What are ways to prove the Fermi paradox

Fermi Paradox: Neither Fermi nor Paradox

Whenever the search for extraterrestrial intelligences - SETI for short - is discussed again, sooner or later two aspects almost always appear. One is the Drake equation, which can be used to estimate how many civilizations we could theoretically track down in the Milky Way. If you take plausible assumptions as a basis, you end up with a number of a few thousand. On the other hand, the so-called Fermi paradox: If there were intelligent aliens, we should actually see them all around us, because every civilization would inevitably have colonized the entire galaxy at some point. However, since we cannot see any obvious signs of an alien visit on Earth, it can be concluded that there are no intelligent aliens either - and thus a search for their signals would be pointless.

The Drake equation is absolutely authentic. It was clearly developed by the astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake. But the case is different with the second aspect, the Fermi paradox. It's a myth. The physicist Enrico Fermi, after whom it is named, never made such a claim.

This article is featured in Spectrum Compact, Alien Life - Are We Alone in Space?

Based on my extensive research on this topic, I would like to try to explain why the so-called Fermi Paradox is misleading - and why it significantly hinders the, in my opinion, worthwhile search for extraterrestrials. For example, the Democratic Senator William Proxmire used it as a reason when he put NASA's SETI program on hold in 1981. The program was only resumed at the insistence of Carl Sagan - but finally discontinued in 1993 at the instigation of Proxmire's party colleague, Senator Richard Bryan. Since then, the US government has not sponsored a SETI program, even though thousands of planets have been discovered around distant stars.

"Where are they all?"

Enrico Fermi, Nobel laureate in physics and builder of the first nuclear reactor, has not published a single word about extraterrestrials in his lifetime. We only know what he thought of the matter because the physicist Eric Jones collected the written memoirs of three people who had lunch with Fermi in Los Alamos in 1950, which is believed to be the origin of the Fermi paradox: Emil Konopinski , Edward Teller and Herbert York. Fermi himself had died in 1954.

As these eyewitnesses report, the conversation revolved around a cartoon in The New Yorker magazine. There were aliens to be seen who had stolen trash cans in the streets of New York and now happily climbed out of their flying saucer. Suddenly Fermi said the famous sentence: "Where is everybody?"

It was immediately clear to everyone at the table that he was referring to the complete absence of alien spaceships, and so the conversation turned to the feasibility of interstellar space travel.