Fermi Paradox: is it explained by Lotka’s Law? (science video)

Where are the extraterrestrial civilizations that should inhabit the universe, our science brain Tim Ventura asks Dr. Kent Peacock – a professor of philosophy at the University of Lethbridge?

In his discussion of the “Great Filter” answer to the Fermi Paradox, Dr. Kent Peacock makes the case that it would not be a single component but rather the survival rates in a world that is inherently perilous.

Dr. Peacock talks about the UAP phenomena and why astronomers usually ignore it while looking for extraterrestrial life. Organizations like SETI focus on the stars rather than searching for UFOs, but if Dr. Peacock’s theory is true, they could be hard to discover. A power law, such as Lotka’s Law, would probably apply to the frequency of species that survive numerous existential threats, which would result in an exponential decline in the number of sophisticated civilizations.

The Fermi Paradox is a well-known problem in astrobiology that asks: “If there are potentially millions of extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe, why have we not observed any evidence of their existence?” This paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is often cited as evidence against the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

One potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox is the concept of Lotka’s Law, which states that the rate of increase in the number of a species is directly proportional to its population. In other words, species with larger populations will increase at a faster rate than species with smaller populations.

If we apply this concept to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, it suggests that if intelligent life exists in the universe; it is likely to be found in places with a high density of stars and planets, such as the center of the galaxy. This is because these areas would provide the most opportunities for the evolution of intelligent life, and would also allow for the rapid expansion and colonization of other habitable planets.

However, if we have observed no evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, even in areas of the universe where the conditions for its evolution are favorable, it could be because intelligent life is rare and difficult to evolve. Here, Lotka’s Law would not apply, and the Fermi Paradox would remain unexplained.

While Lotka’s Law offers a potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox, it is just one plausible theory among many. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is ongoing, and it is possible that we may eventually find an explanation for the paradox that differs completely from any currently proposed theories.

Fermi Paradox: is it explained by Lotka's Law? (science video)


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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