This is one of my earliest posts from Instagram. Let’s dive in and discuss it in detail.
On the first slide we have a short definition of Fermi Paradox,
Any paradox is basically a statement which contradicts itself, but may be true. For example let’s talk about a character everyone knows ‘Pinocchio’.
He is a fictional character whose nose gets longer with each lie he tells, you may be thinking that’s simple when he lies his nose gets longer.
But here’s a catch, what happens when he says “my nose will grow”. If his nose doesn’t grow, it means he was lying. But his nose grows when he lies, if his nose do grow it means he was telling truth. This type of statement is called paradox.
One such paradox is Fermi’s paradox, which says that statistically there is a strong probability that there are intelligent life out there. So why don’t we find any sign of it?
There are some arguments which support the existence of Extra-terrestrial intelligent civilizations.
Let’s look at them one by one;
1. Number of Habitable Planets
Our milky way galaxy is huge, I mean huger than what we can comprehend. It has about 200 to 400 billion stars, out of which about 100 billion have earth-like planets.
That’s pretty large number. Just consider this 1 million seconds equal to about 11 and half days while 1 billion seconds equal to 31.7 years.
Our Sun is only 4.6 billion years old, while many stars are billions of years older than our Sun. This means our sun and solar system is not one of it’s kind and definitely not the first. This brings us to second argument.
2. Probability of Origin of Life
If our current understanding about Origin of Life is somewhat correct then given right conditions and ample amount of time carbon based life can originate at most of the planets of our galaxy.
Give evolution some time to work and we have a life somewhat closer to intelligent. As we know earth is only 4.5 billion years old, and yet here we are discussing about life in universe.
Given 13.8 billion years history of universe, it would be silly to assume that intelligent life couldn’t have evolved anywhere else.
You may think “even if intelligent life evolved on most of planets, what difference does it make? They are light-years apart.” You are not wrong but let me bring forward third argument.
3. Respect the Elders
Being older civilization then us clearly gives them upper hand at technology. It means they would have had sufficient time to develop interstellar travel. It’s safe to assume that.
As we only have one civilization for study, I will also go with it. We have been on earth for approximately 200 thousand years, it may seem a large number but it’s just a blink on cosmic scale.
Given our history, we have some remarkable achievements. We can look into nooks and corners of universe to unfold mysteries of universe.
On the Kardashev scale we are still type 0 civilization. But if we survived our adolescence years as civilization, in next 100,000 to a million years we can become type 3 civilization, able to colonize entire galaxy.
4. Galactic Civilization is the next step
After developing interstellar travel, only viable step is to become galactic civilization. Building Dyson Spheres, Artificial Planets, Huge Spaceships and what not. Even if they start slow it would take only few million years to cover whole milky way.
As they already have few billion years of head-start, the sky should be filled with signs of Intelligent civilizations. But there is nothing!!
There is absolutely no signs of them. No Dyson Spheres, no intelligent structures, no radio signals, even no visitation.
Where are they? Or are they?
There so many answers to this question from Great Filter hypothesis to Anthropic principle.
We will discuss what they are in upcoming posts.
I have also discussed on this topic in series of two posts. Check it out;