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The Fermi Paradox - What It Is and Categories

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posted on Jul, 21 2017 @ 11:14 PM
a reply to: eriktheawful

I been watching a guy's youtube channel the past few days who has a large number of 30+ min vids about this very subject.
I think it's a rather interesting question which we can not answer until we made contact, or we'll just have to continue guessing and theorizing till our civilization ceases to exist.
The latter means we will never get the answer.

One thing I do like to mention is the fact that theories constantly change. The conditions we consider necessary might not apply for other (yet unknown forms of) life to form.

edit on 21-7-2017 by HellaKitty because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 12:20 AM

originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986

Even though this was a really great and very insightful post, I have to disagree with you, because your theory is based on the assumption that life can only exist as we understand it, which I think would be ignorant at worst, and arrogant at best. We barely understand the true nature of who or what we are, so to use humans on earth as a metric in determining if life could exist elsewhere would be extremwly naive of us.

Theoretically there are Infinite possibilities in an infinite space, throughout infinite time, so if a "miracle" has happened once, it will happen again. And again.. and again..

There are some biochemists who strongly disagree with some of that. Carbon is basically the most "free loving" of all the elements, so if any kind of complex molecule, especially one capable of becoming a life form, is going to emerge, it will almost certainly be "carbon based".

Hydrogen is at the bottom of the periodic table, and oxygen is capable of forming highly energetic reactions.

The main thing is that most of the important chemicals to life are at the bottom of the table. Or near it. Metals are incompatible because they share their electrons in a loose kind of charge based sludge more often than forming specific covallent bonds.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 12:31 AM
a reply to: bloodymarvelous

Which is only reiterating my point that we assume life can only exist as we understand it. A biochemists knowledge is only as capable as his comprehension. I'm not saying what I believe is a fact, but it's definitely not impossible. Who's to say there aren't a gazillion different elements out there?

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 12:31 AM
I have another answer not listed in the O.P.

Humans.. when compared to pretty much everything else.. have only been around for about 300,000 years.. even that.. in comparison to the age of a planet.. is nothing but a drop in the bucket if that.

We have only been able to generate signals and communicate using them for about 100 years now.

In 100 years a radio wave doesn't travel that far in comparison to our galaxy.

Even though there may be millions of earths and millions of species of aliens out there..

Most likely they have no idea we exist or that we are even here.

After all.. our communication technology sucks.. even if we shot lasers into space delivering Morse code.. t hay only travels at 1 light year per year of course.

We haven't had our technology long enough.. we are still children

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 12:39 AM
Actually, I can't believe we're still asking whether aliens exist or not.

What that tells me is that there are still a lot of people who just aren't evolving to higher realms of thinking.

It's time for everyone to wake up!

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 01:50 AM

originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
a reply to: bloodymarvelous

Which is only reiterating my point that we assume life can only exist as we understand it. A biochemists knowledge is only as capable as his comprehension. I'm not saying what I believe is a fact, but it's definitely not impossible. Who's to say there aren't a gazillion different elements out there?

You're not understanding the issue here.

There are only so many elements on the periodic table. That's not for lack of imagination. Every number represents a number of protons in the nucleus.

There are no two elements with the same number of protons. Nor can there ever possibly be. Other traits, such as the number of neutrons, have only minimal effect on the element's chemical properties. The numbers go up into the 100's without gaps.

So, unless you're into unstable elements, there are no possibilities besides the ones we know of, from which to construct a life form.

Within those possibilities, there are no elements more "free loving" than carbon.

Therefore, what you are suggesting is not very likely.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 01:56 AM
Or actually, I somehow feel like I'm still not being clear.

There aren't 100's of elements out there, unless you count extremely heavy elements (which are mostly unstable and tend to spontaneously undergo nuclear fission into smaller elements due to Iron/Nickel being the most stable atomic mass).

That would require for us to have missed a few numbers on the periodic table. We haven't.

A new element must have a new atomic number. If not, then by definition it is not a new element. How can that happen if all the numbers are already accounted for?
edit on 22-7-2017 by bloodymarvelous because: changed "number" to "mass" for iron and nickel. Basically the further atomic mass gets from that value, the easier it is to split and/or fuse

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 03:23 AM
BEST THREAD of 2017 so far!


posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 03:23 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful

There is speculation that at certain points in history, key inventions were extraordinary, such as our universal power grid using AC. The inventor (google it) had been characterized as visionary and according to others, given knowledge that boosted this planets growth (development).

Now, I don't hold this view, nor share in it being aliens at work to further mankind's technology curve. Nonetheless, it is worth looking at considering the alternative would have been a planet power grid based on DC.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 03:39 AM

originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: eriktheawful
Another idea: 1000 years ago, that system 50 ly away was using radio....then, for whatever reason, they all died out. Again: we'd have missed their RF emissions.

On the other hand, we'd still have at least a small chance of catching the transmissions from all the civilizations from 1,000 ly away who were using radio 1,000 years ago, or 1,500 ly away using it 1,500 years ago, and so on forever. And if there are scads of these civilizations around, our odds of being in just the right spot to pick up these transmissions greatly increases.

So maybe it isn't a matter of broadcast windows and civilizations dying out, since we could have a lot of civilizations broadcasting at essentially all times, it's more a matter of sorting the signals from the noise. What with propagation drop-off, frequency shifts and distortion from speed, and other noisy things in the sky, it's really noisy.

On the other hand, a huge, powerful civilization could form galaxies into words or symbols for us to see throughout space and time. If they wanted to. Or existed.

Maybe we're the only game in town. We beat the odds and got this far, but we're the only ones who ever did it, and maybe ever will. So some civilization a million light years away might pick up our broadcasts a million years from now, when we'll all be dead. Or not. Could be we're all just here and gone and all for nothing. No one will ever know or care about the little creatures that used to run around on Earth for an incredibly short time. The way I understand reality, that seems the most likely.

One can imagine earth as a spec of sand, now imagine it on a dune in middle of a desert, and some alien world is another spec of sand...

I find the odds of actually intercepting a broadcast sooo miniscule, creating an argument that we'd "hear it" is so remote, I'm reminded of the book, "hitch hikers guide to the galaxy"--improbability is so high, thinking it is possible is simple wishful thinking.
edit on 22-7-2017 by SecretSector because: Spelling

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 04:24 AM
This is just speculation of course..

I think that either "they" are constrained by some sort of fundamental Prime Directive and/or what they're interested in has nothing to do with outward colonization in the traditional sense, but perhaps one of seeding DNA on a giant farm for seeding and harvesting elsewhere where each place, more often than not with a single, giant moon not unlike our own, was somehow itself seeded and imbedded straight into the sacred geometrical configuration of the whole cosmos. Think of each similar earth-moon-sun system, with us and the world we see, with animals on all fours and winged birds etc (evolved life), as a rare occurrence indeed but that it does happen at least once in this galaxy, is absolutely proven and a known.

They know enough to plant and let it be, lest the unique configuration of each and every evolved world be somehow tarnished by the attempted implantation of an alien species amid the annihilation of another. Too embarrassing in the context of a Universal Civility, defined as: Consciously motivated organizational behavior that is ethical in will submission to a higher power. Too dangerous to be caught red handed a destroyer of worlds.

So you pick up every available tool at your disposal and then, without causing any harm, take to the field as another worker, and if in the process of leaping for the stars we had not so evolved and were ready to take over, invade, colonize, kill and destroy like we did when settling North America or in the invasion of Iraq, then we'd be shot down like ducks in a shooting gallery before we even got off the launching pad.

If they're there, then at some point soon, like within the next 1000 years, we'll made contact, and when we take to the stars we'll have "escorts" under the pretext that they are shepherding us to the next world and one that, by the time we get there, will have already been made for us, for the children of God and the sons and daughters of men.

"When the hearts of men change, kingdoms will change."
~ John the Baptist

If this doesn't happen soon, then we'll reach the point of contact unprepared.

Thus, as a type of Pascal's wager, it would make for very wise policy to "act as if" they are here, as the resolution to Fermi's Paradox, some of the potential implications of which simply cannot be ignored as if they are irrelevant. In fact, the whole world and the very salvation of the world might be at stake and if it's like a flip of the coin (there's here, they're not here), then that's not a wager I'd like to lose.

In part, this is why I believe in Jesus Christ, who, instead of saying eat or be eaten said here, eat of me, instead.

I know, a seemingly strange way to shield and save the world (son of man hanging on a cross then resurrecting three days later, as with our own solstice and perihelion), but sometimes these things can have the farthest reaching implications and consequences, let all with ears (or their equivalent) let them hear!

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 05:02 AM
Life is obstinately.. look@the extremophiles, the asteroids hitting the earth, tsunamis, vulcanic eruptions, cosmic rays and so on.. live survived it and we are the result
edit on 22-7-2017 by Vratyas because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 05:23 AM
I'm sure it has been mentioned already but I really think the solution to the paradox may actually be multiple solutions. Earth-like planets with the right combination of life-creating resources could be rare, aliens exist and are here and don't communicate because we can't understand them in any meaningful way, and the vast majority of civilizations don't make it past the Great Filter of self-perpetuated destruction or the universe just throwing them a curve ball.

I think the universe is definitely old enough to have advanced life; we're here and our rise as a dominant species was relatively recent on the universe's timescale so it could have happened sooner elsewhere. We might be trying to find one answer to the question when it may have more than one.

Don't know, just speculating.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 05:42 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful

Street-light effect is a concept that applies to many areas of life and potentially fits here too. The metaphorical pool of lamplight could describe the methods we've used to identify signs of ETI and the shadows represent those we've yet to discover. The street-light imagery ties in with the arguable 'invisible' 95% of dark energy and matter too.

We can study radio waves and emphatically state ETI isn't using them in our neighbourhood. Likewise we can point to some exoplanets and be almost certain they cannot support life. Nevertheless these are blunt tools when we might require far more sophisticated instruments and methods in our search for ETI. When I consider the extent of mystery matter/energy right under our noses, it's hard to be emphatic about answering 'Where are they?'

One, three and six in your list make the most sense to me and especially as they relate to each other too. Rare Earths (1) could number in the millions and it wouldn't matter at all if they are/were separated by scores of light years. It possibly takes at least 4billion years (3) to get the diversity of life to *begin* to become technological. The universe is fricking merciless (6) as we can see by the example of daily supernovae in the heavens. I've often wondered what life would be like for a technological civilisation literally charting the demise of its Sun. Imagine knowing your whole world is about to be extinguished (everything!) whilst not having the tech to escape?

Number five always strikes me as sci-fi anthropological and culturally rooted in the Cold War. Number four and two could interrelate and who knows? Unlikely, and the main points against dismissing them altogether may well be Clarke's 3rd Law and the existence of so much mystery matter. Toss in 'subanthropic principle' for mischief and the door must stay open to maybes.

I've blathered enough. Excellent thread and some of the posts have been superb.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:25 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful

Eric, many thanks for a breath of fresh air!!!

What is life and what is intelligence? I think we have to differentiate between an anthropocentric definition of both terms and a possible broader interpretation.

The anthropocentric definition of life is how we see ourselves and our sister organisms here on earth: we are physically contained in a kind of shield that separates us from our environment, we have an internal organisation that is active and in equilibrium, we are dependent on resources (nutrients, energy) in order to grow and procreate, we can interact with each other and our environment and we can adapt to new environments and challenges in order for our species (or clade) to survive. We carry and pass on information to do all this. And we die.

And, as we also have observed, in order to have gotten to this point we needed a kind of liquid medium (water), and some atoms with special properties (CHON) to make this biochemistry possible under our local conditions (Goldilocks / Earth).

The anthropocentric definitions of intelligence are manifold, but cover such terms as (and/or) perception, cognition, consciousness and abstract thinking, depending on how evolved we consider the intelligence. And the main reason for the coming into existence of intelligence is to ensure our survival.

But would a more universal definition of life and intelligence necessarily need all these characteristics and pre-existing conditions? Would the environment outside our Goldilocks zone favour some other kind of life/intelligence? Does life/intelligence necessarily need a physically independent body? Does it need a metabolism; an environment? Does it need to procreate and die? Does intelligence stop at the step of abstract thinking? Or could completely different kinds of intelligence exist?

Just a few of many questions, but my main question here is what Fermi and Drake were looking for. Depending on one or the other definition, life and/or intelligence may be much more abundant, maybe closer than we think, and we may have to find other techniques to detect it.


posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:32 AM
a reply to: Agnost

You're very much correct in that we are looking for life that we are familiar with. However, the question then becomes if we are to look for unfamiliar life, how do we even begin to quantify it. By it's very nature it may be so counter intuitive that we could stare right at it and not recognize it. We have to start somewhere, and the best place to start is by looking at the one example of life that has arisen that we know of; life on earth. That includes all the extremophiles and various configurations we see on our planet.

I would very much love to begin to look for life as we don't know it, but I'm just not sure where we start.

Awesome post, by the way.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:33 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful can a paradox be a question?

Somehow noone has learnt a dam thing still.

Boy am i exhausted trying to answer all these questions.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:45 AM

originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: dragonridr
The biggest problem is if only one or two lifeforms in a galaxy the possibility of meeting another goes to near zero.

Because of the size of the universe, statistically speaking, we don't exist.

Starred for bravery, whomever these statasticians are though, for coming up with bizarre postulations that suggest a tiny fraction means it doesn't exist....are the cause of confusion.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:49 AM

originally posted by: Vratyas
Im not a physicist (i wish i where -.-) but i always ask myself if nuclear explosions in space are detectable from outside our solarsystem..

They leave some artificial particles in space that are not naturaly..

So if they detect this unnatural particles they would know that there is an (dangerous) intelligent species out there..

But like im told ya above, im not a physicist

Personaly i hope its number 4... y they keep us in dark? We r not ready yet.. y? Religion..

Love the constant baiting.

Create an entire Universe that keeps itself in the it can eventually try and create something new...great idea.

Now they worry the cat is out of the bag...not IN the bag.

posted on Jul, 22 2017 @ 06:54 AM

originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: GenerationGap

7) They are here, and we are them.

Unlikely. The reason is that we have fossil and DNA evidence both, and neither are trivial. The fossil evidence for our gradual evolution is very strong, with many links to other animals on Earth. For example, our DNA is 95% similar to chimpanzees. (Down from a reported 98% earlier. reported here) Fossil evidence is overwhelming back through Homo erectus, and very compelling further back than that. If we were, indeed, "salted" from somewhere else, there would be a clear demarcation between us and all other species on Earth, and that is simply not true.

Do we?

Demarcation is prevalent...and no evidence of evolution on its own regarding humans is to be found.

A quick look with an open eye would see this...klaxons blaring.

Of course noone has or can develop a total lack of mistrust regarding blinded experts............

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