What's your answer for the Fermi paradox?

Started Aug 19, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Don_D
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What's your answer for the Fermi paradox?
Aug 19, 2011

From Wikipedia:

"In 1950, while working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the physicist Enrico Fermi had a casual conversation while walking to lunch with colleagues Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller and Herbert York. The men discussed a recent spate of UFO reports and an Alan Dunn cartoon facetiously blaming the disappearance of municipal trashcans on marauding aliens. They then had a more serious discussion regarding the chances of humans observing faster-than-light travel by some material object within the next ten years, which Teller put at one in a million, but Fermi put closer to one in ten. The conversation shifted to other subjects, until during lunch Fermi suddenly exclaimed, "Where are they?" One participant recollects that Fermi then made a series of rapid calculations using estimated figures (Fermi was known for his ability to make good estimates from first principles and minimal data.) According to this account, he then concluded that Earth should have been visited long ago and many times over.

Summary:

The apparent size and age of the universe suggest that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations ought to exist. However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the lack of observational evidence to support it.

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