For those who’ve ever watched any of the outdated Star Trek: Subsequent Era episodes from the Nineteen Nineties, you’ll in all probability bear in mind there have been a number of episodes the place the crew of the Enterprise couldn’t intrude in some planet’s affairs due to the “Prime Directive”.
The Prime Directive prohibits Starfleet personnel and spacecraft from interfering within the regular growth of any society, and mandates that any Starfleet vessel or crew member is expendable to forestall violation of this rule. — Star Trek Encyclopedia, 1999
Mainly, they don’t seem to be allowed to contact or affect any society that doesn’t have warp know-how (AKA touring quicker than the velocity of sunshine). Something underneath that threshold is taken into account too primitive and shouldn’t be contacted. The Prime Directive mainly is to nature take its course. Even when the extinction of that race is imminent. If these civilizations make it to a extra superior state, contact is allowed. If not, it was simply nature doing its factor and it wasn’t meant to be. There are caveats to the Prime Directive, like if one other superior race begins attacking a pre-warp society, then it’s okay to step in, however typically these beings needs to be left to their very own units till the best time.
Why do I carry up Star Trek on this context? Effectively, it’s a fantastic instance of one thing known as the Zoo Hypothesis in relation to the Fermi Paradox. (For those who don’t know concerning the Fermi Paradox, you can read about it here.) Mainly, it’s the paradox to the Drake Equation making an attempt to calculate the quantity of superior civilizations within the galaxy primarily based on probabilistic numbers.
That quantity is as excessive as thousands and thousands of planets, so the paradox is the place are all of the aliens if the numbers are so excessive?) The Zoo Speculation postulates that aliens know we’re right here, however due to some guidelines or legal guidelines that they’ve established, they can not go to us or intrude in our affairs. We’re basically saved in a “zoo” or “nature protect” for some motive. Because of this we don’t see aliens. They’ve prevented us from seeing them both by staying away or by means of some know-how like stealth or in outdated Star Trek parlance, “cloaking”.
The time period Zoo Speculation was coined in 1973 by John A. Ball, a Harvard astrophysicist and scientist with MIT’s Haystack Observatory, in a study of the same name. Right here, Ball addressed probably the most generally proposed options to the Fermi Paradox, and likewise recognized some frequent assumptions made by classical SETI researchers.
“I imagine that the one manner that we will perceive the obvious non-interaction between “them” and us is to hypothesize that they’re intentionally avoiding interplay and that they’ve put aside the realm through which we reside as a zoo.
“The zoo speculation predicts that we will by no means discover them as a result of they don’t need to be discovered they usually have the technological skill to make sure this. Thus this speculation is falsifiable, however not, in precept, confirmable by future observations.” — John Ball
Utilizing Earth’s zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, Ball speculated that we had been far behind the event curve in comparison with alien civilizations and this defined the rationale why there was no contact. They handled us like zoo animals. One thing to be checked out and studied in all probability even visiting us often, checking up on our progress. Perhaps ready for the time after we can move some technological take a look at.
There may very well be a number of the explanation why this may very well be. Alien civilizations might have a pact (or a pact with themselves) identical to in Star Trek. Don’t intrude with an immature civilization. Solely make contact after they begin to journey between stars within the galaxy. This could clarify the dearth of contact we would have with any alien civilizations on the market. If a race that may make it to the celebs, then they’re worthy of contacting and presumably inclusion into an area faring consortium of aliens.
There may very well be extra sinister angles to this story too. As a substitute of a Zoo, we may very well be extra like an enormous cattle farm. Simply ready for the best time to make use of people for some goal or wanting earth for some motive. It may be one thing so simple as they may very well be fascinated with our artwork and different artistic endeavors. Perhaps they may very well be utilizing us for leisure. Who is aware of?
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