The Fermi Paradox!

What is the Fermi Paradox you ask?  Well the Fermi (not ferby) Paradox poses the question of intelligent life elsewhere within the universe.  Developed by physicist Enrico Fermi, it NewFurby-624x624simply states that if intelligent extraterrestrial life did exist- we would know about it.

Think about this: There are billions of stars in the universe just like our sun, except much, much older.

If you happen to like numbers, wet your whistle on these doozies:

Within the Milky Way galaxy there are about 100-400 billion stars.  Now that’s just our small galaxy- there are believed to be just as many galaxies in the observable universe- so 400+ galaxies.  If you were to calculate the numbers on this it comes out to between 10^22 or 10^24 stars.  Or another way to think of it is around 10,000 stars for every grain of sand on the planet Earth.

Some of these stars are known to have earth-like planets, and even if only one percent of them could sustain life, this would still mean billions (yeah with a B) of planets likely have life.

Now imagine that life on these planets miraculously turned into intelligent life (a rarity in and of itself). Perhaps this life evolved to the point of developing interstellar space flight.

Now that our hypothetical race has developed space flight, they begin traversing the universe, which is large of course, but let’s say they were within our Milky Way galaxy, it would only take them millions of years to finally arrive at our planet.  Since most of these worlds are far older than our Earth, this time frame is feasible, and yet we have not been visited (despite what conspiracy theorists believe) by aliens.

So Fermi asked, “Where is everybody?”

Again…numbers.  If you were to use the Kardeshev Scale (look it up) it would mean that there should be at least 1,000 advanced civilizations within our galaxy alone.  And yet, nothing.  If such an advanced civilization existed, it would be nearly impossible to go unnoticed.

So therein lies the paradox.  “Where is everybody?”

Life may exist outside our planet; sure.  But is there intelligent life?  All the evidence, it seems, points to a decisive ‘No’.

 

 

References

 

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

 

http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/project/details/fermi-paradox

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