A pinboard by
Yann Gor'dan

I found an article explaining the Fermi Paradox and developed an interest that I wanted to share.


Given everything we know about the universe there must be more intelligent life but where is it?

The Fermi Paradox attempts to explain the puzzling absence of evidence that other intelligent life exists in our universe. Clicking on the aliens face will take you to a fantastic article that attempts to explain the Fermi Paradox and it's implications. I shan't attempt to do that here as I couldn't do the arguments justice.

I have and will continue to curate a collection of research and articles speaking to the science related to the questions raised by the Fermi Paradox.

This one isn't going to be put to bed until we either contact an intelligent species, discover life anywhere in our solar system, or all die trying.

If you don't find this fascinating, you're just not thinking 'big enough'...


A Probabilistic Analysis of the Fermi Paradox

Abstract: The fermi paradox uses an appeal to the mediocrity principle to make it seem counter-intuitive that humanity has not been contacted by extraterrestrial intelligence. A numerical, statistical analysis was conducted to determine whether this apparent loneliness is, in fact, unexpected. An inequality was derived to relate the frequency of life arising and developing technology on a suitable planet in the galaxy, the average length of time since the first broadcast of such a civilization, and a constant term. An analysis of the sphere reached thus far by human communication was also conducted, considering our local neighborhood and planets of particular interest. We clearly show that human communication has not reached a number of stars and planets adequate to expect an answer. These analyses both conclude that the Fermi paradox is not, in fact, unexpected. By the mediocrity principle and numerical modeling, it is actually unlikely that the Earth would have been reached by extraterrestrial communication at this point. We predict that under 1 percent of the galaxy has been reached at all thus far, and we do not anticipate to be reached until approximately half of the stars/planets have been reached. We offer a prediction that we should not expect this until at least 1,500 years in the future. Thus the Fermi paradox is not a shocking observation, and humanity may very well be contacted within our species' lifespan.

Pub.: 15 Jun '16, Pinned: 08 Feb '17

The fermi paradox is neither Fermi's nor a paradox.

Abstract: The so-called Fermi paradox claims that if technological life existed anywhere else, we would see evidence of its visits to Earth--and since we do not, such life does not exist, or some special explanation is needed. Enrico Fermi, however, never published anything on this topic. On the one occasion he is known to have mentioned it, he asked "Where is everybody?"--apparently suggesting that we do not see extraterrestrials on Earth because interstellar travel may not be feasible, but not suggesting that intelligent extraterrestrial life does not exist or suggesting its absence is paradoxical. The claim "they are not here; therefore they do not exist" was first published by Michael Hart, claiming that interstellar travel and colonization of the Galaxy would be inevitable if intelligent extraterrestrial life existed, and taking its absence here as proof that it does not exist anywhere. The Fermi paradox appears to originate in Hart's argument, not Fermi's question. Clarifying the origin of these ideas is important, because the Fermi paradox is seen by some as an authoritative objection to searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence--cited in the U.S. Congress as a reason for killing NASA's SETI program on one occasion. But evidence indicates that it misrepresents Fermi's views, misappropriates his authority, deprives the actual authors of credit, and is not a valid paradox.

Pub.: 27 Feb '15, Pinned: 08 Feb '17

The Fermi Paradox, Self-Replicating Probes, and the Interstellar Transportation Bandwidth

Abstract: It has been widely acknowledged that self-replicating space-probes (SRPs) could explore the galaxy very quickly relative to the age of the galaxy. An obvious implication is that SRPs produced by extraterrestrial civilizations should have arrived in our solar system millions of years ago, and furthermore, that new probes from an ever-arising supply of civilizations ought to be arriving on a constant basis. The lack of observations of such probes underlies a frequently cited variation of the Fermi Paradox. We believe that a predilection for ETI-optimistic theories has deterred consideration of incompatible theories. Notably, SRPs have virtually disappeared from the literature. In this paper, we consider the most common arguments against SRPs and find those arguments lacking. By extension, we find recent models of galactic exploration which explicitly exclude SRPs to be unfairly handicapped and unlikely to represent natural scenarios. We also consider several other models that seek to explain the Fermi Paradox, most notably percolation theory and two societal-collapse theories. In the former case, we find that it imposes unnatural assumptions which likely render it unrealistic. In the latter case, we present a new theory of interstellar transportation bandwidth which calls into question the validity of societal-collapse theories. Finally, we offer our thoughts on how to design future SETI programs which take the conclusions of this paper into account to maximize the chance of detection.

Pub.: 25 Nov '11, Pinned: 08 Feb '17