The Fermi Paradox is a fascinating and perplexing question that asks, “Where is everyone?” If life on Earth is not unique and is rather common throughout the universe, then where are all the other alien civilizations? Over the years, numerous theories have been proposed to explain why we seem to be alone in the vast expanse of space, but none have been entirely convincing, and people continue to puzzle over a solution.
The physicist Alexander Berezin from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET) has proposed a new idea to address this paradox. He calls it the “First in, last out” solution, and it suggests that once a civilization reaches the capability of spreading across the stars, it will inevitably wipe out all other civilizations. This might not be because of an inherently evil alien race, but because they might not notice us and their exponential expansion across the galaxy might be more important to them than what would happen to us.
As Berezin notes in his paper, which is available on pre-print and yet to be peer-reviewed, “They simply won’t notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack the incentive to protect it.” While the picture he paints is quite grim, there is an even less cheery aspect to this solution. Berezin suggests that the reason why we are still here is that we are not likely to be the ants, but rather the future destroyers of countless civilizations.
Berezin’s solution to the paradox comes from simplifications of assumptions. For example, our definition of life depends on seven parameters, but for Berezin, there is only one that matters: growth. Growth is the push for expanding beyond the planet of origin, and if the push for expansion becomes the dominant force, it will trample any other existing life in the universe. Berezin cites colonialism and capitalism as two historical examples of such forces.
So, is this it? Do we need to go out there and conquer or be destroyed? Berezin hopes that he is wrong. One other requirement of his solution is that life can only be found when it is very close rather than at a distance. So, finding alien life before we are on the path of destruction might just save us from becoming a destructive civilization.
In conclusion, the Fermi Paradox remains an open question that continues to baffle scientists and researchers. Berezin’s “First in, last out” solution to the paradox is another attempt to explain why we have not found other intelligent civilizations in the universe. While it paints a grim picture of our future, there is still hope that we can find a more positive solution to this paradox.