The Fermi Paradox, Are we alone?


So where is everybody?

Welcome to the Fermi Paradox.

We are going to take a look about some possible explanations for this paradox,but first we are going to explain our three type of possible civilizations:

Type I: has the ability to use all of the energy on their planet. We’re not quite a Type I Civilization, but we’re close (Carl Sagan created a formula for this scale which puts us at a Type 0.7 Civilization).

Type II can harness all of the energy of their host star. Our feeble Type I brains can hardly imagine how someone would do this, but we’ve tried our best.

Type III  blows the other two away, accessing power comparable to that of the entire Milky Way galaxy.

Continuing to speculate, if 1% of intelligent life survives long enough to become a potentially galaxy-colonizing Type III Civilization, our calculations above suggest that there should be at least 1,000 Type III Civilizations in our galaxy alone—and given the power of such a civilization, their presence would likely be pretty noticeable. And yet, we see nothing, hear nothing, and we’re visited by no one.

Explanation 1: There is no Type II or III civilization.

People who trust this explanation focuses on the calculus that say that out there should be thousands or millions of more-advanced-civilizations, so why haven’t they contacted us?

Something else must be going on. That is called The Great Filter.

The theory of The Great Filter maintains that at some point from pre-life to Type III intelligence, there’s a wall that all or nearly all attempts at life hit. There’s some stage in that long evolutionary process in which it is extremely unlikely or impossible for life to go further. That stage is The Great Filter.


But if this theory is the correct one, Where in the timeline does the Great Filter happen?

In this article we’re going to share three different explanations: We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.

1. We’re Rare (The Great Filter is Behind Us)

The first option is that The Great Filter is behind us—we surpassed it, which would mean it’s extremely rare for life to reach our level of intelligence.

This scenario would explain why there are no Type III Civilizations…but it would also mean that we could be one of the few exceptions now that we’ve made it this far. It would mean we have hope.

2. We’re the First


For Group 1 Thinkers, if the Great Filter is not behind us, the one hope we have is that conditions in the universe are just recently, for the first time since the Big Bang, reaching a place that would allow intelligent life to develop. Now, perhaps, we’re in the midst of an astrobiological phase transition and this is the first time any life has been able to evolve for this long, uninterrupted.

3. We’re Fucked (The Great Filter is Ahead of Us)


If we’re neither rare or early, Group 1 thinkers conclude that The Great Filter must be in our future. This would suggest that life regularly evolves to where we are, but that something prevents life from going much further and reaching high intelligence in almost all cases—and we’re unlikely to be an exception.

This is why Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom says that “no news is good news.” The discovery of even simple life on Mars would be devastating, because it would cut out a number of potential Great Filters behind us. And if we were to find fossilized complex life on Mars, Bostrom says “it would be by far the worst news ever printed on a newspaper cover,” because it would mean The Great Filter is almost definitely ahead of us. Bostrom believes that when it comes to The Fermi Paradox, “the silence of the night sky is golden.”

Explanation Group 2: Type II and III intelligent civilizations are out there—and there are logical reasons why we might not have heard from them.

Group 2 explanations get rid of any notion that we’re rare or special or the first at anything—on the contrary, they believe in the Mediocrity Principle, whose starting point is that there is nothing unusual or rare about our galaxy, solar system, planet, or level of intelligence, until evidence proves otherwise. They’re also much less quick to assume that the lack of evidence of higher intelligence beings is evidence of their nonexistence—emphasizing the fact that our search for signals stretches only about 100 light years away from us (0.1% across the galaxy) and suggesting a number of possible explanations. Here are 10:

Explanation 1:

Super-intelligent life could very well have already visited Earth, but before we were here.

Explanation 2:

The galaxy has been colonized, but we just live in some desolate rural area of the galaxy.

Explanation 3:

The entire concept of physical colonization is a hilariously backward concept to a more advanced species.

Explanation 4:

There are scary predator civilizations out there, and most intelligent life knows better than to broadcast any outgoing signals and advertise their location.

Explanation 5

There’s only one instance of higher-intelligent life—a “superpredator” civilization (like humans are here on Earth)—who is far more advanced than everyone else and keeps it that way by exterminating any intelligent civilization once they get past a certain level.

Explanation 6:

There’s plenty of activity and noise out there, but our technology is too primitive and we’re listening for the wrong things.

Explanation 7:

We are receiving contact from other intelligent life, but the government is hiding it.

Explanation 8:

Higher civilizations are aware of us and observing us (AKA the “Zoo Hypothesis”).

Explanation 9:

Higher civilizations are here, all around us. But we’re too primitive to perceive them.

Explanation 10:

We’re completely wrong about our reality.

As you can read, all of these explanations are, at least, remotely possible. What is your opinion? Tell us in the comments box!!!

See you soon!!

Text resumed from:


By: Carlos Alemany

Thanks to: Guillermo Ruiz and Alvaro Molina


Un comentario sobre “The Fermi Paradox, Are we alone?

  1. It is a good entry, original and makes us think about human existence, but it is also something surreal, the probability to become in a civilization of type III. It might you think that this is part of philosophy, unanswerable questions and not science.

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