If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is by Stephen Webb

By Stephen Webb

Given the truth that there are probably four hundred billion stars in our Galaxy on my own, and maybe four hundred billion galaxies within the Universe, it stands to cause that someplace available in the market, within the 14-billion-year-old cosmos, there's or as soon as used to be a civilization at the very least as complicated as our personal. The sheer enormity of the numbers nearly calls for that we settle for the reality of this speculation. Why, then, have we encountered no facts, no messages, no artifacts of those extraterrestrials?

In this moment, considerably revised and accelerated version of his broadly well known ebook, Webb discusses intimately the (for now!) seventy five such a lot cogent and fascinating suggestions to Fermi's recognized paradox: If the numbers strongly aspect to the lifestyles of extraterrestrial civilizations, why have we chanced on no facts of them?

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Additional resources for If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?: Seventy-Five Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (2nd Edition) (Science and Fiction)

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The original photograph of the meteor was by Olga Kruglova. (Credit: Sandia Labs) case—so even if the chance of finding something is exceedingly low there surely can be no harm in keeping an eye open for signs of past extraterrestrial visitations. If you don’t look, you can’t find. However, even if you think it likely that extraterrestrial industrialists visited Earth in the past (and personally I find it extremely improbable: I can’t imagine why intelligent creatures would travel light years just to pan for gold) finding evidence of the visit would require a huge dollop of luck.

For example, some radionuclides possess half lives measured in millions of years, so if extraterrestrial visitors dumped nuclear waste on the Cretaceous landscape it might leave a trace that we could detect today. ) If we found plutonium traces, for example, we would be forced to explain the find in terms of a technological civilization—either our own or an ETC: the half life of plutonium is such that there are no natural sources of the element. A second activity that might leave its mark over geological timescales would be large-scale quarrying: if the extraterrestrials came here to engage in the industrial mining of minerals then current geological surveys would in principle be able to detect the quarries (in the same way that meteor impact craters created millions of years ago are detectable, even if they are buried under further strata).

The monist in him impelled him to argue that if we expand into space then all those other species must do the same. The logic is inescapable, and 2 Of Fermi and Paradox 27 Tsiolkovsky was aware that this led to a paradox when maintaining both that mankind will expand into space and that the universe is brimful with intelligent life. In 1933, long before Fermi asked his question, Tsiolkovsky pointed out that people deny the existence of ETCs because (i) if such civilizations existed, then their representatives would have visited Earth, and (ii) if such civilizations existed, then they would have given us some sign of their existence.

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