A literal interpretation of Fermi’s Paradox embraces a number of invalid assumptions. It therefore has irreconcilable problems, putting it in conflict with reality. Some misguided individuals attempt to use Fermi’s Paradox as if it were proof that Earth is the only home of intelligent life in the Universe. They are erroneous and likely misunderstand the original point of Professor Fermi’s question.
Fermi’s Paradox appears at first glance a contradiction between the theoretical existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the alleged lack of evidence that human contact has ever been made with such hypothetical civilizations. These invalid assumptions effectively make this supposed paradox null.
What is Fermi’s Paradox, and who came up with it?
The exact date of the conversation may be unclear, but apparently in either the late 1940s or early 1950s, (perhaps the summer of 1950), depending on the source you read, a group of scientists at Los Alamos were having a lunch time conversation, about the probability of extraterrestrials throughout the Universe, when the physicist Enrico Fermi asked the question, “Where is everybody?” His basic argument was that given the extreme age of the Universe, and the vast number of stars, life throughout the cosmos ought to be common place. If true, and that many planets have also been the homes of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, then even at sub-light speeds a multitude of these ETs should have visited Earth by now, and therefore we should have discovered considerable evidence of such alien visitations, or have had direct contact, or even been conquered by technologically advanced beings with conquest on their minds. Many “conventional” minded scientists take Professor Fermi’s question to assume that such evidence does not exist. This is among the first of the invalid assumptions found in a literal interpretation of this paradox, for a plethora of such evidence does indeed exist, it’s just not accepted by such “Conventional” minded scientists.
The Basis of Fermi’s Paradox
The enormity and great age of the Cosmos suggest that a plethora of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations should exist, possibly millions of them in our galaxy alone. However, this idea appears logically inconsistent with the apparent lack of observational evidence to support that basic contention. Consequently, either…