'Earth's annihilation a certainty': Elon Musk's urges multiplanetary future amid alien enigma (WATCH)
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's perspective on aliens, the Great Filter, and the necessity of becoming multiplanetary highlights the profound questions surrounding our place in the universe.
Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Tesla, discussed thought-provoking ideas about the existence of aliens, the evolution of civilizations, and the urgent need for humanity to become a multiplanetary species. In a recent interview with Lex Fridman, Musk shared his views on the potential existence of extraterrestrial life, the future of humanity, and the imperative of space exploration.
The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life
One of the most profound and enduring questions in science and philosophy is whether intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. Musk admitted that, despite his innovative ventures, he has not encountered any evidence of aliens. He expressed a desire for some archaeological proof of their existence, emphasizing that, to the best of his knowledge, no such evidence has been found. This leads to the possibility that if aliens do exist, they might be remarkably subtle or that Earth might be a rare beacon of consciousness in the galaxy.
"Where are the aliens? That's one of the very paradox question. A lot of people have asked me if I've seen any evidence of aliens and I haven't, which is kind of concerning. I think I probably prefer at least have seen some archeological evidence of aliens. To the best of my knowledge there is no proof. I am not aware of any evidence of aliens. If they're out there, they're very subtle. We might just be the only consciousness at least in the galaxy," the Tesla CEO said in the podcast.
The Great Filter Hypothesis
To explore the question of why humans haven't yet encountered alien civilizations, Musk introduced the concept of the "Great Filter." He highlighted that civilization, as measured from the first written records, has only been around for roughly 5,000 years. This minuscule period represents a mere fraction of Earth's 4.5 billion-year history. Musk pondered why it took so long for intelligent life to emerge and why the vast majority of Earth's existence witnessed no life at all.
Musk then warned about the inevitability of Earth's annihilation, pointing out that the Sun's expansion will eventually render the planet uninhabitable. He stressed that becoming a multiplanetary species is a necessity to secure humanity's survival and protect against the "Great Filter." He believes that without multiplanetary expansion, Earth's fate is sealed, and extinction becomes a certainty.
"If you look at history of Earth, when believe the archaeological record, Earth is about 4 and a half billion years old. Civilization as measured from the first writing is only about 5,000 years old. We have to give some credit to the ancient Samarians who aren't around anymore. I think it was a archaic pre uniform was the first actual symbolic representation. But only about 5,000 years ago. I think that's a good date for when we say civilization started. That's one millionth of Earth's existence. So civilization has been around, it's really a flash in the pan so far. Why did it take so long for you know 4 and a half billion years... for the vast majority of the time there was no life and then there was archaic bacteria for a very long time. Then you had mitochondria get captured, multicellular life, differentiation into plants and animal, life moving from the oceans to land, mammals, higher brain functions...," Musk said in the interview.
He further added, "The Sun is expanding slowly. It will heat the Earth up at some point in the future and boil the oceans and Earth will become like Venus, where life as we know would be impossible. So if we do not become multiplanetary and ultimately go beyond our solar system, annihilation of all life on Earth is a certainty, a certainty. It could be as little as on the galactic time scale - half a billion years. Long time by human standards but that's only 10 percent longer than Earth has been around at all. If life had taken 10 percent longer to evolve on Earth, it wouldn't exist at all."
The Imperative of Multiplanetary Existence
Elon Musk emphasized the urgent need for humanity to become a multiplanetary species. He explained that if we explore other star systems, we might encounter the remains of once-promising civilizations that failed to make the leap to interstellar travel. These civilizations might serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of staying confined to one planet.
"We need to do it (become multiplanetary). If we are able to go out there and explore other star systems, there's a good chance we find a whole bunch of long dead one planet civilizations. They never made it past through their home planet. There are various explanations for the Paradox and one is the sort of... they're great filters, which civilizations don't pass through and one of those great filters is do we become a multi-planet civilization or not. If we don't, it's simply matter of time before something happens on your planet either natural or man-made that causes us to die out like the dinosaurs. Where are they now? They didn't have spaceships!" Musk said in the podcast.
Musk's Vision for the Future
Elon Musk's vision extends beyond Earth and aims to safeguard the continuity of human existence. He argued that making life multiplanetary is a unique opportunity that might not last indefinitely. Therefore, he believes it is imperative to seize this window of opportunity while it is open and avoid the fate of one-planet civilizations.
"Yeah, so aliens... I think the smart move is... this is the first time in the history of the Earth that it's been possible for life to extend beyond Earth. That window is open. It may be open for a long time or it may be open for a short time. It may be open now and never open again. The smart move here is to make life multiplanetary while it's possible to do so. We don't want to be those lame one-planet civilizations that just dies out," Musk said.
The conversation concluded with Musk addressing the preparedness of SpaceX for potential encounters with extraterrestrial life. He affirmed that SpaceX's extensive satellite network would likely detect any significant space objects, assuring that if there were any alien presence, it would be promptly disclosed.
"If I see the slightest indication that there are aliens I will immediately post on X platform. Anything I know. We have more satellites up there right now than everyone else combined. So, we would know if we have got to maneuver around something and we don't have to maneuver around anything," he concluded.
Elon Musk's perspective on aliens, the Great Filter, and the necessity of becoming multiplanetary highlights the profound questions surrounding our place in the universe. While the search for extraterrestrial life remains ongoing, Musk's urgency in making life multiplanetary serves as a call to action for humanity to secure its future. As we continue to explore the cosmos, Musk's vision challenges us to take bold steps toward becoming a species that transcends the boundaries of a single planet.