Alexander Berezin, a highly-cited scientist from Russia’s National University of Electronic Technology Research, outlined his bleak prediction in an article entitled ‘First to enter, last to leave: a solution to Fermi’s paradox’.
Fermi’s paradox is the contradiction that’s been maddening scientists for years. The idea that if the universe is so vast, practically guaranteeing the existence of extraterrestrial life, then why hasn’t humanity ever detected a trace of it?
Berezin theorizes that alien civilizations may have not reached the technological advancement needed to be detectable by Earthlings – like space travel or interstellar communication.
Berezin also says that those who first accomplish interstellar travel would be naturally tasked with eradicating “all competition to fuel its own expansion.” Or in other words: whoever finds the other first will have the power of the universe.
While that dog-eat-dog theory may seem harsh, Berezin says total destruction of other life forms likely won’t be a conscious obliteration. “They simply [will] not realize, in the same way that a construction team demolishes an anthill to build a property because it has no incentives to protect it,” writes Berezin.
Thankfully Berezin says because “we are here, our planet and our star are relatively intact, and we are already contemplating the first interstellar probes,” we will likely be the construction team in this scenario.
Berezin acknowledged that he “hopes to be wrong” about the disheartening possibility of destroying the life form we have been searching for for so long. “The only explanation is the invocation of the anthropic principle, we are the first to reach the [interstellar] stage and, most likely, we will be the last to leave,” says the scientist.