Monday, September 21, 2015

Why the coming singularity WILL be the end of life as we know it, but okay anyway

In the last post, I argued why we will eventually become symbiotic with intelligent machines. Let's call these new symbiotic versions of ourselves electronic humans.

Just as single celled organisms evolved into multi-cellular ones, a community of electronic humans will eventually develop a collective consciousness and become a higher-level organism. This organism will be alive on a global scale. All of earth will be one organism.

Cool idea, but science fiction does not a theory make. To be taken seriously, a theory must have explanatory power or be testable or both. Let's start with the explanatory power.

This idea meshes nicely with panspermia and why SETI hasn't found anyone else "out there" yet.

Panspermia is the hypothesis that life has spread throughout the universe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

SETI is the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_for_extraterrestrial_intelligence

If the normal course of evolution throughout the galaxy leads to intelligent planets, then we obviously don't rate a "phone call" any more than a single celled organism rates a phone call from us.

If interstellar travel is difficult for humans, how much more difficult would be interstellar travel of planet-sized organisms? Terraforming (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming) would also be one giant step harder to accomplish. It's already arguable that the best way for us to terraform another world is by transporting single-celled life and waiting for higher forms to develop. Perhaps that's what the other intelligent planets have already been doing. If so, we're coming along fine, but still have a long way to go. A planet sized organism wouldn't colonize or visit other worlds the way we might. They exist as an immortal unique organism with no need to spread. But they might be lonely. Their goal might be to communicate with the planet-sized organisms that inevitably develop.

This also meshes well with traditional theology. Such an organism would be god-like. To the extent that such an organism might have the ability to peer into its own past, or a neighbor could watch from afar, this is an easy fit with any religion.

This could also explain why humans have an innate desire to find God. If the object of panspermia is to sprout intelligent planets, it's possible to imagine that the genetics of the seed organisms were prepared in such a way as to promote the likelihood of such a trait developing.

Testing this theory will not be easy, but there are some possibilities. If panspermia of this type exists, there could be evidence in our genes somewhere. It's also likely that seed organisms will be found in many other places in our solar system, all with "our" DNA. If we can figure out how planet-sized organisms communicate, we might be able to get SETI looking for the right kind of signal. Even if we are incapable of decoding the signal, finding the communication medium could be possible.






6 comments:

tonyon said...
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tonyon said...
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