The Park Hypothesis:Intelligent alien civilizations do exist, but they haven't colonized the galaxy

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posted on May, 18 2009 @ 06:43 AM
I tried looking on ATS to see if there were any posts concerning this, to no avail. If I've missed it apologies.

I found this while researching another topic in The Space Review, from 2006.

The Park hypothesis
by Michael Huang
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bob Park will be remembered as a persistent human spaceflight critic, a leader of the anti-human-spaceflight movement. But he could also help solve one of the great space mysteries of all time: Do intelligent aliens exist, and if so, where are they?

..... Maybe intelligent aliens did exist, but they became extinct before they reached us. Maybe they have isolated us for observation and study (the zoo hypothesis). Maybe they are waiting until our civilization reaches a certain developmental stage (the sentinel hypothesis). Or could there be another explanation?

......Since the only intelligent civilization that we know of is our own, our experiences may provide insights into how intelligent aliens behave. We regularly have a debate over what to send to space. It is known as the humans versus robots debate, or the manned versus unmanned debate, or with a more accurate description it could be called the both-humans-and-robots versus robots-only debate. Now, if an intelligent civilization such as ours is having this debate, then it is possible that intelligent alien civilizations are doing the same thing. Of course, they wouldn’t call it a humans versus robots debate. From their perspective it would be an our-species versus robots debate, and from our perspective it would be an aliens versus robots debate. And like our intellectuals, their intellectuals may conclude that alien spaceflight is obsolete, and a robots-only space policy would be sensible, logical, and right. They would dismiss colonization as a hopeless fantasy.

If this is true, then aliens would be very difficult to detect. A robot probe is much harder to detect than worlds colonized by aliens. The communication between a robot probe and its homeworld would be a much weaker signal than the communication between a homeworld and its colonies. Aliens that resolved to stay on their home planet would leave a very small footprint on the galaxy, one easily overlooked.

The Park hypothesis states that intelligent alien civilizations do exist, but they have not colonized the galaxy because they don’t want to. It neatly resolves both the Drake Equation, which indicates that intelligent aliens are likely to exist, and the Fermi Paradox: no colonization means we don’t see them.

If there are Parkist (or Park-like) civilizations in the galaxy, what should we expect of them? One characteristic of one-planet civilizations is their elevated rate of extinction. Every civilized planet in the galaxy is susceptible to planetary disasters, such as collision with other bodies, and large-scale nuclear or biological war. Two-planet civilizations have a reduced rate of extinction, and three-planet civilizations have further reductions. But since Parkist civilizations have decided to put all their eggs in one basket, their rate of extinction is significantly higher. This translates to a low value for L (civilization lifetime) in the Drake Equation. If we detect signs of a Parkist civilization, unfortunately they may not be around to see us.

Please forgive the cropping of the article, purely for max character reasons. Here is the link for the article in its entirity, you'll see I didn't twist the article's meaning by editing it.

So what he's saying is that if we take it as a given that ET life esists, it is simply because they choose not to colonise the galaxy, thus leaving little trace or detectable trace of them ever being there.

I find the discussion of probes quite fascinating too, I wonder, could it at all be possible that some of the millions of metoers we see burning up in our atmosphere as 'shooting stars' started life billions of miles away as probes, like Voyager?

A criticism of the Park hypothesis is that while some alien civilizations act in accordance with Bob Park’s principles, it would be unrealistic to expect all of them to comply. The analogy is that some people support Bob Park, but others disagree with him, sometimes quite strongly. This is a valid criticism, but the counter-argument is that unanimity is not required. If a dominant civilization, or group of civilizations, bans colonization throughout the galaxy, then it will not take place, no matter how much other civilizations protest. Since colonization is difficult to accomplish anyway, the addition of legal and political impediments will make it near impossible.

We just have to hope that the ET's have a bit more of a pioneering spirit in them!


[edit on 18-5-2009 by kiwifoot]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 06:50 AM
This is very true... what if the creation of a ship that can cross the galaxy is just a hoax.... it takes 100 years for LIGHT to get to the closest sun besides our own centauri

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 07:08 AM
I don't know....they choose not to colonize, and that's why we don't pick up signals...?

Something in me doesn't buy that because I think that a sign of intelligence is the desire to explore and understand...I mean, if we look at mankind, exploration and understanding of the worlds around, below and above us has been a major driving factor throughout key stages of the development of our species' civilization. I find it hard to believe that an alien species would be much different...sure, maybe they'll have different priorities, but no more different than individuals among us have different priorities; some want to rule, some want to make money, some want to make the world a better place, some want to seek knowledge...

But also, I think that it is not unimaginable to think that, perhaps, the reason that we haven't found many signals...not that I think that if "we" did that the collective governments would allow "us" to because, perhaps, their technology is better than ours...I mean...I would assume the possibility that if "we" know how to minimize a jet's radar signature with stealth technology, surely aliens capable of traversing the galaxy would be able to do the same....or better.

But, of course, lacking public access to any hard evidence that we can really rely on...we can postulate all we want and we won't really discover anything.

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 07:35 AM
Park's hypothesis is based on the mediocre assumption than all intelligent lifeforms within cosmic 'walking' distance choose to remain clandestine as either a result of lack of initiative or the childish refusal to accept the natural evolution and progress of a species. It's an easy way out to say that we don't see them because they're hiding.

My personal hypothesis regarding this perceived absence is that all successful intelligent species reaching the critical point in their technological progress called 'singularity' actually gain the ability to leave the 3-Dimensional universe. This is the first logical choice when given the opportunity to leave this cold, dark death-trap called 'reality.' So, in short, they leave this dimension rather than taking on the mammoth task of colonizing 3D space. Life's purpose is to evolve back to a god-like state, not to stagnate in a cooling cosmos where entropy reigns supreme. This would explain why we're all stuck here wondering where everybody is - they're all far, far away, but they're there.

M-Theory allows many levels of existence. Quantum Theory allows many possible realities/timelines to coexist. Imagine if there was indeed any level of truth in either theory - then imagine choosing to remain within one dimension. A truly intelligent race would move on, as we will also do sometime this century.

[edit on 18/5/09 by Evasius]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 07:45 AM
I very much doubt they just stuck to the same place..thousands upon thousands of scenarios where they would need to move or face extinction.Ok if we throw asteroids away because even we might be able to control such an event if it were known about.But what about blackholes? their star dying? giant gamma sure there more.Its inevitable they would have had to move at sometime and colonized various parts of the solar system/galaxy i imagine more..barren planets would simply be for resources.Probably have pretty good AI and robotics.Send out thousands of probes with intelligence far exceeding our different planets,habitats, life forms..relay the info back..anything seriously interesting they jump in a ship themselves and have a going off topic.

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 07:56 AM
reply to post by kiwifoot

That’s an interesting premise, and one that I hadn’t heard of before. Star and flag for bringing it up.

I especially find the idea of a long-gone civilisation’s sentient space probes (what we would call Greys, maybe) still functioning long after their creators stopped receiving their transmissions particularly poignant.

If we accept it as possible, even transpiring in one form or another right now, how would this hypothesis go towards explaining some of the current UFO sightings and related occurrences?

Let’s speculate:

Abduction; are we simply seeing the mechanical repetition of robotic/biomechanical probes in action, as they gather psychological and physical data on each species encountered? They send the data home, but receive no response; would their programming therefore dictate that the data they have gathered is not sufficient, or that the signal somehow became corrupted or lost? Either way, would this mean that they would then follow internal protocol and persist with the same mission until they hear different?

Could this explain the recurring themes in abduction?

And would the surgical procedures happening in cattle mutilations also be connected? How many cored rectums, eyes and internal organs do they need before understanding their function and physiology completely? With no feed-back from home stating that specific criteria have been met, they just carry on.

UFO crashes; simply evidence of now failing, ancient machinery becoming unable to perform correctly? Can we see the bizarre, bouncing manoeuvres of some discs as nothing more than misfires in their propulsion units? And when the time comes, are they programmed with some form of primary function to self-destruct by impact if self-diagnosed as being beyond repair, so to avoid handing advanced technology to more primitive species? Perhaps they are meant to sail into the nearest sun, but now, after millennia of usage, their software has become so degraded and garbled that their choice of impact site has become anything solid nearby.

Contact and the bizarre; are the plethora of strange alien creatures allegedly seen by humans the product of holographic/re-creative technology gone awry? What if these probes had the capability to temporarily replicate previously encountered species for study purposes, as we would, say, recreate dinosaurs in computer programmes for entertainment and scientific speculation. With the governing software now playing little to no part in the probe’s reasoning process, these short-lived beings could be created on the nearest planet by accident. Would this explain accounts of the more odd-looking aliens, or our inability to catch the Loch Ness monster or the Sasquatch even after hundreds of years of sightings?

And what of the sometimes odd and contradictory messages received by channellers? The rash of prophecies that never come true? Are they nothing more than the near insane ramblings of a mechanically sentient species no longer capable of deciding what is real and what is programming?

Patiently, these probes await feedback from home, or instructions on new procedures that will now never come. You gotta feel sorry for them.

This is all speculation, I know.

But it’s fun, nevertheless.

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by Beamish

Wow I like where you took that! Can you imagine the sophistication of the technology involed?

Maybe they have developed 'traveller people' that are the pilots of the probes. Small, long living but highly intelligent beings that are more conciousness integrated into the probe systems, with a body just kept alive in stasis with hookups to the probe computer!

I smell a movie script in the offing! Haha!

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