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?
|What Replacing the Moon With Other Celestial Bodies Would Look Like (via @kottke)|
|“We could set up a small lunar base for $10 billion or less, and we could do it by 2022.”|
|"It might be aliens."|
|Colonising the Solar System|
|Exoplanet Travel Bureau|
|Google's Self-Driving Cars Giving Rides to the Public|
|"This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst."|
|"Academics who study basic income said the pilot gives a chance to see how the idea plays in a changed economy."|
|"You look in the mirror and see your body and your face and you think that’s you—but that’s really just the machine you’re riding in."|
|Where AI is Currently At|
|"A spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants."|
|“Trump is what happens when you fail to understand our global problems in their interconnected, systemic context.”|
|"John Deere is the largest operator of autonomous vehicles."|
|"Super-detailed scans of actual human brains that run as models on computers"|
|Religious Loophole to Turn Lights On and Off During Shabbat|
|Extinct Alien Civilisations|