Via George Dvorsky’s Sentient Developments (and a few other sources) came a link to an article by Michael Huang, The Other Side of the Fermi Paradox, where the author applies the paradox in reverse as a justification for human expansion into space – in his own words:
“If we do not do it, then no one else will.”
A little pessimistic, but I’m largely in accord with his assessment that we need to be looking beyond the gravity well, and soon.
What is more relevant to this blog, perhaps, is that Huang refers to a fantastic book that I bought some time ago and have meant to blog about ever since, namely ‘If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens… Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life’, by Stephen Webb.
Despite its ultimately pessimistic assessment of the likelihood of extraterrestrial life existing, it’s the type of pop-science book that any serious science fiction fan or space buff will enjoy. From a writer’s perspective, each of those hypothetical solutions is a story waiting to be written! If you can’t afford it, get it from your local library (while such a thing still exists).
Further Fermi facts and figures (or figurative conjecture and philosophy, more likely) can be had from the latest AstronomyCast podcast – I’ve not listened to this just yet, but it’s presented by real scientists and is usually well worth the time, so I’m not hesitant to recommend it here.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of life in space, Centauri Dreams looks at the feasability of an exploratory mission to Europa, one of the more likely sites of extraterrestrial life in our solar system. I know I link to CD quite often, but there’s a reason for that – it’s always right on top of the latest astronomy and cosmology news, and takes a pro-colonisation / pro-exploration stance. If you’ve not subscribed to it already, it’s high time you did – there aren’t many space blogs that can deliver the big science in a digestible format.
Plenty for you to read and listen to there, then. Any thoughts on the Fermi paradox – are we alone in the universe, but for our own species-centric hubris?