The generally accepted classifications of civilisations are I, II, and III.
Type I can exploit all resources of their planet. There’s a problem right there, because that’s what we’re doing right now and it’s going to Great Filter us all in a few more decades… Seriously, the first thing a civilisation has to do if it’s to survive is to eke out the planet’s resources and use them to get off planet to use resources elsewhere to get to the next stage:
Type II which can exploit all the energy of their star. Are these scientists even serious? At all? WTF do you think you’re doing, first turning your own planet into a cinder and then using the energy from your own star(s) to – what – make new resources for the planet? Again – use surviving Type I to explore another star and find a way to use that…
And Type III which can use the whole of their galaxy. Again – maybe at this scale it’d become economical to do, but what do you actually do with a galaxy?
Let’s presume that the usually-quoted ratios of life-supporting to actual life emerging are hugely optimistic. Instead of 100,000 civilisations ending up forming per galaxy, it may have come to fewer than 10. Everyone knows that the calculations of life could stretch to such a small figure, and the fact that we aren’t seeing any signs of life could be because we just see a few percent of the Milky Way and the chance of another one of the 9 other civilisations here are just out of sight.
And remember we’re talking about a HUGE timeline – no-one says those 9 surviving civilisations per galaxy are going to last forever nor be contemporary. Or the other civilisations could have been Filtered out before I, or before II, and are no more. But if you posit that a few civilisations have made it ahead of us and hit Type III, there’s another thing that could be happening.
If you “grew up” in a neighborhood where there was one, or perhaps a group, of other civilisations contemporary with yours, and you’d had to fight your way to sole ownership (or collaborative ownership with the other survivors) then you might by this stage also be clever enough to realise that the next step was inter-galaxy war.
You’d cleverly make your galaxy “disappear” to avoid other conflicts, and where we think there are between 100bn and 400bn galaxies in the known universe, perhaps there are 400bn – 600bn invisible and highly advanced galaxies out there. Perhaps they weren’t just rendered invisible by their civilisations, but are now woven into the fabric of our spacetime where they can’t be extricated.
And maybe they manifest as what we call dark matter. Or also become the ‘parallel universes’ we posit must exist but can’t see. Which is probably handy for Type III beings. The ants have been successfully kept from seeing the vehicles because they see only their world, the road surface, and never the wheels.
(Ants have no idea their anthill is right beside our highway, and they have no idea that the highway is constructed, it’s just a strange part of the fabric of their world, and sometimes an unknown and unseen force comes along and wipes out a few unlucky ants. The best ant scientists have found that when these events happen there’s often a strange vibration in the fabric of the world that rises to a certain pitch, then decreases again. And when they look, several ant citizens have become smears on the ground…)
That would be one way to explain both dark matter and the Fermi paradox…
Once you get past the Filters at stages I and II, almost none of our thinking and logic apply. As per the ants and the highway analogy, the understanding gap would be just too great.
Who of us knows how to make a whole galaxy turn into dark matter while still being an environment for such a Type III race?
Who of us knows why you’d shift it like that?
Am I even using the right terms for what they may have done? Of course not. If you asked me to explain how fire comes about in materials right down to the physics level or how the human body functions – as a whole and in detail – I’d have only a few keywords and key concepts and would have to admit that if a real physicist or physician was to explain it, it’d be mostly incomprehensible to me.
In fact, there won’t even be one single human that could actually know the whole process of something bursting into flames and burning up, the whole physics and chemistry involved, right down to the level of the quarks and – oh yeah, all the things we haven’t discovered yet, the things that we wouldn’t even know are things if we tripped over them. And we reckon we’ve “tamed” fire…
We don’t know how our brains think or even IF they’re really the thing that does all the thinking. We don’t know how our bodies actually manage the whole process of, you know, living, even, and how / what choreographs the interaction between our biome and soma, not many people can manage their own blood pressure let alone understand how this body and our “me-ness” are connected…
How in hell could we, a pre-Type I civilisation, have even the concepts that a Type III civilisation would have?