Are we alone in the Universe? Probably. Like the others.

The American cartoonist Matthew Inman published a brilliant comic titled “The Oracle” on his website “The Oatmeal”. Inman’s comic gives the most probable answer (IMHO) to Fermi Paradox, which can be summarized in these three words – “Where is everybody”.

“Oracle, are we alone in the universe?”
“Yes,”
“So there’s no other life out there?”
“There is. “
“They’re alone too.”

Inman’s comic based on this tweet from @ASmallFiction below:

“Are we alone in the universe?” she asked.
“Yes,” said the Oracle.
“So there’s no other life out there?”
“There is. They’re alone too.”

Fermi Paradox

The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity’s lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations. The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael H. Hart, are:

  • The Sun is a typical star, and relatively young. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older.
  • Almost surely, some of these stars will have Earth-like planets. Assuming the Earth is typical, some of these planets may develop intelligent life.
  • Some of these civilizations may develop interstellar travel, a technology Earth is investigating even now (such as the 100 Year Starship).
  • Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in a few tens of millions of years.

According to this line of thinking, the Earth should already have been colonized or at least visited. But no convincing evidence of this exists. Furthermore, no confirmed signs of intelligence (see Empirical resolution attempts) elsewhere have yet been spotted in our galaxy or (to the extent it would be detectable) elsewhere in the observable universe. Hence Fermi’s question, “Where is everybody?”

The most probable answer to Fermi Paradox

In my opinion, the most probable answer to Fermi Paradox is: there are probably other lifeforms (even advanced civilizations) in the Universe, but the distances between stars and galaxies are way too vast to even communicate, let alone to “visit” each other.

There’s probably no “galactic civilization” in the Universe.. I’ve previously published an article about that, titled “There is most probably no Kardashev Type III civilization in the Universe. Here’s why“.

Sources

Fermi Paradox on Wikipedia
The Oracle on theoatmeal.com

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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