[ POLL ] Speculations on Fermi's Paradox.

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What is your answer to Fermi's Paradox?  (Please read the OP.)
  "Destroy or be destroyed." 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
  "Down the rabbit hole." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "Earth is a fishbowl." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "Life is extremely rare." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "Our wires are crossed." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "Space is too vast." 67%  67%  [ 6 ]
  "They are already here." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "They live in unlikely places." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "They use tech to spy." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  "We are the aliens." 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  Other (Please elaborate). 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
  Some combination of the above (Please elaborate). 22%  22%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 9

Fnord
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30 Jun 2022, 4:21 pm

THE FERMI PARADOX

There are 400 billion stars in out galaxy, astronomer estimate that each has 1.6 planets on average, bringing the total number of planets within the range of 600 billion.  The number of potentially habitable worlds differs according to the source, but most say the Milky Way may have over 600 billion habitable planets.  As such, based on those numbers alone, it seems rather improbable that we are alone.

Therein lies Fermi's Paradox: If other forms of intelligent life exist, why have we not found any evidence yet?  Here are ten possible solutions to Fermi's Paradox:

Destroy or be destroyed: In Darwin's theory of evolution, a tenet says the strongest species survive.  A similar tactic may be employed by alien beings; perhaps they stay silent, hoping that hostile species are not alerted, or they strike before other destroy them first.

Down the rabbit hole: We have not found evidence of extraterrestrials because our reality is an elaborate illusion.  As in, we are living in a computer simulation created by our alien overlords, who make all the rules.

Earth is a fishbowl (which makes us the fish): In this scenario, alien civilizations know we exist, they simply watch our development from afar to let us evolve without influence, ultimately forging our own path.

Life is extremely rare: Perhaps, in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the simplest solution is the correct one.  We have not encountered signs of life either because it does not exist, or it is exceedingly rare.  The prerequisites for complex life are nearly impossible to replicate in their entirety elsewhere.

Our wires are crossed: It is very possible that other intelligent life forms are actively sending transmissions into space, we simply do not use the same range of frequencies (radio waves, for instance), or perhaps everyone is listening, and no one is talking.

Space is too vast (and signals take too long): space, simply put, is incredibly large.  So large, if we beaned a transmission to the closest star, it would take 4 years or so to reach the system.  Say intelligent life did pick up one of our signals, it might take years, if not decades, to get a response.

They are already here (a perk of being a wallflower): It would be silly to presume that all life is like Earth's.  Perhaps alien beings are so different, they would not register to us even if they were under our noses.  Conversely, they may be so similar, they are indistinguishable from humans, and can easily avoid detection.

They live in unlikely places (we do not know where to look): The search for life is largely conducted on other planets, but what if we were looking in the wrong place altogether?  A truly advanced civilization may not need to be anchored to a rocky world.  In fact, some astronomers suggest that, because of energy demands, aliens might lurk on the edge of the galaxy, maybe in supermassive black holes themselves.

They use tech to spy: Regardless of how technologically advanced a civilization becomes, space exploration will always be long and fraught.  Instead of sending manned ships to explore the galaxy, aliens might dispatch self-replicating nanobots, like von Neumann probes, to do the work for them.

We are the aliens: Perhaps eons ago, some alien species visited Earth.  After seeing all the earmarks of a habitable world, the creatures sowed the seeds of life with their own genetic material, before going along their merry way.  We, in a sense, are their experiment.

:D

You may select only one option, but you may change your selection at any time.

If you participate, please leave make a selection and leave a comment.

Thank you.



r00tb33r
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30 Jun 2022, 4:29 pm

The space is too vast (relative to our lifespan).

10 years ago I had a panic attack when I fully felt the magnitude of distances in space... Like even marginal FTL is much too slow.

...Not in my lifetime. I'm stranded here.


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30 Jun 2022, 4:40 pm

An old saying from English Literature (Science Fiction) class was: "Choose any two: Causality, Faster-Then-Light Travel, or Relativity."

Sadly, Physics has taught us that we must choose all three.



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30 Jun 2022, 6:11 pm

I say space is too vast. There is still too much we don't know yet. But, it's fun to imagine all the possibilities.



kraftiekortie
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30 Jun 2022, 7:21 pm

There has never been a manned mission that's gone beyond the Moon----no less distant star systems within the Milky Way Galaxy-----or beyond the Milky Way Galaxy.

Like Spiraling Crow says, there's a vast area of the Universe (over 99%) which is virtually unknown to us.

The reason why I say this is not to counteract discoveries in physics and astronomy....it's because we don't know local conditions, say, within the Proxima Centauri area (the star other than the Sun that's nearest to us).



funeralxempire
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30 Jun 2022, 7:36 pm

There's more than one factor, but of them and in the order I believe is most relevant from our perspective:

Quote:
Life is extremely rare: Perhaps, in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the simplest solution is the correct one. We have not encountered signs of life either because it does not exist, or it is exceedingly rare. The prerequisites for complex life are nearly impossible to replicate in their entirety elsewhere.


My poor understanding of math tells me there's probably enough places life could form that complex life probably exists beyond earth, however complex life with the ability to heap knowledge and experience together to the point they're able to (even unintentionally) broadcast their existence to the universe with any substantial amount of power behind it and not wipe themselves out within a century or two of that seems unlikely. Hell, we might not end up qualifying based on how we're currently playing our cards.

I believe there could easily be a thousand (maybe even 10 000 or 100 000) planets with intelligent life for every one planet with intelligent life that impacts their planet enough for us to detect or creates radio transmissions for us to eavesdrop on.

Quote:
Space is too vast (and signals take too long): space, simply put, is incredibly large. So large, if we beaned a transmission to the closest star, it would take 4 years or so to reach the system. Say intelligent life did pick up one of our signals, it might take years, if not decades, to get a response.


This would be a substantial multiplier on the previous.

Quote:
They live in unlikely places (we do not know where to look): The search for life is largely conducted on other planets, but what if we were looking in the wrong place altogether? A truly advanced civilization may not need to be anchored to a rocky world. In fact, some astronomers suggest that, because of energy demands, aliens might lurk on the edge of the galaxy, maybe in supermassive black holes themselves.


This doesn't seem far-fetched and would further compound the previous two if true.

Quote:
They use tech to spy: Regardless of how technologically advanced a civilization becomes, space exploration will always be long and fraught. Instead of sending manned ships to explore the galaxy, aliens might dispatch self-replicating nanobots, like von Neumann probes, to do the work for them.


Unless many times FTL travel was invented and bore low risks to living beings subjected to it this seems like the only viable way that exploration could occur, and even then the lifeform responsible would have to either be much longer-lived than humans or much better able to plan for the future than humans.

Quote:
Destroy or be destroyed: In Darwin's theory of evolution, a tenet says the strongest species survive. A similar tactic may be employed by alien beings; perhaps they stay silent, hoping that hostile species are not alerted, or they strike before other destroy them first.

Earth is a fishbowl (which makes us the fish): In this scenario, alien civilizations know we exist, they simply watch our development from afar to let us evolve without influence, ultimately forging our own path.


Either and/or both of those would also influence how other life might behave, although I wouldn't expect alien life to be able to come to consensus on how to interact with other beings given how their minds would likely be vastly different and that their needs and interests would all be substantially different. Based on that I don't believe any premise that's rooted in expecting consistent behaviours from extraterrestrial life can be considered a substantial factor, although I concede it could be a contributing factor.

Of course:

Quote:
Down the rabbit hole: We have not found evidence of extraterrestrials because our reality is an elaborate illusion. As in, we are living in a computer simulation created by our alien overlords, who make all the rules.


I can't rule this out and it would also address this problem and others. Wouldn't it really alter things to realize our creator was the student who got the second lowest score in the entire class when they turned in our universe as their final project?

The one who scored lower? They failed to submit an assignment entirely.

Quote:
We are the aliens: Perhaps eons ago, some alien species visited Earth. After seeing all the earmarks of a habitable world, the creatures sowed the seeds of life with their own genetic material, before going along their merry way. We, in a sense, are their experiment.


This seems unlikely, unless in combination with fishbowl hypothesis. If they're responsible and capable of the travel that would seem as though it would increase the possibility of returning to investigate, unless we really are that disappointing. On second thought, we probably are that disappointing. :nerdy:


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30 Jun 2022, 7:47 pm

I chose “Some combination of the above” for “Life is extremely rare” and “Space is too vast”. As far as I know, Drake’s Equation does not include terms for planetary size, presence of lunar tides, and distribution of metallic minerals near the surface. I believe these factors are important for life to arise (although I am no expert in biology, geology, or evolutionary science), and their inclusion in Drake’s equation would make life less likely overall.

Again, these are all speculations.



naturalplastic
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04 Jul 2022, 8:48 am

My private joke theory is that our Solar System is like Yellowstone Park (a game preserve inside a vast interstellar alien empire), and that the UFO aliens that bother us are the park rangers. And they periodically capture us, put high tech 'tags' on us to monitor our 'migrations', and then release us 'back into the wild' (thats what alien abductions are).

So the 'fishbowl' option comes closest to that. And that could be so.

But when the weed wears off, I tend to reject all thought that UFOs could be real, and I tend to go with the notion that 'though were likely NOT alone...for practical purposes we ARE alone"

Thats because I suspect that life is rare, and intelligent life even more rare (when life does appear on exoplanets it rarely gets past the bacteria stage I suspect), and the cosmos is so big, that alien civilizations are too few and far between ever contact each other. So a combination of "life is rare", and "the universe is too big".

But who knows?

The only option that can definitely be ruled out is that alien astronauts "deliberately seeded earth". Life has been on earth for almost four billion years. So these aliens would have to have landed then...when earth was still being bombarded daily by big planet sized meteors. And why would they do it? Just so four billion years from now creatures like us MIGHT evolve. Deliberately seeded no.

Accidently maybe.

Panspermia might have occurred. Microbes might have traveled to earth from another solar system naturally via comets, or alien astronaut visitors might have left candy wrappers on earth - with bacteria from their planet- and we are descended from those bacteria.