Blog Post Number 52 Written: 07-28-2021 Uploaded:04-01-2023
The Fermi paradox is an academic subject with papers, formulas, thesis’s and big minds with big names talking about it, and has been for some time, the ideas were originally put into words by physicist Enrico Fermi and works off the probability estimates of the Drake equation. The Drake equation is a whole other topic, possible subject for its own post. In short Drake developed a formula to calculate the possible number of intelligent species in the galaxy.
Smarter people than me or you have debated this topic, and done research and math, and worked on it for decades. But we aren’t here to solve the problem or win a debate, I merely wish to tell you all that it is there, to be taken under consideration. Maybe I have a little bit of personal attachment since this was the idea that got me writing sci-fi of my own in the first place, and before I knew what it was called or that it was even a thing I managed to ask the same important question of my own accord, by my own conclusion. Maybe it’s a little bit of a pet project too.
In the shortest, simplest terms the Fermi paradox is “Where are the aliens?” A more lengthy explanation is that there are billions of stars in the Milkyway that are similar to our sun, some of these must-have earth-like terrestrial planets in the goldilocks zone and some of these planets must have developed life and some of that life must have developed civilization and interstellar travel. There are just so many, that statistically speaking there has to be aliens out there, but as of yet, we haven’t seen them, haven’t heard them. So where are they?
Even using humans as an example, for a little more than 100 years we have been regularly transmitting with radios. Those radio signals will be propagating away from earth, in all directions at the spread of light. meaning the first of those is now 100 light-years away from us. If one were to make a sphere around earth 100 light-years in radius, there should be a whole lot of stars inside that sphere, stars with planets, planets with life. Life that would have heard us. So why haven’t they? Why haven’t we heard them? Even if they have been extinct for hundreds or thousands of years their radio signals should drift across the cosmos to us, to be measured and read. Statistically speaking, we should have heard someone, from somewhere at some time by now. That is the paradox. There is a huge list of ‘great filters’ and so on that lead in to this topic of discussion. That’s not the point of this article either, I merely want to show you that it is here and get you, and all of us thinking about it. I would more than happy to talk about this in the comments below, or Twitter or wherever is easiest for you to find me.
P.S. Happy April Fools.