Particle Physicist Offers 75 Reasons We Don’t See Aliens

Particle Physicist Offers 75 Reasons We Don’t See Aliens

Just lately, we’ve been Matt Williams’s admirable assortment of hypotheses as to why we don’t see clever extraterrestrials, regardless of the dimensions of our universe.

However particle physicist Stephen Webb collected many extra such theses, in a e-book revealed in 2002, If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Options to the Fermi Paradox and the Downside of Extraterrestrial Life (2002). A revised version was revealed by Springer, an enormous science writer, in 2015, offering 75 hypotheses.

Webb calls his assortment of hypotheses the “Fermi options,” in honor of Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–1954), whose famous question was “The place are They?”

“Fermi realized that any civilization with a modest quantity of rocket expertise and an conceited quantity of imperial incentive may quickly colonize the whole galaxy,” the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California, stated on its web site. “Inside ten million years, each star system may very well be introduced beneath the wing of empire. Ten million years could sound lengthy, however actually it’s fairly quick in contrast with the age of the galaxy, which is roughly ten thousand million years. Colonization of the Milky Method ought to be a fast train.”

Elizabeth Howell, “Fermi Paradox: Where Are the Aliens?” at Area.com (April 27, 2018)

Webb, fairly positive that, within the immensity of the universe, they have to exist, set out to have a look at as many causes we would not see them as he could find, attempting to keep away from partiality to anyone speculation. As one science author places it,

A lot of Webb’s collected hypotheses counsel that aliens dwell the place we’re not trying, speak how we’re not listening or resemble one thing we haven’t sought out. Possibly the aliens wish to ship messages or indicators utilizing neutrinos, practically massless and barely-there particles that don’t work together with regular matter a lot, or tachyons, hypothetical particles that fly quicker than mild. Possibly they use the more-conventional radio or optical transmissions however at frequencies, or in a type, astronomers haven’t sought out. Possibly a sign is sitting on knowledge servers already, escaping discover. Possibly the extraterrestrials subtly alter the emissions of their steady stars, or the blip-blip-blip pulsations of variable stars. Possibly they put one thing massive — a megamall, a disk of mud — in entrance of their solar to dam a few of its mild, in a form of anti-beacon. Possibly their skies are cloudy, and so they consequently don’t care about astronomy or area exploration. Or — hear Webb out — maybe they drive UFOs, that means they’re right here however not in a type that scientists sometimes acknowledge, examine, and take critically.

Sarah Scoles, “The lonely universe: Is life on Earth just a lucky fluke?” at Astronomy

It’s sufficient to make hopeful skywatchers indignant, and generally that exhibits a bit:

Given the truth that there are maybe 400 billion stars in our Galaxy alone, and maybe 400 billion galaxies within the Universe, it stands to purpose that someplace on the market, within the 14-billion-year-old cosmos, there may be or as soon as was a civilization a minimum of as superior as our personal. The sheer enormity of the numbers virtually calls for that we settle for the reality of this speculation. Why, then, have we encountered no proof, no messages, no artifacts of those extraterrestrials?

Sarah Scoles, “The lonely universe: Is life on Earth just a lucky fluke?” at Astronomy

However not everyone seems to be assured that sheer chance will do the trick. In an open access paper, Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, teeming with futurists, took a bleaker approach in 2018:

A brand new examine from the Way forward for Humanity Institute (FHI) at Oxford College, aptly titled “Dissolving The Fermi Paradox,” means that humanity is alone within the observable universe, placing a dampener on the speculation that there’s clever life outdoors of Earth.

“When the mannequin is recast to signify life like distributions of uncertainty, we discover a substantial ex ante chance of there being no different clever life in our observable universe, and thus that there ought to be little shock once we fail to detect any indicators of it,” the examine’s summary reads.

“This consequence dissolves the Fermi paradox, and in doing so removes any must invoke speculative mechanisms by which civilisations would inevitably fail to have observable results upon the universe.”

Chris Ciaccia, “It’s likely that we are alone in the universe, depressing study finds” at Information.com

They tried decreasing it to numbers:

The brand new examine makes use of a distribution of possibilities to seize the most probably eventualities, somewhat than assign a single worth.

The authors discovered that the prospect humanity stands alone amongst clever civilizations in our galaxy is 53%–99.6%, and throughout the observable universe is 39%–85%.

‘We must always not truly be all that stunned to see an empty galaxy,’ the authors, Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Toby Ord, wrote.

Mark Prigg, “We are alone in the universe: Fermi Paradox study claims there is a ‘substantial probability’ there is not intelligent life elsewhere” at Each day Mail

However that, after all, is a fairly huge unfold: 39% to 85%. In any occasion, one can’t very simply show a detrimental of any variety. So in the long run, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) goes on looking out and we go on listening.


You may additionally take pleasure in these accounts of why we don’t see the aliens:

1.Are the Aliens We By no means Discover Obeying Star Trek’s Prime Directive? The Directive is, don’t intervene within the evolution of alien societies, even in case you have good intentions. Assuming the aliens exist, maybe it’s simply as effectively, on the entire, in the event that they do need to go away us alone. They may need to “repair” us as an alternative…

2.How can we make certain we aren’t simply an ET’s simulation? Numerous books and movies are primarily based on the concept. Ought to we consider it? We make a faith-based determination that logic and proof collectively are affordable guides to what’s true. Logical chance alone doesn’t make an concept true.

three.Did the smart machines destroy the aliens who invented them? That’s the Berserker speculation. A sensible lethal weapon may effectively determine to do with out its inventor and, missing ethical steerage, destroy every part in sight. Extinction of a extremely superior civilization by its personal deadly expertise could also be extra probably than extinction by pure catastrophe. They may management nature.

four.Researchers: The aliens exist but they are sleeping… And we wake them at our peril. The Aestivation speculation is that immensely highly effective aliens are ready in a digitized type for the universe to chill down from the warmth their computer systems emit.

5.Possibly there are simply very few aliens on the market… The Uncommon Earth speculation provides science-based causes that life within the universe is uncommon. Even when life is uncommon within the universe, Earth could also be uniquely suited to area exploration, because the Privileged Planet speculation suggests.

6.Does science fiction trace that we’re actually doomed? That’s the implication of an influential concept as to why we by no means see extraterrestrials. Relying how we learn the Kardashev scale, civilizations disappear someplace between the place we are actually and the superior state wanted for intergalactic journey.

7.Area aliens may actually be watching us. Utilizing the strategies we use to identify exoplanets. But when they’re technologically superior, wouldn’t they be right here by now? The Hart-Tipler conjecture (they don’t exist) is, after all, very unpopular in sci-fi. However let’s confront it, if solely to maneuver on to extra promising speculations.

eight.Is the temporary window for finding ET closing? In line with some eventualities, we may very well be previous our best-before date for contacting aliens. After all, right here we’re assuming a legislation of nature as to how lengthy civilizations final. Can somebody state that legislation? How is it derived?

9.What if we don’t see aliens as a result of they have not evolved but? On this view, not solely did we emerge throughout a positive time within the universe’s historical past however we may find yourself suppressing them. The Firstborn speculation (we achieved intelligence earlier than extraterrestrials) traces up with the view that people are distinctive however sees that standing as non permanent.

10.The aliens exist—however developed into digital actuality at a nanoscale. That’s the Transcension Speculation, the newest in our sequence on science fiction hypotheses as to why we don’t see extraterrestrials.
On this view, after a Singularity the ETs grow to be digital intelligences, exploring inside area at an undetectably small scale


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