The great filter. Finding alien life on a distant planet would be amazing news – or would it?
If we are not the only intelligent life in the universe, this probably means our days are numbered and doom is certain.
The Great Filter, in the context of the Fermi paradox, is whatever prevents “dead matter” from giving rise, in time, to “expanding lasting life. ” The concept originates in Robin Hanson’s argument that the failure to find any extraterrestrial civilizations in the observable universe implies the possibility something is wrong with one or more of the arguments from various scientific disciplines that the appearance of advanced intelligent life is probable; this observation is conceptualized in terms of a “Great Filter” which acts to reduce the great number of sites where intelligent life might arise to the tiny number of intelligent species with advanced civilizations actually observed (currently just one: human).