Scientists propose solution to Fermi’s Paradox: superlinear scaling leading to singularity

(ORDO NEWS) — A pair of researchers, one at Carnegie Institute of Science and the other at Caltech, have developed a possible solution to the Fermi paradox.

In their paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Michael Wong and Stuart Bartlett suggest that the reason why we haven’t been visited by aliens from other planets is because of super-linear scaling, which they believe results in a singularity.

A few years ago, physicist Enrico Fermi asked a colleague why aliens from outer space hadn’t visited Earth. Both noted that due to the vast size of the universe, it seems unlikely that intelligent life could exist on Earth. So Fermi asked the famous question, “Where are they?” In a new paper, the researchers attempted to solve this mystery.

They started by studying how human civilizations have risen and fallen throughout history. Then they studied the history of large cities, and there they also noticed that most of them grew up to a certain point, and then collapsed.

They developed a hypothesis according to which such rises and falls of alien space civilizations led to one of two scenarios. In the first case, the civilization realizes that it has grown too much and will stop traveling to other worlds or colonizing them.

In the second case, they do not realize their stupidity and therefore will collapse. From our point of view, both scenarios will have the same outcome – the aliens will not visit us and will not even show evidence of their existence. The distance from them to us would be too great.

The researchers describe their hypothesis as super-linear scaling – where a civilization grows exponentially, colonizing other worlds until it becomes unable to sustain the energy demands associated with their constant encroachment.

Eventually, if they don’t take action, they will reach the singularity, the point of no return where they can’t save their civilization from collapse. They note that if not for the vast distances, we would most likely easily find evidence of the existence of an alien civilization on the verge of collapse, since it would radiate a huge amount of energy.


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