Being rather tired of all the political discussions that seem to dominate ATS these days (and for the past year or so), I thought it would be
interesting to introduce some discussion on whether or not intelligent alien life exists out there or not.
This is not really a discussion on whether or not you believe in intelligent alien life. It is not a discussion on whether or not UFOs are real, or if
people who claim to of been abducted by aliens is true.
For many of us, the belief that intelligent alien life is out there is strong. After all, considering the vastness of the universe, the idea that we
humans are alone seems like nonsense. However, UFO sightings and alien abduction stories aside, they do not constitute as actual proof of anything.
UFO stands for UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object. We simply do not know what they are (the actual true sightings that can not be explained by anything....and
not some YouTuber looking for clicks to generate revenue for themselves). Alien abduction stories are just that for now: stories. They tend to lack
any kind of physical evidence that can not be explained. If anyone that was ever abducted was able to smuggle out a piece of alien tech and for all
the world to see, that would be the hard proof we need. But alas, we never see that.
What we can do though is ask questions and seek answers. This is how science works (or is suppose to work). The very first step in the scientific
method is: Ask a question.
That is exactly what the Fermi Paradox is. A question. It is a question that might have many.....or only one answer.
This thread will introduce what the Fermi Paradox is, and give what is considered a general list of category solutions to that question. I will be
doing other threads that concentrate on each solution in that list for us to talk about.
Some ground rules:
Please do not post a UFO link and insist that we have our answer. Unless you have an actual UFO on display for the public to see and scientist who
have been investigating it, then no, I'm afraid a video or picture of something in the sky is not hard proof of anything.
Same goes for abduction stories: unless the abductee was able to smuggle out technology that scientist are investigating and making public releases of
their findings, abduction stories are not hard proof of anything.
Conspiracy theories of government cover ups: this is actually one of the "solutions" to the Fermi Paradox that we'll be discussing in another thread
down the road. For now, hold your horses and let us get through introducing the paradox first.
That said, let's begin.
What is the Fermi Paradox?
The Fermi Paradox
is a question. It is a question that asks:
"Where is everybody?"
The reason the question is asked was based on several things we know about the universe, and some very good theories about the universe. Those things
1) The amount of stars in our galaxy alone is a huge number.
2) Out of the huge number, must be another huge number of stars with "Earth-Like" planets.
3) The age of many of these stars are older than our own stars, giving plenty of time for other life to arise.
4) Considering the age of the universe, even if a trip to our planet took millions of years, there has been enough time for them to get here.
The question itself was put forth by Enrico Fermi
who was an Italian physicist who help produce
the world's first nuclear reactor.
The question itself was not some famous paper put forth, but was actually just a casual question that came about one day in 1950 when Fermi was having
lunch with other colleagues while chatting about a recent up tick of UFO reports and a cartoon about it. Fermi simply asked "Where are they?"
It's a good question, and one that has been debated before he even asked it, and since then.
It's a good question because of the amount of stars in our universe, the amount of stars that have planets, the amount of stars that most likely have
"Earth-Like" planets, the age of the universe itself, and finally: it happened here on Earth, we are here as intelligent tool builders and are capable
of not only transmitting radio signals out into space, but have started to travel (both man and unmanned) out into space.
So where is everyone else? Why am I stuck listening to a few FM radio signals from here on Earth, and I'm not catching the latest top 40 list from
Omicron Persi 6? Where is the alien ambassador from Planet 8 of the Ross 128 system? Why are we not all chained up as slaves to the Warlords of Rigel
4? Okay, that last one might be moot as I'd rather not have that convo because I don't want to be any alien warlord's slave. But still: they are all
There are a LOT of "solutions" to the Fermi Paradox that have been put forth. A "Solution" is an answer to his question. In fact, there are so many
"answers" to this question, that they are generally broken down into categories instead. Here is a list of those categories:
1) Rare Earth:
Planets that can not only sustain life, but develop intelligent life are so rare that most galaxies do not have even one planet
like this. This category covers a HUGE range of reasons for this, but does not exclude planets where alien life did develop, just that they did not
develop "intelligent tool using" life.
2) They Exist But Do Not Communicate:
This category is for solutions that says sure, there are plenty of intelligent aliens out there, but for
one reason or another they either do not communicate, or we can not see/hear them.
3) The Universe Is Much Too Young:
This one can be hard for some to wrap their head around, but even though the universe is around 14 billion
years old, there are several reasons to consider this possibility, one being that of heavier elements like Iron have not existed at the beginning of
the universe, so there has been a lot less time for life to have come about.
4) They Are Here and Do Exist:
This is where most of the conspiracy theorist will thrive, that they are here, meddling with us humans, but
we're too stupid to notice, or it's been hidden too well from us.
5) They Have Existed But Always Kill Themselves Off:
this is the Doomsday category, in which the idea is that alien civilizations do develop
and advance, but always seem to end up ending themselves one way or another.
6) The Universe Kills Them All Off:
This again is another category where they do exist, but the universe is a dangerous place and at some
point, every alien civilization's number is up at some point and their luck runs out.
Each of the above categories actually contain large amounts of subject to dive down into. I will attempt to make threads on each solution within the
category as time permits. Many are thought provoking, some actually quite interesting, some are rather "out there" too.
I look forward to putting out the other threads and the discussions they will hopefully generate.
edit on 7/21/2017 by eriktheawful because: