Physicist Brian Cox recently weighed in on one of sciences’ biggest questions; with such a large probability for life in such an expansive universe, why haven’t we found any evidence as of yet?
The Fermi Paradox is named after Enrico Fermi, and is based on the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates, e.g., those given by the Drake equation, for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. These basic points of argument where made way back in the 1950’s and are still pondered upon today.
While Enrico Fermi notably asked “Where is everybody”, Brian Cox think he may finally have the answer, and it isn’t pretty.
According to Cox, “One solution to the Fermi paradox is that it is not possible to run a world that has the power to destroy itself and that needs global collaborative solutions to prevent that.” Cox is essentially saying that it is possible we would never find such an advanced civilization, as it’s more likely to destroy itself than reach the bounds of interstellar travel.
Cox also goes on to warn about possibilities in our own society that could mimic his theory “It may be that the growth of science and engineering inevitably outstrips the development of political expertise, leading to disaster. We could be approaching that position.”
Here’s hoping the next physicist find is a bit more positive.
Image: Jon Rolin/Flickr
Get our Tips and Tricks to your Inbox