“Where are they?” – The Fermi Paradox

Enrico Fermi was a famous Italian physicist, known by some as the father of nuclear power as well as the atom bomb.

The story is that he was walking to lunch with some of his colleagues. For some reason, the subject of UFO sightings and aliens came up in conversation, and – as physicists – started to wonder about faster-than-light travel. Suddenly, Fermi exclaimed, “Then where is everybody?”

This is not really a paradox in the regular sense. It’s not a contradiction as much as a question asking for clarification.

“The apparent size and age of the universe suggest that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations ought to exist. However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the lack of observational evidence to support it.”

Of course, this question chooses to deny reports of UFO sightings and contacts with aliens. I’m choosing to leave this alone as well; not through denial, but in search of alternative proofs.

What comes out of the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox is: WONDER. This is where real science begins.

If they are out there, why haven’t they contacted us?

Maybe the distances are too far, or there’s some other physical impediment that we have overlooked.

Maybe they just don’t want to, for reasons of their own.

Maybe they are trying to contact us, but we don’t recognize the signal.


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