How the Fermi Paradox Works

By: Oisin Curran

Lots More Information

Author's Note: How the Fermi Paradox Works

Some people are bent on sending out signals to let other intelligent life forms know we're here. Skeptics liken this to walking through a jungle full of potential predators all the while shouting, "I'm over here!" Maybe we should keep a low profile until we get a better sense of who is out there and whether they're into pillaging and/or annihilation. But we're already emitting signals at a constant rate, so we might as well let the universe know that we've got more on our minds than what our sitcoms suggest. Otherwise, annihilation might be the obvious response.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • BBC. "Drake equation: How many alien civilizations exist?" Nov. 18, 2014. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • Becker, Kate. "Holograms, Black Holes, and the Nature of the Universe." PBS. Nov. 15, 2011. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • Circovic, M.M. and Vukotic, B. "Astrobiological phase transition: towards resolution of Fermi's paradox." Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere. Vol. 38, No. 6. Pages 535-47. December 2008. (Dec. 9, 2016)
  • Cowen, Ron. "Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram." Nature. Dec. 10, 2013. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • Foley, John. "Examining the Fermi Paradox." Omni. 2016. (Dec. 9, 2016)
  • Gray, Robert H. "The Fermi Paradox Is Not Fermi's, and It Is Not a Paradox." Scientific American. Jan. 29, 2016. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • Langhoff, Stephanie et al. "Workshop Report on the Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos." NASA. Dec. 2007. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • MIT Technology Review. "Interstellar Travel Not Possible Before 2200AD, Suggests Study." Jan. 7, 2011. (Dec. 9, 2016)
  • NASA. "Gamma-ray Bursts." March 2013. (Dec. 9, 2016)
  • NASA. "The Nearest Star." Dec. 6, 2016. (Dec. 8, 2016)
  • O'Callaghan, Jonathan. "Where are all the aliens? WIRED explains the Fermi Paradox." Wired. Sept. 30, 2016. (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • SETI. "Fermi Paradox." (Dec. 7, 2016)
  • Springbob, Christopher. "Traveling at light speed, how long would it take to get to the nearest galaxy?" Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University. June 27, 2016. (Dec. 8, 2016)
  • Swan, Russ. "Astronomers plan an 'alien hunt' to finally solve the mystery of the 'Dyson Sphere'." Wired. Oct. 28, 2016. (Dec. 12, 2016)
  • Urban, Tim. "The Fermi Paradox." Wait But Why. May 2014. (Dec. 8, 2016)