The Rare Earth Hypothesis: What Is It?

According to the Fermi paradox, if there is extraterrestrial life, we should be able to detect it since it would be so technologically advanced that it could easily conquer the galaxy. Since we can find no evidence of them, they most likely don’t exist. Ancient Alien theorists might argue otherwise, though.

However, according to Scientific American , this “paradox” is not just not related to Enrico Fermi, but is not even a “paradox.” It has long been reported that Fermi said, “Where is everyone?” while eating lunch with colleagues in 1950 as they were discussing a cartoon about aliens coming out of a flying saucer. According to his colleagues, Fermi wasn’t challenging the possibility of extraterrestrial life, which is precisely what the Fermi Paradox concerns, but rather the feasibility of interstellar travel. Furthermore, space flight was considered futuristic in 1950.

Astronomer Michael Hart asserted in 1975 that if intelligent life existed in the universe, it would already be colonizing our galaxy. They must not be alive because we cannot see them (via Scientific American). That assertion reminds me a lot of Fermi’s conundrum.

David Stephenson, a physicist, coined the phrase “Fermi Paradox” in a 1977 study in which he utilized Hart’s assertion to respond to Fermi’s initial query (via Scientific American). To further complicate matters, a physicist by the name of Frank Tipler continued where Hart left off in 1980 by stating that any intelligent civilisation capable of colonizing space would require limitless resources in order to spread across the stars. Only autonomous, intelligent, “self-replicating,” terraforming machines were capable of obtaining them. The only place containing sentient life is on Earth, as no such devices have ever been discovered. Once more, this resembles what Fermi is alleged to have remarked.

However, he didn’t. According to Scientific American, all of this has been combined into the Fermi Paradox over the course of time.


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