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I have a problem with Fermi's Paradox

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trisco

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While having my morning coffee and browsing through the various pages on SDC I came across some of the articles on Fermi's Paradox. Even though I have heard of and read about it before I started to have a little problem with it. A lot of things we now know to be true about science in general were once considered absurd (the world is round etc.). How can anyone say that something is not possible with very little information or limited observation techniques? Isnt it just a matter of time... (how long is anyones guess)? I found this summary of Fermi's Paradox on Wikipedia.<br /><br /><i>The belief that the universe contains many technologically advanced civilizations, combined with our lack of observational evidence to support that view, is inconsistent. Either this assumption is incorrect (and technologically advanced intelligent life is much rarer than we believe), our current observations are incomplete (and we simply have not detected them yet), or our search methodologies are flawed (we are not searching for the correct indicators).</i><br /> <b>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</b><br />
 
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nexium

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There are several other posibilities besides the 5 mentioned in Wickpedia. ie a massive cover up or a possibility no one has thought of. In any case this thread should likely be moved to Phenominum or SETI. Neil
 
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vogon13

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Even puny humans with nothing more advanced than 1950s style nukes (Orion nuclear impulse star ships) can potentially colonize the entire galaxy in a few million years (if sufficiently motivated).<br /><br />The galaxy is billions of years old.<br /><br />Funny we haven't noticed ET already hard at it.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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nexium

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My guess is fermi had an adgenda in asking the question and/or he wanted us to analyze why we don't have compelling proof of ET visitation. 1 The ET want us to have reasonable doubt about the medling they are doing on Earth. If they are slightly brighter than humans and just as sneeky, they can easily discredit evidence of ET presence here, especially if the media and most of the shakers and movers owe an ET a favor. 2 If all else fails, ET can kill, remove, or otherwise silence crediblle human whistle blowers. Neil
 
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nexium

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If ET is flying 1000 kilometers from Earth in a ten million ton Orion space craft, the space junk program would detect them even if painted dull black and radar cloked. The craft would ocassionally oculate a star by night, and would be visable with a modest telescope whenever it fired one of the nukes. Smaller craft with different propulsion however have a good chance of repeatedly avoiding detection. Most humans who observe an unexplained anomoly hide or distroy the data as they know from past evperience that their boss does not want to analyze mysteries, unless they are obviously related to the mission of his department. Neil
 
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nacnud

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Thats because the ETs are watching us from planet Rupert but have just forgotten what to do next <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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newtonian

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Trisco- Hi!<br /><br />First, note that there are forms of life extremely different from us - and we could miss their existence because we don't know what to look for.<br /><br />Here is an excerpt from an article on Fermi's paradox:<br /><br />"Extraterrestrials—Where Are They?<br /><br />ACCORDING to science writer Isaac Asimov, this is “a question that, in a way, spoils everything” for those who believe in life on other planets. Originally posed in 1950 by nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi, the question capped an argument that went something like this: If intelligent life has arisen on other planets in our galaxy, many civilizations should now exist that are millions of years ahead of our own. They should have developed interstellar travel long ago and spread abroad in the galaxy, colonizing and exploring at will. So where are they?<br /><br />While some SETI scientists are admittedly shaken by this “Fermi paradox,” they often reply to it by pointing out how difficult it would be to voyage between the stars. Even at the speed of light, enormous though that is, it would take a spaceship a hundred thousand years to traverse just our own galaxy. Surpassing that speed is deemed impossible.<br /><br />Science fiction that features ships hopping from one star to another in a matter of days or hours is fantasy, not science. The distances between stars are vast almost beyond our comprehension. In fact, if we could build a model of our galaxy so tiny that our sun (which is so huge that it could swallow a million earths) was shrunk to the size of an orange, the distance between the stars in this model would still average a thousand miles [some 1,500 km]!<br /><br />That is why SETI scientists lean so strongly on radio telescopes; they imagine that since advanced civilizations might not travel between stars, they would still seek out other forms of life by the relatively cheap and easy means of radio waves. But Fermi’s paradox still haunts them.<br /><br />American physicist Freeman J. Dyson
 
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