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pathways of evolution for man and machineA simplified model of the future is introduced in order to examine the relations between man, machine, and extraterrestrial intelligence. The observed lack of extraterrestrials on earth is used as a boundary condition for the model. Two exobiological conclusions are obtained: (1) advanced extraterrestrials exist but are difficult to observe or to distinguish from natural phenomena, (2) lower level, man-like extraterrestrials, which are potentially observable, are rare in the Universe because they are rapidly replaced in the evolutinary sequence by the intelligent machines which they create. The decline of man is inferred and may take place as soon as 100 years from now or as long as 100,000 years from the present time. Thus, we are a short-lived species, having a life expectancy of only a million years. A note is appended on the rationale and methods of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in light of the above calculations. The Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani systems present favourable opportunities for a radio-search experiment in 1987 and 1988, respectively.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Mclaughlin, W. I.
(California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1983
Publication Information
ISSN: 0007-084X
Subject Category
Distribution Limits