The Omega Man

Is the anybody out there?

When the signal dies out of the last human being, that narrow band of focus which is conscious attention, what will become of that consciousness? Which thoughts will leave an impact? Which beliefs will transcend annihilation?

For millennia we have followed a certain chain of thoughts, the origination of which is unknown. Certain innovators have some staying power, like Greek philosophers some religions, but when all is said and done will it matter one wit?

Thousands of cultures have been completely erased, each having their own chains of thought. But now we live a sophisticated life, above the ethnosphere of origination. But I think they had something we do not, or we are attempting things that may have already (or nearly) destroyed us more than once.

I wonder if primates would again evolve into humans, or something more? I wonder what we would call ourselves.

“If life on Earth offers any measure of life elsewhere in the universe, then intelligence must be rare. By some estimates, there have been more than ten billion species in the history of life on Earth. It follows that among all extraterrestrial life forms we might expect no better than about one in ten billion to be as intelligent as we are, not to mention the odds against the intelligent life having an advanced technology and a desire to communicate through the vast distances of interstellar space”—Niel DeGrasse Tyson

“The universe appears to be 13.8 billion years old. The earth about 4.5 billion years old. In another half billion years the sun will expand and make life impossible on earth, which means that if had taken consciousness 10% longer to evolve it would have never evolved at all”—Elon Musk

Earth depicted without water

Then there is the timing thing. Our ability to send messages is about a hundred years now—an infinitesimal window of time compared to the age of anything out there.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs escaping the faith trap.

20 thoughts on “The Omega Man”

  1. I like Neil deGrasse and what he says. It matters not to me his religious persuasions since, IMO, most everything he says makes sense in one way or another. (But then, maybe that’s because he leans towards non-belief? Hmmmm.)

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  2. Enter the spoiler. I think myself a fairly open-minded guy. I will listen to anyone about anything, until they try to state something I have personally experienced the opposite of, at which point I stop listening. In my earlier days I tried to listen longer, but once the breach between their truth and my experience was made, it just kept getting wider and wider until my mind shut down. This description has nothing to do with your post, I just felt like saying it.
    What does pertain to your post was my, what I call, automatic writing. I write fiction (never yet published, but), though not so often as I used to. But when I do, I think of a character, and a situation, then I (usually) sit down with material to put words on paper, and go into a trance-like state, possibly more correctly a dream-like state. Most often I write in the 1st person narrative mode, meaning I put myself into the mind of the character, and let him or her tell their own story to me–through my fingers.
    In the story I am working on publishing at present, a far future history some 25,000 or more years from now, my character wrote words to the effect: after exploring galaxies for thousands of years, the biggest surprise was that humankind NEVER encountered recognizable intelligent life such as had been spawned on Earth. They had encountered all manner of living organisms, up to and including pre-primates, but none had ever evolved a recognizable-by-humans self-conscious state.
    The line was almost a throw-away line, not really elaborated on. Just a passing comment. But remember, I was not reading the story even while I was writing it. I had to come out of the “trance” to discover what I had written, and that line totally astonished me. I always believed we were not alone, meaning not just humans, but all life on Earth I consider to have some kind of intelligence.
    I was not ready for some character I thought up to make such a statement in such a no-nonsense way. He was not expressing any kind of superiority, or species-centric glorification, and in his own mind I knew he was pretty much disappointed. But it made me wonder: Is it really possible life on Earth has something going on that does not exist anywhere else?

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  3. Imagine alien archeologists descending upon the dead Earth. They find immense buildings in amongst the trees. Clearly there was a n intelligent species here at one time. Statues tell them what we looked like. They find a library and decipher and translate our language. They are able to discern our thinking from our writings. Did our consciousness survive our death in these artifacts?

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    1. I don’t know Steve. Even on our own planet we can try this, but with little success but guessing. Right here life in the past was much stranger, so much different that we can only guess how the did what they did. Is that a continuation of consciousness? Maybe.

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    2. Maybe they’ll find a time capsule containing one of Erich von Daniken’s books and convince themselves the artifacts were left here by their own ancestors.

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  4. One problem with this sort of speculation is the anthropocentric assumptions it makes about both consciousness and intelligence.

    Or maybe the space aliens haven’t contacted us because they don’t want to speak with Elon Musk. If they upstage him he’ll probably accuse them of being pedophiles or something.

    “Man has always assumed that he is more intelligent than dolphins because he has achieved so much–the wheel, New York, wars and so on — while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.” – Douglas Adams

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    1. Tyson does address this speculation in the article linked to his name. He admits it’s very anthropocentric and narrow. Dolphins may not be astrophysicist, but it’s likely they use it without any thought at all. Pretty nice place to be.

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    1. “Neil deGrasse, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic.” He thinks religion should be treated like a hypothesis, which it is.

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        1. Well even believers can contribute now and then if this is true. I have no problem with that. Evidently religion is a necessary component of evolution. So is defeating it.

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      1. Hey, 114.2 million twitter followers can’t be wrong — can they? Anyways, fingers crossed that Justin announces he’s pulling his music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil and Joni.

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