Are You There, Aliens? It 's Us, The Human Race? Essay

1436 Words Mar 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Are You There, Aliens? It’s Us, the Human Race

“I bet everyone here a cup of coffee that we’ll find aliens within two dozen years.”

– Dr. Seth Shostak, Director of Communications for SETI

Look up into a clear night sky in a city, and you might see a small handful of pinpricks of light dotting the sky. Move out to the suburbs, where there’s less in the way of light pollution, and you’ll see a few more. Keep traveling away from population and artificial light – down a deserted highway, or out into a dark forest – and the sky begins to explode with thousands of stars, each of which could have their own solar system. Even then, the stars we see in the darkest of night skies still are only a small fraction of the stars in our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of billions of galaxies in a universe that is constantly expanding outwards, creating new stars and new galaxies. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us, when looking up at a vast, infinite universe, cannot help but wonder: what else is out there? Who else is out there? Are there other intelligent civilizations among the stars, or are we alone? Obviously, to the best of our (very human and limited) knowledge, we have not yet received any communications from an alien civilization, nor have we observed any other intelligent life via probe or satellite or telescope. Does that simply mean they’re not out there at all? Fermi’s paradox would argue that’s exactly what it means. The Fermi paradox argues that if the…

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