Physicist Enrico Fermi often wondered why we haven’t definitively seen, heard, or been visited by another intelligent civilization. Taking into account the size of the universe and the number of possible planets, scientists believe there are over 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy alone. Some of these civilizations could be technologically billions of years ahead of us. Aliens that advanced could have spread across the entire galaxy by now. Their presence should be obvious. So where is everybody? Welcome to The Fermi Paradox.
The Massive Numbers in The Fermi Paradox
Our own Milky Way galaxy contains about 400 billion stars and we can only see about 2500 of them in the nighttime sky. There are about 4 billion earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone of stars similar to our own sun. After a few assumptions about chances for life to exist, we can arrive at the estimate of 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations existing in the Milky Way galaxy. Furthermore, the numbers suggest that at least 1 of those 100,000 civilizations will be so advanced, that they would have colonized the entire Milky Way. So where is everybody?
Solving The Fermi Paradox
So are we totally alone? Is everything that we think we know about the universe wrong? Perhaps we’re the first civilization to come this far. Perhaps there’s some evolutionary boundary that no species gets past. What if interstellar travel is beyond this great boundary and thus, no one has reached it?
One of the most interesting things about the Fermi Paradox is that every bit of it makes sense. When everything is laid out on the table, you find yourself in the position wondering exactly where all the aliens are.
There are many theories attempting to solve the question posed by The Fermi Paradox. If you can’t watch the video above, the article below is a great read. Give yourself a good 10-15 minutes to get through it; there’s a lot of information here.