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von Neumann probe

Abstract

1. It is possible, or even likely, that there are several technological civilizations in our galaxy besides human civilization.

2. It is also possible that instead of being friendly and peaceful, some of these civilizations might be aggressive and hostile towards other civilizations.

3. If a civilization wanted to wage war against other civilization, the most efficient way to do it would be aggressive von Neumann probes (see description on right).

4. Even if a civilization are not intending to harm anyone, a von Neumann probe launched by it might accidentally become aggressive .

5. The most reliable (and maybe only) way to prevent this kind of attack is to release a defensive von Neumann probe, to search and destroy aggressive von Neumann probes. This has to be done before your civilization is attacked - otherwise it is too late.

6. Most civilizations will build and release defensive von Neumann probe as soon as it is technologically possible, because they don't want to take a risk of being suddenly destroyed by aggressive von Neumann probes.

7. Therefore, our galaxy should be swarming with von Neumann probes. In that case there should be extraterrestial probes also in our Solar system. It is even possible we have already detected them without realizing it.

What is von Neumann probe

Von Neumann probe is a hypothetical robotic space probe. It is programmed to search space for raw materials and energy in order to build copies of itself. It can be considered as a mechanical bacterium or virus. Besides self-replicating, von Neumann probes will execute tasks they are programmed to do. You can read more about von Neumann probe on Wikipedia.