(ORDO NEWS) — We understand what the Fermi paradox is and how scientists explain that there are at least 300 million habitable planets in our galaxy, but we still have not found evidence of intelligent life outside the Earth.
Over time, any civilization is able to achieve the technology needed for interstellar flight. At the same time, humanity has never encountered alien beings.
These three inexplicable facts are united by the Fermi paradox. We talk about it and try to understand why we are still not familiar with hypothetical neighbors in the galaxy.
1- Miracles of Fermi
In the summer of 1950, four scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, established as part of the Manhattan Project to develop atomic weapons in the United States, went to lunch. They discussed UFOs and laughed at those who believed they were real. The conversation moved on to other topics.
However, when they were already sitting at the table, Enrico Fermi, one of the founders of the nuclear reactor and Nobel Prize winner in physics, suddenly blurted out: “So where is everyone ?!” The researcher had in mind the inhabitants of other planets in the universe.
In the following decades, various scientists developed Fermi’s thought. There is a whole chain of reasons why it seems that the collision of earthlings with aliens is inevitable:
1. There are billions of sun-like stars in the Milky Way.
2. With a high degree of probability, planets with conditions similar to those on Earth circulate around many of them.
3. Many of these stars and, accordingly, the planets revolving around them are many times older than the Sun. If the Earth is not unique, then life on them should have developed even earlier.
4. Some of these civilizations most likely developed the technology of interstellar travel.
5. Even with a relatively slow pace of development of interstellar travel, the entire Milky Way can be explored in a few million years.
6. Since many other “suns” and the planets around them are billions of years older than the solar system, the Earth should have been visited by aliens, or at least their research vehicles.
However, we still have not found any (officially known) contact with extraterrestrial civilizations or traces of their activities. This is the Fermi paradox.
Beginning in the 1950s, scientists developed various hypotheses that tried to make sense of the Fermi Paradox. Here are the most interesting explanations.
2- There is no life outside the Earth
On other planets, a civilization like ours could not develop. The Earth is unique because many factors coincided on it at once: from a suitable climate to evolution.
Even if there is life on other planets, it does not have human-like intelligence. The big brain is not the crown of evolution, it is rather illogical, as it consumes a lot of energy.
Humans, primates, whales, dolphins, octopuses and squid are in minorities compared to millions of other non-intelligent species.
Moreover, only humans were able to turn to space. As researcher Charles Lineweaver notes, “The dolphins had about 20 million years to build a telescope, but they didn’t have time.”
3- Periodic extinctions
There have been five mass extinctions on Earth, when a huge number of species disappeared in a short time on a planetary scale.
Other habitable planets in the Milky Way have faced similar challenges. There are many reasons: from asteroids to volcanic eruptions. Because of all this, a similar earthly civilization did not develop in the galaxy.
4- Intelligent life has not reached technology
Humans have the best technology in the universe due to a number of evolutionary factors and the availability of resources on Earth. Intelligent life on other planets would not be able to build telescopes or spaceships.
5- Any intelligent life comes to self-destruction
Soon after the arrival of civilization to radio and space technologies, it self-destructs. The rapid development of weapons of mass destruction can lead to the death of all living things.
The most striking example on Earth is nuclear technology. As a result of such scenarios, intelligent life on other planets has not reached the level of development of ours.
6- Alien signals
People simply cannot yet fix the signals emanating from other civilizations. Just 500 years ago, even a simple radio message would have looked like magic, and no one, even the most advanced scientist, could have received it.
What if aliens bombard us daily with information about their existence, but our technology is simply not advanced enough to recognize it?
7- Aliens are isolated from the outside world
Developed civilizations from other planets, thanks to a technology similar to the digitization of the brain, “passed” into their analogue of the virtual world and do not plan to get out of it.
8- Earth is intentionally avoided
Alien civilizations have long known that the Earth is inhabited. However, they prefer not to interfere, but simply observe people, hoping that they will reach at least the minimum level of development necessary for contact. This idea is called the zoohypothesis.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky wrote about it in 1933: “What is the basis for denying the existence of intelligent planetary beings in the Universe?
We are told: if they were, they would visit the Earth. My answer is: maybe they will visit, but the time has not yet come for this.
The time must come when the average degree of development of mankind will be sufficient for us to be visited by heavenly inhabitants.
We will not go to visit wolves, poisonous snakes or gorillas. We will only kill them. The perfect celestial animals don’t want to do the same to us.”
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