Alien civilizations exist in distant planets, and their scientists are secretly watching the human race, says the zoo hypothesis.

This new theory is one of the possible answers presented by a radio astronomer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to satisfy the Fermi Paradox. Authored by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael Hart, the paradox argues that the galaxy has a billion Sun-like stars and that some of these stars support an alien civilization living on planets similar to the Earth.

Furthermore, Fermi and Hart believed that these otherworldly civilizations may have already mastered intergalactic travel, a field that humans are still studying up to this day. In this line of reasoning, Fermi was made to ask, "Where is everybody?"

Humans Are More Valuable Alive, Says Zoo Theory

In an academic paper, MIT's John Ball includes two possibilities under the zoo hypothesis. First, alien civilizations exist, and humans are of some interest to them, which is why only a few of their scientific minds are studying us silently. The rest of their civilization has no idea that humans exist in a different galaxy.

The second possibility postulates a similar notion — that other civilizations exist — but it suggests that humans are of great interest to these alien beings. Therefore, they are carefully yet discreetly studying life on Earth.

Ball argues that if there are aliens in other galaxies with the ability to obliterate life on Earth but has not done so, then it has two implications.

"Either that we're more valuable to him alive than squashed, or at least we're not interfering much with whatever he's doing. How could we interfere? We can't even get out of our solar system — yet," he said.

A separate study provides an entirely unique explanation as to why mankind is still alive. The study by SETI Institute banks on the belief that interstellar travel is too expensive. Hence, aliens have no interest to travel to explore the Milky Way galaxy.

Humans To Discover Existence Of Aliens With Development Of Artificial Intelligence

Aside from the zoo hypothesis, Ball has presented other answers based on science, philosophy, and religion. The astronomer, however, concluded his paper by asserting that humans are not alone in the universe. He is convinced that alien civilizations exist and that they possess a more advanced intelligence, allowing them to exercise some degree of power over the galaxy.

Ball also notes that mankind has yet to discover such civilizations because human intelligence is still underdeveloped. He predicts that the existence of aliens will only be proven following the perfection of artificial intelligence. By then, mental processes can be flawlessly replicated by computers.

Moreover, the astronomer recommends searching for more planets that are similar to the earth, to study the origin of life through examination of non-living materials, and to consider what an otherworldly civilization might be like.

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