The Fermi Paradox: is it about… time? (science video)

John Michael Godier is here again with his simple answer to the Fermi Paradox, as it is explored in respect to time-scales and time passing.

The Fermi Paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations existing and the lack of evidence for their existence. One viable solution to the Fermi Paradox is the concept of time scales and the passage of time.

One way to think about the Fermi Paradox is to consider the vastness of the universe and the fact that we estimate it to be around 13.8 billion years old. If we assume that intelligent life arises relatively easily and that it is not unique to our planet, then there should be many other intelligent civilizations out there. However, we have not yet detected any definitive evidence of these civilizations, leading to the paradox.

One explanation for this could be the concept of time scales. While the universe is ancient, individual civilizations may not last as long. It is possible that many civilizations arise and then eventually die out, because of natural disasters, self-destruction, or other factors. This means that even if there are many civilizations out there, we may not detect them because they no longer exist.

Another factor to consider is the possibility that other civilizations may exist on a different time scale than us. For example, it is possible that some civilizations may have developed to where they can manipulate time itself, either through advanced technology or some other means. If this were the case, then these civilizations could exist in a different time frame than us, making it difficult or even impossible for us to detect them.

The concept of time scales can also apply to the potential for communication with extraterrestrial civilizations. Even if we could detect the existence of another civilization, it may be difficult or impossible to communicate with them because of the vast distances involved. The time it would take for a signal to reach another civilization and get a reply could be much longer than the life span of either civilization. This would make it nearly impossible for the two civilizations to talk to each other.

Time scales and the passage of time may solve the Fermi Paradox. It is possible that many civilizations have arisen and died out over the course of the universe’s history, or that those other civilizations exist on a different time scale than us, making it difficult or impossible for us to detect or communicate with them. This could explain the apparent contradiction between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for their existence.

Fermi Paradox
Fermi Paradox

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