The Fermi Paradox - "Where are the aliens?"

in Proof of Brainlast year

I know Fermi paradox is a popular topic, but when I saw the POB word of the week to be paradox, I couldn't help myself as this is my favourite paradox.

Fermi Paradox - what is it?

It all started with a casual conversation at lunch, with Enrico Fermi (who was a physicist and some colleagues), discussions varied amongst the physicists, and discussion about faster than travel light came up, and much later, Fermi came up with the outburst... "but where is everybody?"

So why did he say this? well, if faster than light travel was possible then shouldn't we be have been visited by aliens already?

But the implications are broader than just faster than light travel, it comes down to life itself, and how rare life is, according to some, the probability that life exists elsewhere is so astronomically high that its almost certainty. This usually arises out of an analysis of the drake equation, which looks at the number of stars in the universe, and then how many planets around those stars and then chance of life starting, and then evolution to intelligent life.

but all this deeps mathematical analysis on probabilities are cut down by three words, "where are the aliens"

Because if life is such a certainty, then we should have met aliens by now.

Arguments to explain Fermi Paradox

Well, so in order to reconcile the near certainty of the drake equation and the probability of life, and the fermi paradox a number of explanations are possible.

  1. Faster than light travel is impossible, so they can't reach us
  2. Civilizations blow themselves up with nuclear weapons before reaching out to the stars
  3. The chance of life evolving from nothing is near zero
  4. the chance of evolving intelligent life from life is near zero

Lets have a look at each of these

Faster than light travel is impossible, so they can't reach us

even if faster than light travel is impossible, generation ships could be built and quite possibly it might take 100 years to travel a light year, but even then over millions of years the civilization could explore the whole galaxy, so this doesn't seem like an answer.

Civilizations blow themselves up

I don't think this is a credible argument for the Fermi paradox, as some civilizations might, but all? this seems quite implausible. Also we as the human race are not very far off becoming an interplanetary species, and we have had nuclear weapons and other technologies for almost 100 years, so its likely we might get through this period ourselves.

The chance of life evolving is near zero

This is interesting, and we haven't yet found life starting out anywhere else apart from earth, and even on earth all organisms that have survived so far can be traced back genetically to the same basic forms of life. So its is possible that the probability of life starting is astronomically small (aka infinitesimal), and earth is the only place its happened, I personally don't buy this, as random experiments with electricity and primitive earth atmosphere have shown amino acids do form quite easily in this environment.

The chance of intelligent life forming is near zero

This is harder to understand, we can see that evolution seems to be a natural process, that life evolves too, but does it always create intelligent life...I must admit I don't have a view on this, but interested in yours.


So on the one hand, the vast number of extra solar planets and galaxies and stars is so big, that it almost seems certain that life exists, but where are the aliens, all logically thought concludes that we should have met them by now, so its a really puzzling thing, and perhaps life is unique, and perhaps not... and we will meet aliens in the future? I look forward to all the future astrobiology discoveries that are bound to come up in the future.

Sources: Eric M. Jones "Where is everybody, an account of Fermi's Question"

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Wait a minute! Did you just ask me where the aliens are?

My God! You know the answer already......its in the

Sorry, just trying to have some fun with your theories

I for one believe there could be life existing on another planet. And that soon, aliens will invade us in a bit to have a striving environ to stay....just the way the movies portray it...hehhehhe

But judging from the theories you have listed out, I could be disappointed.Even so, I always imagined being able to explore the high intelligence aliens have as movies portray

I mean, imagine being able to extract such amount of information from a piece of electrified metals, and using them to replenish the earth with inventions. Would that not a cool thing to do?


I hope the aliens don't look for me, because I sound like a threat to their existence ....hehehhehe

Nice entry dear. I wish you luck in the contest

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You made my day, this is probably the funniest and clever comment I have read on my posts, keep the humour coming its great, and it put a smile on my face.


You are welcome, buddy.

I will try my best

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If there are aliens out there I don't know, but that human beings are one of the most advanced forms of life in the world... I have no doubt about that.

I like this summary of Fermi's paradox. Until proof of brain I felt like blogging was like space travel. Now instead of empty space I am actually getting intelligent life.

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Agree somehow proof of brain has been able to attract really good content! The rewards are very generous it means people put the time and effort to research their posts, and like I have done added their own opinions in too which adds to the value I think.

There is not much more I can say about Fermi' s paradox. He's a genius. It's true.

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Fermi is a genius but I still don't think I agree so much, perhaps because it still seems a bit illogical to feed an idea that there is life outside the earth, I think there are more important issues to solve here in this sphere called earth, and as everything is subjective ... I'm not claiming to be 100% right at all, I think I will stay in that% of non-believers living outside the earth!

Same as some !Pizza

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thanks for your comments, and yes its not clear cut...but I do think its worth thinking about doing these thought experiments, if only to satisfy human curiosity.

Maybe we are the most advanced life form in the universe and they are all waiting on us to visit. No, I can't even type that with a straight face. ;)

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Ha, love the wit..

You see our star is quite young compared to others so that's the puzzling thing..but sounds like you don't believe your own words anyway :)

Your current Rank (65) in the battle Arena of Holybread has granted you an Upvote of 15%

Hmm. You mentioned how popular this paradox is but I'm just hearing about it for the first time.

My contribution to the argument is, almost everything is possible and we just have to give it some time. Also let's not be in a hurry to calculate using the current facts we have.

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