The Fermi Paradox & The Great Filter Theory – Ayaan Agarwal

The Fermi Paradox & The Great Filter Theory – Ayaan Agarwal

We’ve all wondered whether there is life in space, other than us. Given the statistics, there are approximately 40 Billion habitable planets in the milky way galaxy alone. That leaves us with the dreadful question: “Where are the aliens?”. This is a problem humans have dwelt over for a long time, and it has been given a name. The “Fermi Paradox” (Named after Enrico Fermi) is an inquiry as to why there is no evidence of extraterrestrial life. There are many solutions to the paradox, but we’ll be discussing the “Great Filter” theory.

“The Great Filter” theory proposes that there is a challenge that all life must face. This can be any type of extinction level challenge and it may be evolutionary, technological or chronological. However, it must be something every species faces at some point in its timeline. It may have been the process of cell duplication, it may have been the rise of intelligence or it may just have been the chances of superior biological life. These are all examples that assume we have passed the great filter, and that we have passed a great challenge. However, if we do find aliens, it would be devastating, as it would mean the filter is ahead of us, and it could be climate change, nuclear war, overpopulation or artificial intelligence. It may just be something we don’t know about yet. However, we know that if there is a filter, it may be the end of humanity, or proof that we have an amazing future ahead.

~ Ayaan Agarwal

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