[Originally published as The Fermi Paradox Rides Again]
Over the years, I have written several times about something astrobiologists and other alien hunters call the Fermi Paradox. For those who have not heard of this paradox, it was birthed by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi during a discussion over lunch in 1950.
Fermi mused that alien life must exist in the vastness of the universe. In 1975, an astrophysicist, Michael Hart, expanded on Fermi’s Paradox. It was supposed to answer the question,
“Where are all the aliens?”
It proposed more reasons why, after billions of dollars were spent listening for signs of life, with the numerous endeavors aptly named the “search for extraterrestrial intelligence” (SETI) projects, nothing was ever heard.
The utter failure of several other variations on this theme, with billions of additional research dollars invested and nothing to show for their efforts, SETI might just as well have been searching for a YETI (the Himalayan version of Bigfoot known as the abominable snowman).
If it sounds like I am poking fun at these progenitors of ET finally phoning home with big brother somehow eavesdropping on their calls, I am.
What we have is the theory of evolution applied outward into the cosmos. The logic behind the Fermi Paradox is rooted in the fact that our universe is incredibly large and still expanding. So much so that we have yet to be able to discover or observe the outer boundaries of the cosmos. Amid the billions of planets that inhabit the billions of galaxies, experts speculate that there are anywhere from 200 billion to 2 trillion galaxies in the cosmos with some estimates going as high as 10 trillion.
This paradox is a set of seemingly logical precepts concerning the existence of extraterrestrial life. The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations (in the minds of evolutionary scientists) and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. These precepts are based entirely on a fallacious premise, i.e. that there must be life somewhere in the vast uncharted regions of outer space. Here is the Fermi paradox in a nutshell:
The apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations and various high estimates for their probability.
The size and age of the universe incline us to believe that many technologically advanced civilizations must exist. However, this belief seems logically inconsistent with our lack of observational evidence to support it. Therefore, either:
- The initial assumption is incorrect and technologically advanced intelligent life is much rarer than we believe, or
- Our current observations are incomplete and we simply have not detected them yet, or
- Our search methodologies are flawed and we are not searching for the correct indicators.
It does not take a rocket scientist (my apologies to any rocket scientists out there) to see the flaw in the Fermi Paradox. Nothing in the Fermi Paradox allows for the most logical and obvious answer to this conundrum.
Because life itself is the result of the Creator of the universe, it is unique to planet earth, and the solar system wherein we are perfectly situated for life to not only survive but to thrive.
Bottom line, as the 2015 Time magazine cover suggested, the evidence indicates:
Maybe We Really Are Alone In the Universe
Just as the Fermi Paradox indicates, there are no alien lifeforms, no goldilocks planets harboring life just beyond the reach of our sensors in some habitable zone. And most importantly, there is no life outside of the life created and sustained by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This goes well beyond the physical realm, it is the abundant life promised by the Messiah to those who place their faith in Him.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, John 10:10.
Do not be deceived by the lie that life can spontaneously appear anywhere in the vast universe. It has never been observed to happen in the past nor is it happening in the present. If we learn anything from the Fermi Paradox, it is that the life that really matters will not come from alien sources, it comes for the One who proclaimed Himself to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me, John 14:6.
Pastor Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.