In a period of less than one hundred years,Reflections on the Fermi Paradox Articles humankind advanced from traveling by horse and buggy to making a trip to its planet’s satellite. Just imagine what the humans might be able to accomplish over the course of the next ten thousand years! That is possibly enough time to develop techniques for long-term human hibernation, to build extremely fast spaceships, and to explore every planet within a thousand light years.
Many years ago the famous physicist Enrico Fermi, when asked about aliens, replied: Where are they? Fermi makes a strong point. Stars in our galaxy range up to ten billion years in age and our own planet has more than four billion years of history. Within such of time scale, ten thousand years is hardly the blink of an eye. Indeed, there were even intelligent humans ten thousand years ago, and what if the alien civilizations have been around for even longer, maybe even for millions of years? Aliens, if they are out, would have visited us long ago, and without any visible signs of alien visitation, Fermi concluded that we are alone.
Fermi’s logic, however, relies on a couple of underlying assumptions that have yet to be proven. First, it assumes that alien technology is no more advanced that what we can imagine for ourselves in the future. Second, it assumes that the alien visitors, once they got here, would want to immediately and directly announce themselves. In other words, it is possible (even likely) that aliens have been here and we just do not know it.