Is there intelligent life in the universe besides our own? Famous scientists such as the late Steven Hawking conclude that intelligent life probably exists.
From a statistical perspective, the sheer number of galaxies, solar systems, and habitable planets in existence means that in all likelihood we are not alone. And we’re fascinated by the possibility.
We watch extraterrestrials of all kinds on television and at the movies: ET, Alien, Predator, Alien versus Predator, Star Wars, the Fifth Element, [insert favorite movie here]. There’s a ton of them and we love these kinds of movies. But the big question remains: where’s the evidence of ET? If there are so many planets that can harbor life, why don’t we have any evidence?
That’s the Fermi Paradox. The authors of the linked article (Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Toby Ord) examine the Fermi Paradox and “dissolve” it, concluding that the paradox isn’t real and there is in fact no life in the universe apart from our own because there’s no evidence for it. It’s not as fun as a movie, but if you’re wondering if aliens exist or not, this paper actually delves into the “guts” of this paradox and the ultimate question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe.
Whether or not we’re alone in the universe, we can find meaning in our relationships within our communities. If you’re feeling alone, know that isolation isn’t the answer. Take that step, get out there, and connect with friends and people in your community. If it just isn’t working, try something different and go see a counselor or a trusted provider. You might discover a new you.