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Space Science

The Fermi Paradox is Back 713

nettxzl writes ""Sentient Developments revisits the Fermi Paradox which is "the contradictory and counter-intuitive observation that we have yet to see any evidence for the existence of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (ETI) although the size and age of the Universe suggests that many technologically advanced ETI's ought to exist." Sentient Development's blog post on the Fermi Paradox states that "a number of inter-disciplinary breakthroughs and insights have contributed to the Fermi Paradox gaining credence as an unsolved scientific problem" Amongst these are "(1)Improved quantification and conceptualization of our cosmological environment, (2) Improved understanding of planet formation, composition and the presence of habitable zones, (3) The discovery of extrasolar planets, (4) Confirmation of the rapid origination of life on Earth (5) Growing legitimacy of panspermia theories" and more ... So, where is everyone?"
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The Fermi Paradox is Back

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  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @11:24AM (#20121627)
    and the Extra Terrestrial Intelligence that we know about has been covered up.
  • With so many billions of stars and planets, the odds that there are other intelligent beings out there are astronomically large. (Pun slightly intended.)

    That's the Sagan argument. Unfortunately, the fact that we exist tells us absolutely nothing about how probably intelligent life is or isn't (see: anthropic principle). Sagan's argument doesn't address the fundamental Fermi problem.

    The problem is that the distances required to travel to reach them and also astronomically large, and the odds that there is life on any given planet are infinitesimally small.

    True, but the amount of time that's passed until us showing up is also astronomically large. It only takes one race with an expansion desire to fill up the galaxy at sublight speeds around 1 to 10 million years (via geometric expansion). Even if it took 100 million years, that's still a blip in the life of the galaxy. At the very least, someone should have sent out self replicating probes by now. By we've seen absolutely nothing.

    I'm pretty much convinced that intelligent life is extremely improbable, and that we're alone in the galaxy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2007 @12:00PM (#20121985)
    I don't see any comments that reflect the possibility that perhaps, just maybe, truth is as strange as fiction, and intelligent life "from beyond" is already here...

    Note: About a month ago Lt. Walter Haut, who was the original press officer at Roswell who issued both the "we've got a crashed UFO" press release as well as the "Oh no, our bad, it's just a weather balloon" release, had his post-deathbed "confession" released, stating that indeed a craft, with bodies, did crash.

    Haut confession []

    What I find very interesting about this is that when he was alive, Haut consistently denied that anything spectacular had occurred, and only after his death was this information released, as per his wishes. IMO that lends at least a certain level of credibility to the claims.

    Perhaps it is unlikely, but I for one am not going to say there is no chance this "UFO thing" is for real, at least in a small number of cases.

  • by Inexile2002 ( 540368 ) * on Sunday August 05, 2007 @12:02PM (#20121999) Homepage Journal
    That would be Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
  • by kypper ( 446750 ) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @12:34PM (#20122373)
    The Universe Song

    Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
    and things seem hard or tough.
    and people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
    and you feel that you've had quite enough...

    Just remember that your standing on a planet that's evolving,
    and revolving at nine hundred miles an hour.
    That's orbiting at ninety miles a second, so it's reckoned,
    the sun that is the source of all our power.
    The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
    are moving at a million miles a day.
    in an outer spiral-arm at forty thousand miles an hour
    of the galaxy we call the Milky Way.

    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars,
    it's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
    but out by us it's just three thousand light years wide.
    We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point,
    we go 'round every two hundred million years.
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions,
    in this amazing and expanding universe.

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
    in all of the directions it can whiz.
    As fast as it can go, that's the speed of light you know;
    twelve million miles a minute, that's the fastest speed there is.
    So remember when your feeling very small and insecure,
    how amazingly unlikely is your birth,
    and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    'cause there's bugger-all down here on earth!
  • Re:Better Off. (Score:3, Informative)

    by fimbulvetr ( 598306 ) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @12:45PM (#20122487)
    My uncle is a farmer that grows crops for many "vegan" distributors.

    If only vegans realized exactly how many rabbits, deer, badgers, skunks, squirrels, beatles, bugs, spiders and other critters get mauled, mutilated, impaled and torn to shreds by combines, windrowers, and similiar farm implementry. These products inevitably make it into their wholesome diet.

    When I was little, and my dad farmed, one of my jobs was to pull all the rabbit carcasses I could out of the day's product. I never got them all.
  • Re:We're right here (Score:3, Informative)

    by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @02:13PM (#20123367)
    If we're the aliens we're looking for, then maybe the theory of Dyson Spheres [] applies to Earth. Only we live on the outside of the sphere instead of inside. Perhaps we are the one's we're looking for.
  • Re:We're right here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2007 @02:13PM (#20123369)
    The Wikipedia article is much more interesting. []
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Sunday August 05, 2007 @05:28PM (#20124895) Homepage Journal
    Why go anywhere else? ... They're working on stellar engineering, of course, so there's no worry about their sun going nova

    Well, there's the answer right there and you hand-wave it away. Unless you have an awesome supply of non-stellar hydrogen nearby or physics works differently than we know, suns burn out.
  • Baxter's Manifold (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2007 @05:30PM (#20124909)
    Stephen Baxter's "Manifold" series deals with the Fermi Paradox very nicely, and the second book is all about the gamma ray burst stuff. Highly recommended. He's one of my new favorite authors.
  • Re:We're right here (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2007 @08:31AM (#20128877)
    You really should attribute Douglas Adams' work when you use it.

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