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[Fermi Paradox] Earth should have already been visited by an extraterrestrial civilization

[Fermi Paradox] Earth should have already been visited by an extraterrestrial civilization [Fermi Paradox] Earth should have already been visited by an extraterrestrial civilization
Source: Vadim Sadovski via Artstation
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The Fermi paradox, named after Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations and various high estimates for their probability (such as some optimistic estimates for the Drake equation).

Fermi, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1938, and while he was involved in the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in the United States, had lunch with several of his friends and colleagues (Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller and Herbert York). During the meal, he comes to ask where the aliens are, and poses the principle of the paradox that bears his name. This paradox consists in wondering why mankind has, until now, found no trace of extraterrestrial civilizations, when the Sun is younger than many stars in our galaxy. According to Fermi, more advanced civilizations should have appeared among the older planetary systems and left traces visible from Earth, such as radio waves. Fermi's paradox can be expressed in the form of a question:

"If there were extraterrestrial civilizations, their representatives would already be here. Where are they now?"

The question of Fermi - raised before him by Constantin Tsiolkovsky - was rediscovered by Carl Sagan in 1966, then explicitly formulated by the engineer David Viewing in 1975. In the same year, Michael H. Hart formulated several hypotheses aimed at resolving the paradox, classified into four categories:

  1. it may be that the probability of the appearance of a technologically advanced civilization is very low, so that a universe the size of ours is necessary for it to have a chance of occurring once (but much less likely twice) ;
  2. it is possible that extraterrestrials exist but for some reason interstellar communication and travel is either impossible or not considered desirable;
  3. life may exist elsewhere, but in places that make it difficult to detect - for example, in oceans protected by a layer of ice, organized around hydrothermal vents;
  4. finally, it may be that extraterrestrials exist and visit us but in a way that is undetectable with current technology.

For some authors, the paradox is not a paradox; for others, it is a dilemma or a problem of logic; for others, it is based on an anthropocentrism, i.e. a reasoning that apprehends reality through the only human perspective, the narrowness of this reasoning would prevent the question of extraterrestrial life from being resolved. Specialized literature, as well as science fiction, philosophy and religious thought, have since then known a profusion of essays exploring possible solutions to the paradox. The way of approaching it has thus evolved; statistical tools (such as Drake's equation) have attempted to put it in a scientific form. Other approaches (such as the theory of evolution, ecology or computer simulation) have broadened the basis for reflection. But there is still no consensus on the solution to the problem.

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Source : Fermi Paradox an english and in french, Wikipedia

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