Looking for your thoughts and responses here.
I watched a short presentation about the future of the earth (as cosmologists think it will go, see it here). There was a lot of talk about humanity having left to explore the rest of the universe by the time many of the events described in the presentation occur (collision of the continents, the sun increasing in brightness, etc.). The presentation ended by encouraging humanity to take initiative to make sure that future generations are able to survive into the future, to make sure there was an earth left to experience the events described, to go out and seek intelligent life on other planets and such. Then I had this thought…
What if intelligent life is ultimately unsustainable? We see what happens with humanity, how we abuse our earthly resources, are prone to warfare and violence, and seem to have a bent toward self-destruction. What if that very character trait isn’t necessarily a human thing, but a side effect of sentient, intelligent life? The case can easily be made (and demonstrated) that simpler life forms, even down to single-celled organisms, have a greater chance of survival of disaster than more complex organisms.
What if humans went looking for intelligent life and found that that intelligent life had died out due to the same reasons we might die out?