Why We May Be Surrounded by Older Alien Civilizations

  • Published on: 01 November 2020
  • Are alien civilizations likely to be younger or older than us in age? A basic question that seems insurmountable until we start detecting them. But even before that, we can use some logical deduction using lifetime distribution statistics to determine the most plausible answer to this question. Join us today for an explanation of our new research paper on this topic.

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    Thank-you to Kevin Clark, Tom Widdowson, Denny Smith, Stephanie Hackley, Mark Sloan, Laura Sanborn, Kolos Kantor, Patrick Herman, Abel Aganbegyan, Claudio Bottaccini, Daniel Brunk, Douglas Daughaday, Scott Fincher, James Kindred, Andrew Jones, Jason Allen, Steven Baldwin, Jason Black, Stuart Brownlee, Shivam Chaturvedi, David Denholm, Tim Dorais, Glen Downton, Eneko Xabier, Elizondo Urrestarazu, Gordon Fulton, Sean Griffiths, Peter Halloran, John Jurcevic, Niklas Kildal, Jack Kobernick, Wes Kobernick, Valeri Kremer, Marc Lijoi, Sheri Loftin, Branden Loizides, Anatoliy Maslyanchuk, Blair Matson, Ocean Mcintyre, Laini Mitchell, Jeffrey Needle, André Pelletier, Juan Rivillas, Bret Robinson, Zenith Star, Lauren Steely, Ernest Stefan-Matyus, Mark Steven, Elena West, Barrett York, Tristan Zajonc, Preetumsingh Gowd, Shaun Kelsey, Chuck Wolfred, David Vennel, Emre Dessoi, Fahid Naeem, Francisco Rebolledo, Hauke Laging, James Falls, Jon Adams, Michael Gremillion, Pierce Rutherford, Trev Kline, Tristan Leger, Lasse Skov, Takashi Hanai, Drew Roberts, Erynn Wilson, Ian Baskerville, Jacob Bassnett, John Shackleford, Marcus Undin, Martin Kroebel, Ian Johnstone, Geoff Suter, Ian Hopcraft, James Valdes, Phil Akrill-Misso, William Robertson, Elizabeth Orman & Giles Ingham.

    Video on planet cloaking: https://youtu.be/z1Pqqf_6J9w

    ::References used::
    ► Kipping, Frank & Scharf, 2020, "Contact Inequality -- First Contact Will Likely Be With An Older Civilization", International Journal of Astrobiology: https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.12358
    ► Benton, M. J., 1993, “The Fossil Record”, Vol 2 (Chapman & Hall, London, 1993)
    ► Civilization lifetimes figure from BBC Future/Nigel Hawtin:
    ► Olson et al., 2014, "Survival Probabilities of Adult Mongolian Gazelles", Journal of Wildlife Management, 78, 1: https://wildlife.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.640
    ► Battery lifetime figure from BatteryUniversity.com:

    ::Movies clips used::
    ► Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) 20th Century Fox
    ► Noah (2014) Paramount Pictures
    ► Avatar (2009) 20th Century Fox
    ► Contact (1997) Warnos Bros. Pictures
    ► GI Joe Retaliation (2013) Paramount Pictures
    ► Terminator 3 (2003) Warners Bros. Pictures
    ► The House (2017) Warners Bros. Pictures
    ► X2 (2003) 20th Century Fox
    ► The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) Sony Pictures Releasing
    ► Into The Wild (2007) Paramount Vantage
    ► 300 (2006) Warner Bros. Pictures
    ► Cleopatra (1963) 20th Century Fox
    ► Gladiator (2000) Dreamworks Pictures

    ::TV clips used::
    ► Andrew Marr's History of the World - BBC
    ► Star Trek the Next Generation - Paramount Television

    ::Other video footage used::
    ► See https://bit.ly/34MwkyX

    Music used is licensed by SoundStripe.com (SS) [shorturl.at/ptBHI], or via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), or with permission from the artist.
    ► "Shade Upon Thy Right Hand" by Hill, used with permission from the artist: https://hillmusic.bandcamp.com/album/shade-upon-thy-right-hand
    ► "Fable" by Stephen Keech licensed via SS
    ► "Cylinder Five" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license: http://chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/
    ► "Painted Deserts" by Shimmer licensed via SS
    ► "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" by Hill licensed via SS
    ► "Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license: http://chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/
    ► "We Were Never Meant to Live Here" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license: http://chriszabriskie.com/neptuneflux/
    ► "Fragmented" by Hill, used with permission from the artist: https://hillmusic.bandcamp.com/album/shade-upon-thy-right-hand
    ► "Stories About the World That Once Was" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license: http://chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/
    ► "Waking Up" by Atlas licensed via SS
    ► "Ticking" by Alternative Endings licensed via SS
    ► "Trace Correction" by Indive licensed under a CC Attribution license: https://indive.bandcamp.com

    0:00 Prologue
    1:22 Technological Lockstep
    6:57 Distribution of Civilization Lifetimes
    19:17 Bayes vs The Cosmos
    23:39 Temporal Bias
    32:20 Credits

    #CivilizationLongevity #AncientAliens #CoolWorlds
  • Runtime : 33:12
  • Astronomy Astrophysics Exoplanets Cool Worlds Kipping


  • Cool Worlds
    Cool Worlds   9 months ago

    Very common question I’m seeing here, and indeed honestly a very common question students have in my classes about statistics, is what if one of the oldest civilizations applied this reasoning - wouldn’t they get a totally different and wrong answer? Yes they would, but that’s how statistics works! Not everyone is guaranteed to be right every time. The oldest civilizations in this scenario would be the rarest and thus although they would arrive at the wrong answer, the majority of the sample would arrive at the correct answer. Think of it like this - if you state there’s a 90% chance of an event occurring, you will predict the wrong answer 10% of the time. That’s not a failure of statistics, it’s intrinsic to how it works as everything has uncertainty. All we can do in statistics is make probabilistic statements e.g. this is the most likely outcome, or this happens 90% of the time. Challenging to explain this in a single comment, it takes students a long time to grasp this concept usually but I hope that helps!

  • theo orval
    theo orval   7 hours ago

    Here's hoping that if/when THEY ever find us, I'll not be around any more

  • TiagoTiago
    TiagoTiago   19 hours ago

    An interesting confunder is what's the likely effect of the existence of a much longer lived civilization on the existence of shorter lived civilizations.

  • TiagoTiago
    TiagoTiago   20 hours ago

    What did you do with the audio at about 01:26? Why does it sound like it's coming from elsewhere in the room instead of from my speakers?

  • Gary Schasteen
    Gary Schasteen   2 days ago

    I think our biggest issue would be the question of whether a common disease in one or both of the civilizations could wipe out the other. We would probably want to keep physical distance for that reason. It turns out that's one of the reasons why we don't go down and try to make contact with some remaining societies that have been geographically separated from ours for a long time. This was a very interesting and fun video to watch. Thank you for creating and sharing!

  • Ookla the Mok
    Ookla the Mok   2 days ago

    It probably depends on the number of civilizations in the universe. Low- they may want to interact/benefit. High-laugh/mock us and interact with many advanced civilizations

  • rocatronz
    rocatronz   3 days ago

    We all needs to learn the language of the planet, that’s what we are doing wrong.We will find it someday soon

  • Pao Chongloi
    Pao Chongloi   3 days ago

    I really hate the fact that we modern people look down on Older people & Ancient people just because they never had technology. Intelligent is a term we only look at "Technological Advancement only". We should look at what they had it would be better than just saying Alien comes down on earth build that and left.. If they really want to help just give us the MF tech 🤣 I mean leave that tech and leave us.

  • Jon Doe
    Jon Doe   3 days ago

    This video makes me think of something, kind of, scary or worrisome: If young civilisations end sooner than old civilisations, and if we are a young civilisation, then how high (or low) is the chance that our civilisation will end before it becomes an old civilisation?

  • Al Gym
    Al Gym   4 days ago

    Useless wars end these civilizations early.

  • Tymon the Łajza
    Tymon the Łajza   6 days ago

    Meaning, it is equally possible that a distant civilisation might had tried to reach us, perhaps even sending out its last-breath s.o.s. messages.. but we missed it, because at that time we were too absorbed in catching fire sparks:/ And now they are simply gone.

  • Xcentric Studios
    Xcentric Studios   6 days ago

    We've only had "advanced" technology for a short time on the grander scale. If we saw a planet 100's of light-years away that showed signs of an industrial revolution (perhaps similar to earth in the early 1800s) the fact that when we look through a telescope we are looking into the past means the only information we gain is that at one time there was a civilization there. They could be far more advanced than us at present, they could be extinct they could still be around but having gone through some apocalypse, we just don't know.

  • Ben Hambrecht
    Ben Hambrecht   6 days ago

    Fascinating musings about probability distributions. Still I have trouble taking them seriously, given the sample size is 1.

  • Vuththiwat Tanathornkosithgira

    Probability are for satistic not reality. It is useful for conceptualize an idea or theory but will never work in a real world.If probability is fact then no one should ever win lottery.If things that are highly unlikely to happen happens do we just going to denial its existence of that event?Ultimately, everything is just happening only in your head anyway and there are no absolute way to say otherwise. More knowledge we seek, less we will understand.

  • Gaming Apple
    Gaming Apple   1 weeks ago

    What if the acient piramides where build by aliens, they died and Egyptians claims that they build it. I mean it's in nature of humans to do that lol

  • Sean Cooney
    Sean Cooney   1 weeks ago

    My thought process in possibly solving the Fermi paradox and to actually finding other civilizations in our galaxy is the ability to observe exo-planets for there atmosphere composition. While this may not be perfect as we don't know if life can evolve in other circumstances beyond how it evolved on earth.Though if we do detect large of amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere that alone tells us it has plant life similar to our own. Also more then likely multi cellular life. This to me would be more efficient then trying to detect radio waves.With a civilization older then us, let's just say 1,000 years more advance. They would more then likely not be using radio, but possibly another medium. Also would we be even to decipher the communications they are sending. A WW2 radio operator would not be able to decipher a modern cell phone signal, and that is only 80 years separated in technological development.

  • Lee Berry
    Lee Berry   1 weeks ago

    Maybe they can't handle our virus tree as we are from here and may have actually be a result of a virus? But what has been left out is chance or luck there is no number u can put on it. But that's what we have been thus far we've been lucky. Let's hope our luck holds until we can make our own.

  • ꧁Galactus꧂
    ꧁Galactus꧂   1 weeks ago

    There have been other advanced civilizations on earth that are older than the Sumerians.

  • Truth
    Truth   1 weeks ago

    We are the aliens that we fear. Humans are like a cancer to planets. We multiply and spread all over slowly taking all its resources. Now they want bases on the moon to mine it for resource to build structures in space. Over millions of years since leaving the water we have changed alot. We have no idea what we would look like in another million years. But if we were able to visit other solar systems and ran across a less advance civilization we will be those alien invaders who we fear so much leaching off another planet for all it has.

  • sujit kagne
    sujit kagne   1 weeks ago

    What if we r the first generation of universe

  • Darth Rock
    Darth Rock   1 weeks ago

    Our arrogance in thinking that other civilizations will evolve like we have is why we will never find other civilizations. To think that they will use radio for communication. To think that they will go through a "industrial" stage like we do... To think that they perceive physics or science like we do is human arrogance. We have to stop thinking that they will be or follow the same paths like us. That's what is keeping us from finding them. Hawking is wrong. Just because we have overcome primitive cultures with advanced technologies dosen't mean that other civilizations will do the same. They can perceive space and science totally different from what we do. They may even not even notice us. We assume that they conceive of and perceive the universe as we do. That is totally wrong and arrogant of us to think that they do. We have to expand our way of thinking. We have to conceive of ways that are beyond our conventional thinking. Beyond our ways of perception. Until then, we'll never find other civilizations.

  • Chris Thomas
    Chris Thomas   2 weeks ago

    Yes on earth well before 3000 years ago.

  • Don Odijk
    Don Odijk   2 weeks ago

    Our own civilization is also much older than is currently believed, so we may fit in perfectly with the majority.

  • bobthevolvoguy
    bobthevolvoguy   2 weeks ago

    You and the team behind you fill and add to Sagans shoes.

  • bobthevolvoguy
    bobthevolvoguy   2 weeks ago

    I enjoy and listen several times to each video. My question is: aren't we all just the continuation of all of those societies? On farms in Egypt they still use practices used in ancient times. The Incas are still there even if the bloodline is mixed. It seems as though we are simply the continuation of societies and powerful cities and empires but one single civilization. So it may be on any other world.

  • Edward Morgan
    Edward Morgan   2 weeks ago

    Aliens think our radio signals need more cowbell...

  • Maekong
    Maekong   2 weeks ago

    Man, you've got to put a sock or something over that microphone. You've got an excellent speaking voice, but the sibilance is overwhelming.

  • Bryan Harold Fuller
    Bryan Harold Fuller   2 weeks ago

    Radiometric dating is only accurate and can date back as far as 50,000 years. So that throws your equation off a little bit

  • Dunkel Nepomuk Norbert

    You forgot something, a more developed, advanced civilisation is able to providing its own sustainable life time. And... might there is no "main lifetime, average". It is depend on... Advenced civilisation very surpass the roles of genes or enviromental conditions.And of course today "moder" humanity just cannot build a pyramid by the way. You are easilly be a sceptic one, but in ancient time monuments were built for the next-next-next generations. The history of manind based on manipulation and many of fallacies.

  • phaethon sol
    phaethon sol   2 weeks ago

    So a change in factions of that civilization will mean they fell somehow just because someone took over doesn't mean it fell I get what you are saying but don't think it works that way unless you have to start from the beginning of building our data is useless

  • aazablue
    aazablue   2 weeks ago

    Guess what? I didn't guess it🤔

  • Northern Range
    Northern Range   2 weeks ago

    Talking about scientific speculation he anthropomorphizes nature. ??

  • rufex2001
    rufex2001   2 weeks ago

    Fantastic content! Super nicely explained! On the argument about a single data point being useful, it's probably best to simply say, with the right caveat, that a single data point is better than no data point. No need to argue about the philosophy of such a phrase, I guess...

  • H. K.
    H. K.   2 weeks ago

    you are strange kind of a human..

  • Erich Von Molder
    Erich Von Molder   2 weeks ago

    Maybe the "gap" between civilizations from these older cool worlds and us are not what we should be looking at, but rather how are we all connected to each other? If you are 2 million years technologically ahead of current human civilization doesn't mean you are not worthy of interaction, just at a different level, where most people (including scientists) cannot perceive or understand. They could be standing right in front of us, but we can't perceive them. "They" may see us as part of the a much larger universe, which is just as important and equal to them. One final comment, Jane Goodall visited and studied the chimps, but did the chimps realize she was studying them? Ms. Goodall had a mission to link chimps interaction with humans, among other things, did the chimps know that? They saw a nice white hairless lady, besides her ponytail, that was kind to them, they saw nothing else. Now humans don't have a Jane Goodall as the chimps had, so we need to try harder find out who our Jane Goodall might be. We have our "gods" and myths, but you can't see or hear them, I can't at least, so we look to science, some pseudoscience, meditation and psychedelics for answers. Will we find our Jane Goodall?

  • CryptoMood81
    CryptoMood81   2 weeks ago

    Alien civilizations which have had the time to develop and mature could be much more technologically advanced than us. They could be 3 or 4 on the Kardashev scale.

  • Damon Lam
    Damon Lam   2 weeks ago

    My brain synapses just flared up when he said "look, you've lived through 2020"

  • chinglana
    chinglana   2 weeks ago

    Great video, but why you need to be a talking head? Can we have less ego?