The Fermi Paradox – But, Seriously, Where Are The Aliens?

By | June 20, 2022
The Fermi Paradox - But, Seriously, Where Are The Aliens?

Here’s a fun little activity: Tonight, go out and stare at the clear night
sky. What do you feel? Looking up at the vast expanse of the sky,
you must feel something. Many feel a sense of awe. Something along the lines of epic, unparalleled
beauty, being struck by the immensity of the Universe, etc, etc. Personally, I like to go for the good old
fashioned existential crisis with a side of “nothing really matters, in the grand scheme
of things”. Bottom line is – Everyone feels something,
looking at the starry night sky. Italian Physicist Enrico Fermi, felt something
too: “Where is everybody” *Orbit Beyond The Blue* Okay, guys, story time: It was the summer of 1950. The setting was the Los Alamos National Laboratory,
New Mexico. While having lunch, Enrico Fermi and a couple
of his friends were having in-depth conversations, About recent UFO sightings reports, alien
vandalism in New York City and the possibility Of light travel. Just your regular – shmegular lunch-time chit
chat. When, suddenly, Fermi blurted out: “Don’t you wonder where everybody is?” Fermi’s question was not intended to ask,
why all of his friends had not come for lunch That day, instead he meant to ask why earth
showed no signs of extraterrestrial life. Although Enrico Fermi’s outburst was seemingly
harmless, it left in its wake an extraordinary Paradox that continues to baffle scientists,
even today, several decades after his demise. The conundrum got drowned, in a babble of
sceptical, mildly uncomfortable laughter, However, the incongruity between the lack
of evidence of extraterrestrial life and the High probability of its existence, has to
date not been explained. Over the years, several facts and hypotheses
have arisen that have brought into focus the Apparent contradiction now widely known as
the Fermi Paradox. If you were to see the sky on any clear night,
it would be ablaze with stars. Eyeballing the figure, you might estimate
there, to be a thousand stars, but factually Speaking, there are billions and not thousands
of stars in the Milky Way. With so many stars in the sky, it’s no wonder
that “Buy a Star” is an actual service.

Capitalism! The probability of some of these billions
of stars hosting exoplanets or earth-like Planets in a circumstellar habitable zone
is quite high. Scientists believe that many of these stars
and their planets are quite old, much older Than the Sun. In fact, our Earth and our Sun are actually
a part of a very young planetary system as Compared to the rest of the Universe. Thus, if our Earth, despite being so young,
has developed intelligent life, then the possibility That other planets, similar to earth may have
it too, is not that far fetched! So Fermi was asking all the right questions
when he said – “Where are the aliens” He could not, however, get any answers. Fermi passed away unexpectedly in 1954, he
left behind the Fermi paradox that has been A heated topic of debate and discussion among
the scientific community as well as in the Field of SETI – the Search for Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence. Backed by SETI’s efforts to record radio
signals or document mysterious fluctuations In starlight, the only concepts supporting
the theory of aliens visiting Earth are Fermi's Paradox and the Drake Equation. No, not that Drake, kids. This one is Dr. Frank Drake’s equation which
attempts to calculate the probable intelligent Civilizations in our galaxy. Now, let’s take this argument further along,
or hypothesise, as the intellectuals would Say: Is it possible that if such civilisations
do exist, they may have developed interstellar Travel? Something we have been obsessed with, are
trying to accomplish for a long time. Forget physicists, even Christopher Nolan
decided to give it a shot. If aliens exist and are capable of flying
between the stars, then a visit to Earth which Hosts an intelligent life should not at all
be inconceivable. But the most convincing of these arguments
states that since many stars similar to the Sun are billions of years older, Earth should
have already been the test ground for extraterrestrial Beings. An advanced alien race would surely not hesitate
to treat earthlings like guinea pigs. Unfortunately, or should I say fortunately,
there is no strong evidence that this has Occurred.

However, the feasibility of the Fermi paradox
has been explored extensively. It has been summarily concluded that intelligent
extraterrestrial life is perhaps rare. Convenient, for the sake of the argument. Or, maybe the lifetime of such a civilisation
has been shortened due to hindrances such As climate change, nuclear war or some such
dystopian scenario preventing alien life from Spreading through the galaxy. It is also possible that aliens have already
visited Earth at some time in the distant Past and humans have missed it entirely. Afterall, we are not the best at noticing
anything besides ourselves, given how self Absorbed we are as a race. But, as far as interstellar travel is concerned,
could it simply be that it is either impossible Or too far-fetched? Well, while our search for extra-terrestrial
life has been going on for years, our understanding Of astrobiology is still in its nascent stage. Perhaps there are aliens out there in the
depths of the universe silently observing The follies and foibles of the human race. Or perhaps, that’s just wishful thinking,
and we are indeed alone, but what do I know.