A question that is being raised again and again is, “Are we the only living things in the universe?” The Fermi Paradox explained in simple terms in this animated video.
The Fermi paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi (1901–1954), is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. The basic points of the argument, made by Fermi and Michael H. Hart (born 1932), are:
* There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun, and many of these stars are billions of years older than the Solar system.
* With high probability, some of these stars have Earth-like planets, and if the Earth is typical, some may have developed intelligent life.
* Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, a step people on Earth are investigating now.
* Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years.
The universe is unbelievably big – trillions of stars and even more planets. Soo… there just has to be life out there, right? But where is it? Why don’t we see any aliens? Where are they? And more importantly, what does this tell us about our own fate in this gigantic and scary universe?