The Fermi Paradox is a question that stumps and fascinates scientists (and pretty much everyone else, let’s be real.) The question, originally posed by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, wonders at why there are theoretically so many habitable planets in the universe, but humanity has yet to make contact with any form of intelligent life.
Bill Nye decided to tackle the question in a short YouTube video. And for the famous science educator, the answer is simple: be patient. Nye believes that the one of the biggest barriers to making contact with alien life is just timing.
The answer, I think, is not that complicated. We’ve only been listening for other civilizations for 50-70 years, depending on how you count. You have to acknowledge that civilizations have to emerge and be able to communicate at the same time. When you have something that’s been going on for 13.6 billion years, there’s a lot of opportunities to miss each other.
This explanation skews more positive when it comes to possible reasons for that silent blackness that we call space. Other theories believe that our civilisation has yet to reach the Great Filter, an evolutionary wall that’s nearly insurmountable but one all species face if they wish to survive. Others believe we have already passed the Filter, and we just haven’t found another species that is as fortunate.
Hopefully the answer is as rosy as Bill Nye suggests — a classic case a telephone tag.