Before we found out how big is the universe and how it works, our calculations relied on us being in the center with no habitable planets outside of ours; there were some periods of times when we linked gods and stars to help us explain the universe.
However, recently, we found out that the observable universe is about 90 billion light-years in diameter, which contains approximately 100 billion galaxies in which you can find roughly 100 billion stars.
However, most importantly, we have found that there are around 100 trillion habitable planets, which brings us to our question, are we alone in the universe? Moreover, if not, why hadn’t we already made contact with any of them?
Don’t worry; you’re not the only one asking this question; everyone wonders how extraterrestrial species would look like and if they exist.
It all goes back to a casual lunch conversation between Enrico Fermi with fellow physicists Edward Teller, Herbert York and Emil Konopinski the summer of 1950. While walking to lunch, the men discussed recent UFO reports and the possibility of faster-than-light travel. The conversation moved on to other topics, until during lunch Fermi suddenly said, “Where are they?” or “Don’t you ever wonder where everybody is?” or “But where is everybody?” (the exact quote is uncertain, and only Konopinski was confident that the prior conversation happened on that same day).
Furthermore, York remembers that Fermi “followed up with a series of calculations on the probability of earthlike planets, the probability of life given Earth, the probability of humans given life, the likely rise, and duration of high technology. He concluded that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over.”
The universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old, and in ‘its lifetime there had been countless explosions and eruptions, so if there was a close habitable planet, it had already reached its fall. The closest example is Venus; Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures for up to 2 billion years of its early history,
According to computer modeling of the planet’s ancient climate by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
Compared to how big and old the universe is we might look too insignificant, the Earth might have existed for 4.543 billion years, but the first micro-organism wouldn’t have come into existence for the next billion years, and the process of evolution took about three billion years to create our early ancestors, with the homo species emerging 2.5 million years ago only. Regardless of the short period for our existence, we have developed complex systems and societies, we have been able to take advantage of the Earth’s resources, and just in 150 years, we have been able to break out of our planet and land on the moon.
In 1964 a Russian astrophysicist introduced The Kardashev scale.
A method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy a civilization can use. The scale has three designated categories:
- A Type I civilization—also called a planetary civilization
Can use and store all of the energy available on its planet. However, being able to harness all Earth’s power would also mean that we could have control over all-natural forces. Human beings could control volcanoes, the weather, and even earthquakes! (At least, that is the idea.) These kinds of feats are hard to believe, but compared to the advances that may still be to come, these are just basic and primitive levels of control (it’s nothing compared to the capabilities of societies with higher rankings).
- A Type II civilization—also called a stellar civilization
can use and control energy at the scale of its solar system and its host star.
The most popular of which is the hypothetical ‘Dyson Sphere.’ This device, if you want to call it that, would encompass every single inch of the star, gathering most (if not all) of its energy output and transferring it to a planet for later use. Alternatively, if the race had mastered fusion power (the mechanism that powers stars), a reactor on a truly immense scale could be used to satisfy their needs. We could use nearby gas giants their hydrogen, slowly drained of life by an if humans survived long enough to reach this status, and a moon-sized object entered our solar system on a collision course with our little blue planet–we’d have the ability to vaporize it out of existence. Alternatively, if we had time, we could move our world out of the way, completely dodging it. However, let’s say we didn’t want to move Earth. Are there any other options? Well yes, because we’d have the capability to move Jupiter or another planet of our choice.
- A Type III civilization—also called a galactic civilization
can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.
Where a species then becomes galactic traversers with knowledge of everything having to do with energy, resulting in them becoming a master race. In terms of humans, hundreds of thousands of years of evolution – both biological and mechanical – may result in the inhabitants of this type III civilization being incredibly different from the human race as we know it. These may be cyborgs (or cybernetic organism, beings both biological and robotic), with the descendants of regular humans being a sub-species among the now-highly advanced society. These wholly organic humans would likely be considered as disabled, inferior, or unevolved by their cybernetic counterparts.
At this stage, we would have developed colonies of robots that are capable of ‘self-replication’; their population may increase into the millions as they spread out across the galaxy, colonizing star after star. Moreover, these being might build Dyson Spheres to encapsulate each one, creating a vast network that would carry energy back to the home planet. However, stretching over the galaxy in such a manner would face several problems; namely, the laws of physics. Particularly, light-speed travel.
Our civilization, according to the formula proposed by carl sagan, is type 0.72. Yes, we humans, regardless of how much power we control, in 2015 alone our total energy consumption was 17.35 terawatts.
However, according to Michio Kaku, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in our time suggests that it may take us 100-200 years to reach the type 1 status, type 2 status in the next few thousand years, and the type 3 in the next 100000-1000000 years.
However, if there was a civilization that reached type 3 on the scale,
Also, had already colonized the milky way, why would it bother to contact our culture?
This is called the Fermi paradox, and no one has an answer to it.
All we can do is theorize.
In conclusion, regardless of how much our civilization achieved over a glimpse of an eye, we’re still not that advanced, the universe is for us to discover.
However, stressing over why aliens didn’t yet have made contact with us is useless, what we should continue to do, is reach as far as we could into space and try to reach other civilizations while increasing our knowledge of space. Because there could be many reasons leading to extraterrestrial species contacting us and some of them we might not be able to understand since such a culture would be god-like to us.
Progress is what matters for now, and that’s what we should pursue.
We are explorers, we have the means to explore, maybe in the future our midpoints would change, but in our time living in the present moment is one of the pillars of every culture’s philosophy. What we can do is make the best of it in our time, not worry about the future because time is not in our control, yet. And wonder about what’s outside.
However, the problem with this philosophy might be taking things more comfortable than we should, and not worrying about anything.
Thus we find ourselves stuck in another dilemma because if we decide to seek progress, chances are we will be looking to develop the future which means seeking for a better tomorrow. and to do that scientists and revolutionists live their life just for the next generations to live and hopefully lead a better future for the following generations. And we wouldn`t be appreciated or valued, chances are we wouldn’t even live to see the impact we made.
Nevertheless it makes more sense, though, evolutionary speaking, to lead a life of progress for the next generations since evolution is about progressive survival.