The Fermi Paradox

The Fermi paradox is based entirely upon a lunch conversation between Enrico Fermi, an iconic physicist, and his friends and co-workers. When discussing their belief that there must be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, Fermi asked a simple, but profound question: “Where is everybody?”

Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi

While, on its surface, this question seems somewhat ridiculous, it is actually a very serious question that must be answered. If, as many scientist believe, there are countless intelligent civilizations likely thriving throughout the universe, then how come we haven’t seen any evidence of their existence? There seem to only be a few possibilities:

  1. There actually isn’t any other intelligent life; humanity is alone in the universe.
  2. Perhaps other intelligent life lack the urge to explore and colonize the universe.
  3. There are massive galactic civilizations that have yet to reveal themselves to us.

The first possibility, that there is no other intelligent life seems to have the most dire implications. Due to the nature of life on Earth, we have strong reason to believe that intelligent life has evolved throughout the universe. Therefore, if the first case is true, then it seems that societies just destroy themselves prior to colonization of the universe; this could be disastrous for our near future. The second possibility, no desire for colonization, seems rather unlikely if the species is as intelligent and inquisitive as we would expect. Finally, the third possibility offers the most interesting option. Perhaps we are surrounded by aliens, but they have somehow masked their existence from us. Perhaps, one day, when they deem us worthy, they will reveal themselves and share their secrets to intergalactic travel.

Sources: The Fermi Paradox and Enrico Fermi


2 thoughts on “The Fermi Paradox

  1. I agree the third option is the most interesting option. Though I will admit that if it is true I am quite irritated by their lack of help and secrecy, even if it is necessary for some reason. Even though the first and second options do not seem like pleasant choices it is hard to say that I preferred the third option. It really is an interesting question that mixes physics, astronomy, and philosophical thinking together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Which option do you think is true? I highly doubt that any civilization in the world has no want to explore what is around them. Our human race is motivated by curiosity, and I believe that most would be. I wonder if they are here and we have just not noticed or if they are actually hiding themselves from us. Why would they need to hide?


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