Let’s Talk Aliens

No. This article does not discuss alien immigrants. By now half of my non-existent Mexican/Latin audience would have been offended and left. Perfect. The crux of this article, however, is to discuss extra terrestrial life and a particular incident and question: “Where are they?”

In the 1940’s presumably, a group of atomic scientists were sitting in a conference where a man named Enrico Fermi also happened to be. During this conference these scientists were discussing the idea that there is a high probability that highly intelligent life apart from us also exists in galaxies far away. And during this discussion Fermi posed a simple question: “Where are they?”

The question seems rudimentary at first. But in reality, there’s more to it than meets the eye. You see, the sun is a relatively young star compared to other stars in other galaxies. To entertain the notion that there are other planets out there like the Earth, would be accepting the fact that other civilisations have existed for much, much longer than we have. This idea is based on the “mediocrity principle,” which is a fancy way of saying that we assume that there are other planets in the universe that are similar to the Earth. The problem then is that if they proceed to evolve and progress at roughly the same pace as we have, then that would entail that these other civilisations are a much advanced than ours. So if they are so much more highly intelligent and advanced than the human race, why haven’t they paid us a visit or, for that matter, colonised most of our galaxy?

This question is known as “Fermi’s Paradox” or “Fermi’s Question.” Many scientists, in various fields, have tried to deal with the question or at least have tried to find its theoretical applications. Some have tried to counter it by saying that there is extra terrestrial life and there is evidence to support it. Fortunately or unfortuntely, the evidence has been lacklustre, to say the least.

Organisations like SETI (Search (For) Extraterrestrial Life) have proposed that activities like “asteroid mining” and others are proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Of course, no one would take such proofs seriously…for now.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Aliens

  1. F. says:

    Of course, there’s always the possibility the universe is chock-full of nincompoops.
    I, for one, have always suspected this to be so. 😛

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