Latest on the Fermi paradox

“Where are they?” famously asked Italian physicist Enrico Fermi in the 1950s. By “they,” he meant space aliens. Fermi figured that if the galaxy contained space-faring civilizations it would only take them a few tens of millions of years to populate it. So why hasn’t there been a saucer-landing-take-me-to-your leader moment already? This is the Fermi Paradox.

In 1961, American astronomer Frank Drake devised an equation in which he tried to estimate the number of technological civilizations that might exist in our galaxy. Depending on the values plugged into it, the galaxy could be brimming with extra-terrestrials or we might be its only technologically advanced denizens.

Ronald Bailey

It turns out new parameterisation of Drake’s equation suggests that we humans may be alone in the universe.

Seems unlikely –  but who really knows? It is an interesting question though because it has important consequences depending on how noisy we are and whether we do have neighbours. These themes have been explored by some of my favorite authors:

Alastair Reynolds in his Revelation Space series posited the idea that the universe was predisposed to teem with life, but that space faring species were being hunted down and destroyed by a robotic intelligence called the inhibitors.

Alastair Reynolds in Pushing Ice had the idea that the universe was teeming with life but that the time frames were on such a scale that intelligent life seldom coincided with other intelligent life.

Liu Cixin in his three bodied problem trilogy posited the idea that the universe was caught in a Malthusian trap and advanced civilisations hid from each other and immediately destroyed any lessor civilisation that inadvertently revealed itself.

David Weber in his Safehold series has an alien species – the Gbaba – exterminating any and all signs of intelligent life in the galaxy.  In his Honor Harrington series humans are the most technologically advanced species in the galaxy.

Then there is a magnificent short story by Michael Shaara – All the way back – where as a result of an ancient war Earth is located in a portion of the galaxy known as the desert where all other inhabitable planets were destroyed.

All up a fairly pessimistic take on either why we find no evidence of other intelligent life in the universe and/or why we should be quiet in our own search through the universe. All good reading (less so Weber – I have stopped reading him through annoyance at his abuse of his readership) and probably a lot more interesting than the most plausible explanations being that the lightspeed limit is binding, and lifting intelligent life out of a gravity well on a large scale isn’t particularly economically viable.

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70 Responses to Latest on the Fermi paradox

  1. RobK

    So called intelligence is not necessarily a winning ploy. Microbes may well use us as a vector to colonize the universe. Maybe they were seeded here.

  2. manalive

    So why hasn’t there been a saucer-landing-take-me-to-your leader moment already? …

    They are here already as fairly convincing approximate replicas, Bob Brown’s ‘fellow Earthians’ address was a dead giveaway.

  3. JC

    All up a fairly pessimistic take on either why we find no evidence of other intelligent life in the universe and/or why we should be quiet in our own search through the universe.

    I posit the theory that we’re alone. It’s not a pessimistic theory but just how it is and we ought to be doing cartwheels we’re alone. If we manage to move out into space, the entire universe is ours. Imagine owning a planet as a vacation home… A solar system even. 🙂

  4. Herodotus

    Why seek them out? They may be tougher than us and very hungry.

  5. JC

    Don’t be scared, Herod. Read Ron Bailey’s full article and see what he says about “timorous souls” like you.

    Two takeaways: First, there is no reason for us to keep quiet and cower at home as some timorous souls have counseled.

    There’s a yuge chunk of real estate out there for the taking.

  6. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Maybe they are keeping us in a reservation, unspoiled by alien thoughts. If we develop something like a hyperdrive, then they might decide to reveal themselves.
    As for how likely they are to exist, I saw a TV show which showed that planets like Jupiter are far more likely to disturb their star systems than not. Those findings of gas giants close to their star are more common than other kinds. So aliens might not be near us.

  7. JC

    I’ve read the opposite, Nicholas. It made some sense too. The argument put forward was that the large fuckers like Jupiter, Saturn and ur anus act like giant fly traps to crap and debris flying around at great speed like meteors. It argued these fuckers have actually saved our bacon this way and the combination we have would be very rare. It sounds reasonable.

  8. a happy little debunker

    I rather like the Douglas Adams idea that intergalactic space travel operates on a ‘bad news’ drive

    “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”

    Such space travel would be both remarkable and immediately unpopular throughout the known universe.

  9. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    JC, your argument supports my contention! The combination we have is rare, therefore other systems near us are unlikely to have such a combination. Therefore, if technological aliens exist, they might be hundreds or thousands of light-years away. (Non-technological aliens, such as amoebas, might be the norm, of course)

  10. pbw

    happy,

    Lies are faster.

    …falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.

  11. Anonandon

    Well I’ve seen a UFO, so there is that.

  12. a happy little debunker

    Anonandon at 5:20 pm

    I too, once saw UFO, but I may have been imagining it.

  13. Frank

    It turns out new parameterisation of Drake’s equation suggests that we humans may be alone in the universe.

    That would be the equation that is a straight set of terms multiplied together. It seems a bit of a stretch to give it much credence as being anything other than a dart board.

  14. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I suppose some aliens might come here for their zoos (Now on display, PINK humans!!! Don’t they look just like hairless Orang-Utangs!). Otherwise, I don’t think we need to fear being invaded for our resources- all those vacant systems could supply their needs along those lines. And they should be able to use plasma from stars, and light power, to create any atoms they like.
    So I think that distance is why we haven’t heard from them. Or they from us. Even if travel by hyperdrive is possible, aliens would still need to point their ships at the right stars, and vice versa.

  15. cohenite

    Great, first a comic thread, now an S-F one, although the head prefect has tried to reduce it to a real estate convention.

    Pessimism and optimism in S-F run in cycles. Jack Vance had a teeming universe with humanity often alone but mutating to become different species, Larry Niven an equally robust one with endless opportunity as with Ringworld. The multiverse offers choice from Terry Pratchett in The Long Earth to the more elegant Dan Simmons in Hyperion.

    The problem with reaching the stars may not be just the ability but being prevented from doing so by governments which realise their power would be lost in any diaspora; Bob Shaw in Orbitsville and A E Van Vogt in the Isher books looked at this.

    One of the best dispersion recent series made into an equally good tv series is The Expanse. The problem there is not space but adaptation to it and a host of books dealing with pantropy have looked at this as has AD 2000.

    The idea that other intelligences are actively seeking out and killing off species was looked at in the Beserker series and Greg Bear’s The Forge of God and sequels about alien robotic intelligence and Greg Benford’s series about artificial intelligence turning on humans. The Alien movies are also good fun on that theme, especially Prometheus and it’s under-rated sequel Alien Covenant.

    Humans will make it to space. And a human in space is an alien.

  16. Roberto

    That would be the equation that is a straight set of terms multiplied together. It seems a bit of a stretch to give it much credence as being anything other than a dart board.
    And if just one of those terms is zero, then the answer’s zero.

  17. old bloke

    Alastair Reynolds in Pushing Ice

    My advice is to tell Alastair to bugger off, I’ve heard that ice isn’t good for you, and it’s highly addictive.

    Just a kindly word of advice.

  18. Fat Tony

    Our Milky Way galaxy has an estimated 250 billion stars and the Andromeda galaxy possibly 1000 billion stars.

    With a space ship that can travel instantaneously, and if you spend only one second at each star, it would take roughly 8,000 years to sight-see our galaxy and 32,000 years to visit all in the Andromeda.

    To explore our galaxy’s star systems properly would be an immense task.

    And there are billions of galaxies (at least).

  19. JC

    So it’s a huge back yard, Fats. 🙂 Instead of each person being able to afford to buy a planet, you could own a few solar systems. I wonder if too many black holes would detract from the price like being near a main road?

  20. H B Bear

    Increasingly it seems there is not even intelligent life on Earth. Exhibit 1 Sarah Hyphen-SeaPatrol, Exhibit 2 Senate cross-bench.

  21. Entropy

    What has David Weber been up to Sinc? Politics, or lazy writing?

  22. Frank

    With a space ship that can travel instantaneously, and if you spend only one second at each star, it would take roughly 8,000 years to sight-see our galaxy and 32,000 years to visit all in the Andromeda.

    But with 8000 spaceships…

  23. Diesal

    I am still enjoying the Weber Novels, admittedly they have not been as good recently as the earlier ones, Honour of the Queen being a great novel.
    The shame of it is that John Ringo who has written two great alien invasion series seems to have savage writers block.

  24. Entropy

    Yes. A Posleen invasion would make a great movie. A cross between aliens and Jurassic park.

  25. Fat Tony

    Frank
    #2748473, posted on June 27, 2018 at 6:39 pm
    With a space ship that can travel instantaneously, and if you spend only one second at each star, it would take roughly 8,000 years to sight-see our galaxy and 32,000 years to visit all in the Andromeda.

    But with 8000 spaceships…

    ……..that could travel instantaneously from one system to another? Imagine the size of the solar cells powering one of those suckers.

    Actually, my intention was to give an idea of how large the galaxy is.

  26. Fat Tony

    JC

    A black hole would be good for dumping your rubbish – and any government fuckwits who happened by.

  27. Eyrie

    Diesal, Ringo’s Zombie Apocalypse series is great. I wasn’t inclined to read a Zombie series but Ringo comes up with a great science based rationale.

  28. Entropy

    The Honour Harrington series does rip off the Horatio Hornblower series a bit.

  29. Eyrie

    Well, either we are alone and our job is to bring life to the rest of the Universe or there is other life and our job is to find and foster it to intelligence or there are other minds and our job is to contact them and get their view on what the Universe is about.
    What better way to know God than to try to understand His works?
    In any of these cases this is a worthy task for us.

  30. A Lurker

    There are two relevant quotes from popular culture.

    The first is from the movie ‘Jurassic Park’
    “Life finds a way.”

    The second is from the movie ‘Contact’.
    “I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?”

    Given the propensity of life to find a way even in the most inhospitable environments I’d suggest that not only is there life out there in the universe, but in fact the universe is teeming with life. That being said, not all life would be sentient, or capable of space flight, or more importantly, capable of interstellar space flight. That kind of life would be rare indeed.

    I am currently re-watching the television series Babylon 5, and in it there are three kinds of alien races, the First Ones, the Younger Races, and a much older race that came even before the First Ones. The Vorlons and the Shadows make up the First Ones (along with others who keep mostly to themselves and have not yet left the Rim for the deep dark depths of intergalactic space). Then there are the younger races – Humans, Mimbari, Centauri, and a number of others as well. The point of this is – the universe itself is not really that old, and the original stars that formed were not of the type to have planetary systems, the heavy elements simply did not exist in the early universe. Those original stars had to explode, creating a new generation of stars and creating heavy elements that eventually form planets. Those second generation stars too exploded creating more heavy elements, making heavy elements more common in the universe. I understand that our sun is a third generation star. So if life did not get going on any of the second generation stars, then we might well be among the first to gain sentience. Which would make us some of the First Ones. So, perhaps the reason for the silence might be because there may not be others out there who have attained a sufficient technology, or perhaps the tyranny of distance between each star is just too vast.

    That is the positive view. The negative view is that there are First Ones out there, and if the law of nature works the same in the universe as it does on Earth – then what is out there is likely to be where they are because they are aggressive and have out competed all other species and stand atop a planetary-sized mountain of skulls of vanquished races.

    In which case it would be useful for us to not draw attention to ourselves….

  31. Eyrie

    Entropy, when I watched Hornblower on TV I commented to Mrs Eyrie that it was Startrek with sailboats. Then I found that Gene Roddenberry had modelled it on Hornblower.

  32. Eyrie

    The simple explanation of Fermi’s Paradox is that any intelligent species develops a stifling bureaucracy before breaking out into space. We have an experimental result.

  33. Entropy

    As well as John Ringo’s Aldenata series where the aliens are mostly vegetarian and thus scared and unwilling to contact meat eating humans until the rapacious Posleen get out of control and they need the aggressive humans to do something about it,

    the other one worth mentioning in particular is David Brin’s Uplift series, where humans are lone wolves because unlike every other species, humans did not have a patron species that found and ‘uplifted’ them and kept them in servitude to the patron race for Millenia until they too uplift a new species and become patrons. When discovered, humans were not forced into patronage because by then they had already started “uplift” of dolphins and monkeys so were regarded as already patrons, if not equals due to their wolfling status. Needless to say, there is a vigorous sort of Cold War type competition to find new species to uplift, and snotty species rate themselves in the length of their patron clan ancestory, right back to the progenitors, who like humans, did not have a patron. Hence humans are feared because some of the more religious species fear humans might be the progenitors returned. The other good bit is that humans are referred to by aliens as ‘men’, with sexes either males or females. Amongst humans, senior politicans and military officers are referred are addressed as ‘Sir’ regardless if they are Mels or Fems.

  34. Sinclair Davidson

    What has David Weber been up to Sinc? Politics, or lazy writing?

    It wouldn’t be fair to describe him as being lazy because he churns out many, many, dear god too many, words per book. Lazy storytelling. He has become very self-indulgent too. In the HH series at one stage he was bringing out a book a year and they were good. The ending to Ashes of victory was simply magnificent. The space battle scene at the end At all costs is awesome (I often re-read those closing chapters of those books). But the side stories, the short stories, the ever increasing complex plot lines, and the time between books has become too annoying.

    Ditto with the Safehold series. Self-indulgence on a scale unseen before. Why write a series about a war-time industrial revolution with a religious reformation when your fan base are mostly hard sci-fi fans? One or two books about dragging yourself into a fighting state after the destruction of earth and then alien hunting.

    I stopped reading the last HH in mid-chapter in 2013 and stopped the Safehold series after a whole chapter of a sailing ship tacking against the wind.

  35. Entropy

    I liked the sailing ones the most : spoiler, the woman who had made herself into a man makes a female clone of himself.

  36. Entropy

    There supposed to be a new HH novel a month ago after a long hiatus and delay. Didn’t happen of course. Probably because aweber is mor enamoured with the stupid ballroom thread and slavery analogies than the royal navy analogies which built the readership in the first place.
    I imagine it will be eleventy hundred pages long and try to bring all the threads together. It will be a hard read.

  37. Entropy

    Also: HH is hard sci-fi? Space opera surely.

  38. egg_

    Increasingly it seems there is not even intelligent life on Earth. Exhibit 1 Sarah Hyphen-SeaPatrol, Exhibit 2 Senate cross-bench.

    All Civilisations develop Marxism, that stifles further development?

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    Well … started as hard scifi. Then all that telepathy crap came in.

  40. Gab

    or we might be its only technologically advanced denizens.

    Now that’s just depressing!

  41. John Constantine

    What if a technologically advanced but all-too-naïve and trusting alien society makes First Contact with Collingwood Supporters, and they are chosen to become our Overlords?.

  42. Howard Hill

    Eyrie
    #2748526, posted on June 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    The simple explanation of Fermi’s Paradox is that any intelligent species develops a stifling bureaucracy before breaking out into space. We have an experimental result.

    This! All that needs to be said. Anyone else out there won’t dare touch us, for fear of the plague!

  43. Iampeter

    I’d add The Expanse to the list.
    I personally don’t like the TV Show but the books are very excellent, especially if you want more “believable” sci-fi and it has its own very interesting take on the Fermi Paradox.

  44. Iampeter

    Oh yea and as to other life, I think it probably exists and we simply have no means to see or hear anything in real time with our technology at the moment. Having said that it’s probably very much for the best that we never get discovered. Advanced cultures running into more primitive cultures rarely ends well for the primitive culture.

  45. Fat Tony

    Iampeter
    #2748628, posted on June 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    Oh yea and as to other life, I think it probably exists and we simply have no means to see or hear anything in real time with our technology at the moment. Having said that it’s probably very much for the best that we never get discovered. Advanced cultures running into more primitive cultures rarely ends well for the primitive culture.

    Yeah, but in 200 years, our descendants will be paid sit-down money.
    That’s how it works, dunnit???

  46. Chris M

    If you are interested in this stuff it was all explained in detail with credible evidence in ‘Alien Intrusion’.

  47. egg_

    Presumably only inhabitants of an inner rocky planet could develop flight and then spaceflight, a water world/gas giant wouldn’t cut it, so Earthlike planets cuts the odds quite a bit in SETI.

  48. egg_

    Or perhaps life may be too fragile to survive for long. A 2016 study suggests that the early part of a rocky planet’s history can be very conducive to life, as life could emerge after about 500 million years after the planet cools down and water is available. However, after that point the planet’s climate could easily wipe life out. Look at Venus (which has a runaway greenhouse effect) or Mars (which lost most of its atmosphere to space). The study was led by Aditya Chopra, who was then with the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

    Stating the bleeding obvious.

    There is also the possibility of silicon based lifeforms (“rock monsters”) as opposed to carbon based (multi valances).

  49. Herodotus

    Fairly typical of JC that a jocular comment is turned around and used as a put down while he also shifts into “what’s in it fer mi” mode by invoking unlimited real estate fantasies.

  50. Tel

    So it’s a huge back yard, Fats. 🙂 Instead of each person being able to afford to buy a planet, you could own a few solar systems. I wonder if too many black holes would detract from the price like being near a main road?

    Hey you can buy them right now… I’ll write you up a title for a very reasonable consideration. You would need to cover the stamp duty on that.

  51. grumpy

    I’ve always thought that the surest sign that there’s intelligent life out there is that none of them have tried to contact us

  52. Eyrie

    Howard Hill, all of the others already have the bureaucracy plague. That’s why they aren’t here.

  53. Eyrie

    With the latest result on the Fermi Paradox, it looks like we are in the Firefly ‘verse. Lots of humans on many planets and moons but no alien life. Yay!

  54. egg_

    To ignore the societal feat of constructing interplanetary craft on an Economics blog is ironic in the extreme.

  55. egg_

    multi valencies

    I believe that the Apollo missions were credited with taking the combined efforts of 400,000 people; interplanetary travel by species like us would require at least that much organising ability, as opposed to autists* sitting in their silos.

    *The Paganistic cult that has plagued the UN for decades was brought about by NASA Scientist James Lovelock – worth noting.

    /Space cadets

  56. Sinclair Davidson

    I believe that the Apollo missions were credited with taking the combined efforts of 400,000 people

    Damn government bureaucracy.

  57. Rebel with cause

    How do we know what ‘intelligent life’ even looks like? We are assuming it looks like us and behaves like us. Does a bee know a flower is natural but the wooden hive he lives in isn’t?

  58. egg_

    Damn government bureaucracy.

    There would be a high private component in the space industry, NASA would’ve just been the customer; Grumman really had to rush the LM for Apollo 11 and Armstrong was basically piloting a prototype, if you enjoy cold war theatre.

    That Govt funding hoover Musk and his cohorts are riding on the back of – if he doesn’t fvck it up – as he has everything else he’s touched.

    Oz will be involved in competing with Musk, IIRC, subsidised by the Gummint, ‘course.

  59. Kneel

    “So why hasn’t there been a saucer-landing-take-me-to-your leader moment already? ”

    Bleeding obvious, ain’t it? Would YOU contact humans after even a cursory look at us? Paranoid xenophobes are best avoided – making us “stay in our room” until we mature a little isn’t a bad idea. And regardless of whether they can travel FTL or not, they have no reason to “steal” our resources. If they CAN do FTL, they have the entire universe at their disposal, so why bother with some back-water populated by a bunch of primitives? If NO FTL, then just to get here means they can survive for decades on, say, an asteroid in interstellar space. No need for the “resources” we have – especially given the vast resources available just in our solar system (excluding Earth).
    For those with a religious bent, saying “we are made in God’s image, and are special to Him” – how many images do you think He made? Do you think He couldn’t arrange it so that intelligent species antagonistic towards each other would never meet? (space is BIG)

  60. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I once thought of a way to replace the meter! SETI is relying on listening to a ‘naturally-occurring’ wavelength of hydrogen in space, the 21cm wavelength, about 8+1/4 inches (A4 paper width.) Why not build measurements around that? If we do meet another lifeform, will they be using our metric system? Space is giving us a neutral and natural length we can all use. A solid cube of Hydrogen ice, 21cm to a side, comes to about 1.6kg- a new weight unit! Gray’s Universal Standards (GUS) should be acceptable to all reasonable aliens.

  61. Habib

    What about the Royal Family? Their alien space lizards. And the Greens are clearly from Pluto*.

    Derryn Hinch is from the planet Fuckwit, along with many, many others. A full-scale and highly successful invasion with no need of a Gort or death-ray tripods. Not that they could knock up either, they’re only good at knocking each other up, to overwhelm the few intelligent life-forms with sheer numbers. And unfortunately they’re not overly susceptible to the ‘flu, or water.

    *There’s an equivalence gag there too about dogshit, but Disney animals don’t have bottoms.

  62. Crazyoldranga

    It took five extinction events before our Human ancestors evolved. We have a good sized moon orbiting the planet that also acts a shield against asteroids and meteors etc, and that’s without taking into account the gas giants in the outer reaches. The Earth tilts on its axis, giving us seasons which helps diversity of life. The earth also has oceans and plate tectonics.

    All of the above contributed to humanity getting to where we are today, writing our opinions on the interwebs. While I DO think that life exists throughout the Universe, I believe that sentient and intelligent life is either non existent or as rare as brain cells in Sarah Hansen Youngs head.

    Let’s face facts, we alone essentially alone in the Universe. A fluke. Now, parallel universes. There’s a whole new ball game.

  63. egg_

    While I DO think that life exists throughout the Universe, I believe that sentient and intelligent life is either non existent or as rare as brain cells in Sarah Hansen Youngs head.

    Apparently, our brains are at optimum size, so it doesn’t get any better than this for our species/planet.
    We’re devolving back to throwing virgins into volcanoes to appease the angry Gods.

  64. Bruce in WA

    “Cease all motor functions”

  65. Percy Popinjay

    I’ve always thought that the surest sign that there’s intelligent life out there is that none of them have tried to contact us

    We’re just lucky they haven’t nuked us from orbit, or pulled a Vogonesque intergalactic bypass lark.

    Now, parallel universes. There’s a whole new ball game.

    I feel like I’ve been existing in a very bizarre one since about late 2007.

  66. JohnA

    a happy little debunker #2748419, posted on June 27, 2018, at 5:45 pm

    Anonandon at 5:20 pm

    I too once saw UFO, but I may have been imagining it.

    That looks like Thunderbirds with real people (supposedly) acting instead of Super-marionettes.

  67. a happy little debunker

    JohnA at 3:54 pm

    Gerry Anderson has much to answer for!


  68. .

    Space exploration is a libertarian/freedom thing.

    The left hates the idea of colonisation even of uninhabited planets and pushes stupid technologies like “solar sails” and “cryo-sleep”. This stuff is science fiction thus far.

    They don’t want nukes, they don’t want freewheeling commerce and they want control over your life.

    Be positive, here is a conference paper from 1999 by T L Mahood:

    http://www.otherhand.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/STAIF99-Paper-Mahood.pdf

    It discusses “transient mass shifts of dielectric material” in a high-energy capacitor. Mass shifts of around +- 10% were “consistently obtained”.

    Woodward’s MEGADrive basically combines that idea and an RF cavity thruster.

    The new propulsion stuff not only seems more consistent with MOND/ post-Newtonian ideas, it also seems consistent with the more out there idea that there actually is an aether and this can explain errors in SR and GR that are apparent with GPS and laser ring gyroscopes (Sagnac effect). The discrepancy between “falling light” which ought to blueshift more can be explained by having the equivalency principle not overused – see Ron Hatch, Milgrom or Mike McCulloch for more.

  69. .

    Kneel
    #2749004, posted on June 28, 2018 at 10:24 am
    “So why hasn’t there been a saucer-landing-take-me-to-your leader moment already? ”

    Bleeding obvious, ain’t it? Would YOU contact humans after even a cursory look at us? Paranoid xenophobes are best avoided – making us “stay in our room” until we mature a little isn’t a bad idea. And regardless of whether they can travel FTL or not, they have no reason to “steal” our resources. If they CAN do FTL, they have the entire universe at their disposal, so why bother with some back-water populated by a bunch of primitives? If NO FTL, then just to get here means they can survive for decades on, say, an asteroid in interstellar space. No need for the “resources” we have – especially given the vast resources available just in our solar system (excluding Earth).
    For those with a religious bent, saying “we are made in God’s image, and are special to Him” – how many images do you think He made? Do you think He couldn’t arrange it so that intelligent species antagonistic towards each other would never meet? (space is BIG)

    Actually, I reckon humans are darn interesting.

    The same country in WWII produced the horrors of the final solution but also venerable actions by righteous men such as Schindler to save the wrongfully condemned.

    We can create the renaissance but we also have Iggy Azalea.

    We have nuclear power at our fingertips yet we choose to use unreliable wind, even over reliable but inefficient examples of hydropower or burning firewood.

    We’re not that smart but we can create tools that can effectively increase our IQ many times over.

  70. Norman Church

    Was it Asimov’s Foundation series that posited a galaxy only inhabited by humans?

    Although IIRC, the robots had a hand in that outcome.

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