The Wait But Why site looks at the Fermi Paradox, that reaction when you look up at a clear night sky and see all the stars -- really see them, not blinded by light pollution -- and you ask yourself where is everybody?
Let’s imagine that after billions of years in existence, 1% of Earth-like planets develop life (if that’s true, every grain of sand would represent one planet with life on it). And imagine that on 1% of those planets, the life advances to an intelligent level like it did here on Earth. That would mean there were 10 quadrillion, or 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the observable universe.
Moving back to just our galaxy, and doing the same math on the lowest estimate for stars in the Milky Way (100 billion), we’d estimate that there are 1 billion Earth-like planets and 100,000 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.
SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is an organization dedicated to listening for signals from other intelligent life. If we’re right that there are 100,000 or more intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, and even a fraction of them are sending out radio waves or laser beams or other modes of attempting to contact others, shouldn’t SETI’s satellite array pick up all kinds of signals?
But it hasn’t. Not one. Ever.
Where is everybody?
|The Known Universe|
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|"Either you succeed on your first try, or everyone dies."|
|“We could set up a small lunar base for $10 billion or less, and we could do it by 2022.”|
|"If we could replace Saturn's rings with the rings around J1407b, they would be easily visible at night and be many times larger than the full moon."|
|“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”|
|“People are getting rid of their cash.”|
|“To create particles with negative mass.”|
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|“World's first passenger drone.”|
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|“Changes to the platform announced by Zuckerberg, will likely make the problem worse.”|
|“The first-ever driverless mass transit test program.”|
|“Some of us will do anything to be liked.”|
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|“AI codes its own ‘AI Child’.”|