....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
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- up to my arse in alligators
Fermi's ParadoxThe galaxy contains roughly a hundred billion stars. If even a very small fraction of these have planets which develop technological civilizations, there must be a very large number of such civilizations. If any of these civilizations produce cultures which colonize over interstellar distances, even at a small fraction of the speed of light, the galaxy should have been completely colonized in no more than a few million years . Since the galaxy is billions of years old, Earth should have been visited and colonized long ago. The absence of any evidence for such visits is the Fermi paradox.
"Where Is Everybody?": An Account of Fermi's Question - UFO Evidence
"Where Is Everybody?": An Account of Fermi's Question
-Eric M. Jones, Los Alamos National Laboratories
Summary: Fermi's Famous question, now central to debates about the prevalence of extraterrestrial civilizations, arose during a luncheon conversation with Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller, and Herbert York in the summer of 1950. Fermi's companions on that day have provided accounts of the incident.
Part of the current debate about the existence and prevalence of extraterrestrials concerns interstellar travel and settlement [1-3]. In 1975, Michael Hart argued that interstellar travel would be feasible for a technologically advanced civilization and that a migration would fill the Galaxy in a few million years . Since that interval is short compared with the age of the Galaxy, he then concluded that the absence of settlers or evidence of their engineering projects in the Solar System meant that there are no extraterrestrials.
Newman, Sagan, and Shklovski [2,5] recall that a legend of science says that Enrico Fermi asked the question, "Where are they?" during a visit to Los Alamos during the Second World War or shortly thereafter. Fermi's question has been mentioned in several other recent publications, but historical basis for the attribution has not been established. Thanks to the excellent memory of Hans Mark, who had heard a retelling at Los Alamos in the early 1950s, we now know that Fermi did make the remark during a lunchtime conversation about 1950. His companions were Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller, and Herbert York. All three have provided accounts of the incident.
Teller remembers: "My recollection of the event involving Fermi . . . is clear, but only partial…."I remember having walked over with Fermi and others to the Fuller Lodge for lunch. While we walked over, there was a conversation which I believe to have been quite brief and superficial on a subject only vaguely connected with space travel. I have a vague recollection, which may not be accurate, that we talked about flying saucers and the obvious statement that the flying saucers are not real. I also remember that Fermi explicitly raised the question, and I think he directed it at me, 'Edward, what do you think? How probable is it that within the next ten years we shall have clear evidence of a material object moving faster than light?' I remember that my answer vas ' 1 o-6.. Fermi said, 'This is much too low. The probability is more like ten percent' (the well known figure for a Fermi miracle.) "
Teller continues: "The conversation, according to my memory, was only vaguely connected with astronautics partly on account of flying saucers might be due to extraterrestrial people (here I believe the remarks were purely negative), partly because exceeding light velocity would make interstellar travel one degree more real.
It was after we were at the luncheon table," Konopinski recalls, "that Fermi surprised us with the question 'but where is everybody?' It was his way of putting it that drew laughs from us ."
Teller remembers the question in much the same way. "The discussion had nothing to do with astronomy or with extraterrestrial beings. I think it was some down-to-earth topic. Then, in the middle of this conversation, Fermi came out with the quite unexpected question 'Where is everybody?' . . . The result of his question was general laughter because of the strange fact that in spite of Fermi's question coming from the clear blue, everybody around the table seemed to understand at once that he was talking about extraterrestrial life.
"I do not believe that much came of this conversation, except perhaps a statement that the distances to the next location of living beings may be very great and that, indeed, as far as our galaxy is concerned, we are living somewhere in the sticks, far removed from the metropolitan area of the galactic center."
York believes that Fermi was somewhat more expansive and "followed up with a series of calculations on the probability of earthlike planets, the probability of life given an earth, the probability of humans given life, the likely rise and duration of high technology, and so on. He concluded on the basis of such calculations that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over. As I recall, he went on to conclude that the reason we hadn't been visited might be that interstellar flight is impossible, or, if it is possible, always judged to be not worth the effort, or technological civilization doesn't last long enough for it to happen." York confessed to being hazy about these last remarks.
Emphasis mine, -jt3
The question I have is “what if *we* are the decendents of “aliens?” Would we recognize “them” in our midst? Would we recognize “them” within “us?”