Why we won’t find aliens


Alisha Bhatia, Staff Writer

Just a few days ago, the Pentagon confirmed that a video of a pyramid-shaped UFO above the coast of San Diego is real . The Department of Defense even said that the video was taken by Navy personnel, just 9 months after the Unidentified Ariel Phenomena Task Force was established .

However, this sighting is not reason to get excited about the possibility of other intelligent life. Why? The Fermi Paradox.

I am highly cynical about the idea that intelligence is a genetically favorable trait. What good does being able to track the Earth’s rotation or derive the hypotenuse have to do with the two main goals of feeding life and reproduction? It has hurt us actually: modern day physicists and politicians conspire to build atomic bombs which end millions of lives. This is the very reason why I love the paradox of intelligence.

Because despite intelligence’s lack of relevance to survival, we have been able to break past our genetic and physiological limitations and study ourselves. Animals are supposed to be complicit in their habitual eating-drinking-sleeping routine. Instead, we have a proper consciousness, and study our own consciousness. Even better, we are able to break off from our planet and touch the moon and build devices with computing powers exponentially better than our own brains.

This very paradox is part of a stipulation of the Fermi Paradox, which explains why we should never see intelligent aliens. Previously, we thought that because the evolution of intelligence seemed inevitable on Earth it should be that way throughout the universe. Think of evolution as a slide: you start at the top, and once you begin to slide down you will inevitable reach the bottom where intelligent life like us has developed. But what if once you reached the end of the slide, you fell into a pit of snakes. Then the evolution of intelligence would actually result in the extinction of the entire species. This is the Fermi paradox: many scientists believe that the evolution of intelligence results in organisms being bound to destroy themselves. They build atomic bombs that destroy their planet or deplete given resources.

The astrophysicist Sebastian von Hoerner hypothesized that a reason for the progress of science and technology is driven by “the struggle for domination which leads to our destruction.” When we understand the power-hungry motivations behind our progress, it seems inevitable that other civilizations do the same and that we won’t see intelligent life in this UFO or the next.