Aug 24, 2012

The Fermi Paradox and Silent Planets

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In a recent comment John Hunt mentioned the most probable solution to the Fermi Paradox and as more and more planets are discovered this solution becomes ever more troubling.

Whether civilizations are rare due to comet and asteroid impacts- as Ed Lu recently stated was a possibility- or they self-destruct due to technology, the greater danger is found in human complacency and greed. We have the ability right now, perhaps as hundreds or even thousands of other civilizations had, to defend ourselves from the external and internal threats to our survival. Somewhat like salmon swimming upstream, it may not be life itself that is rare- it may be intelligent life that survives for any length of time that is almost non-existent.

The answer is in space. The resources necessary to leave Earth and establish off world colonies are available- but there is no cheap. Space travel is inherently expensive. Yet we spend billions on geopolitical power games threatening other human beings with supersonic fighters and robot missile assassins. The technology to defend civilization as a whole from the plausible threat represented by this “Great Silence” will cost us no more than what we spend on expensive projects like vertical take-off stealth fighters and hyper-velocity naval rail guns. But it is not the easy money of weapons; it is the hard money of vehicles and systems that must work far from Earth that is unattractive to the corporate profit motive.

Atomic spaceships capable of transporting colonists and intercepting impact threats are the prerequisites to safeguarding our species.


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Peter Kinnon says:

    Within the context of modern science and the overall evolutionary trends which are observable within this body of knowledge there is now a good case for answering Fermi’s question “where are they” in terms of cosmic censorship.
    This is elaborated upon in chapter 17 of “Unusual Perspectives: An Escape From Tunnel Vision” which is a free download in e-book formats from the “Unusual Perspectives” website.

  2. GaryChurch says:

    Cosmic censorship is about black holes according to wikipedia. What does that have to do with the Fermi Paradox?
    Or are you just advertising your book?
    I will give you a couple days to reply and then I am deleting your comment.

  3. Peter Kinnon says:

    Cosmic censorship within this context concerns the restriction of access of any biological phase of the overall evolutionary process to what may be regarded as a “nursery” domain.
    In our particular case this would perhaps correspond to our solar system.
    As mentioned previously this is elaborated upon in the appropriate chapter of “Unusual Perspectives” which you are welcome to download freely for further evaluation.

  4. GaryChurch says:

    “In our particular case this would perhaps correspond to our solar system.”

    I am not buying it (or downloading)
    The whole point of MY essay is that with all these planets being discovered there is no reason to assume any such
    “restriction of access.“
    I will let your comments so far stay but no more advertising Peter.
    Thank you and good luck with your ebook.