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?
|"Contact could mean extraordinary things for humanity if it happens soon."|
|A Diamond the Size of Earth, Floating in Space|
|"If we do find a signal, we shouldn’t expect it’s going to be some sort of soft squishy protoplasmic alien."|
|“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”|
|Sea Plankton Found on ISS Surface|
|“What life is like on the front lines of the digital revolution.”|
|“How to build a house.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|Humans Need Not Apply|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|A Really Fast Electric Skateboard|
|“It is full of hallucinations both wonderful and terrifying, a mental goulash of reality and fantasy.”|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|"Acting better than Star Trek deserves."|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|