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The Fermi Paradox focuses on the existence of advanced civilizations elsewhere in the galaxy. If these civilizations are out there — and many analyses suggest the galaxy should be teaming with life — why haven't we seen them? Carlos Cotta and Álvaro Morales from the University of Malaga in Spain investigate another angle by considering the speed at which a sufficiently advanced civilization could colonize the galaxy. Various analyses suggest that using spacecraft that travel at a tenth of the speed of light, the colonization wavefront could take some 50 million years to sweep the galaxy. Others have calculated that it may be closer to 13 billion years, which may explain ET's absence. Cotta and Morales study how automated probes sent ahead of the colonization could explore the galaxy. If these probes left evidence of a visit that lasts for 100 million years, then there can be no more than about 10 civilizations out there.
Originally posted by guppy
These assumptions are based on our tech level and understanding of our place in the universe.
Its all about perspective. Our Universe is estimated to be 13 to 15 billion years old. That is a long time. Our existence in our galaxy isn't even a drop in a bucket. Its more like a grain of sand resting on a beach the size of Jupiter. Who knows how advanced civilzations would be?
Our civilization is presumed to be 10,000 years old (I believe far older, but I digress). Imagine how we will be 100 years from now. How about 1,000 or even 1,000,000 years old? Could we even comprehend what our future selves would be like? Not even close.
Now imagine a civilization lasting even a 1,000,000 years old. That is a drop in a bucket. How advanced is their technology? Far advanced. Probably to the level of god-like. Do they even notice us? Would they even care like we care about ants scurrying around our picnic area?
Originally posted by Nohup
So the Fermi Paradox doesn't account for all the potential ways things could exist in the universe. Fermi's reality was a very straightforward, horse and wagon, nuts-and-bolts kind of proposition. Actual reality might be (and probably is) a lot more complicated than that with virtual and parallel realities popping in and out of a flexible spacetime full of chutes and ladders.
Well one way to look at it is that suns and planets as we know them really were not in full form until about 10 billion years ago, and using earth as a perfect example, that is just teeming with life, it took 5 billion years for us to come on the scene. So when you look at 10 billion years, if it takes let’s say 3 plus billion years for life to advance past simple stages then 10 billion is a lot smaller number comparatively to all this than one would think.
Now throw in the rarity of a planet to not only be in the right orbit but the right size with the right density. As we can see with Mars, a planet that is slightly off most likely would only support limited life forms if any at all. The cooling effect of Mars core that turned it from a liquid to a solid has shown that a planet needs a liquid core for 5 plus billion years to sustain life too.
So you assume that intelligence is actually a good evolutionary trait. Looking back in our history you will see one line of evolution, but looking from the beginning you will see an endless number of evolutionary off shoots that lead to dead ends. So far we have the capabilities of destroying all life any given day, and we are hunters not grazers and so we are very aggressive. Just maybe intelligence is a bad evolutionary trait that dies off since it would take not too big of an event to knock us back to the stoneage or worst. It really seems the chances of a fully functional spacefaring race needs an extreme number of varibles to make it happen and missing anyone of them it doesn't happen. BTW we are far from any proof that it can happen.
The other aspect is that our thumbs are just as important as our intelligence, and this continues to further requirements thus increasing rarity. The smartest creature in the universe might be a sponge that never moves and so we need the physical ability to complement our intelligence.
So with all that said I run with either we are very alone or there was an advance race a few billion years before us that was very alone and seeded us and other places. So far I need to run with there might be a few races out there but we are basically alone, until further data comes to light.
and many analyses suggest the galaxy should be teaming with life — why haven't we seen them?
Originally posted by Xtrozero
But then even if there are endless ways there are very limited ways we can interact. Most likely our greatest limitation is ourselves in whether we ever have contact with another intelligent race. We could easily go billions of years and never see anyone else out there even if life is as you suuggest could be.
Originally posted by Welfhard
It took 4 billion years for us to appear after the earth formed. We have rapidly rose to a civilization in less than 10 thousand years.
Intelligence seems very difficult for evolution to develop and it seems a very very precise series of circumstances is required to pressure and organism into sentience.
We live in our own bubble and our intelligence appears to be marred by that. I highly doubt that we took the only road available in this universe to sentience.