Brad Templeton on Dark Aliens

That would certainly be reasonable – technically challenging, but they are advanced aliens after all! Then almost all the huge amount of energy released by annihilating invisible dark matter would be converted into some form of useful work. The aliens could have accelerated an entire galaxy to an anomalous velocity, for example. Surely the expenditure of that amount of useful work would have been likely to have generated some observable anomaly?

This is fascinating! Anomalies have historically been the doorways to advances in knowledge, whether it was the anomalous movements of Uranus or the anomalous movements of Mercury. Let’s hope that those anomalies do indeed attract further study.


Certainly we have no evidence as yet for anything artificial about galaxies with no dark matter, or less than the “natural” amount, but it is interesting to consider. I believe I can make a case for a universal quest by intelligent life for efficiency, once they have gotten advanced enough to inventory the total large, but finite amount of useful energy available, there are arguments they would seek to maximize the amount of “stuff” they do it with it, the base level of “stuff” being thinking and living, in whatever form they live and think.

Efficiency → invisibility to unsophisticated beings. We humans are the stupidest technological beings in our light cone, as we have known about technology the least amount of time. Some SETI researchers agree with this and hope for either deliberate waste (like radar) or deliberate attempts at contact. Unfortunately, deliberate attempts at contact by more advanced beings would be stunningly obvious – the sky would be blinking hello to the naked eye, as even we humans could do that if we wanted to spend the money to do it. None are observable to us, however.

If you are a dark matter skeptic, you still would want to look for ETI in the cold interstellar hydrogen. There is more of it than in stars, and being in a cold place you can use it efficiently while you wait for the annoying hot stars to cool. And you can extract energy from it much more efficiently and completely than sticking it in a gravity well and hoping it fuses to helium, which is a shockingly poor approach.


Like shutting down overall life cycle efficient nuclear power plants and replacing them with solar panels and windmills that are so inefficient they have to be subsidized?

Oops! Sorry! You did mention that it would have to be “intelligent life”. :slightly_smiling_face:


Of course beings can make mistakes, and have politics. I am arguing what might happen when your species has millions of years to work it out, and the more efficient outcompete the less efficient, which is what happens with evolution on our planet, within bounds. But in this case I am speaking in particular of when you are wasting energy at such a grand scale that beings in other galaxies or star systems can see it, that there is a pressure to minimize that. The sun of course casts all but a tiny fraction of its energy into space and is horribly inefficient, but so are fission reactors, and so is letting that solar energy fall onto the planet only to generate heat. That’s the scale I speak of.


No need to be so literal in response to a little joke!

The real issue here is that the harnessing of energy has impacts, whether that energy is expended efficiently (all used to do physical work of some form) or expended inefficiently (where much of it ends up as rejected heat). Either way, there would be measurable consequences from expending galactic-level amounts of energy.


There are several reasons why there might not be visible consequences. First of all, there are good arguments that the energy might be almost purely spent on computation – thinking – by advanced beings that live in the virtual and have already expanded their territory. Secondly, as I spoke about, there are reasons to run your clock very, very, very slow and so while you are on-plan to use all the energy in your space, the rate could be quite low to us wasteful fast beings.


When I read this I gave up on this forum. I’ve just returned to change the password to a long “impossible” one for security purposes. Logging in to the email account I use for signing up here, I noted there’s a message that this account has been silenced, but the silencing is only for one day, with the reason given “Repeated trolling”.

You, John Walker, are out of order. I have not once “trolled” on this site. All I’ve ever done is state things you disagree with. I’m not coming back, but my parting advice is that you need to learn what trolling is.

It is possible Brad was just a bit premature in writing off aliens. Consider Tabby’s Star. It’s 1470 light years distant and

“Now, a new astronomical paper published on the prepublication science site says KIC 8462852 is not alone.

“In fact, it may be just one of a tight cluster of some 15 stars that show the same bewildering changes in brightness.”