As we all like to think highly about ourselves and that we’re intelligent beings, the American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson raised a peculiar possibility. What if humanity doesn’t come into contact with an extraterrestrial civilization simply because aliens don’t consider us to be intelligent folks?
If deGrasse Tyson’s theory is correct, we may have another candidate here on Earth to compete with aliens in terms of intelligence. That something is planet Earth itself.
How can Earth be ‘intelligent’?
In the International Journal of Astrobiology, a group of scientists tried to answer if Earth can have its own intelligence as long as it can be ‘alive’. They analyze if our entire planet can possess collective knowledge and cognition.
There’s no wonder how researchers thought about the wild theory. They remind us that entire networks of fungi from underground can communicate with one another. This indicates the possibility of large-scale networks of life building some sort of invisible intelligence that can influence the entire Earth.
The researchers are even optimistic that such a thought experiment could help humanity in their search for life elsewhere in the Universe. Adam Frank, who’s a professor of physics at the University of Rochester and also a co-author of the paper, declared as quoted by Phys.org:
We’re saying the only technological civilizations we may ever see—the ones we should expect to see—are the ones that didn’t kill themselves, meaning they must have reached the stage of a true planetary intelligence,
That’s the power of this line of inquiry: It unites what we need to know to survive the climate crisis with what might happen on any planet where life and intelligence evolve.
We’re eagerly looking to find out more about the subject soon, as new updates should emerge.