The Fermy Paradox

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

– Arthur C Clarke.

Now that you have just seen the above line, I am sure you have a slight idea what this article is going to be about.

So,”Mr Arthur C Clarke”, thanks for the quote bro (to be honest I don’t know who the fuck this guy is. I just took this line out of Internet randomly just to grab your attention, but Okay!).

I’ll start with this simple question.

ARE WE ALONE IN THIS UNIVERSE?

I wish this was actually a “simple” question.

The thing is, well.. We don’t know for sure.

We don’t know if there is an advanced Alien civilisation out there, in some distant galaxy with a highly sophisticated Technology that’s at least 1 million years ahead us.

But that’s not the only problem.

The real problem is that even if there is an alien civilisation, it might be simply too far away from us. And we will not be able to know about them either. And that’s for obvious reasons too, the Universe is freaking HUGE!

Let’s get started…

THE FERMY PARADOX

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Back in 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi during his lunch time, asked this question amongst his colleges

“Where are they?”

Without a doubt, everyone around the table seemed to understand that he was talking about extraterrestrial life.

This was an obvious question too.

It’s because as there are billions of stars in our own galaxy along with countless planets with earth like conditions.

And therefore chances of a highly advanced civilisation is quite fair.

And yet we have not discovered any signs of any aliens so far, what so ever (yeah I know Area 51 exists, but just for the sake of this article, I am excluding that concept and FFS no flat earthers are entertained)

This argument formed the basis of what’s known as the Fermy Paradox.

The Fermy Paradox is basically a contradiction in the lack of Evidence and the High Probability of existence of an alien civilization.

These are the points the Fermi Paradox states

  • There are billions of stars in our own galaxy and most of these stars are similar to sun. In fact many of these stars are even a few billion years older than our solar system.
  • Most of these stars have Earth -Like planets and therefore chances are quite fair that they do have some sort of intelligent life.
  • Some of these civilisations may have been developed. Our universe is 13.7 billion years old and it will hardly take a few million years for a civilization to develop. Take us humans for example, just think about all the achievements we have attained in the last 1000 years? Now imagine where we will be in next 100000 years?!
  • Even at the slow pace of space travel. The Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years.

HIGH PROBABILITY 

We will now apply some quick math to see how many aliens are out there, the ones who can potentially find us.

In our own galaxy, the milky way, there are 400 billion stars, out of which 20 billion are similar to our own.

Our earth is supposed to be inside a habitable zone (or you can say “lucky zone”), not too far away from sun and not too close either.

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Even if 1 out of 5 of these 20 billion stars (these are similar to our solar system) have an earth like planet revolving around this habitable zone, this would give us 4 billion.

So bacially we have got 4 billion earth like planets who are at a safe distance from their respective star to sustain life.

Even if 0.1% of these earth like planets do actually have life , then this still leaves us with 4 million of them. Take a note that “0.1%” is just a small fraction, the real percentage could be higher.

If just 1% of these 4 million planets contain intelligent life which is comparable to humans. This still gives us 40000 civilisations.

And finally if just one percent of these civilisations had the capability to space flight like us humans, lets say they are explorers who want to expand to other planets just to conquer them, then this still leaves us with 400 of them whizzing around in space.

400 civilisations who should whizzle around milky way and we haven’t seen one of them!

Irony, isn’t it?

And we just have considered the lowest possibilities. The problem is that we have “zero” evidence that the probability we just  calculated is actually happening .

This was the basis of the Fermi paradox.

So? Where are they? Lol

There are many theories and speculations out there, that try to justify the fermi paradox and why we  haven’t seen anyone of these aliens so far.

Let’s see them one by one.

We are the first ones to emerge with a technology that’s capable of communication.

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Indeed, it’s possible that the reason we are yet to detect any other forms of intelligent civilisation is because we are the first ones who are capable of recieving and transmitting communication (signals) across space.

So for now, it’s almost impossible to make contact with these beings. Let’s hope one day, they get intelligent enough to find us or at least understand the signals we send in space all the time (NASA Rocks)

Natural Disasters are wiping out Civilisations

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Large asteroid impacts, like for example the meteoroid that wiped out dinosaurs completely, this can be the with others too.

Maybe they were trying to reach us but before they do this, they got wiped out by natural disasters such as large asteroid impacts or maybe super volcanoes, who knows?

And this applies to our own planet as well, maybe there were an advanced civilization on earth before dinosaurs but they got wiped out. I’ll discuss more on this in my upcoming articles.

Unstable Climate

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Ever heard of Venus? I bet you do.

Do you know why it’s called the sister of Earth?

This is the same planet our earth would have become if we didn’t had a perfect atmosphere that we do now. It’s just that Venus is a lot closer to sun and is thus out of the “habitable zone”.

The other reason is because Venus’s atmosphere is a lot thicker than out own and it primarily contains carbon dioxide.

Nevermind, we are not far behind in the “carbon dioxide” department, we may eventually end up making earth a “second” Venus of our solar system (RIP in advance).

Maybe the weather conditions in these habitable planets are too unstable for their sufficient Evolution Development.

So basicslly they have to deal with some bigger problems than to explore outer-space and therefore they chose not to find us.

Poor Resources

Or maybe, just maybe..

Their planet is too poor in resources department and as a result of which they may never have the ability to progress technologically.

So even if they do get intelligent enough to make technology, they don’t have enough resources to actually do something relevent. That’s sad, indeed.

Other Civilisations are not trying

It’s fair to say that we are unique and arguably the only ones who want to explore the universe. Others don’t need to have same desires like we do.

It’s possible that aliens don’t want to visit us at the first place and therefore they have not made a technology (which they could have) that will either let them find us or let us find them.

Or maybe we are just not able to detect them by using our current technology. Maybe they are trying to send us a “clue” but the instruments and devices they are using is out of our understanding.

So bacially, aliens are using some sort of technology that’s “alien” to us as well.

Extinction due to internal affairs

One thing about the age of universe , which is basically too old (13.7 billion!) is that it’s highly likely that the civilisations we are looking for have already lived their life.

What I mean by that is, maybe they had a “World War” like situation and since they had immense advanced technology, they may have wiped themselves out long ago, before we came into existence.

Or maybe this wasn’t due to a world war type of situation but due to the fact that they had polluted their planet’s ecosystem to the point where they no longer had a stable environment to breathe or live in.

Hence, they died (quite similar to our situation don’t you think? I mean the way we contaminate our environment today, it’s likely that we may be the prime reason for our extinction in future).

But even if that’s the case, let’s say, they died because of a world war situation, we should still be able to see some form of evidence of this previous existence in cosmos. And yet, we haven’t found anything.

Which takes us to the next reason..

We are alone. Simple as that

The most possible case of us not finding any extra terrestrial beings is the fact that there are no aliens at the first place.

What this means is that we are the only ones capable of having immense intelligence and probably we will remain the only ones as well, till the very end of the universe.

Now that’s sad.

Or is it?

What do you think about it?

Should we celebrate the fact that we are the only ones that were capable of reaching this far in terms of evolution?

Or should we feel sad because we won’t possibly find someone else cuz we are the only ones out there?

It’s up to you to think which one of these is more rational.

And finally, the worse..

We are an Alien Experiment!

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Chances are quite low for this one  if you ask me.

But we may have been created physically or maybe virtually by some super beings and are being constantly watched by them and they are intentionally hiding from us. They just want to see how we develop but don’t want to show themselves (quite a fair reason to make us at the first place, if you ask me).

If you wanna learn more about virtual simulation or Simulated Reality, check out my other article here.

We can be some sort of scientific experiments that could end anytime. Maybe right after you just have read this article!

Well then… Its indeed a scary thought.

Fact of the matter is, whatever the truth is, there is absolutely no guarantee that we will ever get to know about it.

But that won’t stop us humans from trying. After all as they say..

“It’s all about trying”

 

 

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