Can Planets Be Intelligent?
2 April 2022
According to a group of astrophysicists searching in space, individual planets are capable of generating intelligence not the kind of intelligence that comes from knowing your ABCs, but intelligence that comes from the interconnection of the life that inhabits them. However, do not mistakenly believe that our planet is a member of this intelligence group. According to the experts, Earth is still one key step away from gaining real planetary intelligence, a milestone that, if reached, could help us avoid the looming climatic catastrophe in space. Instead, the team argues that cognition is a natural outcome of life’s interaction with the planets on which it evolves.
- Earth, on the other hand, has not yet reached this stage. “Even if Earth is teeming with intelligent life, it doesn’t appear that smart at this stage in its cosmic history,” they wrote in The Atlantic. The new study does, however, point out the final obstacle that Earth must overcome to achieve real planetary intelligence.
The Gaia hypothesis
According to the Gaia hypothesis, as living forms emerge on Earth, they impact the evolution of the entire planetary system. The theory is that the biosphere, which is a global ecological system that includes all living creatures and their interactions, can physically modify other systems like the atmosphere (air), cryosphere (ice), hydrosphere (water), and lithosphere (rock) (land). This back-and-forth effect has existed since the beginning of life on Earth. Still, it has grown more apparent than ever due to humanity’s influences on the world, such as human-caused climate change, pollution, and deforestation.
- The researchers wanted to determine if life and a planet may grow so intertwined that the planet could be considered conscious in the future. The researchers said in The Atlantic, “The biosphere informs us that once life appears in a planet, that world can take on a life of its own.” “But, if a planet with life has its own life, can it also have its mind?”
- The concept of a collective entity, such as a planet, having intelligence goes against our preconceived assumptions about our own intelligence. The researchers noted, “Intelligence tends to be viewed as something that happens in individual heads, and those heads normally sit on the shoulders of animals like humans.” However, there are several examples of collective intelligence in the natural world.
For example, colonies of social insects, such as bees, have a collective intelligence that is often superior to that of the individuals that make up the colony. “A single bee maintains only a limited amount of information about the world,” the researchers said, “but its colony as a whole knows and responds to the environment.”