The Sunday TimesThe Sunday Times

Great Filter means we could die out before we discover alien life

By Jacqui Goddard

14 Nov 2022 · 2 min read

Editor's Note

Aliens could have been here long before humans came on the scene, but died out. The Sunday Times investigates what scientists call the "Great Filter", which may see us meet the same fate.

Alien civilisations may have existed without humanity knowing because they were wiped out before we met them — and we could be next, scientists have suggested.

Threats such as nuclear war, climate change and pandemics could finish off humanity before we have a chance to discover other intelligent life, continuing a cycle that scientists say may account for why extraterrestrials have not been found despite decades spent looking.

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