The 9th Planet and Hurdles to Intelligent Life

I do not like to be the one that jumps on the conspiracy theories as I have mentioned before. However, there are times when the experts speak it is hard to come to any other conclusion that what you have already been told.

A few days ago there were rumors that scientist have evidence of a 9th planet that is in our solar system. To start from the beginning, Pluto, was at one time a planet which gave us 9 in our solar system. But a few years ago poor Pluto got demoted and was no longer a considered a planet. So currently we have 8 planets in our solar system, but these new claims are saying that there is some evidence to suggest that there is an 9th planet out there floating around.

To fuel the conspiracy fires I am not 100% sure where the this 10th, now 9th planet conspiracy came from. With a little research I found that there was a lady who says she made some sort of psychic contact with the beings on this planet and they told her about the planet and such, of course they did. The only somewhat credible evidence come from Zachariah Sitchin who says he uncovered mentions of the planet in ancient Babylonian texts which he says is called Nibiru. However, other analysis of the texts by other experts found a different interpretation, and Sitchin’s analysis is not give much credit in the academic world. I think it is safe to say that the psychic connection theory probably does not hold water, but the analysis of the texts is a bit more intriguing. I cannot read Babylonian so I do not know if Sitchin’s interoperation is close to the other interoperation or if he is really stretching what it is saying. I know I have usually done some academia bashing in my day, but this one seems a little more cut and dry. I can’t find any evidence that what Sitchin claims is true. So it seems that I am going to have to error on the side of academia this time. So what is interesting is that two people, one who seems to boarder on the line of crazy, and the other I am not sure where to classify him both came up with the same idea, and now scientist say they have some evidence that there could very well be another planet out there that is three times the size of Earth.

Again I am not saying that I think these two individuals through very different means came to the same discovery. So regardless of all the conspiracy theories out there, what is most fascinating is that scientist think they have found what they think is another planet in the far reaches of our solar system. What is also key here is that they “think” think have found it, none of the articles I found says they found definite proof, rather that they are pretty sure they found something.

The other component of this theory is that is deals with the destruction of the Earth. Some believe that this planet, if it exists, is on a direct collision course with Earth, or as the psychic says there are aliens on this planet that want to destroy Earth. I do not believe any of these stories in any way, as this planet has one of the most bizarre orbit around the sun and would be highly volatile to any kind of life, intelligent or otherwise.

Speaking of aliens, I recently came across a couple articles that discuss a possible solution to the Fermi Paradox. The Fermi Paradox basically asks the question of why we are alone, or why we haven’t found anyone else out there. Based on the shear vastness of the cosmos, and even the most conservative estimates, there should be no less than a few thousand intelligent civilizations out there. Which begs the question, where is everyone? Well, the article above suggest that they are all dead, and that life is very fragile in the universe.  Because of this almost no microbial life evolves to multicellular organisms that eventually lead to intelligent life. Which is quite depressing I know.

I think this idea coincides with The Great Filter Theory, which discusses various hurtles, or filters, that a life in the universe must overcome. For instance the first hurdle is the transition of single celled organisms to multicellular organisms, well okay if we want to start at the beginning, I suppose it is that life comes into being in the first place, but lets just assume that it has already happened. This transition was a very big step in our evolution that I think many of us take for granted because it happened so long ago. The point is that there could be millions of single celled life forms out there in the universe on a equally as many planets, but perhaps less than 1% of them make the evolutionary jump to multicellular organisms, which would get them over the first hurdle to becoming intelligent. What I think is most surprising about this is that if this theory is true both of these first two hurdles are by far the most important and crucial, yet they seem to happen completely by chance. The following hurdles listed below, the species has some say and or can basically determine their own destiny. But these first hurdles or filters are the most important but the organism has no say in the matter, which I find very odd. It seems to happen by luck or chance, the universe is very strange indeed.

From there I am not sure what the next hurdle or filter would be, or if we have reached it yet. Some could make an argument for harnessing the power of the atom or creating the nuclear bomb. I think for the most part we have overcome that filter, we have not destroyed ourselves more than 70 years after its creation. But that is if, it is indeed a barrier.

Beyond that I do not know what our next filter will be, or what to even speculate about. There is always the talk of AI being the next filter because it could very easily wipe us out. I have written many posts about how I do not think that will be the case, so for that reason I am not sure that will be a hurdle. On the other hand the self-inflicted destruction of the planet is very high on the list in my opinion. If you think about it I would imagine that every up and coming intelligent civilization would eventually have this problem, and is probably the next great filter. Can we, or any intelligent civilization out there, continue to grow as a species and not completely destroy their home planet in the process? I believe that that is the real question, one that I do not have an answer to.

Beyond that, if we are to sustain our species while maintaining the planet then I would imagine the next filter would be to leave the home planet for one of two reasons, either in search of more energy from a nearby star as the Kardashev Scale suggest, or because the home planet star is dying and the civilization must find a new home. Either of these reasons would cause an intelligent civilization to leave its home planet for a viable reason.

If we are going to speculate even more I would say that the final filter would be to escape our universe because our universe will eventually die or come to a variety of different endings. Personally I believe that the universe is cyclical, mainly because, well I really have no idea, I just like that idea I suppose. Regardless of how it happens, I think there is almost no chance some distant relative of the human species is there to witness it, in fact I would say that there will be no living thing around to witness the final moments of our universe.


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