Have you ever seen a flying saucer? Met E.T. in your backyard? Been abducted by Martians?
No? Well, there might be a reason for that, bunky.
There might not be any ALIENS!
Yup, despite what some people say about encounters of the first, second and third kinds, there is growing evidence that life, and especially intelligent life, might be as rare as winning the lottery. (And that's why you and I are both still working for a living.)
We see no evidence that our galaxy has been colonized by an advanced technological civilization. Archaeological excavations have not unearthed alien spaceships, and the optical and radio searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have not been successful (Tarter, 2001).
If one assumes that once life emerges it evolves toward intelligence and technological civilizations, we are faced with Fermi’s paradox: Where is everybody? [Webb (2002),C ´ irkovic´ (2009); but also see Gray (2015) and Ward and Brownlee’s (2000) Rare Earth hypothesis].
To put this information in context, Hanson (1998) introduced the concept of a Great Filter, describing the possible bottlenecks in the assumed progression from molecular chemistry to life, from life to intelligence, and from intelligence to galactic colonization. (THIS LEADS US TO TWO POSSIBILITIES! - Ed.)
1. If the emergence of life is a rare and difficult process, then an "emergence" bottleneck could resolve Fermi’s paradox.
2. However, if technological civilizations inevitably destroy themselves, this self-destruction bottleneck could also resolve Fermi’s paradox.
In other words, get used to the fact that it's rather lonely in our neck of the woods kids, and why it's so important to find out if there is any evidence for life somewhere else in our Solar System.
If there isn't, we probably passed the 'emergence' bottleneck.
If there is ..............., there is no emergence bottleneck, but we still face the "self destruct" option!
Either way, it doesn't look good for us kids!
Remember that big storm we told you about yesterday?
Here it is at noon on Friday ......, fortunately it's going more West than North, so it should pass just to the south of us here in S.W. Ontario, but just the same it should hit the Maritimes over the weekend! (Looks like Vancouver is rather damp too!)