Dark Forest Theory


“Dark Forest” is a fiction cosmos sociology theory from Three-body II: Dark Forest, second part of a Sci-fiction Trilogy written by Liu Cixin. Dark Forest Theory describes a condition in cosmos, and explained why human can hardly find aliens. This theory is the core of the novel, even in Three-body III: Dead End.

The point about the whole universe is:

The universe is like a dark forest where every civilization is a hiding hunter; anyone exposed will be attacked and destroyed.

Exactly Speaking, Dark Forest contains two main concepts: 1) Suspicious Chain; 2) Technology Explosion.

The universe is large. The distance  between separated civilization can only counted by light year,  and the differences between civilization could beyond people’s wildest imagination. Under such circumstance, it is hard to communication, and impossible to judge other civilization are good or evil(good here means does not lunch attack other civilization, evil means the opposite). Communication in universe is a dangerous thing, it means be exposed,  detceted or even located by aliens(good or evil).

Even one intend to take their chance, assume others are good, and if both civilization are good, they could set up a union or sth. But when others received such a message, they need to judge as well.

For instance, civilization A is good, so does civilization B, but they don’t know each other. First, A send a message to B, B have no idea if A is good or evil. Even they know, B still don’t know how A think B. Furthermore, B don’t know how A think B think A think B. Actually. It’s an endless loop, one couldn’t tell other’s intention.

The essential of Suspicious Chain is regardless the moral of civilization in galaxy, when they come into the web of Suspicious Chain, they have no difference.

How about B is weak, cannot threaten A? Here comes the second concept: Technology Explosion. From human history, our modern achievement are finished in last 300 years. Think about through universe’s view, it’s not  a development, it’s definitely a explosion. And surely we are not the fastest civilization. When B noticed the exist of A, it’s own technology could  be accelerated. A might be exceed, located , and even attacked. Thus, at the moment A detected B, A will  destroy B immediately one day B might find A too.

Generally, when A find B, it is extremely dangerous for A no matter let B noticed the exist of A, or leave B alone. A can either communicate or remain silence, the only option left is eliminate B quitly.

We human are still at the infant period of galaxy civilization, universe is a mystery to us. Stephen William Hawking also warned human should stop sending messages to find E.T. in universe for the same reason. May be it is true:

The universe is like a dark forest where every civilization is a hiding hunter; anyone exposed will be attacked and destroyed.

12 thoughts on “Dark Forest Theory

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    20/03/2011 – 11:39amBueno, pone que odia el fanatismo y la prepotencia, así como la censura. Soy de la opinión de que nadie puede ser peor que Inda, así que quizás sea una ilusa pero tengo alguna que otra esperanza puesta en Campillo.

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    you have never spoke words more true! in my opinion, this industry is one that i would hope that we all entered because we love to create happiness and love…not hate. it truly hurts when i hear that there are so many “frenemies” and “smack talkers” in our world. i like to surround myself with positivity: be positive and think positive…no bad ever comes from that!

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