It’s always good to have someone review the current options on the Fermi Paradox. This is becoming, along with everything we are doing, more complex by the year.

We now know enough to see that life exists in this galaxy and, most likely, in this solar system other than on this planet. Panspermia is the likely origin of biological life forms. Intelligent life is another issue but the vast number of planets with the capacity to foster biological life that we could recognize does more than suggest it is widespread.

The problem is conceptualizing the problem of travel at interstellar distances. While this is covered here by saying that robotic controls and hibernation of one from or another would make this easy to overcome is a bit simplistic.

We have been had a work for fifty years normalizing the idea of star travel and planet, moon, and asteroid colonization. But it has taken us the last thirty years to begin to understand how hard this is for creatures like us. Circulatory problems in weightlessness are now major concerns not to mention the problems of radiation.

Until we are willing to commit the resources to very large transport systems for use in our solar system this is going to be challenging. With our, admittedly, problematic economic systems the costs and the time required for a return on that has already stopped serious space exploration for fifty years.

Our attitudes are also changing with more knowledge and activity thought on the problems of alien life. It does not seem to make sense to do what we have done and broadcast our presence to the galaxy at large. The odds are too strong that any intelligent life we find may well consume us. That is the dark forest realization.

While we are at the beginnings of ability to send robotic AI systems out to explore, I think that may well be our only means of movement beyond our solar system. This illustrates another realization that biological forms may be too limited for active intelligence. We may need to evolve into digital forms before we are really able to move away from out immediate planetary neighborhood.

At the same time the distance and the vast numbers of stars, planets, and moons makes is more than we an image in. While the amount of distance that can be covered in ten thousand years with expansion of a life form suggests we certainly should see others, it looks very much as if the difficulty of preventing a sentient species from self destruction may be the filter that has prevented that.

It looks very much as if we may not survive with resources, population, and technology for even the next one hundred years. Destroying our own planet may well be hurdle that causes sentient species to fail.

Written by

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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