Where is everybody?


As world citizens of the twenty-first century, our grey matter is intrigued by whether life forms do exist in the universe apart from on our earth. As no homunculus from extra-terrestrial worlds is on exhibition in a natural science museum here on Earth, it’s only legitimate to come to a conclusion – only Earth has human beings.  But with latest researches, a tide of question marks is imminent.

To the naked human eye, 4,500 stars are visible in a clear night sky.  An average telescope will see 2,000,000 stars. A reflecting telescope will view 30,000,000,000 stars that are approximately the content of the Milky Way galaxy. A modern electronic telescope will be able to view 10,000 spiral galaxies. Thus a total of 10 to the power 20 stars are observable using modern technology.

Let’s consider that a planetary system exists on 1 out of 1,000 of these stars and that necessary conditions for life also exist on a 1:2,000 ratio, we have with us 10 to the power 14 habitable stars. Furthermore, let’s assume that most of these are suitable for life on again 1 out of 1,000 stars and that planets on which life is actually produced and exists are also 1 out of a 1,000. Consequently, we have 180 million planets orbiting in the ecosphere of its own sun and 1.8 million planets which actually have a life. Considering planets having the same level of Intelligence in terms of civilization as that of the earth is only 1 out of 100. We are left with 18,000 inhabited planets with equally intelligent civilizations as that of Earth.

In the past, many daring theories where put forward as utopias but now, how many of these utopias have actually been turned into reality is in our daily life activities? Let’s just not embarrass our ancestors of “the Church” by putting an estimate on that figure.

In around 150 years, the future space-ships designed by us will be powered by nuclear fusion and will be expected to travel almost at the speed of light – which will allow interstellar travel. Suppose we reach a planet which has a less advanced civilization than that of earth, say they are in their stone age. We reach there and we find cave-men. We sympathise with them for the crude and unsafe lifestyle that they lead and we offer them some daily necessities including fire. This turns out to be very important for their survival and they thank us and they worship us as Gods. Because they don’t know how we appeared right from the sky in “Chariots of Fire and Metal”. Eventually, we become Gods to them and this notion of us being Gods is passed down generations after generations.

Could this event not have been the same for us? That a way-advanced civilization from a distant planet came to us when we were cave-men, and helped us reach the level of civilization we have attained today, and that we considered them as our Gods, our Saviours, our Messiah?

Renowned Italian nuclear-physicist Enrico Fermi is known to have asked, “Where is everybody?”

I’d say, “Waiting to be discovered.”


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