The Fermi-Hart Paradox

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BigDallasDick8x6, May 22, 2010.

  1. BigDallasDick8x6

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    The great Enrico Fermi gets credit for discovering this paradox --

    o Considering the age of the universe, and
    o The vast number of stars

    if the Earth is typical, extraterrestrial life should be common!

    Yet we have never detected spacecraft or probes (at least according to most of the scientific community -- please don't go off on a UFO tanget. Start your own thread). Why not??

    Ok so adimittedly intergalactic travel poses massive challenges (an understatement) but we have never detected any radio transmissions either (a related paradox called the Great Silence).

    Some say it is impossible for such life to exist or we would have discovered it by now. Others say extraterrestrial intelligent life is non-existent, or at least so rare that we will never make contact with it. But if that is the case, what is the impact on our understanding of evolution? Evolution says that over time, under favorable conditions, life forms will arise. But with billions of other "Earths" out there, are we seriously saying we are the only one that has developed life? Is that scientific naivete on our part or egotism inherent to our species?

    Ok! Let the War of the Worlds, I mean Words, begin!

    For more details and a much better explanation than I have given --
    Fermi paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. catman

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    I can hear it now....'ALL venusians have bigger dicks"

    the next thread 'thats a myth, you ONLY see porn of big hung venusians'

    then uncut venusians are better than....
     
  3. Incocknito

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    How do you know there are billions of other "Earths" out there? The whole paradox operates on the assumption that the Earth is not unique. Maybe it is unique and no other planet(s) - at least in our solar system - have the right conditions for life / intelligent life.

    Of the nine planets in our solar system only one has the right conditions. The other eight vary greatly in terms of atmosphere, graviational force, etc.

    I think the Earth is atypical so I see no paradox at all.
     
    #3 Incocknito, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  4. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    The Earth is about 4 billion years old, the known universe is 10-12billion years old. Somewhere out there are places that are probably earth-like and twice as old. Remember we're seeing what the universe looked like then, not what is there now.

    Or all the aliens met, engaged in intergalactic warfare and planted nuclear bombs in volcanoes and then their souls cling to the survivors, causing us unhappiness. Ooops that's scientology :biggrin:
     
  5. BigDallasDick8x6

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    LOL. Love it.
     
  6. BigDallasDick8x6

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    There are an estimated 200-400 billion[5] (2-4 × 1011) stars in the Milky Way and 70 sextillion (7 x 1022) in the visible universe.[6] Even if intelligent life occurs on only a minuscule percentage of planets around these stars, there should still be a great number of civilizations extant in the Milky Way galaxy alone. This argument also assumes the mediocrity principle, which states that Earth is not special, but merely a typical planet, subject to the same laws, effects, and likely outcomes as any other world. (From Wikipedia)

    Thinking the Earth is atypical is the "egotism" of our species I alluded to earlier. The Roman Catholic church persecuted Galileo and others for saying the Earth was not the center of the universe and that it moves. They felt somehow that was heresy. Our species has always thought we are unique / special etc. It's probably an expected result of us being the dominant species on this planet. In other words we are the spoiled only child who thinks the universe revolves around him.
     
  7. BigDallasDick8x6

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