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Meta-Ethnicity: Afro-Celt-Viking Ethnicity: Earthling Country: Cape of Good Hope Region: Algoa Bay Ancestry: Scots-Irish-Icenian-Teutonic-Viking-Norman Politics: Spiritual Anarchy Religion: Mystic Christian Relationship Status: Celibate Hero: King Arthur Age: Born Summer of '69 Philosophy: yes please
The Fermi paradox simply postulates: Where are all the dang aliens, dammit?
Of course more formally: one might expect with the sheer number of stars out there, that aliens should be all over the place. This becomes ever more glaringly strange given the vast number of exoplanets that have been confirmed.
The answer is simply logical: Extinction events on a galactic scale.
Its impossible for us to know of the details of what
may be able to wipe out all major life-forms on a galactic scale.
But it does not take much thinking to see that
if some super-massive body went monster-nova
then it could just kill all major land-based life-forms at least.
But any big-energy event could do it.
The consequence is most interesting:
Other advanced life-forms would be about at the same
level of development as humanity.
The conquistadors might have considered something similar. The answer for them was that all human civilization was wiped out with the younger Dryas meteor impact in Greenland about 12000 years ago.
But that is another story.
Or is it?
Who are we on the galactic scale?
The adventurers who traversed the abyss?
Or did we practise ritual sacrifice (war) out of a sense of complacency and hubris?
I've never understood why the Fermi paradox is considered a paradox at all.
Just because there are so many stars out there, doesn't necessarily mean that space is teeming with life. One would imagine that the chances of life forming are so astronomically small that only a very small percentage of the planets out there have life on them.
In our own galaxy there are at least 100 billion stars. If an alien race could move from star to star through some kind of wormhole and check out each one at a rate of one per hour, it would take more than 11 million years to check out all of them. Even if they could do it at a star per second it would still take over 3,000 years, and that's just one galaxy.
Even that involves a LOT of assumptions. We have to presume these aliens are capable of faster-than-light travel, and that that they even want to come and find us in the first place. It also presumes that these other civilisations exist right now, when in reality they could have gone extinct millions of years ago or not exist for millions of years to come.
And what's the definition of alien? Just because life evolves, doesn't have to mean it's humanoid life. Dinosaurs were around on Earth for millions of years without going into space.
To me, the Fermi paradox is no paradox at all. It's like someone I don't know taking a single grain of sand, painting it red, leaving it on a beach at random somewhere and then me saying "but if that grain of sand is out there how come I haven't found it?".
If there's humanoid alien life out there, I wouldn't expect us to ever know about it.