We have yet to find definitive proof of the existence of extra-terrestrial civilizations. According to Drake’s Equation, there are about 100,000 civilizations in our galaxy. Multiply that by the hundreds of billions of galaxies and the number of civilizations in the universe is overwhelming. Then, there’s Fermi’s Paradox which asks, where are they? Based on the odds and physics, we aren’t alone; but it certainly feels that way. There’s a chance that we’re the first; but probably not. The universe and the galaxy are old enough that any civilization with a 1% headstart on us would already have colonized the galaxy; but we can’t find them. The implications aren’t abstract. The best hope is that everyone is out there and we just haven’t figured out how to answer the phone. The worst fear is that no one is out there because something eliminates intelligent civilizations. Our best news will be if we discover the galactic community, then we know survival is possible. If no one is out there, our existence may be like the teenager gingerly walking through the haunted house wondering what’s behind every door and curtain.
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