The Fermi Paradox — Where are all the aliens?
Renowned scientist Enrico Fermi asked many years ago, “If there are billions of stars out there in our Galaxy, surely there must be teeming with intelligent civilizations, and yet we have seen no proof of any of them?” Why not?
Few of us frequently wonder if we are the only ones who live in this universe. Is there life in our Solar System? Is there life in the rest of the universe?
Given the immensity of the cosmos and the unfathomable number of stars and solar systems, there must be life some place out there.
As soon as the thought entered Fermi’s head, he set to work on calculations to determine the likelihood of life existing elsewhere.
The Kardashev scale:
Think how far humankind has come in its brief two lakh-year history, and then consider that our Galaxy is around 10 billion years old. What might an extra-terrestrial culture do in 10 billion years if we can go from cave-dwelling hominids to an Internet-using and robot-building society in two lakh years?
That is more than enough time for a civilization to create advanced rockets capable of travelling faster than the speed of light, wormhole technology, or some other type of cosmic shortcut that would allow them to colonize the Galaxy swiftly and beyond; the ‘Kardashev scale.’
The Kardashev scale, developed by astrophysicist Nicolai Kardashev, is functional when analyzing such technical advances by a rising civilization, and it is divided into three categories:
Type 1 Civilization: They have discovered a way to harness all the energy on their planet. Humans are on the verge of doing this, but it is only the first step.
Type 2 Civilization: They are so sophisticated that they found out how to harness all their own star’s energy, which is far more than what is available on a single small planet.
Type 3 Civilization: They have harnessed all the energy in their Galaxy.
On the Kardashev scale, any civilization would be more than capable of colonizing the cosmos. But we have not found any evidence of this civilization.
What is Fermi Paradox?
The Milky Way is expected to contain 400 billion stars in our Galaxy. According to estimates, there are around 20 billion stars constructed similarly to that of our sun. Suppose just one out of every five planets has an Earth-like planet in orbit inside the habitable zone, also known as the Goldilocks zone, where it is neither too hot nor too cold. This would give us 4 billion planets capable of supporting life.
If only 0.1 percent of these Earth-like planets have life, this will result in four million life-supporting dwellings. If only 1% of these planets had sentient life equal to humans, we would have 40,000 civilizations. This is all done with modest estimates, but the difficulty is that we have no proof that these predicted odds are occurring, which is the core of the Fermi Paradox.
There are several explanations as to why we have failed to find any other kinds of sentient life, some of which are as follows:
· We are the first to develop technology capable of transmitting and receiving messages over space; therefore, making contact is impossible.
· Natural calamities, such as giant volcanoes and big asteroids, are annihilating burgeoning civilizations.
· Other planets’ weather and temperature conditions may be too volatile to maintain lifelong enough to allow for significant evolution progress.
· Because their planet lacks resources, they may never be able to advance technologically.
· Other civilizations may choose not to gaze outward, or we may be unable to identify them due to incompatible technology employing procedures and techniques that we have no comprehension of or entirely alien to us.
· Other civilizations that may have developed communication capabilities have already lived out their lives and are no longer exist, potentially by demolishing themselves via conflict or far more powerful and advanced technology.
We might be incorrect about all of this, and reality is nothing like what we think is in the matrix. So, there is a chance we are a fluke, an oddity, and the sole inhabitants of the planet. Worse, we may have been formed physically or electronically and are now being watched by a super-intelligent race hidden from us to see how we evolve. We might be a scientific experiment that ends at any time. The primary line is that we have no idea.
The world’s most intelligent individuals have opposing views on the Fermi paradox’s solutions. If our earth bubble has already led us to think, humanity may be the sole ruler of the world or other kinds of two and three civilization living forms exist, and we are a bit, inconsequential piece of a large universe full of life.
Whatever the answer is, there is a lot to consider the next time you gaze up at the night sky.