What exactly is the Fermi Paradox: The Rare Earth hypothesis?

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Fermi Paradox, The Rare Earth hypothesis. In 1950, Enrico Fermi and some of his associates were having lunch at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The only thing that we know, and that everyone knows, is that they had some exchanges about UFOs. In particular, Fermi issued a statement that would come relatively notorious. He asked, “ Where is everybody? ” Fermi was pointing to extraterrestrial life. This question became the base of the Fermi Paradox.

What is it about?

The Fermi paradox refers to the high probability for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence(ETI) and the apparent lack of substantiation. How is it possible that, given that the universe is infinite, we still have not discovered a hand of life other than us? More than seventy years have passed since that lunch, and we still do not have a proper answer to Fermi’s question.

During all these times, numerous propositions were developed to explain why the “ Great – Silence ” endured. They’re propositions that could explain why we feel to be alone in the Universe. Some of them are auspicious, some others are relatively creepy and pessimistic.

For an example, it could be that aliens are too far down for any contact, or perhaps we’re the first bones, and we will become extinct before there are any others. Another proposition would be of hibernation. According to this fully conjectural proposition, aliens would be hibernating and WAITING. But staying for what? Well, if a super-intelligent civilization had succeeded in replacing its biology with machines, it might be waiting for the expansion of the universe to cool it down in order to increase the efficiency of its computations.

Are Earth-like planets rare to find?

According to the “ Rare Earth Hypothesis ”, life and the evolution of complexity bear a combination of astronomical and geological conditions that are simply not common in our Universe. In other words, we’re relatively special and unique.

Still, we’d be in a real messy situation, If this thesis was true. Astronomy and substantially cosmology assume the frequency of intelligent life in our macrocosm because we suppose the Universe is isotropic. For isotropy, we mean that the macrocosm is the same in all directions, on a macroscopic scale.

You can understand isotropy by thinking of a sphere. However, you point towards different directions, nothing changes while you’re at the center of this sphere.

The Copernican Principle

All of this It’s also harmonious with the Copernican Principle, which argues that if anything is randomly-sampled, it’s likely to be representative of the majority. However, the Copernican principle is telling us that Earth-like planets are common in our Universe, If we restate this in the astronomy and cosmology field.

Earth is actually not representative of the whole and is in a class reserved for veritably few planets, If the Copernican principle does not hold. Perhaps Earth is an outlier. Given the fact that we haven’t discovered any substantiation of extraterrestrial intelligence in the Universe yet, wouldn’t this feel like a further possible scenario?

The Rare Earth argument is grounded on two Hypotheses. The first one is that microbial life is common in planetary systems. The alternate bone, states that advanced life is rare in the Universe. However. If we combine these two suppositions, we understand that Earth-like planets may evolve from a series of events and circumstances that are relatively rare, making Earth a veritably special place.

Drake Equation

Drake Equation, which basically asserts that intelligent life should be abundant. For an example, Ward and Brownlee, authors of the book on the Rare Earth Hypothesis, wrote “ The result to the Drake Equation includes hidden guesses that need to be examined. Most importantly, it assumes that once life originates on earth, it evolves toward indeed advanced complexity, climaxing on numerous planets in the development of culture. That’s clearly what happened on our Earth. ”

They also say life began about 4 billion years ago and also evolved from single- celled organisms to multicellular brutes with apkins and organs, culminating in creatures and advanced shops.

Mathematics in Drake equation.

Mathematically, the Drake equation can be expressed as a product of various factors. N = R* X FP X NE X FL X FI X FC X L. N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy, R* is the average rate of star formation, fp is the fraction of stars that have planets, ne is the number of planets that can support life, fl is the number that will develop life, fi is the number that will develop intelligent life, fc is the number advanced civilizations, and L is the length of time that these civilizations would have to transmit their signals into space. This equation aims to compute the number of civilizations in our galaxy.


The further we study and understand the Universe, the more precise are our constraints on the factors. For example, astronomers now estimate that there are between 250 and 500 billion stars in our world, which form new stars at a rate of about three Solar-masses per year.

Ward and Brown lee also listed other factors that were peculiar to Earth and are believed to have contributed to the emergence and elaboration of life. For illustration, there’s the presence of plate tectonics, which have been the basis to climate stability than on Earth.

Like the Drake equation factors, these are also subject to constraints and variability, but using Earth as a template and employing the Copernican Principle, it’s easy to see how it would be delicate to find planets that meet all of the above-mentioned criteria.

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