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Okay, it depends on assumptions. Given yours there can be no zoo.

Assume it's not until approximately 8 billion years after the big bang that there are enough metals for a technological civilization to evolve.

If, another assumption, that planet takes 4.5 billion to generate a technological civilization that means between then and now is 1.3 billion years.

Deep time.

What technological assumption are we making? That societies colonize the galaxy.

What if we are missing something obvious because we haven't discovered it yet?

What if said discovery puts the universe as we understand it into a totally different light?

And, because I suspect you'll mention why can't we see the remains of said technological civilization?

We hit Deep time again.

Anything close by, say 100 light years, will have happened a long time ago, and has passed by, lost in noise.

Anything over a 1000 light years away will be indistinguishable from noise.

Just my thoughts.


I never considered the Zoo hypothesis a serious scenario either, though it can provide a fun platform for speculation.
One weak point is assuming that an alien species, no matter how nice and altruistic they might be to their own species - also feel an equally strong need and spend enormous resources to defend and protect any other species - especially one that might develop into a threat to others in the long run.
My personal reaction when first hearing about this line of thought was that I found whole idea of having godlike creatures watching over humanity got quite a whiff of religion.
For a long while my main line of thinking have been that either planets with stable environment permitting higher life to develop is very rare - recent research have now provided an example nearby as Venus very well might have been a habitable world until 1 billion year ago - perhaps even more recently.
One other, darker scenario get a second tier in my book. It's the dark forest scenario, I will not call it a hypothesis, since that need the postulate that fast and relatively cost effective interstellar travel can be made for civs that are advanced enough. And if so, then Earth would have been colonised in the past anyway, when one faction had gotten an upper hand, or perhaps not even have developed technology.
And that part, that the civs have to arisen and to be in their prime at the same exact time, is a small but important detail often overlooked in these speculations.

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