How do you find evidence of the existence of technologically sophisticated civilizations in the universe? It all depends on what exactly you are looking for.
After all, it is absolutely incomprehensible what possibilities an extraterrestrial civilization can achieve during its development.
This question is directly related to what is called the “Kardashev scale”. A type I civilization in the Kardashev scale can capture all the energy that falls on its home planet. A Type II civilization can capture all the energy generated by the parent star. And a Type III civilization can do the same for an entire galaxy.
Harvesting energy from an entire galaxy seems like a pretty advanced skill. But in fact, this idea can be developed even further. Can a type IV or type V civilization exist? Are there any restrictions for the development of extraterrestrial species? And if so, where are those limits?
Intervention in dark matter
In his classification, Kardashev speaks of civilizations that still obey the laws of physics. The universe gives them these laws just as it gives them to us. We cannot change these laws. We can only use them more or less effectively.
But what if an alien civilization becomes so advanced that it can change these laws? Such a civilization would certainly go far beyond the mere harvesting of energy.
The very nature of energy, with established rules like the conservation of energy, would necessarily be subject to revision in this case.
Astrophysicist Caleb Scharf explored this question in an article entitled “Is Physical Law an Alien Intelligence?” “. This book is quite simply a masterpiece of creative fiction. Scharf researched the laws of physics and wondered: which of them could be rewritten by a sufficiently sophisticated life form?
One of the possibilities described concerned the nature of dark matter. When astronomers follow the movement of galaxies and galaxy clusters, they discover a problem.
It turns out that there is not enough mass to generate the forces necessary to control the observed motion. Astronomers suggest that to solve this problem, there must be a lot of matter that cannot be seen.
This means that it does not emit light or interact with ordinary matter that we see except through gravity. From here, the legs of the claim grow that the Universe is mostly filled with “dark matter.” Whose nature no one can explain.
Therefore, Scharf asked himself the following question: could the absence of dark matter interactions not be a consequence of the laws of nature, but rather the result of an interference in the laws of physics? of an advanced civilization?
Perhaps the best way for life to avoid catastrophes, like radiation streams or shock waves from exploding stars, says Scharf, is to almost completely separate itself from the rest of the universe.
Using some sort of “dark matter” 3D printer, you can, as Scharf puts it, “download your world into a massive amount of dark side real estate and be done with it.”
Scharf also has other ideas. For example, an overdeveloped civilization accelerating the expansion of the universe. This effect is attributed to what is called “dark energy”.
Scharf speculated that a sufficiently advanced civilization could also be responsible for this acceleration. Perhaps they use it to prevent the thermal death of the universe and to ensure that chaos does not appear in space.
But is all this possible in reality? Hard to say.
Most likely, the laws of physics impose severe limits on life and its possibilities. These limits can impede technological development enough to halt it far beyond what our science fiction can imagine.
More likely, it is simply impossible to circumvent the limits imposed by the speed of light. And crossing the vast distances between stars will always be extremely difficult and expensive.