Have you ever smoked a bowl, went outside, looked up, and ever asked yourself, “Where is everybody?”

This is called Fermi’s question, named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi.

Given the knowledge that our Sun is a typical and relatively young star and given the hard scientific data and high mathematical probability of there being at least 500 billion billion sun-like stars, 100 billion billion Earth-like planets, and 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the known and observable universe, with 1 billion of those Earth-like planets and 100,000 of those intelligent civilizations being in our Milky Way galaxy alone, it can be argued that there should be intelligent extraterrestrial life in our galaxy and universe. And according to this theory, the Earth should have been colonized by now by much more advanced civilizations, or at least visited by E.T.

However, there has not been any convincing evidence of this, nor any signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life elsewhere in our galaxy or universe, so what are we left with?

This brings us to two possible fundamental explanations:

  1. There are no signs of higher civilizations than us because there are no higher civilizations in existence.
  2. There are no signs of higher civilizations than us because we haven’t found them yet.

The first possible explanation employs The Great Filter theory, which suggests that an evolutionary leap that almost no species manages to make must be somewhere in-between the origin of life and type-III civilization, a civilization that has been able to access and harness the power of an entire galaxy.

 

If The Great Filter is behind us, then… We’re Extremely Rare:

 

Or… We’re The First:

 

But if The Great Filter is ahead of us, then… We’re So Fucked:

The second possible explanation suggests that higher civilizations do in fact exist but only because we have yet to find them. For logical reasons as to why we haven’t found them yet, then read more here.

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