Fermi Paradox (Part II): Where are all the Aliens?


There are probably 10,000 stars for every grain of sand in the observable universe and probably, trillions of planets with the possibility of life. So, where are all the aliens?

…………(continued from part I)………..

Space travel is hard and although possible, it’s hard to travel to other stars, mainly with the current level of Earth’s technology. Massive amount of materials would have to be put into orbit and assembled.

The journey of maybe thousands of years needs to be survived by a population big enough to start from scratch and also, the planet might not be as hospitable anymore, as it seemed from faraway. Moreover, it was already hard enough to setup a space ship that could survive the trip, an interstellar invasion might be impossible to pull off. Also, consider time, the universe is very old in human standards. On Earth, there has been life for about 3.6 billion years; intelligent human life for about 250,000 years; but only for about a century, we have had the technology for communating great distances.

So, there might have been grand Alien empires, spread across thousands of systems (solar systems) and existed for millions of years, and we might’ve just missed them. There might be massive ruins of all those fallen civilizations rotting away in a far away planet. About 99% of all species on Earth have died out. Thus, it is easy to argue that this will be our fate sooner or later.

Intelligent life may develop, spread over a few systems and die off, over and over again. But galactic civilizations might never meet. So maybe it is an universal experience for life in the universe to look up in the sky and wonder – Where are all the Aliens?

But there is no reason to assume that aliens are like us or any of our logic applies to them. It just could mean that our means of communication are extremely primitive, and outdated. Imagine sitting in a house with a morse code transmitter. You’d keep sending messages but no people would answer and thus, you’d feel pretty lonely. Maybe we sre just too primitive and hence, undetectable for the intelligent species and will remain so, until we learn to communicate properly. Even if we meet aliens we might not be able to communicate in a meaningful way.Imagine a squirrel, a tree ( or trees) and us. However hard we try, we still won’t be able to explain our society to it. For the squirrel the tree is it’s only home and society. But, we destroy the trees for our own gain without considering the squirrels, as we don’t have any meaningful communication system.

A type 3 civilization would see us in the same manner. To them we will be the squirrel. They could just dry up our ocean or hit us with a mega plasma gun, so as to kill all life on Earth and get the resources needed to them. And before initiating space – warp (space travel faster than speed of light itself) the aliens might think that,“Huh! These apes have built cute concrete structures. Anyway, they’re dead now.”

An interesting concept is the Matrioshka Brain; a megastructure surrounding a star, much like the Dyson Sphere. The Matrioshka Brain refers to a computer of such computing power that an entire civilization can upload their consciousness and live in a Simulated Universe. Possibly in the simulation, one can experience an eternity of ecstasies without feeling bored and sad. If built around a Red Dwarf, for upto 10 trillion years ( 1 x 10^13).

Note that : The Red Dwarf is the smallest group of stars in the main sequence just a little bigger than Jupiter. Then there are medium stars like our Sun,giants, super giants like Betelguese and hyper giants.

All these solutions to the Fermi Paradox have one problem. We don’t know where the borders of technology lie. We could be close to the limits or most possibly, nowhere near it. And, Super technology awaits us, to grant us immortality, efficient space travel and advance us to the level of Gods, thereby helping us achieve the next step of evolution.

In the Galactic time scale, we are just embryos. We have come far, but we still have a long way to go. The mindset of us being the centre of universe is still a possibility as we still haven’t really seen the borders of the universe. So it’s easy to make arrogant assumptions about life in the universe.

So what does time has in store for us? Does a horrifying mass extinction awaits ur or does a glorious future awaits the humans? But in the end, there’s just only one way to find out.

*** Written by Saurav Baglari***

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