall shape. But this would also be a civilization running
in slow motion, due to a lack of resources as they constantly run up against the carrying
capacities of the star systems they control. So much so that there may not have been enough
elapsed time in the universe for such a civilization to have started moving stars around on this
scale, and thus they might not yet exist. But this also brings us to the far future. Will humanity someday move stars? As the Milky Way ages and the old age of the
universe begins to see star creation slow and eventually cease, It may be imperative
that we do so to collect as much in the way of resources as we can. Collecting up long-lived stars, or even figuring
out ways of refueling stars, may become a necessity to keep our civilization going as
long as we can. Thanks for listening! I am futurist and science fiction author John
Michael Godier ….

100 thoughts on “Fermi Paradox: Intergalactic Civilizations

  1. JMG do you mean that civilisations could use a rogue system as an intergallatic spaceship by piggy-back riding it?
    I think that we should concentrate on exploring the Milky Way for possible civilisations and after we have improved our methods, locally, then look further out into the Cosmos.

  2. An intergalactic civilization would be incredibly lonely. I wonder what the night sky would be like? I'd imagine the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies would be prominent and would further galaxies appear as stars or be too far away for the eye..

  3. Around 6:03–6:09 there is a loud whistling noise in the sourndtrack somewhere between15kHz and 18kHz. (This is a range where children and teenagers can hear it but many adults cannot.)

  4. Oh, she said “universe in which you live”. If this universe is a simulation, is she part of the ones running it? Hmmmm…

    In any case thanks for the excellent video once again! I find myself learning every time you upload something new!

  5. You're kinda leaving God out of your calculations there guy. Don't you think he has already planned out the future?

  6. Side note: So is the A. I. drunk or just throttled on a dial-up modem? 😉

    On-Topic: It's occurred to me that maybe the Expanded Kardashev Scale is out of order. That maybe a true space-faring civilization has to, of necessity, become aware of and able to use at least part of the nearby multiverse just to get around this tyrannical speed of light prison we are stuck with. If that's the case we may be looking in entirely the wrong places for signs of interstellar life. The signs of advanced space-faring exo-folk may have more to do with waves and disturbances in local space that are present, but not explained easily by local gravity or the inertia of passing objects. For example: if space itself had field lines similar to magnetic field lines, then it might make sense to ask, what it would look like if a space field-line were tied in a knot, broken and then reconnected with significant force. What would said "field lines" be made of? I don't know. (shrugs) Might be neutrinos, might be gluons or Higgs Bosons, I don't know.

    It's just occurred to me that there has to be a way to travel around the stupid long distances we're stuck with here, without having to risk the "vacuum state" or meta-stability of the Higgs Boson. This is just me trying to think like an alien who has already DONE this, versus a puny human who can't because he's from poor, greedy little ghetto Earth. :p *lol*

    Edit: Even so, it might take orbital-scale (planetary orbit scale) equipment and scanning relatively nearby near-galactic and intergalactic space just to find "outer space" clean enough to make these space disturbances detectable by us. 🙂

  7. "The amazing universe in which we live in." Sadly the universe wants nothing to do with us, hence it's expanding and distancing itself from us faster and faster.

  8. I'm on a cig break from a longer documentary and thrilled I have some jmg to occupy me whilst I'm out here. Good show, sir, good show.

  9. I gave up when he mentioned humans moving stars around.That's just sci fi,the true fact is that all earths oil will be gone in 40 years,after that the only things we shall be moving around will be horse-drawn buggies.Sorry guys but I have to say the future as layed out in this vid is simply never coming.

  10. Really great video, I enjoy all the possibilities you bring instead of all the videos on the net who tell why we are alone.. thanks and keep it up. I hope to see your new channel soon.

  11. i think it would be cool like a thousand years from now we would have self sustaining space stations orbiting half the planets in the solar system

  12. Subbed & a big fan. So I'll be brief. I don't believe there is a Fermi paradox because I believe the Drake equation is too optimistic. Also, the Kardashev scale assumes a GUT will be found by other races just because they've had longer to look. I doubt it's that easy.

  13. We should destroy all foreign life and life not acceptable to us. If we have to, we should have the will to blow up a planet and destroy all life on enemy planets.

  14. Thanks for this thoughtful discussion! Personal think that as time goes on there will before resources available for life to exist because of the maturation of the whole universe. I am thinking 🤔 that there are many civilizations scattered throughout the favorable zones in the galaxy. We are seeing the past and our instruments are probably only just now beginning to be sophisticated enough to begin to observe tell-tale signs of technology. Plus we, the earth have so few instruments pointing ☝ everywhich way constantly to see the details that will give us the answers. I hope that I will live to see the discoveries that will come. I am excited!

  15. Actually, I don't think evolving around such a rogue star would be that much of a problem at all. In fact, I think they might be about the most likely candidates to commonly use the Aestivation strategy for long-term survival, rather than merely for more computing power, though that is an additional advantage.

    You just sleep as the star carries you to the vicinity of a galaxy.

    I would also like to point out that while interstellar and intergalactic space are quite empty, as a percentage of volume, it is still full of what is potentially trillions of rogue worlds that can be colonized or dismantled for raw materials by such a civilization.

    Since a rogue star is usually traveling at high speeds as needed to reach galactic escape velocity, such a civilization would likely become spacefaring and engage in construction of megastructures earlier than others, just because of a need to deal with bodies in the path of the star that could disrupt their planetary system. Or because of the need to convert the materials of the existing planetary system into something like a Dyson Swarm, which is far less susceptible to possible impacts, or catastrophic orbital disruptions that could threaten their existence.

    It would be unlikely that we'd see them out there, eating planets in the dark.

  16. I think life exist in universe elsewhere than here but it doesn't want to spread and build mega structures. We are just programmed to think more people is better. Also technology far better than ours might not be possible.

  17. I bought a copy of Supermind. It's incredibly interesting! And reminds me of science fiction giants like Clark and Azimov. Thanks for your' fascinating videos i subscribed instantly after viewing the first one.

  18. Great video man. Thanks for keeping this channel going and all the hard work you are putting into it. I watch every one of your uploads. Thanks Buddy your work is appreciated by many

  19. Everyone in Sci-Fi imagines FTL-Drives… But of what use are they if you don't have FTL-Telescopes?

    Instascope, the new FTL-Telescope shows you what happens right now on the other side of the galaxy. If you buy two of them, you can use them for FTL-Communication. Also look at our new warp-10 drive, it is infinitely faster than our previous warp-9.9 drive. We also sell hot air and flux. Don't delay, buy today.

  20. A civilization could use "starlifting" technology to essentially mine the resources of their star. Not only would this give them access to more resources than their entire solar system, but reducing the mass of their star would prolong its life.


  21. Very, very old technological civs (billion+yo) are necessarily extremely risk-averse, or they wouldn't have lasted that long. Galaxies are intolerably risky to such civs. Therefore all extremely old technological civs are located outside galaxies.

    Hmm … and Matrioshka brains scattered across intergalactic space are inconspicuous — so that's where you do megastructures if you can't tolerate even the remotest possibility of attracting attention.

    There you go — problem solved. 😉

  22. When you're saying 'habitable', you're imagining if it's 'habitable' for 'us'. How do you know there can't be an alien race that can reside on stars? Their physics and biology not necessarily work like ours.

  23. That thought with distance and past is extremelly interesting. There might be a guy on earth looking through a scope directly towards a guy on another planet who looks through a scope back, but both are so far apart that the guy on earth sees primitve life forms and the other guy is watching dinosaurs, live, right now!

  24. The 1980s book and TV show Red Dwarf began with humans not only moving stars, but making them nova, and in the form of an ad for Coco Cola. It Had to be Coco Cola, right? The Earth's night sky was adorned by a brilliant constellation in the form of a Coca Cola sign. Now THAT's advertising commitment.

  25. "Currently there might be civilizations in distant galaxies". It doesn't make sense to say currently. Two galaxies far apart don't have the same time.

  26. that ending at first made think that something was wrong with my computer and I also thought ears were buzzing.

  27. It could maybe be possible for a civilization with the full use of the energy from there host star to travel to a nearby galaxy since even just one star is an extraordinary amount of energy.

  28. Great concepts, i love how you keep making more and more video concepts expanding on the Fermi paradox. I hadn't even considered stranded star systems. We're pretty lucky that we aren't one, if we want to find other life.

    As for dyson spheres I've been thinking lately maybe harnessing the sun's emitted energy with a whole bunch of matter is a big waste of time. Maybe they just suck energy straight from the core, kind of like the forge in avengers infinity. If that's the case it would explain why we cannot find dyson spheres

  29. jm and miguel alcubierre have used rented warehouse space to perfect the godier/alcubierre hyperspace warp drive, seats are available for 47 passengers, sign up here,,,tickets are sold now for december launching,food available

  30. Fun video. But may I through a idea in the mix… from the point of view of chemistry. More accurately the time it takes to produce "heavy" elements… ignoring the current understanding of life, one point that must be present for complex is complex chemical reactions and thus, given how this chemistry must firstly form in stars, then become concentrate in a solar system and then in to a body in a orbit that will support the needed reactions (not necessarily our understanding of the goldilocks belt but one that will allow a multitude of complex chemistry) mathematics shows that the sun must be part of the first generation capable of providing this chemical rich soup and thus we must stand a sadly good chance of been the oldest sentience in the galaxy if not close. Leaving reason to belive that if other older sentient life dose exist it can't be by so much that it would be visible to us at this level of technical capabilities.
    Hope you found this interesting

  31. There seems to be an assumption that civilisations will always grow . But once they reach maturity will they not see the pointlessness of growth ?

  32. nice video/show
    one thought, civilisation/s in or within micro Galaxys could they might have some advantages. as their Galaxy is smaller. having a "easier time to explore their home Galaxy.

  33. I don't think the universe is old enough for any type 2 or above Civilizations, earth took 5billion years just for a biological creature to develop radio signals litterally took nature 13 billion years no one knows if humans will ever leave our star system, hence a alien race wouldn't be that much further then us. There just hasn't been enough time for any life to colonize any large amount of a galaxy to be detected. Hell there could be one type of biological life in every galaxy right now but none would be able to talk to each other, it would take 200,000 years to contact say life in Andromeda but by the time you send a reply they could already be exctinct.

  34. If our civilization survives the death of this universe it will have attained god-like status and something like a star will be irrelevant. But this will never happen. We are too stupid.

  35. How do you refuel a star? You would need a fission reactor capable splitting atoms as small as iron. Or guiding the gas giants into a collision course with the sun. If we are capable of moving planets we don't need hydrogen.

  36. If the sun were an intergalactic star, and the rest of the solar system orbited it as it does now, and the earth experienced the same set of geological events and biological evolution leading up to humanity, how would being a million light years from the nearest galaxy impact our view of the universe and our understanding of astronomy, and in turn how would that influence religions, ideologies, as well as our view of ourselves?

  37. Sometimes I watch ur videos stoned. No disrespect. It's just WAAAYYY cooler than it already is that way. That voice at the end tho freaked me out Haha. Keep it up!!!!

  38. If you could synthesize matter from energy and draw energy from matter you could use the dust of your planet as a panacea resource.

  39. Build the ASTROSLING then probe star systems directly. We are more likely to colonize other systems before discovering intelligent life signs.

  40. imagine if we were a rogue system and we look up and see galaxies that we're not a part of… things could easily be so different for us.

  41. One very very important ingredient that everybody keeps forgetting is Earth has lightning all over creating complex molecules that we evolve from. Almost every planet in the universe loses its atmosphere to its Stars dripping Away by atmospheres which they never have a chance to evolve from. If you factor in every random thing that added to the Earth's development then Factory in the universe it changes the odds almost maybe one or two Earths maybe three Earths will find in the whole universe so we might as well spread are DNA and knowledge Across the Universe because we are all there is

  42. 95% of the galaxy is 2 hostile or lacks essentials ..leaving less than 1billion sun like stars were life is possible and 4 intelligent life no doubt rate very rare a handful in all probabilities

  43. You would think that with the number of galactic encounters that must have occurred since the Beginning, intergalactic space would be littered with rogue stars and planets.

  44. Love your content. I started to write a correction about using "farther" instead of "further" when discussing distance, but then I realized this might be purposeful. Grammatically, we use "further" with time and "farther" with distance, but they are coupled jointly in an Einsteinian interpretation, so "further" is more correct. Maybe grammar rules need to advance to the current century!

  45. Oh, that "inter".
    We need distinct prefixes to mean "that bridges" and "that is there". Inter-resident ?

  46. All these videos are highly informative and draw upon such a depth of speculation/imagination, but every time I hear about what we (humanity) could do in x-hundred million years time when another star comes close enough, we get a call-back from a distant star system, or our own star starts frying us, I cannot stop thinking that humanity will most likely be extinct (just another set of fossils) in a couple of miilion years time, never mind hundreds of miilions of years.

    Also, long-term, as the earth steadily loses its atmosphere to space, our planet will become less and less able to support larger organisms (see how insects have shrunk since the Carboniferous period, adapting to a rarer atmosphere) and perhaps less able to support advanced species. In the very long term (certainly within 500 million years), I suspect that this planet will return to hosting life only in the oceans where oxygenation might persist longer – and then if any other advanced species in another part of the galaxy were to look speculatively at our planet as potentially sustaining advanced life, they would come to the same conclusions as you have done regarding even the most earth-like exoplanets – oh no, this world could only support life in its oceans. When looking at exoplanets, the real problem is timing – if you catch one in a sweet spot of decent atmospheric density, decent magnetosphere and decently-behaving parent star, then you might be looking at one which supports advanced life – but then by the time you have travelled there it will probably have become extinct (or we will have become extinct before we hear from them).

    As a footnote, I suppose that the shrinking trend for species might eventually lead to smaller humans, who would then look at the fossil record and marvel at the ancient hominids who stood a gigantic six feet tall?

  47. I don’t really have a comment, but I do like this channel, so here is a comment and a like for engagement points and the YouTube algorithm.

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