I hope you all liked and understood my ‘Journey to the Cosmos’ posts. But if you’re far too advanced for such mortal paragraphs, what I say is that we ought to start colonising other planets to avoid getting smooshed by an asteroid/any big, flaming object and I proceed to tell you how to go about it.
|"Everyone say hi to Larry; Larry say bye to everyone"|
I’m now going to be the cause of an existential crisis in the midst of your happy,carefree lives.
Let’s talk about the Fermi Paradox which is the ‘apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for such civilizations’(what?). In a nutshell, it says that there may or may not be aliens.
|No the kind that want to eat you.|
|Ah here you go. The enlargement was intended.|
Let’s dive deeper with some good old mind blowing facts. Without going into details(because I dont know them), there are 100 Earth like planets for every grain of sand in the world. And if 1% of Earth like planets develop life and that on 1% of those planets, life advances to an intelligent level, then would be 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the universe and 100,000 in our galaxy.
And yet we havent heard from any of them(presumably).
I’m going to confuse you further because why not. Let’s consider 3 types of civilizations.
A) Type I- they have the ability to use all energy on their planet (eg us)
B) Type II- ability to harness all energy of their hosts star (not us)
C) Type III- ability to harness the enrgy of the entire milky way galaxy (definitely not us)
Type III civilizations are the boss. They would’ve conquered space travel,time travel, getting out of Ranganathan street in under an hour and not receiving flying chappal from mom for not filling the water bottle and keeping it inside the fridge.
If 1% of the 100,000 civilizations in our galaxy manage to become Type III,1000, with the power that they have, we would have received something, atleast a warning that they’re going to destroy our planet.
The Fermi paradox has no actual answers, only possibilities and explanations.
Possibility 1: There are Type II and Type III civilizations and they have very understandable reasons for not contacting us.
Reason 1) They may have visited Earth billions of years ago. They either found nothing worthwhile or took everything worthwhile.
Reason 2) We are probably the most primitive planet out there and they find no particular interest in colonising/contacting us. They may also find us immensely hilarious, going about our routines, brushing our teeth etc when they might already be living with teeth that doesn't need brushing(it’s such a pain really)
Reason 3) you want a good scare? Here you go. They realise that there are ferocious predators out there and only stupid people (this is us)willingly divulge their locations and intentions.Yeah. Sleep well.
Reason 4) That scare wasnt good enough for you? Well here’s the mother of all scares. There’s only one super intelligent civilization and they want it to be that way. They already demolished every other civilization that came close to attaining their level of intelligence and they’re coming for us,oh yes they are. I’d take Zombies any day.Except Sundays. I’m not a normally functioning person on Sunday.
Reason 5) Basic reasons like our technology is still primitive, the Government is hiding everything, it’s Dhoni, we’re just a part of some scientist’s experiments blah blah blah.
|I knew it. Duuuuude.|
Now comes the interesting part.
Possibility 2:There are no super advanced civilizations.
People,jeez,wait. According to our assumptions, the above possibility is bullshit. There are so many Type I, Type II civilisations (thousands). The math says so. But since we havent received any contact, maybe something else is going on.
Enter the Great Filter.
This theory says that between pre life and Type III period, there is a wall that all attempts at life hit.There’s some stage in evolution that is extremely unlikely for life to get beyond- The Great Filter.
So any civilization that crosses the GF will be on the road to Type III. Now when does this filter occur?
Again ,3 possibilities.
Possibility 1) GF is behind us. We are rare.
Whew. We, along with one other odds defying species, are done with that. Maybe it was unusual for life to begin at all, maybe it was the jump from chimps to humans or the jump from simple cells to complex cells.But remember, it has be a freak occurrence for it to be a candidate for the GF.
Another reason is the Rare Earth hypothesis which says that even though there are many earth like planets,our earth has the particular conditions to sustain such life.Cool.
Possibility 2)We’re the first. We’re early.
We might be the only species to be able to cross the GF because of the once in a lifetime conditions that prevails now. We’re at the right place at the right time. Again, cool.
Possibility 3) The GF is ahead of us and we’re doomed. Probably.
Every single civilization comes this far but something stops them from advancing. We’re not likely to be exceptions. Maybe it’ll be Gamma ray bursts, or maybe big ass asteroids. Whatever it is, it’s yet to come. And we’re all going to die. Yaay.
| Giorgio A. Tsoukalos. |
Now you know his name. You're welcome.
In the words of Mr. Nick Bostrom ‘ No news is good news. Even if we find evidence of complex life on Mars , it would mean the GF is ahead of us (possibility 1 and 2 are ruled out because it’s not a freak occurrence anymore). When it comes to the Fermi Paradox, the silence of the night sky is golden’. Yes. Mr Bostrom. You’re a very positive, happy person.
We’re either alone or we’re not. Both possibilities are equally terrifying. So I suggest you lay under your bedsheets for the rest of your life and contemplate how to beg for mercy if the aliens every attack us.Also fix your aluminium foil cap you made in 5th std.
|Here's something to jog your memory.|