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July 16, 2018 at 8:49 am

Hicks in Dispatch | Would Alien Civilizations’ Energy Use Destroy Their Planets?

Dr. Kenneth Hicks, portrait

Dr. Kenneth Hicks

Dr. Kenneth Hicks, Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Ohio University, authored a column in the Columbus Dispatch headlined “Astronomy: If there are alien civilizations, are they also straining their environment?

About a week ago, I heard an interview with astrophysicist Adam Frank, who recently published a book titled “Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth.″ I found his opinions to be thought-provoking and worth writing about.

The basic points made by Frank, as I understand them: There is likely to be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe; and any civilization on a planet is likely to use more and more energy until it changes that planet. In other words, something akin to climate change is inevitable for any civilization.

These ideas are fascinating on several levels.

This is where I deviate from Frank’s premises. Though it seems to me that it’s inevitable that alien civilizations would, after enough time, figure out how to use the energy sources available to them, I think that some would survive and others would die out.

Read the rest of his column in the Columbus Dispatch.

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