In the famous Spielberg movie, E.T. phoned home, but home is extinct according to the Gaian Bottleneck theory developed by two researchers at the National University of Australia, Charles Lineweaver and Aditya Chopra.
It appears that the people of Earth may be pretty lonely in the Galaxy, at least, that is what the two researchers Lineweaver and Chopra claim. They say that a planet can be able to sustain life for a period of time before natural disasters, hot climate, cold climate, gravity fluctuations or even astronomic events (such as a meteor) comes along and destroys everything that used to live and breathe on that surface.
The two focused on the evolutionary theory stating that life, in its early stages, is very fragile. People just assume that there must be a planet out there on which life was permitted to evolve long enough for intelligent beings to appear. But this is not always the case.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the development of life. The green gases that are ensured by vegetation and water sources, a stable temperature on the surface of the planet that will allow life to prosper, a steady atmosphere that is not in danger of evaporating into space, leaving all life to suffocate and die.
The “great filter” theory comes to complete the hypothesis constructed by the two Australian researchers. The “great filter” theory, devised by Professor Hanson, dictates that at a certain point in the evolutionary process of life something happens and a sort of filter, a barrier causes it to stop evolving. The chances of overpassing the filter are slim, but humanity managed to beat the odds. And according to all three of the researchers, it may also be the only one who reached such an advanced stage of development.
The researchers do not deny that there must have been life in the Universe at some point in the past, but the “great filter” prevented it from evolving any further and caused its impending extinction. It is what they suppose happened on Mars when the planet still had an atmosphere compatible with life.
The theory is not yet proven to be true, but if somebody will actually validate it someday we may create a new job opening: space archaeologists. In the meantime, the theory is actually much scarier when you stop applying it to E.T. and start thinking about the fact that all those horrible things can happen to us, and if the “great filter” forgives no one, why would it spare humanity.
It seems that E.T. phoned home, but home is extinct. And the phone may become extinct as well.
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