Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

Saturday April 18, 2015

•  astrobiology •  futures studies •  heat dissipation •  Kardashev scale •  science • 

There’s been a lot of talk about the Penn State study suggesting there are no Kardashev Type II in 100,000 galaxy surveyed. Some of the conclusions are there’s nobody else out there, but that’s not right.

It shows there are no civilizations harnessing the entire power of a single galaxy. In science fiction terms, this is more powerful than anything in Star Wars. This more powerful than any alien in Doctor Who. Frankly, the only alien in (commonly known) science fiction I can think of is Q from Star Trek, and even that’s a bad comparison.

These scientists went hunting for the signature of of a civilization so powerful, most of our science fiction cannot portray it in any meaningful way. Because that’s what it takes to be seen across such great distances. That doesn’t mean there’s nobody out there. Only there’s nobody with access to power almost unimaginable to us.

Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.