"They May Be Here!"

Fermi's Paradox

Physicist Enrico Fermi once asked why, given that a technological society should be able to colonize the Galaxy in the span of ten million years, we see no evidence that any extraterrestrials have ever been here. This conundrum, which became known as "Fermi's paradox" has pleased and tantalized SETI scientists for decades.

Why pleased, you ask? Because it is based on a selection of the evidence that affirms the dream/myth that we all unknowingly share, and to which you will be introduced in the pages of Open SETI. SETI scientists love the "paradox" because it works for them in every way. It affirms (without in any way justifying) their belief that no extraterrestrial society has traveled here, or ever would have the capability to do so. It also assumes that there is at least one other technological civilization in the Galaxy, and they like that assumption because then their work is cut out for them.

Yet the persistence of the paradox must also be a little vexing. In a revealing video statement that appeared on the space.com tv website (click the image at the top of this page to view it), SETI Institute's Jill Tarter (Director of the Institute's Center for SETI Research) told us that she really doesn't lose sleep over the paradox; the problem is that we have never properly searched our local environment! In fact, "It's possible that there could be, in fact, within our solar system, some evidence of ET technology." And "They may be here!" Has she checked this out with Frank Drake, Chairman of the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees, who has argued loudly for decades that such a thing is impossible?

Here is Frank Drake in a July 29 2002 online debate:

"Why go to the great expense and danger of going to other stars? Truly intelligent life would laugh at the idea. The only ones who might try are the dumb ones, and they don't know how."
Drake posted this statement four days after Jill Tarter's video appeared on the same space.com website. He had to have known about Tarter's statement. Was this then a response to it?

Dr. Tarter advocated a form of SETI known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation (SETV), which has been developed by researchers excluded from the tight SETI society, and which you will find described in these Open SETI pages. While there has been little ongoing support of the SETV idea, the Institute's heavy push into astrobiology (SETI's New Look), tells us that SETI is now trying to diversify.62

In their paper, Inflation-Theory Implications for Extraterrestrial Visitation (2005), Deardorff, Haisch, Maccabee, and Puthoff argue that possibilities for exotic modes of transport implicit in the currently-popular inflation cosmological theory "strengthen" Fermi's paradox (i.e., they increase the itch to resolve it). In other words, it seems even more likely than we ever thought before that ETs could have and should have arrived here. This motivated them to "reexamine and reevaluate the present assumption that extraterrestrials or their probes are not in the vicinity of earth, and argue instead that some evidence of their presence might be found in certain high-quality UFO reports." [Italics are ours.]

Now we learn that the absence was an assumption and not the result of an examination of evidence!

At any rate, we must point out that this cutting-edge recommendation is merely echoing what the "UFO research community" has always believed to be true, and in a small way moves toward the paradigm of Open SETI.

For a particularly stupid resolution of Fermi's Paradox, see Nice planet, shame about the human race.

For an excellent one, see Skeptic questions famed UFO enthusiast.

Open SETI SETI Blinks?