Here are a couple of articles that I think kind of sort of go together. They both deal with the size of the universe, and the video in particular really puts things into perspective about how much space is out there.
I did not watch it all but skipped around and still found it fascinating. Basically traveling at the speed of light, which we all know is impossible, it will still take you 45 minutes to reach Jupiter. That is pretty insane to think about. These are enormous distances and we are just talking about our own solar system. It is a very cool video and gives a sense of realism to space travel. It is very easy to get sucked into the sifi talk about how in the future we will be able to do this or that because we will have some engine that will make interstellar travel possible. Regardless of our technology I think speed is irrelevant, meaning that even if we figure out how to power a space ship (given that it is possible) to the speed of light that alone will not guarantee our colonization of the universe. I think the nearest star is still like 4 light years away or something silly. So that it will take a space ship traveling 180,000 miles per second 4 years to reach it. That is not feasible in any way. When I looked this up I thought it would be much farther, but still spending that much time in space cannot be good for our bodies.
I honestly think that in order to colonize the universe humans will have to develop some sort of worm hole technology that will enable us to travel massive distances in a matter of seconds. By being able to warp space time I think will be the only way we can successfully leave this planet and explore other star systems. Traveling at the speed of light is not the answer, and as far as we know it is impossible so I think trying to figure out this problem is a waste of time and resources. The other thing to keep in mind is that as mentioned above the nearest star is about 4 light years away, the nearest star with potential habitat planet is almost 12 light years away and the distances only grow from there. So just like that the distance and time to meet our cosmic neighbor has doubled. Once again I don’t think that this is feasible in any way.
What if there was another way to explore the universe without leaving the planet.
I find this interesting for a couple of reasons because maybe the life forms that we expect to find out there are too busy running their own simulations to bothered with looking for anyone else. If there are civilizations out there that are older than us, and there is a very real theory that we may be the oldest, I would have to think that it would not be a flesh and blood being. Part of me thinks that if there is something out there is it some sort of A.I. Logically that would make more sense as this alien A.I. would require only a fraction of the resources, other than energy, to sustain itself. Meaning it would not need food, water, or the all important one, air to breathe. All it would really need would be an energy source, and I would think that would come from its nearest star.
So let’s say that we were not the oldest intelligent civilization out there. This other civilization eventually creates A.I. and for whatever reason (war, disease, or anything) the flesh and blood beings eventually die out, leaving the A.I. all by its lonesome. What does it do now? As I have mentioned before I doubt it has the ambition to leave the planet and meet other beings. Even if it did I am not sure it would be interested in meeting us simple Earthlings.
The other thing to think about is that we would have almost nothing to offer either a flesh and blood alien species or an alien A.I. Meaning what would they gain by making contact? I would argue that they are infinitely smarter than us so I think they could easily say there is no reason to make contact with us. For example, there are some very remote tribes that live in isolated islands in the South Pacific or deep within the Amazon jungle. I would say that aliens coming to Earth is pretty much the same as a scientist visiting one of these islands or tribes. The mindset would be one of learning just because and trying if at all possible not to disturb their primitive culture and their delicate way of life. I would think an intelligent alien civilization would have this same mindset. Now this is getting into the sifi realm, but I would assume they could study our culture without being noticed. If that is the case I think we are on to them, maybe?
So my overall point with all the above jabbering is why would they want to come here to Earth? I cannot come up with a viable answer to that question. I think some scientist think that everyone out there is as friendly as we are, so they would obviously want to make friends. For whatever reason I cannot wrap my brain around this idea. That takes into account that they will be programmed like we are, and that is no guarantee. Perhaps they are more like the Japanese of the 19th and 20th centuries. The mindset of Japanese people during this time was a very isolationist and xenophobic one. So is it possible that an alien civilization could have this very same mindset? I think it is plausible. Perhaps they have infinite technology and because of this they are afraid of what could happen if it get into the wrong hands. There are a multitude of reasons they would want to keep to themselves, maybe it is their religion or culture to want to be left alone.
Any way you slice it there does not seem to be anyone jumping to answer our calls. I think the next question is about whether we should be drawing attention to ourselves?
It will be impossible to know what the intentions of an alien civilization will be should they choose to answer and visit. I can see both sides of this argument. Most people seem to only focus on the good things, but I also think there could very well be a much larger bad side. I don’t think they would want to destroy us, I don’t see the logic or rationale for that scenario, but I also don’t think they would be willing to share their technology with us. For starters I doubt we would be able to understand what they could be showing us, nor how to use it. You don’t see those same scientist mentioned above bringing electricity to those remote islands or handing them a nuclear reactor explaining how it would work and the capabilities of the technology. This is what seems to get lost when discussing this whole scenario. I also think there would be a fear from the aliens that we, humans, would want to turn anything they gave us into a weapon. To me I think there are many more negatives of a highly advanced alien civilization coming to visit, and they far outweigh the positives. It is not farfetched to think that they, if they are out there, think it is better not to stop by to say hello. I hate to say it but, that is probably better for all parties involved.