Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Singularity and its Implications for SETI

An interesting post on Sentient Developments prodded my brain into thinking a bit more deeply on what the Singularity implies regarding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

If we assume that the human species will merge with its technology within the next 30 to 40 years, which is what the Singularity includes, then we (whatever "we" are subsequent to this) will very quickly be able to extend ourselves throughout the known universe. (Read Ray Kurzweil's most recent book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, for his excellent explanation of this process.)

It stands to reason then, that if we can accomplish this after 4.5 billion years of evolution on this planet, so could any other sentient species in the universe. So, either they have already reached us but have chosen not to interact with or otherwise disturb us, or we will be the first to achieve this.

Another implication is that the universe, if it contains any other close-to-Singularity or post-Singularity species, which it surely would if life really is plentiful within it, the skies would be flooded with information-bearing electromagnetic radiation from ETI. The fact that it is not so flooded is in itself informative.

So, is SETI a waste of time? What do you think?

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