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StarMountainKid

The Fermi Paradox - Where is Everybody?

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This is a great article, while not very long, it’s concise and contains a lot of information about why we haven't been contacted by ET. It ponders how many civilizations may be out there, the types of civilizations that may exist, the Great Filter, etc., plus a list of Sources as links to further reading.

I think any of the explanations stated could be valid, as there must be a reason why extraterrestrial civilizations have not made themselves known to us. Then again, maybe we’re lucky they haven’t.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

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Where is everyone?

Easy. They're down the pub.

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Too bad this web site was not presented at the Congressional ET hearing [see my post].

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At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.

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At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.

SETI isn't trying to communicate, it's looking for SIGNS of communication and the like.

And frankly, given the other option is to do nothing, then I'd much rather have someone in our isolated village looking at the horizon hoping to see someone rather then all of us looking at the mud thinking "we can't see anything, so we might as well not look".

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At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.

We can see smoke signals.
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Thanks for posting the article; it is a good summary. Personally I think we are probably very close to alone because the requirements for life to persist for billions of years unaided are rigid and very, very few planets are so "lucky."

However, I also think it likely that in a short time virtual realities will present themselves and our present physical existence will seem tedious and boring and dangerous and miserable, and off we will go, just as it is nigh impossible to get teenagers off their games. Still, that possibility as a "great wall" seems unlikely -- there will always be those who find reality preferable.

I do worry about our survival long term. The omens are hopeful -- a sustainable economy and ecology seems within reach -- except for the unfortunate fact that there are a few who would willingly destroy it all in egoistic self-righteousness, and technology will make it possible.

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Where is everyone?

Easy. They're down the pub.

That is where I am right now. I can confirm that there is no intelligent life here.

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That is where I am right now. I can confirm that there is no intelligent life here.

An hours long investigation has concluded that there is no intelligent life at bars/pubs. I have become an expert in the field tonight

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I'm afraid the Fermat Paradox makes no sense to me at all. It argues that if the Universe was teeming with life, then we'd be bound to have met up with some of them by now. But then people (often the same people as quote Fermi's paradox to back up their arguments) also point out at every opportunity how big Space is and how remote and insignificant we are, and how unlikely it'd be for someone to either find us by chance or bother to make the effort to make contact with us. Well, surely that answers Fermat's Paradox right there.

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Space is big but the distances are not infinite, for Christ sake. Systematic exploration would find everybody; we are not buried in some dark cloud or some huge void.

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I did have one major problem with the article. It dismisses too quickly I think and without good basis the theory that the transition from single-celled to multi-celled organisms represents a significant barrier to the evolution of ET.

The basis for his dismissal is the assertion that it happened independently thirty-five times. That claim is itself controversial, and even if so all strains but one quickly went extinct (failed) and all of them happened in a very short time period geologically speaking after billions of years of nothing. It would appear some highly difficult precursor was needed.

The problem is that single celled organisms evolve to reproduce themselves. This is their function. To have a multi-cellular organism this has to be suppressed (cancer) and cells further have to be evolved that will self-destruct when told to. All this runs strongly against what they had been evolving to do for a couple billion years. Even today living organisms have not completely solved the problem and is the reason for the evolution of senescence and death (the only real way to deal with the inevitable rise of cancer sooner or later is to have the organism die). Of course disease and predation are elements here that complicate this.

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Space is big but the distances are not infinite, for Christ sake. Systematic exploration would find everybody; we are not buried in some dark cloud or some huge void.

And maybe they have done? Maybe unmanned probes would account for a lot of UFo sightings. But would they consider it worthwhile making Contact? They might just be content to observe if they didn't consider it worthwhile saying that mythical Howdy.

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The probabilities on the surface say the galaxy should have millions of such species. Your argument only makes sense if there are but one or two, which is the argument in the first place. If there are millions at least some of them would not follow the rules so closely, since we presume they would each be different is various ways.

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At our present level of technology, what we're using for communication might be the equivalent of smoke signals to

them. That's why I think SETI is a total waste of time.

We have the proof that radio waves can travel over a distance of 13,8B LY, so radio waves are a potential medium for

interstellar communication attempts or the modus operandi for such communications. It is likely that even a supposed

higher than humans advanced civilization may use this medium also in case they use another medium as it is likely

that a high advanced civilization would had use radio waves at an earlyer stage of their developement, so knowing that

radio waves are a sufficient medium for interstellar communication in general. So just saying that radio waves are just

an equivalent to smoke signals and not giving an idea for an alternative is just of polemic nature.

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The probabilities on the surface say the galaxy should have millions of such species. Your argument only makes sense if there are but one or two, which is the argument in the first place. If there are millions at least some of them would not follow the rules so closely, since we presume they would each be different is various ways.

What rules? Did I impose any rules? It's the people that insist that They'd fall over themselves to say Howdy that seem to be the ones imposing the rules. And yes, quite probably only a few (few dozen, perhaps) may have chosen to study this particular corner in any detail.

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We have the proof that radio waves can travel over a distance of 13,8B LY, so radio waves are a potential medium for

interstellar communication attempts or the modus operandi for such communications. It is likely that even a supposed

higher than humans advanced civilization may use this medium also in case they use another medium as it is likely

that a high advanced civilization would had use radio waves at an earlyer stage of their developement, so knowing that

radio waves are a sufficient medium for interstellar communication in general. So just saying that radio waves are just

an equivalent to smoke signals and not giving an idea for an alternative is just of polemic nature.

They'd be pretty useless for saying Howdy, wouldn't they, particularly over 13 billion light years. It'd be rather inconvenient having to wait 26 billion years to find out if just maybe you might get a reply. So yes, using radio to establish contact with extraterrestrial civilisations would be pretty useless really.

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The point is the galaxy ought to be teeming with probes and signals and all sorts of signs of advanced civilizations. We see nothing. It is clear the earth has not been colonized, yet it has been shown that a space faring society with technology not far advanced from our own could colonize the galaxy in much less than a million years by spreading colonies exponentially, about one every century. This is almost certainly what we will do if the galaxy turns up empty. That we haven't been visited is just a minor issue, as us the fact that SETI results have been negative. All the evidence points to rarity, in spite of the fact that the probability argument points to the opposite.

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They'd be pretty useless for saying Howdy, wouldn't they, particularly over 13 billion light years. It'd be rather inconvenient having

to wait 26 billion years to find out if just maybe you might get a reply. So yes, using radio to establish contact with extraterrestrial

civilisations would be pretty useless really.

I used the 13,8B LY example just to explain what distance radio waves can travel. Of course, 26BY for a 2-way communication is

quite lousy, no question about that. Nonetheless is a research on the radio band important and currently the only option we have

the highest number of equipment for. And also a 1-way communication, recieved by us, would give the proof for extraterrestrial

intelligent beings out there. And that`s the main target of the SETI research.

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When we are one of 40 billion possible planets to explore, mathematically the odds would seem to be against ever making contact in the expected life span of the universe

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When we are one of 40 billion possible planets to explore, mathematically the odds would seem to be against ever making contact in the expected life span of the universe

Depends on how many of them are inhabited. If only a few then we probably will never make contact. That is my view.
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When we are one of 40 billion possible planets to explore, mathematically the odds would seem to be against ever making contact in the expected life span of the universe

The vast distances between the stars and the mind boggling number of stars...it does seems rather unlikely that we'll run into anyone else even if they do exist.

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Physics is a harsh mistress.

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The Fermi paradox takes the position that neither the huge scale of the universe, nor a rarity of intelligent life in it are viable explanations for the lack of an extraterrestrial presence at Earth. Given the huge amount of available time, the galaxy should have been filled a very long ago, even if only a single colonizing civilization existed, and expanded at modest (sub-light) speed.

It could be that we are intentionally isolated, until we appear likely to develop the ability to travel to the stars, and in doing so create problems that must be dealt with, without further delay.

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An interesting read, I would like to think that there is other intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe, and I would like to think that someday (a long time from today) we will have developed some form of interstellar travel that will be able to take us through the vastness that is outer space. I know I will never see this in my lifetime however the great leaps in technological progress that have been made in the last century alone give me hope that one of our future generations will witness some pretty astonishing things, hopefully one of which will be finding life outside of our blue sphere. As long as they're not like the Dalek then we're ok, otherwise we're proper screwed.

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