To date, scientists have discovered severalof thousands of planets orbiting other stars, and based on these observations, it was decided that there could be 8.8 billion potentially inhabited planets the size of the Earth in the Milky Way alone. And if you include stars that are smaller than the Sun, then this number will grow to 40 billion. Just think about it: 40 billion potentially inhabited planets similar to Earth.
Some take these observations as an indicator.that we might not be the only technologically advanced civilization, while others ask the first why then we did not come into contact with anyone. This is the Fermi paradox: the galaxy must be teeming with evidence of the existence of intelligent civilizations, and we all wait to see if they call or not.
When I think of the Fermi paradox, I sometimesI recall a scene from Fight Club when Tyler Durden says: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are as decaying organic matter as everything else. ”
Looking into the sky, I can’t believe that we are alone in the galaxy. There must be someone else.
During a discussion on space exploration at the Global Summit held by Singularity University, Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute tried to explain the Fermi paradox as follows, very interesting:
“The Fermi paradox can be summarized as follows: if at one time, anywhere, at any time, there was a technological civilization other than ours, then in the shortest time it would obviously develop the ability to travel between stars and, obviously, would colonize the galaxy.
No matter how fast it goesspace exploration by the forces of this civilization, time for the colonization of the galaxy would be incredibly short. But we do not see them. Therefore, there was no technology anywhere before us. We are first.
This whole logical structure is built onthe assumption that they are not here. But I do not think we can say that. I don’t think that we even investigated our own backyard - the Solar System - well enough to exclude the possibility of the existence of alien technologies.
We can find a kilometer stone. But smaller things are harder to find.
No, I don’t think they abduct aunts onNew York streets for mysterious medical experiments. There is no confirmation of this. But we really did not look for them either physically or at the signal level. We barely started SETI initiatives.
All that we could do in 50 years, numericallyequivalent to pulling a thimble of water from the oceans, look at it and say: “Well, there is no fish here; apparently, it is not found in the oceans. " This is where we are. ”
Alex Filippenko, a well-known professor of astronomy and physical sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, also took part in the discussion, and here is what he thinks about the Fermi paradox:
“My own point of view is enoughpessimistic, in fact, if we talk about mechanically developed, intelligent civilizations that are able to communicate and even more so travel and colonize the galaxy.
I think we are not alone, but we can bealone in our Milky Way or one of the few. And if there were others in the past, it is possible that the intelligence and mechanical abilities of our level always come (or almost always come) with a tendency to self-destruction, which we definitely have as a species of Homo sapiens.
If so, then smart, mechanically developedcivilizations can be Chinese lanterns in the night sky of our galaxy. They simply go out before they get the opportunity to go out and colonize the galaxy. ”
So, Tarter questions the centralFermi's paradox assumption: no one is here. We were just looking badly. Filippenko believes that we can find an explanation by simply looking at our own behavioral inclinations right here on our home planet. (And, of course, there are many other hypotheses that could answer this paradox - see here).
We are currently exploring the solar systemwith the help of robotic probes and rovers and hope to send people in the future. Along with this, powerful technologies are being developed on Earth that can be useful, dangerous, or both. Tarter believes that “exponential technology promises to take us much further and much faster” and enjoys these opportunities. But if Filippenko’s position on the Fermi paradox is true, it means that we are the next technological civilization that threatens to destroy itself. Will we manage to get out of this planet before our Chinese lantern goes out in the sky of a galaxy?